Oct. 20, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
After earning a pair of conference victories at home last week, LMU (12-8, 4-1) will once again hit the road, this time traveling to first-place No. 19 San Diego (15-4, 5-0) and last year's champion Saint Mary's (12-6, 4-1) to wrap-up the first half of conference play. The Lions have won five of their last six matches, and eight of their last 10 overall.
LMU went 2-0 last week, earning a pair of conference victories at home over Portland and Gonzaga
The 4-1 start in WCC play is the best for the Lions since starting the 2004 conference slate with a 4-1 mark
The Lions are 4-1 over their last five matches, and 8-2 over their last 10
The Lions will conclude the first half of conference play this week
Jasmine Rankins is tied for 10th in single season service aces with 42, also ranking second in the books for single season aces per set with .58
The Lions have served-up a conference-best 127 aces (1.74 per set), good for 21st in the nation
Jasmine Rankins leads the WCC in aces with 42 at a rate of .58 per set, good for ninth in the nation
Senior Becky Stehling sits third all-time in career hitting percentage at .326
Megan Nash ranks sixth in the WCC in hitting percentage with a mark of .306
Jasmine Rankins and Felicia Arriola have amassed a team-leading six double-doubles this year
LMU will play only nine of its 30 regular-season matches at home this year
LMU is 189-78 (.708) at home since 1990
LMU is 6-2 in neutral contests this year, and 33-8 on neutral ground over the last 10 seasons
The LMU volleyball team swept Portland on Thursday night in Gersten Pavilion. The victory was the first for the Lions at home this season, and came by scores of 25-15, 25-13, 25-23. The Lions served-up eight service aces in the victory, including four from junior Jasmine Rankins and three from sophomore Felicia Arriola. Sophomore Olivia Bailey was the lone player to post a double-double, teaming a match-best 33 assists with a team-high 10 digs. The Lions as a team hit .358 (43-9/95) over the course of the three sets, including a match-best nine kills from freshman Alyse Hensley. Senior Megan Nash and Rankins each posted eight kills, including the eight on just 12 attacks for Nash, resulting in a match and career-high .667 hitting percentage.
The LMU volleyball team recorded its second sweep in as many matches, this time besting Gonzaga in three sets by scores of 25-22, 25-11, 25-22 on Saturday afternoon. The 4-1 start in WCC play is the best for the Lions since starting the 2004 conference slate with a 4-1 mark. Rankins was stellar on Saturday afternoon, posting a match-high 13 kills with just two errors on 24 attacks for a .458 hitting percentage. Hensley notched 12 kills of her own, committing just three errors en route to hitting .346. Arriola rounded-out the three Lions with double-digit kills, posting 11. Bailey passed-out 40 assists en route to guiding LMU to a .330 team hitting percentage. The native of Dallas, Texas served-up two of LMU's six service aces, while Arriola managed three aces and teamed her 11 kills with a match-high tying 10 digs for a double-double. Junior Lauren DeGrandmont posted seven digs serving as libero, but managed a number of crucial digs and passes in the third and final set.
HOME SWEET HOME
One of Southern California's premier athletic facilities, Albert Gersten Pavilion is in its 29th 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 1990, the Lions have posted an overall record of 189-78 (.708) in the friendly confines of the Pavilion. In conference play, the record is equally impressive with a 101-43 (.701) home record in WCC action. In 28 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.
