Led by five service aces from sophomore Tess Reid, LMU (15-11, 8-7 WCC) served up 10 aces in a 25-18, 25-16, 25-20 sweep over San Francisco (3-24, 0-14 WCC) on the road in West Coast Conference play on Thursday night.
Reid teamed her five aces with 15 assists, while fellow setter Jessie Prichard dished out 20 to help lead LMU to a .267 hitting percentage. No Lion posted double-digit kills, but sophomore Savannah Slattery finished with a team-best nine kills and hit .364 over 22 swings. Joining Reid in the impressive serving effort was Meredith Teague, who posted three aces.
Reid’s five aces matched a season high for the Lions and equaled her career high set earlier this year against Saint Mary’s on September 28. It was also the second time this year that an LMU player collected five aces in a three-set match, equaling the output from Teague on November 2 against Gonzaga.
The Lions used the strong serving to capture the first set, with Reid posting four of LMU’s six aces in the opener. Two of Reid’s aces highlighted a 5-0 run that allowed LMU to open up a 10-6 lead it would not relinquish. The first of two aces for Teague allowed LMU to reach the 20-point plateau at 20-17 before Reid closed out the first set with consecutive aces to cap what proved to be a 4-0 LMU run to victory.
Reid added another ace in the second set, and LMU once again closed the set on a 4-0 run en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the match score. The Lions never trailed in the second, opening up a 12-7 led on the heels of a pair of Slattery kills. San Francisco inched to within three at 15-12 on a kill from Laura Leap, but LMU answered with four straight points, including one on a block from Megan Rice and Emma Johnson, and one more on a service ace from Prichard, to move the lead to 19-12. Alexis Morrow provided two of the final four points in the set, connecting for two of her six match kills.
The Lions had to come from behind in the third set to earn the sweep, playing to an early 10-8 deficit. LMU eventually drew back even at 11 before winning four of the next five points to take a 15-12 lead and force a San Francisco timeout. Sierra Bartley and Rice capped the run with kills, as both players finished the final period with two. Still only a one-point set at 16-15, LMU finally managed to put the third away, winning five of the next six overall to take a commanding 21-16 lead late in the period. After reaching match point at 24-20 on a Sara Kovac kill, LMU fed Morrow one final time for a kill to earn the sweep.
LMU will return to action on Saturday when it travels to Santa Clara for a 1 p.m. match.
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