Sophomore Savannah Slattery hit a blistering .652 with a match-best 16 kills on 23 swings with just one error as LMU (12-7, 5-3 WCC) hit .424 as a team en route to posting a 25-21, 25-19, 25-17 sweep over San Francisco (3-18, 0-8 WCC) in WCC play from Gersten Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to Slattery, LMU had two other players reach double-digit kills, as Megan Rice had 12 and Sara Kovac finished with 11. Rice hit .333 over 24 swings, while Kovac managed a .500 clip on 18 attacks. Kovac also combined on a pair of blocks to help LMU to three as a team.
-- LMULions (@LMULions) October 14, 2017
Sophomore setters Jessie Prichard and Tess Reid distributed the ball well in the sweep, with both players collecting 20 assists. Reid narrowly missed a double-double, teaming the 20 assists with eight digs, but she also added two of LMU's six aces.
No Don player reached double-digit kills, as Kate Ashman and Carly Lowry each had seven to finish with the team-high. USF did serve up four aces and notched four blocks, but LMU's strong attack allowed the Lions to capture the sweep.
The opening set proved to be the closest of the three, as the two teams were knotted at 11 before LMU won four straight points to take control of the opener. Slattery and Rice came out of the gates strong, finishing with seven and six kills, respectively. LMU hit into a pair of Don blocks, as the Lions hit a respectable .263 only to have that be the lowest output of the match. A USF attack error allowed LMU to reach the 20-point plateau and forced a Don timeout at 20-16, and LMU got a kill from Rice to make it 24-18, but San Francisco won three-straight points with its back to the wall, forcing LMU into a timeout. The Lions regrouped out of the huddle, feeding Rice for her final kill of the set to earn victory.
LMU never trailed in the second, opening up a comfortable 13-7 lead by way of a four-point run in the middle of the set. The Lions stretched the lead to 10 points at 19-9 following a kill from Slattery and a USF attack error, but USF would again play tough at the end of the period. Facing set point at 24-16, the Dons won three straight to make it 24-19, but Slattery finally put the set away with her fifth kill of the period. Slattery posted the five kills on nine errorless attacks, while Kovac added five on nine swings to help LMU to a .469 team hitting percentage.
Though the Lions trailed 3-1 to begin the third and final set, LMU got right back on track from there, drawing even at 4-4 and accelerating to an 11-5 lead by winning seven of the next eight points overall. Slattery, who finished the final period with four kills on six attacks, had two kills over that span. The Lions continued to push offensively down the stretch, reaching 20 points at 20-13 on an Alexis Morrow kill and moving to match-point at 24-16 following a Don service error. Erica Ronda spoiled the first match-point chance, but Kovac took a feed from Prichard and found the floor for the final time to hand LMU the sweep. The Lions finished the match hitting .586 in the final period. LMU also saved its strongest serving set for last, registering four aces, including a pair from Morrow.
LMU will face the top of the WCC next week, hosting second-place #18 San Diego on Thursday at 7 p.m. before welcoming conference-leader #7 BYU to Gersten Pavilion on Saturday at Noon.
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