No. 19 San Diego enters the week toting a 15-4 overall record and a perfect 5-0 mark in the West Coast Conference, good for a share of first place. The Toreros have won seven straight matches, with their last loss coming at the hands of Cal State Fullerton on September 22. The Toreros have swept each of their last three opponents, including then-No. 25 Saint Mary's on October 9. Ali Troost leads a well-balanced offense with 247 kills at a rate of 3.98 per set. Amy Degroot owns 211 kills and a team-best 229 digs. Troost is tied for second on the team in aces, sporting 15. Amber Tatsch leads the team in that category with 20 aces. Kelsi Myers sets the offense for San Diego, dishing-out 763 assists to help the Toreros to a .261 team hitting percentage. Head coach Jennifer Petrie is 225-85 in her 11th year at San Diego. LMU leads the all-time series between the two teams, 34-22. Despite the Lions' lead in the all-time series, the Toreros have dominated the series as of late, going 5-0 over the last five and 9-1 over the last 10 matches between the two squads. The Lions have lost 11 of the last 12 matches against USD. San Diego, then ranked No. 19 in the nation, last defeated LMU on October 31, 2009 in three sets. LMU last defeated San Diego on October 28, 2005 in five sets.
Saint Mary's, which has received votes in every poll this season and has been ranked 25th twice, enters the week sporting a 12-6 record and a 4-1 mark in the West Coast Conference. The Gaels have won five of their last six matches, with the only loss coming at the hands of then-No. 23 San Diego two weeks ago. Last week, Saint Mary's posted a pair of road victories over Santa Clara and San Francisco. Lauren Corp leads the offense with 182 kills at a rate of 2.80 per set. A strong serving team, Missy White leads a pack of seven players with double-digit service aces, sporting 21. Kapua Kamana'o and White share time setting the offense, as Kamana'o has dished-out 400 assists to White's 348. Shannon Lowell is the team's leading blocker, notching 13 block solos and 74 block assists. Rob Browning is in his sixth year at the helm of the program, sporting a 100-56 overall record. LMU leads the all-time series between the two teams, 34-15. The Lions are 1-4 over the last five matches and 3-7 over the last 10 against Saint Mary's. Saint Mary's earned a sweep over LMU in their last meeting on October 29 of last year. The Lions last defeated the Gaels on November 17, 2007 in four sets.
For the fourth 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 30 versus Santa Clara at 1 p.m. Any fan wearing pink will be admitted into the match for a discounted price of two dollars. To view LMU's team page, and to make a donation, please visit:
LMU's DiG PiNK Page
ACE ACE BABY
LMU entered the week ranked first in the WCC in service aces with 127, a mark that also places 21st in nation. Saint Mary's sits second in that category with 102 aces this season. While aces are flowing freely for the Lions, service errors are often a result of such an aggressive serving attack. The Lions also lead the conference in service errors, serving-up 201 so far this year. The Lions have served-up six or more aces in 14 of their 20 matches so far this year, including a season-best 10 on two occasions (September 17 at Utah State and October 2 at San Francisco). Jasmine Rankins and Betsi Metter lead the way for the Lions in that category, serving-up 42 and 29 aces, respectively. They not only lead the Lions, but they also rank first and second in the conference. At a higher level, Rankins places ninth in the nation, while Metter sits 51st overall.
REMEMBER...IT'S JUST A NUMBER
The Lions are scheduled to play 13 matches this year against teams that at least received votes in the 2010 AVCA Division I Coaches Top-25 Preseason Poll. The Lions will square-off against No. 19 San Diego and Saint Mary's this week, both teams that have at least received votes in every poll this season. The ranked foes wasted no time making their presence known this year, as the Lions opened the 2010 season with a three-set loss to then-No. 10 USC on August 27. Non-conference adversaries Georgia Tech, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Wichita State all received votes in the preseason poll, while WCC-foes San Diego (No. 22) and Saint Mary's (No. 25) both found a spot in the top-25. Pepperdine and Santa Clara were the final two WCC teams on the list, earning votes to start the year. LMU, which is 0-2 so far this year against ranked opponents, played four matches against ranked teams 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 24 consecutive matches against those teams. 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.
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. Despite a pair of losses at the BYU Molten Classic, LMU is 6-2 so far this year on neutral court, and is 33-8 (.805) over the last 10 seasons. LMU has 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.
