Lions Sweep Season Series with Santa Clara
LMU swept the Broncos on Thursday to take both matches in the season series.
Nov. 15, 2012
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The LMU volleyball team (18-11, 8-7 WCC) swept Santa Clara (21-9, 10-5 WCC) by scores of 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 on Thursday to take both matches between the two teams over the course of the year. The Lions played strong throughout the match, hitting .347 as a team behind 16 kills from Kathleen Luft. Luft, the reigning WCC Player of the Week, hit .400 on the match. LMU has now won three straight matches, and five of its last six overall.
Joining Luft on the attack were sophomores Caitlin DeWitt and Litara Keil. DeWitt finished with 12 kills on 19 swings for a .474 clip while Keil collected 11 kills on 22 attacks for a .364 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Hannah Tedrow led the Lions to the solid percentage, dishing-out 42 assists to accompany two of LMU's six service aces. Keil also served-up a pair in the victory, while senior Kenna Crouse continued her solid play down the stretch with a season-best eight block assists.
Santa Clara hit just .214 over the course of the match, benefitting from 10 kills apiece from Taylor Milton and Kayla Lommori. Splitting time at setter, Alyssa Anderson and Chelsea Heier each had 17 assists.
LMU came out hot in the first set, hitting .429 behind five Luft kills on nine attacks. Keil got her serving game going from the start, collecting a pair of aces to keep the pressure on the Broncos. LMU led nearly the entire way in the opener, earning a 13-9 advantage on back-to-back Keil kills. The set did remain fairly tight down the stretch as LMU held just two-point leads at 17-15 and 19-17. Fortunately for the Lions, with the score at 21-18, LMU went on a 4-0 run to close the set, highlighted by a kill from Luft and an ace from Keil.
The Lions once again came out swinging in the second, hitting for a .406 clip, this time led by five kills apiece from DeWitt and Keil. The Lions and Broncos once again stayed close until about the middle of the second set, with LMU holding a one-point advantage at 16-15. A kill from Felicia Arriola ran the tally to 17-15 and started what proved to be a six-point run for the Lions to 22-15, capped by three straight SCU attack errors and an Arriola ace. The Lions cruised from there, eventually earning the set on another Bronco attack error.
The LMU attack cooled to .244 hitting in the third, but two more team aces and four total blocks proved enough to earn the sweep. After posting three block assists in the first, Crouse finished strong with four more to push LMU to victory. Luft was also outstanding in the final period, posting nine of her 16 match kills in the third alone. As it did in the first two sets, LMU led virtually the entire way in the finale, forcing a Santa Clara timeout at 16-12 on a Betsi Metter service ace. Refusing to surrender without a fight, the Broncos managed to inch back into contention, cutting the lead to one at 17-16 before eventually knotting the tally at 21 to force a Lion timeout. The break served the Lions well, as a Luft kill and back-to-back Santa Clara attack errors allowed LMU to emerge with a 24-21 match-point lead. The Broncos managed to waste the first match-point chance, but Crouse found the floor on the ensuing play to ensure that LMU left the Leavey Center with a sweep of the series.
LMU will finish the regular season on Saturday when it travels to San Francisco for a match at 1 p.m.