Nov. 19, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU volleyball team (14-15, 7-9 WCC) celebrated its Senior Day on Saturday, honoring four senior players prior to the match, before dropping a four-set decision to visiting San Francisco (16-13, 8-8 WCC) by scores of 23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 in Gersten Pavilion. Saturday's loss was the first for the Lions this season when LMU wins the first set of a match, dropping the record to 11-1.
Seniors Emily Cheek, Lauren DeGrandmont, Diana Hiromoto and Jasmine Rankins were all honored prior to Saturday's match, as each player took to the Gersten Pavilion floor for the final time in competition. Cheek finished the match with a match-best and a new career-high 17 kills on 37 swings, while Rankins tallied 14 kills and 12 digs for a double-double. Hiromoto served up an ace, while DeGrandmont had five digs.
Anja Segota and Malina Terrell led the USF attack, posting 12 kills apiece, including Terrell with the 12 on just 17 attacks for a .588 hitting percentage. The Dons, set by Joan Caloiaro with 43 assists, hit .323 over the course of the four sets while holding LMU to a .181 percentage. Valentina Zaloznik did her work on the block, collecting a block solo and six block assists to guide USF to 11 total team blocks.
Cheek and freshman Caitlin DeWitt led all players with five kills in the first set, helping LMU to a .216 hitting percentage and a 25-23 victory in the opener. USF won the first three points of the set, but LMU rallied to even the tally at 6-6 and take an 8-6 lead on a Cheek kill. The Lions went on a five-point run from 8-7 to 13-7 as freshman Litara Keil posted a kill and a block over that span. LMU advanced the lead to 16-9 on a DeWitt swing en route to a 22-16 advantage late in the set on a USF service error. After pushing the period to set-point at 24-19 on another DeWitt kill, LMU saw the Dons make a late run to make things interesting. USF managed to cut the deficit to one point at 24-23 when the Lions committed a pair of attacking errors and the Dons recorded back-to-back blocks. LMU elected to use its final timeout at that point, and the break served its purpose, as Caloiaro was called for a bad set to hand LMU the period on the ensuing play.
San Francisco evened the match score at one set apiece by way of a 25-20 victory in the second. The Dons hit a blistering .636, including three kills apiece from Alycia Cox and Terrell, and never trailed in the period. Rankins came alive in the second, notching six kills and three service aces in the period, while Cheek continued her solid senior day with five kills on nine swings. The two teams played even to 15 points before USF managed to win a pair to force a Lion timeout. The break did little to slow momentum as the Dons increased the lead to three at 19-16 to force the second and final Lion timeout. Kills from Keil and Rankins made things interesting down the stretch as LMU continued to trail by just three at 23-20 when USF elected to call a timeout. The breather served the Dons well as they won the next two points out of the break to win the set, capped by a kill from Hadley Simmons.
The Dons earned a hard-fought 25-21 victory in the third set after making a late run to the finish. Rankins and Cheek each finished with four kills for LMU, but Segota had four for USF as the Dons hit .250 in the win. Both teams served up a pair of aces, as Hiromoto and Betsi Metter each managed one for LMU. Neither team held a lead larger than three points as the two teams traded blows to 20-20. USF went on a three-point run from there, highlighted by a pair of kills from Segota, to claim a 23-20 lead. Rankins and the Lions managed to break the string of points on the ensuing play, but USF answered with a kill from Terrell that preceded a Lion attack error to take the set and the 2-1 match lead.
USF closed the match strong, hitting .333, led by six kills on eight attacks from Terrell, while holding LMU to a .053 clip. After playing even to eight, the Dons took control of the set, racing to a 12-9 advantage on a Kenna Crouse attack error. That lead stretched to four at 14-10 on another Lion attack error, forcing LMU to burn its first timeout. The Dons reached 20 points at 20-14 when Terrell found the floor, and pushed the set to match-point at 24-18 on a Segota kill. After Cheek connected on her final kill of the match to waste the first match-point, the senior from Sequin, Texas misfired on her next attack, handing USF the victory.
The Lions will complete the 2011 season on Wednesday when they travel to Long Beach, Calif. for a match at 7 p.m.
- GO LIONS -