Lions Hit the Road
Fourth straight weekend of tournament action takes LMU to Pacific for Asics Tournament.
Sept. 12, 2007
Loyola Marymount volleyball will face its first test outside the Los Angeles area this week when the Lions head to the Asics Tournament, hosted by the University of the Pacific. The Lions (6-4) will play the host Tigers (4-2) Thursday and the Oregon State Beavers (7-3) Friday, with both matches slated for a 7:00 p.m. start.
FOLLOWWW THE LIONS...
It's easy to follow the Lions throughout the 2007 season! Just log on to LMULions.com for all the latest Lion volleyball coverage. Both of this week's LMU matches will be carried live on the Lions' Audio Network and Gametracker, with links found on the volleyball schedule page. Just click on the current match on the schedule and the links will appear in the window on the right.
For the first time in four weeks, the Lions' tournament play will take them outside the Los Angeles area. LMU will play in Pacific's Asics Invitational this Thursday and Friday. Tournament play continues Saturday between the Tigers and Beavers, but the Lions' will wrap-up tournament play Friday night with Oregon State. The all-tournament selections will be announced following Saturday's conclusion.
PACIFIC: The Tigers (4-2) will play their home opener Thursday against the Lions in day one action at the Asics Tournament. Pacific claimed the title at last weekend's Nike Invitational, hosted by the Portland Pilots. Pacific senior Johanna Hilbers was named Nike Invitational MVP. Despite the California location, Thursday's match will be the first meeting between Pacific and LMU volleyball.
OREGON STATE: The 7-3 Beavers will spend their second straight weekend in California after going 4-0 at last weekend's Sacramento State Invitational. There, Oregon State topped the host Hornets, Cal State Northridge, and Manhattan College. The Beavers also swept Fresno State on Tuesday. Earning votes in the CSTV/AVCA Preseason Poll before dropping out, the Beavers are now 1-1 against ranked opponents. Oregon State posted an impressive win over 10th-ranked Hawaii, but fell to No. 21 Oklahoma in the Idaho Classic. The team is led by Rachel Rourke, who averages 4.53 kills, 2.08 digs, and 1.11 blocks per game for the Beavers.
LMU: The Lions are now 6-4 after a 3-1 outing last week that saw the Lions top previously undefeated UC Irvine and Tulane. LMU was named runner-up at the LMU Hilton LAX Invitational after falling to 10th-ranked Wisconsin in a five-game thriller. Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes were named to the all-tournament team. This week's matches will mark the Lions' first-ever meeting with Pacific, and a chance to break the all-time series 1-1 tie with the Beavers.
LIONS BACK IN THE NATIONAL POLLS...
Loyola Marymount is back in the CSTV/AVCA National Top-25 Poll, earning six votes in the most recent poll released on September 10. The poll appearance comes on the heels of an impressive week where the Lions handed Tulane (also receiving votes in the poll) and UC Irvine their first losses of the season. LMU also pushed 10th-ranked Wisconsin to the limit, falling in a five-game thriller for the LMU Hilton LAX Invitational title.
HUGHES LEADS NATION IN KILLS PER GAME...
LMU senior Heather Hughes currently leads the nation in kills per game. Through the Lions' 10 matches, Hughes is averaging 5.78 kills per game. In addition to leading the nation in kills, Hughes leads the WCC in statistical double-doubles, with eight in the Lions' 10 matches. As a team, the Lions rank 27th in the country in kills per game and 29th in assists per game. Freshman setter Renee Horton's 12.41 assists per game rank her 39th individually.
HUGHES JOINS EXCLUSIVE 1000/1000 CLUB...
Last week, Heather Hughes became just the fifth player in LMU volleyball history to pass the 1,000 milestone in both career kills and career digs. The senior passed the kill mark last season, but recorded career dig No. 1000 with her first dig at UC Irvine. Hughes joins Deanna Doolittle (1990-93), Kim Blankinship (1993-96), Leslie Wohlford (1985-88), and Kealani Kimball (2000-03) in the 1,000 kill/1,000 dig club.
RENEAU, HUGHES NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT...
Seniors Christianna Reneau and Heather Hughes were honored for their play at last weekend's LMU Hilton LAX Invitational when they were named all-tournament selections. Reneau averaged 3.17 kills and 3.92 digs per game, while hitting .357 on the weekend. Hughes added 4.67 kills and 3.17 digs over the three matches.
HUGHES NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK...
The honors continued for Heather Hughes, as the senior was named Collegiate Volleyball Update's National Player of the Week on Sept. 4. The selection marks the first such honor for a Lion since Olympian Sarah Noriega (1994-97) was awarded the national player of the week distinction in 1997. Hughes earned the title of WCC Player of the Week after leading the Lions to a 2-1 run in the tournament, featuring 3-0 wins over UCSB and Northwestern. Over the Lions' 10 games played, Hughes had 78 kills, averaging 7.80 kills per game while hitting .405 on the weekend. She added 46 digs, 12 assists, eight blocks, and two service aces. In the tournament title match against the Rebels, Hughes tallied a triple-double with a career-high 31 kills, along with 10 assists, and 15 digs. The WCC Player of the Week selection was the first of the young 2007 season for the Lions, and the fourth career selection for the senior Hughes.
With 137 career service aces, Heather Hughes tied Leslie Wolford's (1985-88) second-place mark in the all-time record book. Kim Blankinship (1993-96) holds the LMU record with 157 career service aces.
HORTON, HUGHES NAMED ALL-TOURNEY...
Heather Hughes and Renee Horton were named to the all-tournament team following the LMU Four Points Sheraton Classic title tilt. Hughes' numbers on the weekend really turned heads as she averaged 7.80 kills and 4.60 digs per game while hitting .462 over the course of the tournament. She tallied a career-high 31 kills en route to a statistical triple-double with 10 assists and 15 digs in the four-game match Saturday night. Horton also had an impressive weekend with 148 assists, 20 kills, 20 digs, and a team-high four aces. She was just two digs shy of her own triple-double against UNLV.
HUGHES NAMED USC ALL-TOURNEY...
Senior Heather Hughes tallied 52 kills in 10 games against some of the nation's top competition last weekend at the USC Trojan Invitational. For her efforts, Hughes took home an all-tournament selection. In addition to her 5.20 kills per game, Hughes added 33 digs and five service aces.
THE STATS ON STRAT...
LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos has posted 17 winning seasons in his 17 years at the helm of the Lion volleyball program. Stratos enters his 18th season with a career mark of 343-165, which ranks him among the nation's top-50 active Division I coaches in winning percentage.
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