Lions Defeat No. 24 Pepperdine on Senior Night
LMU defeated No. 24 Pepperdine on Thursday night after honoring senior Kenna Crouse.
Nov. 8, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU volleyball team (16-11, 7-7 WCC) took down No. 24 Pepperdine (18-9, 7-6 WCC) by scores of 25-14, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22 on Thursday night in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions honored senior Kenna Crouse prior to the match as part of Senior Night. With the victory, LMU took a 4.5-3 lead in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup that pits LMU against Pepperdine in athletic events throughout the year.
LMU looked strong on Thursday night, hitting .265 while holding the Waves to .174 hitting on the other side of the net. Junior Kathleen Luft set a new personal-best with 24 kills on 49 attacks for a .367 hitting percentage. The native of Thousand Oaks, Calif. also posted six digs, a block solo and five block assists. LMU managed 10 blocks on the night, highlighted by senior Crouse with a solo and six assists. The Coto de Caza, Calif. product hit .545 with seven kills on 11 attacks with only one error in her final match played in Gersten Pavilion. Freshman setter Hannah Tedrow dished-out 52 assists to guide LMU to the stellar offensive output. Tedrow also posted 10 digs to record her second career double-double.
Jazmine Orozco led the Waves with 15 kills, while Kellie Woolever dished-out 46 assists with 17 digs for a double-double. Samantha Cash totaled six blocks, including a pair of solos to help the Waves to the 12-10 advantage on the block.
The Lions came out clicking on all cylinders in the first, hitting a blistering .419 behind four kills apiece from Litara Keil and Luft. Luft, who had two of LMU's six block assists in the period, hit .571 in the set, posting the four kills on seven errorless attacks. Tedrow dished-out 14 assists in the first to push the Lions to the stellar percentage, while Keil teamed her four kills with a service ace. The six block assists, teamed with eight Pepperdine attack errors, led Pepperdine to a .028 hitting clip. The Lions scored the first four points of the set before advancing the lead to 8-2 on a Wave attack error that forced a timeout. LMU continued to roll from there, extending the lead to 10 at 16-6 by way of a four-point run from 12-6 that was highlighted by kills from Felicia Arriola and Keil to force the final Wave timeout. LMU reached the 20-point plateau on a Wave attack error at 20-9 en route to cruising to the 25-14 victory on a kill from Luft.
The No. 24 team in the nation came back in the second set, taking the period by a count of 25-21. Orozco, the Waves' leading attacker, posted six kills on 11 attacks to lead the way for Pepperdine. Pepperdine, which hit .308, also received three service aces. Victoria Adelhelm had two of the three aces to go along with a block assist. Luft and Caitlin DeWitt did well to keep LMU in the set, posting five kills apiece to guide LMU to a .222 hitting percentage. LMU got off to another solid start in the second, racing to a 6-2 lead, but that advantage was erased by a four-point run from the Waves after a timeout. Leading 9-8, Pepperdine went on a six-point swing to claim a 15-8 lead, exhausting both LMU timeouts along the way. Trailing by seven at 20-13, LMU managed to make the set interesting, scoring three straight points to cut the deficit to four at 20-16 and force a Wave timeout. The visitors eventually pushed the lead to 24-19 on a Lion attack error, but LMU refused to surrender, wasting a pair of set point chances to run the tally to 24-21. Unfortunately, the deficit proved too much as Orozco got the set from Woolever and put it to the floor for the final kill to even the match score at one set apiece.
LMU responded well in the third, hitting .244 en route to a 25-19 victory to take a 2-1 match lead. Luft continued to swing a hot hand in the third, connecting for eight kills on 16 swings to guide LMU to victory. The Wave block kept the No. 24 team in the nation within striking distance, posting five team blocks, including four block assists from Adelhelm. The two teams played even to six points before LMU went on a 3-0 run to take a 9-6 lead on a kill from DeWitt. A timeout at that point from Pepperdine did little to slow the Lions, as LMU pushed forward to 17-11, highlighted by three kills from Arriola over that span. LMU looked to have the set in the bag down the stretch, earning a set point chance at 24-15 on a kill from Crouse, but Pepperdine managed to rattle-off four straight points with its back to the wall to force a Lion timeout at 24-19. The break served the Lions well, as Arriola emerged from the huddle and promptly connected for her fourth kill of the set to hand LMU victory.
LMU won a tight fourth set to complete the upset victory with a 25-22 decision. Luft finished strong with seven kills, while Crouse posted a block solo and three block assists to ensure her first career victory over the Waves. The two teams found themselves locked in a seesaw battle that saw 14 tie scores and seven lead changes. Knotted at 21, Keil served a tough ball that resulted in an overpass where Luft hammered it home to steal momentum down the final stretch. After a Wave timeout at 22-21, Keil seemingly served long, but a Wave player elected to play the ball and Pepperdine eventually committed an attack error to hand LMU the 23-21 lead. A Luft kill pushed the match to match point at 24-21 before Luft connected on her 24th and final kill of the match to prompt the Lions to storm the court with the upset.
The victory over the Waves was the first for the Lions since October 19, 2006 (12 matches), and snapped a string of 36 straight losses to ranked opponents. LMU will return to action on Saturday when it exits WCC play to face Cal State Northridge on the road at 7 p.m.
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