Lions Challenge No. 14 Pepperdine in Loss
LMU battled in all three sets but could not upend the ranked Waves.
Nov. 10, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - The LMU women's volleyball team (14-13, 7-7 WCC) battled No. 14 Pepperdine (19-5, 13-0 WCC) on Thursday night at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse, but fell in straight sets by scores of 26-24, 25-19, 25-21. With the loss, Pepperdine earned one point in the PCH Cup standings that pit LMU and Pepperdine against each other throughout the athletic season. Pepperdine now leads the PCH Cup standings, 5.5-2.
Lilla Frederick led all players in the match with 17 kills on 42 attacks for Pepperdine. Frederick managed a double-double after pairing the kills with 11 digs. Kim Hill pitched-in 12 kills while the Waves hit .200 over the match. The Waves were extremely effective on the block, notching 11 team blocks, including 20 block assists. Kellie Woolever set the Wave offense, dishing-out 34 assists to accompany 16 digs for a double-double.
The Lions were paced by 11 kills from senior Jasmine Rankins. Setter Olivia Bailey narrowly-missed a double-double, teaming 30 assists with nine digs. Betsi Metter led all players with 20 digs, while freshman Litara Keil had five block assists to guide LMU to nine total team blocks.
LMU lost a hard-fought first set by a count of 26-24 after the two teams battled even to 24. Rankins finished the period with six kills on 10 attacks for LMU, but Pepperdine's Frederick countered with nine kills on 18 swings as the Waves hit .204. Pepperdine also managed four total team blocks, including a pair to earn the final two points of the period. After playing close to 7-5 in favor of Pepperdine, the Waves went on a four-point run to force a Lion timeout at 11-5. The Lions managed to regain composure, cutting the deficit to three at 14-11 by way of a three-point run of its own, highlighted by a pair of kills from Kenna Crouse, to force a Wave timeout. The Lions cut it to within two at 16-14 on a pair of errors from Pepperdine, but the Waves managed to win the next two points to force the second and final LMU timeout of the period at 18-14. The two teams traded blows to 21-19, as a Rankins killed pushed LMU to that point. After Pepperdine advanced the lead to 23-19, LMU stormed back to within two at 23-21, capped by another Rankins kill and a Pepperdine bad set. Pepperdine took the set to set-point on a controversial call that resulted in a kill from Frederick at 24-21 out of the break, but LMU once again went on a run to cut the deficit to one at 24-23 when Frederick hit long after a long rally. An LMU block from Crouse and Emily Cheek knotted the tally at 24 apiece, but a pair of Pepperdine blocks pushed the Waves to a 26-24 victory.
Neither team hit for a high percentage in the second set, as Pepperdine out-hit LMU by a count of .182-.025 en route to a 25-19 victory. Frederick once again led the attack for Pepperdine, posting five kills on 16 swings. Hill also excelled in the period, notching four kills on five attacks with a block assist. LMU matched the Pepperdine blocking effort with three team blocks, including a solo and an assist from Cheek, but Rankins led LMU with just three kills in the period. After playing to 4-3, Pepperdine managed to jump out to an early 8-3 advantage in the second set, winning four straight points to force a Lion timeout. The Waves won one more point out of the break before LMU stopped the bleeding on a kill from Alyse Hensley to run the tally to 9-5. That lead stretched to 14-6 as Samantha Cash connected on a kill before joining forces with Woolever for a block of Cheek to force the final Lion timeout of the period at 14-6. The break served the Lions well as they battled back to within five at 15-10 on a Rankins kill, but Pepperdine managed to right the ship from there, reaching the 20-point plateau at 20-12 on a Frederick kill. LMU made things interesting down the stretch, forcing a Pepperdine timeout and cutting the deficit to four at 22-18, but the Waves eventually took the set, and a 2-0 match score lead, by a count of 25-19 when Frederick hammered home her fifth kill of the set.
Hill finished the match strong, posting five kills to lead Pepperdine to the victory. The Waves managed five total team blocks in the final period. The two team traded blows to 6-6 early in set three, but Pepperdine managed to go on a 3-0 run from that point, opening-up a 9-6 advantage on a kill from Hill and a block from Hill and Cash. The Waves advanced the lead to 13-9 on another block to force the first Lion timeout of the period. The break did little to slow the Pepperdine momentum, as Head Coach Tom Black elected to use his final timeout of the set at 17-11 as Frederick connected on a kill followed by yet another Pepperdine block. As it did all night, LMU refused to surrender without a fight, scratching to within four points at 21-17 by way of a three-point run highlighted by a Hensley kill and a block from Bailey and Keil. Facing match point at 24-18, LMU managed to win three straight points and force a Pepperdine timeout with its back to the wall, but Pepperdine was able to escape the period and take the match with a 25-21 victory on Frederick's final kill of the match.
The Lions will return to action on Saturday when they host No. 21 San Diego at 1 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.