Sept. 8, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
2011 LMU Volleyball Weekly Release - 3
Carrying a 4-2 record after going 2-1 at a pair of tournaments to start the year, including the Active Ankle Challenge last weekend at Oregon State, LMU will remain on the road, traveling to Lexington, Ky. for the UK Invitational at the University of Kentucky. The Lions will open tournament play against West Virginia on Friday at 2 p.m. before playing host Kentucky on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. The Lions' slate of matches ends Saturday afternoon, as LMU battles Houston at 2 p.m. Gametracker links for all three matches can be found at LMULions.com.
Jasmine Rankins and Alyse Hensley earned All-Tournament selections last weekend
LMU is 35-8 (.814) in neutral matches over the last 11 years
Jasmine Rankins has posted doubled-digit kills in all but one match this year
After hosting a tournament to open the year, LMU hits the road until September 29
LMU is celebrating its centennial year throughout the 2011-12 athletic season
LMU will play one televised match this year, hosting Pepperdine on October 5 on ESPNU
The Lions were picked to finish fifth in the newly expanded nine-team WCC
LMU was 15-15 overall last year and 6-8 in the WCC to finish fourth
The LMU volleyball team improved to 4-2 on the year after finishing 2-1 at the Active Ankle Challenge in Corvallis, Ore. last weekend. LMU bookended the three matches last weekend with sweeps of Seattle University and Cal State Bakersfield. LMU dropped the second match of the tournament to host Oregon State in four sets. Jasmine Rankins and Litara Keil each earned All-Tournament selections at the conclusion of play.
LMU'S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
The Centennial celebration at Loyola Marymount University, LMUat100, kicked off with the 2011 Commencement ceremonies and will continue through May 2012. LMU Athletics will celebrate along with the University with full list of special events, frequent online features and Centennial games for each of its NCAA Division I programs. The events for athletics started with the record-setting LionsFund Golf Classic and Dinner Auction in May and with the start of the fall 2011 sports season, the LMUat100 Celebration will be a busy one. The Lions will honor LMUat100 with a Centennial game for each of its programs, starting with men's water polo against rival Pepperdine on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 12 noon. Each game will feature special promotions and features that sport, its history at LMU, and the student-athletes and coaches who have made it a rich part of LMU's history. Volleyball's centennial match is slated for September 29 when the Lions welcome BYU to Gersten Pavilion for the first time as a conference affiliate.
UP TO THE ACTIVE ANKLE CHALLENGE
Senior Jasmine Rankins and freshman Litara Keil proved they were up to the challenge at the Active Ankle Challenge hosted by Oregon State, garnering All-Tournament honors and leading LMU to a 2-1 record. For Rankins, the selection is the second in as many tournaments this year, while Keil claims the first of her young career at LMU. Rankins posted 41 kills over the course of the three matches, averaging 4.10 per set while hitting an incredible .435 in a sweep of Seattle and .333 in a sweep of Cal State Bakersfield. Always a threat from the service area, Rankins notched seven aces at a rate of .70 per set, including five aces against Oregon State on September 4. The native of Oceanside, Calif. managed a double-double in each of the first two matches of the tournament. Keil was equally impressive, hitting .413 over the three matches while posting 31 kills at a rate of 3.10 per set. The native of Long Beach, Calif. served-up five aces against Seattle to open the tournament while posting five total blocks on the weekend.
LET'S SETTLE THIS ON NEUTRAL GROUND
LMU has been extremely impressive in matches played at neutral sites, in which neither team is playing on their home court. LMU is 2-0 in neutral matches this year after finishing 6-2 last year. Overall, LMU is 35-8 (.814) over the last 11 seasons. The Lions have posted perfect neutral records in five of the last 10 seasons. Over that span, the only year in which LMU did not manage at least a .500 record was in 2004, playing to a 0-2 mark.
THE LIONS ARE READY FOR THEIR CLOSEUP
LMU's home volleyball match against rival Pepperdine, originally scheduled for October 6, will now be played on October 5 and will air on ESPNU, it was announced on August 15. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m., and is part of ESPN's Wednesday Night Women's Volleyball package. The televised match is the first for the Lions since October 7, 2006 when they traveled to then-No. 22 San Diego for a televised match on FSN West.
