Lions Sweep Santa Clara on Road to Open WCC Play
LMU took down the Broncos in three straight sets on Thursday night.
Sept. 30, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - LMU (8-7, 1-0) began West Coast Conference play on Thursday by sweeping Santa Clara (9-6, 0-1) on the road by scores of 25-22, 25-18, 25-23. The victory marks the first time the Lions have started WCC play with a win since 2006.
LMU posted a .279 team hitting percentage over the course of the three sets, holding Santa Clara to a .205 mark on the other side of the net. Junior Jasmine Rankins had an all-around solid match for the Lions, posting 11 kills with a service ace and a team-best 12 digs for a double-double. Sophomore Felicia Arriola led the Lions with 12 kills on the night, while setter Olivia Bailey dished-out 36 helpers with a kill and seven digs. Senior Becky Stehling also played extremely well for the Lions, managing seven kills on 15 swings for a .400 hitting percentage while also teaming for a match-best seven block assists. Nearly as impressive in terms of attack percentage, freshman Alyse Hensley hit .348 with nine kills and just one error.
Setter Emily Burke was the lone Bronco with a double-double, teaming 33 assists with 13 digs. Kayla Lommori led all players with 15 kills on 38 attacks, while teammate Kaleigh Durket managed 10 kills on 23 swings.
LMU led nearly the entire way in the first set, relinquishing the first point of the match before leading from 2-1 forward. An attack error and a Hensley kill forced a Santa Clara timeout at 12-7 before LMU opened-up a seven-point advantage at 18-11 on a Rankins kill. The Lions maintained a comfortable lead to 20-15 before Santa Clara inched within two points by scoring the next three points to run the tally to 20-18. After utilizing a timeout, the Lions regained composure en route to winning the set on one of Arriola's six kills in the first set alone.
LMU hit a match-best .382 in the second set, led by four kills on 10 swings from Arriola. Hensley, Stehling and Rankins each pitched-in three kills for the Lions as they held Santa Clara to just a .171 hitting percentage. Lommori and Durket gave an honest effort in the set, managing five and four kills, respectively, but the effort proved too little as the Lions took the set by a count of 25-18. LMU once again led from the beginning, earning an eight-point advantage at 16-8. The lead grew to nine at 20-11 as the Lions cruised to victory on a Hensley kill.
The Lions sealed the match sweep in a close third set. The final period featured 13 tie scores and six lead changes, but the Lions managed to earn the 25-23 victory. Rankins posted five kills in the final set, accompanied by four more kills from Hensley. Durket matched Rankins for a set-high with five kills of her own, but the Broncos could not force a fourth set. After playing even to 10 and then again to 17, with the latter forcing a Santa Clara timeout, the two teams continued to trade blows to 21. The Lions fell behind momentarily from there as an Arriola attack error forced a Lion timeout at 22-21. Each team managed a point out of the break to run the tally to 23-22 before LMU scored each of the final three points on a Rankins kills, block assists from Rankins and Nash, and a Knudsen attack error, in that order.
The Lions will continue West Coast Conference play on Saturday when they visit San Francisco for a match at 1 p.m.