Competing against #18 San Diego (15-4, 8-1 WCC) on Thursday night in Gersten Pavilion, LMU volleyball (12-8, 5-4 WCC) played the Toreros tough, but could not win a set in a three-set loss. All three of the sets were decided by three points or less, as USD earned the victory by scores of 25-23, 25-22, 26-24.
Thursday's setback was the first loss on a Thursday this year for LMU (4-1), and it also snapped a four-match home win streak for the Lions.
San Diego hit .311 in the victory, receiving 13 kills apiece from Jayden Kennedy and Addie Picha, and 12 more from Kaity Edwards. Picha hit .524 over 21 attacks, while Edwards managed a .526 clip on 19 swings.
Senior setter Kristen Gengenbacher set the attack to the solid percentage, dishing out 47 assists and adding nine digs to narrowly miss a double-double.
While no Lion player finished in double-digits for kills, LMU did win the serving and blocking battle with the Toreros. The Lions served up five aces and posted eight total blocks. Alexis Morrow and Meredith Teague each had four block assists, while Teague also served up an ace. Teague had an all-around solid night in the setback, teaming her blocks with a team-high tying seven kills on 13 swings for a .462 hitting percentage. Senior Kristen Castellanos led all players with 10 digs, while Jessie Prichard and Tess Reid each had 17 assists.
The two teams played to 24 tie scores and 10 lead changes over the course of the match, as LMU held a 20-17 lead in the first set only to have San Diego win seven of the next eight points to take command of the first.
It was a similar story in the second, as LMU led 16-13, and held a lead as late as 21-20. San Diego again went on a run, earning five of the final six points down the stretch to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
San Diego hit a blistering .455 in the final set to earn the sweep, but it was LMU that led 17-14 following a block from Sara Kovac and Morrow. Three straight USD points knotted the set at 17-17, beginning a see-saw battle to the finish. Still even at 24-24, Edwards connected for her fifth kill of the period before Lauren Fuller and Edwards combined to stuff Kovac on the attack to register the sweep.
LMU will look to get back on track against #8 BYU on Saturday at Noon. The match against the WCC leader is LMU’s DiG PiNK match benefitting the fight against breast cancer. Fans can donate to the cause by visiting lmulions.com/digpink.
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