RIGHT ON THE POINT
Senior Jasmine Rankins and sophomore Alyse Hensley each garnered All-Tournament honors after leading LMU to a 2-1 record at the conclusion of the Four Points by Sheraton LA Westside Invitational. Rankins collected a team-best 34 kills over the three matches, averaging 3.40 kills per set while hitting .255. She posted a double-double against Cal State Fullerton on August 26 in the first match of the year for LMU, teaming 17 kills with 10 digs while hitting .421 (17-1/38). She also served up three of her five aces on the weekend in that match against the Titans. Hensley connected for 27 kills at a rate of 2.70 per set over the three matches, including an incredible .471 hitting percentage and 17 kills against Cal State Fullerton to open the season.
PICKED BEFORE THE SERVE
Senior Jasmine Rankins was the lone Lion named to the 2011 WCC Preseason All-Conference team. Rankins led the Lions last year in attacks (1,202), kills (425), service aces (50), block solos (12) and points (510). Her aces and kills marks also led all players in the West Coast Conference. The conference-best 50 service aces placed Rankins tied for fifth in the LMU single-season record books, matched with Cindy Weglarz (1997). Her .45 service aces per set, which ranked 16th in the nation, also placed in the Top-10 in the LMU single-season books, ranking sixth. The outside hitter averaged 3.79 kills per set, good for 67th in the nation and second in the conference. Rankins took home three All-Tournament selections over the course of the 2010 campaign, earning the honor at the Luxe City Center Trojan Invite, Varney's Kansas State Invitational and BYU Molten Classic. The native of Oceanside, Calif., who led the Lions with nine double-doubles, finished second in the WCC in terms of kills in conference matches alone with 203. As she did over the entire 2010 season, Rankins led all players in service aces in WCC play with 20 (.40 per set).
After a breakout season that resulted in a first team All-West Coast Conference selection and a spot on the 2010 COBRA Magazine All-Region team, senior Jasmine Rankins has been tabbed to COBRA's All-Preseason Third Team this year. COBRA Magazine begins its third season of volleyball coverage in 2011. Founded by Gezus Zaire, COBRA's goal is to tell inspiring stories of black volleyball players that show young African American players that they too have opportunities to thrive in the sport despite cultural differences and economic disadvantages.
REMEMBER...IT'S JUST A NUMBER
The Lions were scheduled to play 10 matches this year against teams that at least received votes in the 2011 AVCA Division I Coaches Top-25 Preseason Poll. The ranked foes wasted no time making their presence known this year, as the Lions opened the 2011 season against tournament-qualifier and vote-receiver Cal State Fullerton. Non-conference adversaries UCLA (#11), Long Beach State (#22) and Kentucky all at least received votes, as the Lions' third match of the year was against the Bruins. WCC-foe San Diego ranked 20th according to the preseason poll, while Pepperdine and Saint Mary's also received votes. LMU played four matches against ranked foes last year, finishing 0-4 in those contests. Rankings have been nothing short of perfect in the recent past when predicting LMU's fate against ranked opponents, as the Lions have dropped 27 consecutive matches against those teams, including one this year against then-No. 11 UCLA on August 27. The last Lion victory against a ranked opponent came on October 5, 2006 at Santa Clara, as the Lions earned a sweep of the then-No. 12 Broncos.
