#25 Lions Roll Waves in Wells Fargo PCH Cup Win
LMU swept Pepperdine to claim 1.5 points in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup standings.
The #25 LMU volleyball team (16-2, 4-2 WCC) swept Pepperdine (7-11, 2-4 WCC) by scores of 25-21, 26-24, 25-23 on Saturday in a Wells Fargo PCH Cup match that was played at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse. With the victory, LMU claimed 1.5 points in the PCH Cup standings. For up-to-date Wells Fargo PCH Cup standings, please visit:
Wells Fargo PCH Cup Standings
Senior Litara Keil tied for the match lead in kills with 16, hitting a blistering .556 on 27 attacks with only one error. The Long Beach, Calif. native also managed one of LMU's three aces to go along with three block assists. Freshman Sarah Sponcil also excelled on Saturday afternoon, finishing with nine kills on 19 errorless attacks (.474) to support 10 digs for a double-double. The Lions as a team hit .337 receiving sets from junior Hannah Tedrow, who finished with a match-high 45 assists.
The Pepperdine attack was also strong over the course of the afternoon, registering a .324 team hitting percentage behind 16 kills from Katie Messing, but the Waves served up 13 errors to hand LMU valuable points. Messing finished the match with her 16 kills on 31 attacks for a .452 hitting percentage. Olivia Okoro also had a strong match for the home team, teaming eight kills with a pair of blocks.
LMU took the opener by a count of 25-21, benefitting from seven kills on 10 errorless swings from Keil. The Lions hit .406 in the first set while registering a pair of team blocks, including two block assists apiece from Tedrow and Keil. The Lions never trailed in the first, opening up an early 3-0 advantage before reaching the 10-point plateau at 10-8 on a Sponcil kill. The Waves remained close throughout the period, evening the tally at 13 on a kill from Jillian Bergeson, but LMU would respond with three straight points, including a kill from Caitlin DeWitt, to reclaim the lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way. Another three-point swing, highlighted by two Keil kills, ran the tally to 21-16 before LMU eventually took the opening set on a kill from Amber Mirabello.
LMU won a see-saw battle in the second set, playing to 18 tie scores and nine lead changes, en route to earning a 26-24 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the match score. LMU was outhit .351-.344 in the period, but Pepperdine committed six service errors in the set to aid LMU in the victory. Mirabello highlighted the Lion attack in the second, registering five of her eight match kills in the period. Playing even virtually the entire way, the two teams were locked in a stalemate at 23-23 before Pepperdine took a set-point chance on a Messing kill to make it 24-23. Refusing to surrender the crucial second set, LMU responded with three unanswered points to close out the set, receiving kills from DeWitt and Sponcil to guide the way to victory.
Once again locked in a tight set, LMU escaped with the sweep by way of a 25-23 decision in the third. For the second straight set, Pepperdine outhit the Lions by a count of .312-.270, but three more service errors and two Lion aces proved to be big for LMU. Keil finished the match strong, collecting six kills on 13 attacks with a block assist, while Sponcil posted five kills with two blocks and four digs to keep the ball alive for the Lions. Messing did her best to try to force a fourth set, managing seven kills on 11 errorless attacks, but it was not enough to push the Waves through. The third set featured 12 tie scores and six lead changes, with the Lions and Waves knotted as late as 22-22. Keil and DeWitt posted consecutive kills for LMU to set up match point before Pepperdine managed to force a Lion timeout by winning the next point on a Lion attack error. The well-timed break did well to calm the Lions, as Tedrow set Keil for the final time on Saturday, where the ball was hammered to the floor for the win.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it hosts San Francisco at 7 p.m. The match will be LMU's annual DiG PiNK match benefitting the fight against breast cancer. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, and there will be a silent auction with proceeds supporting the cause.
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