Returning home to open the final homestand of the year on Thursday night, LMU volleyball (13-11, 6-7 WCC) turned in one of its best all-around matches of the year, sweeping Gonzaga (13-11, 8-4 WCC) by scores of 25-12, 25-12, 25-16. The Lions hit a season-best .440, served up eight aces and posted four blocks while limiting Gonzaga to just .085 hitting.
Sophomore Megan Rice led the way on the attack, finishing with 15 kills on 28 swings for a .429 clip. Savannah Slattery pitched in 11 kills on 17 attacks to hit .588, while freshman Sierra Bartley posted a .500 hitting percentage en route to collecting eight kills. Setters Jessie Prichard and Tess Reid distributed the ball all around the court in the victory, guiding the Lions to the solid hitting percentage and posting 20 and 15 assists, respectively.
— LMULions (@LMULions) November 3, 2017
Freshman Meredith Teague continued her onslaught from the service area, serving up five of LMU’s eight aces. Teague now owns 22 aces this year, with 16 coming in the last five matches. She has posted four or more aces in three of the last four overall. In addition to her efforts serving, Teague finished with three block assists.
LMU came out strong in the first set, hitting .300 behind four kills apiece from Rice and Teague. Teague, who also had all three of LMU’s aces in the opener, hit .571 over seven errorless swings. Although known for her ability on the attack, Slattery collected five digs in the first, helping to keep Gonzaga at a measly -.069 hitting percentage. The first set was knotted at eight early, but LMU won seven of the next eight to open up a 15-9 lead. The run was highlighted by a pair of kills from Rice. The Lions stretched the lead to 20-10 on a block from Rice and Teague before eventually earning the first on consecutive aces from Teague.
LMU ran away with the second period, jumping out to a 20-5 lead and coasting to a 2-0 lead in the match score. The Lions hit a blistering .560 in the second behind four kills apiece from Bartley, Rice and Sara Kovac. Kovac and Slattery, who posted three kills, were perfect on the attack over their swings. The Lions also served up four aces while limiting Gonzaga to just .059 hitting, as Teague took five aces into the locker room.
The Lions had to come from behind in the middle of the third set to earn the sweep, playing into an early 11-8 hole before using a timeout. The break seemed to get LMU back on track, as the home team would win seven straight points, highlighted by four Rice kills, to claim a 15-11 lead and force Gonzaga into a timeout of their own. LMU continued to push out of the huddle, advancing the lead to 21-14 to burn the final Bulldog timeout of the night. After reaching match point on a Gonzaga attack error, Rice fittingly put the match away with her seventh kill of the final period. The Lions hit .472 in the third, with Slattery posting six kills to finish one short of the team lead in the stanza.
LMU will look to close the home schedule on a high note when it welcomes Portland to Gersten Pavilion on Saturday at Noon for Senior Day.
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