Saturday's men's water polo match against Pepperdine is this week's TEAM LMU Game of the Week. The purpose of TEAM LMU is to bring Lion fans together as one, creating an atmosphere that helps build the Lions into champions, while allowing all to enjoy the benefits of our corporate partners. For more information about TEAM LMU, log on to:
SCOUTING WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia enters the weekend toting a 2-6 overall record, having dropped three straight matches and six of its last seven. The Mountaineers were swept in three matches last weekend, falling to UTSA, Texas State and Baylor. Kylie Armbruster paces the offense with 70 kills at a rate of 2.59 per set. Halle Kearney and Michelle Kopecky are just behind with 65 and 62 kills, respectively. Kari Post sets the offense, dishing-out 219 assists to the tune of 7.82 per set as the Mountaineers are hitting .110. Serinna Russo has accumulated a team-high 149 digs while also matching Kopecky's mark of seven aces to share the lead in that category. West Virginia is led by second-year head coach Jill Kramer. LMU leads the all-time series between the two teams, 1-0, after earning a sweep of West Virginia on August 30, 2003 in the lone match between the two teams.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Kentucky enters its own tournament sporting a 6-2 overall record after defeating Louisville in straight sets on Wednesday. The Wildcats have won four straight matches after going 3-0 last weekend at the Kentucky Classic. Ashley Frazier has amassed 74 kills at a rate of 2.74 to lead the team on the attack. Kentucky, which is hitting .217 as a team, utilizes a pair of setters in its offense, as Elizabeth Koberstein (159) and Christine Hartmann (150) each have at least 150 assists. Ann Armes and Gretchen Giesler are a force on the block, collecting 24 and 22 blocks, respectively. Kentucky is led by seventh-year head coach Craig Skinner. Kentucky leads the all-time series between the two teams, 1-0, after earning a sweep of LMU on October 11, 1983 in the lone match between the two teams.
Houston enters the tournament with a 4-2 record after finishing 1-2 last weekend at the State Farm classic in Champaign, Ill. Katie Norris and Stephanie Nwachukwu lead the offense with 67 and 62 kills, respectively. Caitlin Ogletree sets the offense to a .238 hitting percentage, dishing-out 210 assists. Lucy Charuk is the team's leading blocker, posting seven block solos and 21 block assists. Houston is led by second-year head coach Molly Alvey. LMU leads the all-time series between the two teams, 3-1. Houston defeated LMU in three sets on September 11, 2010 in the last meeting between the two teams.
ACE ACE BABY
LMU finished last year ranked first in the WCC in service aces with 171 (1.53 per set), a mark that also placed 34th in nation in terms of aces per set. Based on the first two weekends of play in 2011, LMU is poised to sit atop the conference in that category once again this year. The Lions have posted 46 service aces this year, averaging 2.30 per set, to lead the conference in that category. Jasmine Rankins, who led the WCC last year in aces, currently leads the conference again this year with 12 aces at a rate of .60 per set. Litara Keil also places in the top-10, collecting nine at a rate of .47 to rank fourth. The Lions have collected eight or more service aces in three of their six matches this year.
For the fifth consecutive year, LMU volleyball will help raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer through the DiG PiNK campaign. LMU's DiG PiNK event is scheduled for October 5 versus Pepperdine at 6 p.m. To view LMU's team page, and to make a donation, please visit:
LMU's DiG PiNK Page
STELLAR IN THE SAND
The 26th Universiade, or the 2011 World University Games, concluded on Aug. 24 and with it athletes from LMU took home three Silver Medals - led by former volleyball stars Heather Hughes (2004-07) and Emily Day (2005-08). All told seven LMU Lions participated in the 26th University Games in Shenzhen, China. The Universiade is an International multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). Hughes and Day joined forces to capture a pair of silver medals - the first beach volleyball medals ever for the United States at the World University Games. Day and Hughes made it to the gold medal match, where they fell to Germany's Karla Borger and Britta Buethe, 21-19, 21-14. It was the second time that the pair had faced the German team, defeating Borger and Buethe in the third round, 21-14, 17-21, 17-15. Day and Hughes advanced to the s final by defeating China's Jin Jieqiong and Miao Chenchen in the semifinals, 18-21, 21-19, 15-10. No stranger to working together on the beach, the duo made history in 2007 when they became the lowest-seeded team to advance from the qualifier to an AVP event. The two also reunited in the sand on May 2 to win the 2010 College Beach Volleyball Championship at West Beach in Santa Barbara, Calif.
HOME SWEET HOME
One of Southern California's premier athletic facilities, Albert Gersten Pavilion is in its 30th year as home of the Loyola Marymount Lions. Since opening night, the Pavilion has become one of toughest places to play in the West Coast Conference. The Lions first moved into the facility in 1982, and recorded 14 wins in Gersten's inaugural season. Since 1982, the Lions have posted an overall record of 249-133 (.652) in the friendly confines of the Pavilion. In conference play, the record is even more impressive with a 124-56 (.689) home record in WCC action. In 29 years, the 1996 (WCC volleyball championship team and Sweet Sixteen participant) and 2003 (NCAA second round appearance) squads have been the most successful with 14-1 marks, for .933 winning percentages.
