Solid Attack Guides LMU Past Santa Clara in Four

Sophomore Alyse Hensley led all players with 15 kills on Saturday afternoon.

Nov. 5, 2011

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU volleyball attack was strong on Saturday as the Lions (14-12, 7-6 WCC) defeated Santa Clara (9-14, 4-8 WCC) in four sets by scores of 25-18, 24-26, 25-19, 25-19 in Gersten Pavilion. LMU hit .315 over the course of the match, including .340 or better in three of the four sets. Setter Olivia Bailey set the offense to the quality percentage, dishing-out 53 assists to accompany four of LMU's seven service aces. The four aces matched a career-high for Bailey set against Portland on October 27 of this year.

Sophomore Alyse Hensley led all players with 15 kills on 38 attacks for a .289 percentage. Freshman Litara Keil was outstanding for LMU in the match, posting 14 kills on 27 attack with just one error for a .481 hitting percentage. Hensley accumulated her first double-double of the year, teaming the 15 kills with 14 digs. Sophomore Betsi Metter once again led all players in digs, collecting 22.

Kayla Lommori led the Santa Clara offense, posting 13 kills on 28 attacks for a .321 percentage. Alyssa Anderson set the offense to a .170 clip, passing-out 43 assists with two kills. Lexi Williamson and Bridget O'Hara each had a pair of aces as Santa Clara finished with five.

LMU came out swinging in the first set, hitting .368 over the course of the period en route to a 25-18 decision. Jasmine Rankins got the match off on the right foot, collecting six kills on 13 attacks to lead all players in the set. The Lion block was also in full-force, collecting five team stuffs, including three block assists from Kenna Crouse. The Lions led early in the period, opening-up a 3-1 lead on a Bronco attacking error. After LMU extended the lead to 8-5, Santa Clara won three straight points to knot the set at 8-8. Fortunately for LMU, the Lions went on a run of their own, scoring four straight to force a Santa Clara timeout. The Lions continued the strong play down the stretch, going on another three-point run from 16-13 to take a commanding 19-13 lead and force the final Bronco timeout. The Lions earned set-point at 24-17 on a Santa Clara attacking error before Rankins notched her sixth kill of the set two points later to take the period.

The Broncos got back to even with a second-set victory by a count of 26-24. The two teams played to 12 tie scores and eight lead changes in the set, as Santa Clara hit .231 to LMU's .175. Lommori led all players with six kills on 14 swings for the Broncos, but five kills on just eight attacks from Keil kept LMU close in the period. Bailey also helped LMU's cause with a pair of service aces. LMU led early at 9-6, forcing a Santa Clara timeout, but the lead didn't last long as Santa Clara clawed back to even at 11. The two teams traded points to 16 before Santa Clara won three straight points that resulted in a Lion timeout and a 19-16 advantage for the visitors. Refusing to let the set get out of reach, LMU scratched to within one at 21-20 on a Rankins kill that forced the final Bronco timeout of the period. The Lions managed to get back to even at 23 en route to a set-point chance at 24-23 on a Bronco attack error, but Santa Clara won three straight points, highlighted by a kill and ace from Williamson, to take the period and send the two teams into the intermission knotted at one set apiece.

The Lions emerged from the break with a new fire, hitting .394 with three aces and two blocks en route to taking the third set by a count of 25-19. Crouse and Hensley each had four kills to guide LMU to the win, while Santa Clara hit .273, including four kills on five swings from Dana Knudsen. LMU never trailed in the period, jumping-out to an early 4-2 lead on a Bronco service error. After advancing the tally to 7-3, LMU saw Santa Clara inch to within one point at 11-10 by way of a three-point run highlighted by kills from Taylor Milton and Knudsen. The Lions managed to right the ship from there, pushing forward to 17-12, capped by kills from Rankins and Crouse, to force a Santa Clara timeout. The lead stretched to 21-15 on a kill from Cheek and a Metter service ace as the Broncos elected to call their final timeout. The break did little to slow LMU's momentum as the Lions cruised to the 25-19 victory on a service error from Williamson.

LMU kept the foot on the accelerator in the fourth, hitting .342 as a team en route to taking the set and the match by a count of 25-19. Hensley finished strong with six kills on nine swings, while Emily Cheek and Keil each contributed three kills. LMU lost the first point of the set, but would not trail from that point forward. The Lions and Broncos traded blows early to 8-8 before LMU won three straight points to claim an 11-8 advantage on a Hensley kill that forced a Santa Clara timeout. The Broncos did well to stay in the set, evening the tally at 13 and then again for the last time at 16. At that point, LMU went on another three-point swing, benefitting from kills from Crouse and Hensley en route to forcing a Bronco timeout at 19-16. Santa Clara nearly got back to even again down the stretch, cutting the deficit to one at 20-19, but LMU finished the match on a five-point run, capped by an Ashley Maxfeldt service ace for the final point.

LMU will return to action on Thursday when it travels to Pepperdine for a PCH-Cup match at 7 p.m.




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