Lions Outlast Gonzaga in Five
LMU won its third straight match on Saturday.
Oct. 29, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU volleyball team (13-11, 6-5 WCC) defeated Gonzaga (7-15, 1-10 WCC) in five sets on Saturday afternoon in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions, who have now won three straight matches, defeated the Bulldogs by scores of 25-16, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-9. With the win, LMU is now 4-1 in five-set matches this year.
Jasmine Rankins led all players with 17 kills on 41 attacks for a .341 hitting percentage, guiding LMU to a .264 mark as a team. Litara Keil, Alyse Hensley and Emily Cheek all had 12 kills, as Keil and Hensley both contributed three block assists. LMU managed 11 total team blocks over the match, including five block assists from Kenna Crouse. Rankins was the lone Lion to finish with a double-double, teaming her 17 kills with 14 digs. Betsi Metter, who ranked second in the WCC in service aces this week, served-up a career-high five of LMU's nine on the match. She also contributed a match-high tying 27 digs. Junior Olivia Bailey set the attack for LMU on Saturday, amassing a match-high 53 assists with three kills and eight digs.
Terran Poindexter led the Bulldog offense, collecting 14 kills as Gonzaga hit .196. Denise Van de Mortel dished-out 50 assists to accompany 11 digs for a double-double from the setter position. Laura Day, the sister of former Lion Emily Day, was impressive from the libero position, accumulating a service ace and a match-high tying 27 digs.
LMU came out hot in the first set, connecting for a blistering .424 clip highlighted by five kills on eight swings from Keil. Hensley pitched-in four kills on seven attacks while the Lions also served-up three aces, including a pair from Keil, to cruise to a 25-16 victory. Although Gonzaga won the first two points of the match, LMU got back to even at 2-2 en route to a tie score at 5-5. Back-to-back aces from Keil handed LMU a lead it would not relinquish at 7-5. The Lions extended the lead down the stretch, forcing a timeout at 20-14 on a Hensley kill before a pair of kills from Cheek capped the first frame and handed LMU the 25-16 victory.
Both offenses stalled a bit in the second, as LMU hit for a .195 clip compared to Gonzaga's .156. Rankins contributed four kills and the Lions managed four team blocks, including two block solos from Cheek, en route to holding-off Gonzaga for a tight 25-23 victory. Poindexter did her best to keep the Bulldogs in the set, recording five kills on nine swings without an error. The Lions claimed an early 11-3 lead en route to maintaining a seven-point advantage to 17-10 on a Bailey kill. Although LMU never trailed in the set, the seven-point lead was far from safe. Gonzaga went on a late run to cut the deficit to two at 22-20, capped by a Meredith Crenshaw kill. Facing set point at 24-21, the Bulldogs won two points to force a Lion timeout at 24-23. The timeout served its purpose as Rankins connected on a kill from Bailey to ensure the Lion win.
Junior Kylie Edinger and sophomores Kristina Lavrisha and Crenshaw came up big in the third set to help Gonzaga earn the victory in the third. The three combined for 12 of the Bulldogs 16 kills in the set, but it was senior Kaprina Goodwin that sealed the deal for Gonzaga, hammering home the winning kill, her then-seventh of the match. LMU hit .286 in the third while holding Gonzaga to a .244 clip, but the Lions could not finish the match in three. Metter contributed three aces in the period, while Cheek had four kills. Goodwin kept the hot hand in the fourth set, collecting five kills, including the kill that put Gonzaga up late at 24-22. The Bulldogs hit for a .273 percentage in the fourth, highlighted by five kills from Goodwin on just six swings. The two teams battled to nine tie scores and two lead changes in the period, including the final stalemate at 20-20. Down to set point, LMU had an attack from Hensley blocked by Crenshaw, the third team block of the set for Gonzaga, to force a fifth and decisive period.
LMU took control right away of the race to 15 in the fifth and final set, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. The Lions finished the period hitting .240, including three kills on four swings from Crouse, while holding Gonzaga to a .000 hitting percentage. After earning a 7-2 lead on a Bulldog attacking error, LMU reached the 10-point plateau at 10-5 on a Cheek kill. Gonzaga inched to within three at 10-7, but LMU went on a four-point run, capped by a Crouse kill, to take a match-point lead at 14-7. Although the Bulldogs managed to waste two match-point chances, Crouse finished the match on a high note with her final kill to hand LMU the five-set victory.
LMU returns to action on November 3 at BYU at 6 p.m.