After playing just nine of 30 matches in 2010 at home, LMU will once again spend the majority of the schedule on the road. The Lions will host 12 home matches this year, but will be on the road for 18 more to fill the 30-match schedule. Out-of-state voyages include a visit to Oregon State (September 4-5), a trip to Kentucky (September 9-10), the annual trek up to Gonzaga and Portland in conference play (September 22 and 24), and a trip to the newest member of the WCC, BYU, in Provo, Utah on November 3.
For the second year in a row, LMU Athletics, in conjunction with zmags.com, is proud to offer fans a new interactive publication viewing experience. All LMU yearbooks in 2011-12 will incorporate zmags' Flash-enabled technology to bring fans clickable content featuring videos and live updated weblinks. Despite the transition from printed guides to online content, LMU interactive books will continue to feature player and coach biographies, team histories, and information about Loyola Marymount University and its athletics programs. The publications will work in tandem with LMU's official athletics website, www.LMULions.com, to offer up-to-date statistics and news. Additionally, the publications are easily downloadable and printable, allowing fans to take the documents with them. Both the interactive Yearbook and a second Media Almanac can be found at:
Separated by 19.1 miles of scenic coastline, longtime cross-town adversaries Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine have come together in an effort to boost their decades-long rivalry with the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Challenge. The series, which is in its second year, serves as an annual scorecard for the NCAA-sponsored athletic contests between the Lions and Waves, and challenges each institution to rise above the other within the West Coast Conference. LMU and Pepperdine will be represented by over 12 of their intercollegiate athletic teams through both regular and post-season competitions over the course of the academic calendar. Any head-to-head competition, including matches in the post-season and tournaments throughout the year, will be counted toward the scoring and added to the scorecard as they occur. For the sports in which the two teams do not meet head-to-head, the teams will battle for points that will be awarded on the basis of overall finish at their respective post-season championships. The Waves have won each of the first two competitions. To learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit:
GET OFF ON THE RIGHT PAW
The Lions have had a knack for coming out of the gates strong in recent memory, having won 13 of their last 15 season-openers, including a four-set victory over Cal State Fullerton to open the 2011 season. The only losses over that span came in 2007 to St. John's and then-No. 10 USC in 2010. In addition, LMU has recorded seven sweeps and won in four sets on five occasions.
In addition to Jasmine Rankins, LMU's Alyse Hensley also received postseason honors from the West Coast Conference. Hensley earned a spot on the honorable mention All-WCC squad, while also taking home All-Freshman team honors. Hensley burst onto the scene in 2010, collecting 258 kills at a rate of 2.50 per set. She hit .290 over the course of the year, second on the team in that category and 10th in the West Coast Conference. Hensley also hit .322 with 149 kills (3.04 per set) in West Coast Conference matches, claiming seventh in both categories. A native of San Diego, Calif., she totaled three block solos and 54 total blocks en route to 289 points. Hensley's 258 kills placed second on the team in that category, while her hitting percentage was tops amongst freshmen on the LMU roster and second only to San Diego's Freshman of the Year winner Chloe Ferrari in the conference ranks.
AND THE SURVEY SAYS
According to the 2011 Coaches Preseason Poll, the LMU volleyball team is picked to finish fifth this year in the newly expanded West Coast Conference. Pepperdine received seven first place votes and a total of 62 points to earn the top spot in the preseason poll. The Waves finished third last year, but will be returning the most Preseason All-Conference selections of all nine teams. Saint Mary's and San Diego split the remaining first place votes, with the Gaels expected to finish second again this year, in front of reigning WCC champion San Diego. Last year's fifth place finisher Santa Clara came ahead of LMU and newcomer BYU, securing the fourth place spot. The Lions secured fourth place in the WCC last season, while BYU also finished fourth last season in its final year with the Mountain West Conference. Portland and San Francisco shared the seventh place spot in the preseason poll, while Gonzaga landed in ninth.