Lions Fall in Four to Saint Mary's
LMU dropped its fourth straight WCC match on Saturday afternoon.
Oct. 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU volleyball team (10-8, 1-4 WCC) dropped its fourth consecutive West Coast Conference match on Saturday, this time falling in four sets to Saint Mary's (9-8, 4-2 WCC) by scores of 25-19, 25-18, 25-27, 25-16 in Gersten Pavilion.
Junior Kathleen Luft led the Lions offensively, posting 15 kills with nine digs to narrowly-miss a double-double. The Lions hit just .184 over the four sets, highlighted by 10 kills on 24 attacks with just one error (.375) from Litara Keil. Freshman Hannah Tedrow and sophomore Ashley Maxfeldt split time running the offense, accumulating 20 and 18 assists, respectively.
Kristina Graven and Gabby Jolly provided the bulk of the offense for Saint Mary's, collecting 20 and 16 kills, in that order. Graven hit .348, while Jolly connected for an unreal .609 clip on 23 attacks. Setter Dalas Dodd dished-out 47 assists as the Gaels hit a solid .304 for the match. Jordan Shaw was impressive from the service area, posting four aces and holding serve for a number of Gael runs throughout the match.
The Lions couldn't get the offense rolling in the first, hitting a measly .091 en route to dropping a 25-19 decision. Keil proved to be the highlight for LMU, notching four kills on eight swings for a .500 hitting percentage. Jolly led the charge for Saint Mary's, posting four kills on five attacks without an error to push SMC to a .270 hitting percentage. The two teams played even early, but after a 4-4 deadlock, Saint Mary's slowly built a lead to 14-10 to force a Lion timeout on a Luft attack error. The lead stretched to 17-11 out of the break as Luft committed another attack error to force LMU's final timeout. Back-to-back kills from Lauren Corp allowed the Gaels to advance the set to set-point at 24-18 before Kristina Graven connected for her fourth kill of the set to earn the victory.
Saint Mary's took the 2-0 match score lead by way of a 25-18 decision in the second. Corp, Shaw and Graven each posted five kills to help the Gaels to a .283 hitting percentage. Shaw also served-up a pair of aces in the set. The Lions received five kills from Felicia Arriola to push LMU to a .216 hitting percentage, but the output was not enough to keep pace with the visitors. The Lions led early in the period, forcing a Gael timeout at 7-5 on an Arriola kill and a SMC attack error. The break proved effective for Saint Mary's as it rebounded out of the huddle to claim a 14-10 lead on kills from Corp and Graven. The four-point advantage continued to 17-13 on consecutive kills from Graven to force a Lion timeout, but the break did little to slow momentum as Saint Mary's eventually took the set on a Corp kill from Dodd.
Luft and Amber Mirabello took control of the third set, managing five and four kills, respectively, to help LMU force a fourth set. Both teams hit for their highest percentage to that point in the set, but it was LMU that hit .333 compared to SMC's .294. Jolly did her best to record the sweep for the Gaels, collecting eight kills on 10 swings, but three Lion service aces, including a pair from Ellie Selleck, proved enough to take the period. Despite LMU leading virtually the entire way in the third, Saint Mary's never seemed out of the set. The Lions opened-up a six-point lead at 16-10, but three straight Gael points cut the deficit to three to force a Lion timeout. The Lions recovered momentarily out of the break, but after claiming a 20-14 lead, the Gaels received a kill and two aces from Corp to once again make it a three-point deficit and force a Lion timeout. The three-point lead continued to 23-20, but a four-point swing handed the Gaels a match-point chance late at 24-23. Fortunately, LMU was able to regain composure, receiving back-to-back kills from Arriola to take a 25-24 lead. After a service error spoiled the set-point opportunity, Arriola and Luft teamed for a pair of kills to finally put the set away at 27-25.
The Gaels came out swinging in the fourth to take the match, hitting .387 behind seven kills on 11 attacks from Graven. Shaw contributed two of her four match aces in the finale, while SMC combined for a team-high four blocks. LMU hit for its lowest percentage in the final set, managing just a .086 hitting clip, highlighted by four kills from Luft. Things played even to eight, but a 7-1 run from the Gaels cost LMU both timeouts and resulted in a 15-9 deficit as the visitors began to pull away. Though the Lions did manage to run the tally to 18-15 on back-to-back Luft kills, Saint Mary's went on a 6-0 run, including benefitting from four straight Lion attack errors, to force a match-point chance at 24-15. Though Graven's string of serves was broken by a service error on the ensuing play, Shaw received a set from Missy White and found the floor to hand the Gaels the victory on the next point.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it hosts Santa Clara at 7 p.m. to wrap-up a six-match homestand.