Sept. 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU volleyball team (10-6) looked impressive en route to a sweep over CSU Bakersfield (7-9) on Saturday in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions defeated the Roadrunners in non-conference play by a count of 25-14, 25-20, 25-16 behind a match-best 14 kills from sophomore Litara Keil and 11 team blocks.
Keil, a native of Long Beach, Calif., recorded the 14 kills on just 20 swings with only three errors for a stellar .550 hitting percentage. Not only strong on the attack, Keil contributed four of LMU's seven match aces to accompany three block assists. Senior Kenna Crouse also had a good day on Saturday, managing two kills on as many attacks with four block assists. LMU as a whole hit .311 on Saturday as freshman Hannah Tedrow dished-out 21 assists.
Debora Araujo led the CSUB attack with eight kills, but the Roadrunners hit just .060 over the course of the three sets. Normally a strong serving team, CSUB managed just one service ace while committing seven errors.
The Lions never trailed in the first, cruising to a 25-14 opening-set victory and forcing Bakersfield into a .056 hitting percentage. LMU posted four team blocks in the first, including three block assists from Crouse. Keil provided all the offense LMU would need in the set, connecting for six kills on as many errorless swings for a perfect hitting percentage. In fact, every Lion player who had a kill in the set posted a perfect hitting percentage as Crouse, Caitlin DeWitt and Amber Mirabello each had one kill on one attack. In addition to the six kills, Keil also served-up three aces to push LMU to the victory.
While LMU's attack cooled considerably in the second to .147, LMU did manage to hold CSU Bakersfield to a -.027 hitting percentage en route to taking the second by a count of 25-20. Keil continued to play well for the Lions, connecting for four kills on nine attacks to finish the set with a .533 match hitting percentage. LMU's blocking corps showed up again in the second, recording four more team blocks behind two block solos apiece from Kathleen Luft
and Rachelle Suaava
. The Lions once again never trailed in the set, opening up a 15-12 lead and forcing a CSUB timeout after back-to-back kills from Keil and Luft. The Roadrunners elected to call their second timeout after a Suaava kill and a CSUB attack error pushed the set to 20-16 in favor of LMU. The lead shrunk to two points at 22-20, but LMU recorded three straight points on consecutive attack errors charged to the `Runners to take the set and the 2-0 match lead.
The Lions returned to form in the third to earn the sweep, hitting .440 behind four kills apiece from Keil, Luft and Mirabello. Tedrow and Luft each collected a block solo in the period as LMU managed three team blocks. CSU Bakersfield upped its hitting percentage to .179 behind three kills from Kelsee Sawyer, but it was not enough to overcome the Lions. The Lions served up three aces in the finale, including Keil's fourth of the match to force a timeout at 13-9. The good times continued to roll for LMU out of the break, extending the lead to 18-12 on a kill from Mirabello and a Roadrunner attack error that resulted in the final CSUB timeout of the match. Leading 21-16, LMU closed the match on a 4-0 run that was capped by a Luft kill for the win.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it welcomes BYU to Gersten Pavilion for a match at 7 p.m. Thursday's match is LMU's annual DiG PiNK match benefitting the fight against breast cancer. Fans wishing to donate to the cause can do so at the match or by clicking the following link:- GO LIONS -