Sponcil’s Sixteen Guides LMU to Wells Fargo PCH Cup Win
LMU earned a point in the PCH Cup standings by way of a four-set victory over Pepperdine.
With a point in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup standings on the line on Saturday afternoon, LMU (19-10, 10-7 WCC) posted a four-set, 25-22, 25-18, 19-25, 25-23, victory over Pepperdine (12-17, 6-11 WCC) from Gersten Pavilion.
With the victory, LMU swept the season series with the Waves, and now leads in the PCH Cup standings, 6-1.5.
Junior Sarah Sponcil tied for the match high in kills with 16, sharing the mark with Pepperdine’s Tarah Wylie. Sponcil added three aces, 13 digs and one block solo to collect her 15th double-double of the year. The three aces helped LMU to 11 on the afternoon, with freshman Jessie Prichard contributing four. The 11 aces are tied for the eighth-most in a four-set match in LMU history.
Senior Jamie Lea also had a stellar match, totaling 15 kills and five blocks to help guide LMU to 10 total team blocks. Freshman Savannah Slattery was the final Lion to finish with double-digit kills, notching 13.
The Lions won a back-and-forth first set after the two teams played to 12 tie scores and five lead changes to open the match. The Lions, who hit .391 in the first, used three service aces and three team blocks to edge the Waves, while also receiving a trio of kills from three different players. The Lions actually trailed 20-16 following back-to-back kills from Hannah Frohling, who finished the first with six for the Waves. The Lions then won four straight points to draw even at 20 before winning five of the final seven points, including the set-winner on an ace from senior Nicky Kevorken.
It was all LMU in the second, as the Lions dropped the first point only to win the next five straight to capture the set’s momentum. Sponcil picked up two more aces in the second, helping LMU to seven through two frames. She also added five digs to her six from the first set, pushing her into double-digits in that category. Lea led the way on the attack in the second, registering five kills to finish one better than Sponcil and Slattery. Pepperdine’s blocking effort picked up in the second period, as the Waves registered 3.5 team blocks, but the visitors hit just .121 as a team in the period as LMU took a 2-0 lead in the match headed into the intermission.
Despite Sponcil’s best set on the attack, which featured six kills on eight swings to push her to the double-double, LMU could not put away Pepperdine in three sets, as the Waves exploded for a .385 hitting percentage and five blocks to take the third, 25-19. Jasmine Gross led the way for the Waves, posting three kills and five block assists.
In another tight set, LMU came out on top in the fourth to capture the victory. Lea finished strong in the finale, posting five kills on nine attacks to accompany two block assists. The Lions trailed 23-22 late in the period following a Gross kill, but LMU won three straight points, including the final tallies on kills from Lea and Sponcil, to win the match. The final period featured 18 tie scores and four lead changes.
LMU will finish the regular season on Tuesday when it hosts BYU in a nationally-televised match to air on ESPNU at 8 p.m. That match will be LMU’s senior night recognizing Lea and Kevorken.
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