Friday's MADNESS event, along with the men's basketball crimson/navy scrimmage on Saturday are this week's TEAM LMU Games 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:
LIONS IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Senior Becky Stehling has already made a name for herself in the record books as she plays her final year as a Lion. Stehling's .369 hitting percentage in 2008 placed her fourth in the books for a single season, and also set the sophomore record in that category. Entering this week, her .326 career hitting percentage places third in LMU history amongst players with at least 350 attacks. Only Kelli Nerison (2001-04) and Mardell Wrensch (1992-95) have posted better marks in a career, finishing with percentages of .357 and .355, respectively. Stehling also places 10th in career block assists (227) and career total blocks (274). Junior Jasmine Rankins entered the single-season record books in aces earlier this year, as she currently places tied for 10th with 42 so far this season. Rankins also sits second in the single season aces per set category, averaging .58 per set.
AN EFFICIENT SET
LMU posted an unbelievable .800 hitting percentage in the third set of a sweep over Oral Roberts on September 4 at the Varney's Kansas State Invitational. The Lions connected for 17 kills with only one error on 20 swings. Senior Becky Stehling and junior Emily Cheek both hit a perfect 1.000 with four and three kills, respectively. The .800 hitting percentage was the highest by the Lions since entering the "rally scoring" era in 2001. With set records being tracked since 1998, the percentage is second only to an .889 mark in the first set against Portland on November 14, 1998.
THREE-PEAT FOR RANKINS
Junior Jasmine Rankins collected three straight All-Tournament selections this year, including earning the last at the BYU Molten Classic. Rankins totaled 38 kills at a rate of 3.45 per set, leading the team in that category during that tournament. She also managed a team-high five service aces as the Lions went 0-3. The native of Oceanside, Calif. averaged 2.73 digs per set en route to collecting 30 over the weekend. Rankins started the weekend strong, posting a double-double of 21 kills with 15 digs against BYU in a five-set loss. She went on to notch three of her five service aces for the week in the match against Wichita State on September 11, teaming that mark with eight kills.
TOP OF THE `RANKINS'
Junior Jasmine Rankins was named to the Varney's Kansas State Invitational All-Tournament team after helping the Lions to a 2-1 week. LMU dropped a three-set match to Kansas State on Friday before defeating Georgia Tech in five sets later that day, and sweeping Oral Roberts on Saturday. The only Lion selected, Rankins notched 48 kills on 107 attacks for a .299 hitting percentage. She averaged 4.36 kills per set, while also serving-up six aces at a rate of .55 per set. She managed 28 digs (2.55 per set) and six block assists (.55 per set). The outside hitter posted two double-doubles, teaming 11 kills and 10 digs against Kansas State, and 24 kills and 11 digs against Georgia Tech. Rankins led the team in attack percentage (.299), kills (48), service aces (6) and digs (28) over the course of the three matches. In addition, she led all players on the court in kills in all three matches. She had a career match against Georgia Tech, connecting for a match-high and career-best 24 kills on 47 attacks for a .383 hitting percentage. The native of Oceanside, Calif. also served-up a career-high three aces in the five-set victory.
The Lions opened the 2010 season close to home at USC, but home matches will be hard to come by this year. The Lions will play 30 regular-season matches in 2010, but only nine home matches, including seven in West Coast Conference play. Out-of-state voyages included a visit to Kansas, back-to-back weekend trips to the state of Utah, and of course the annual trek up to Gonzaga and Portland in conference play (November 11 and 13). The Lions are 3-4 so far this year in road matches.
NEW INTERACTIVE GUIDE AVAILABLE ONLINE
LMU Athletics, in conjunction with zmags.com, is proud to offer fans a new interactive publication viewing experience. All LMU media guides in 2010-11 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 guides 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. All historical information is available in a second PDF publication, also on www.LMULions.com. To view the volleyball online publication, please visit:
2010 LMU Media Guide
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. Pepperdine currently leads LMU in the 2010-11 standings, 3.0-2.0. To learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit:
PCH Cup Homepage
AN IMPORTANT SET
LMU won the Utah State Invitational Tournament Championship on September 18 by earning a 2-1 record over the three-match span...the same record as host Utah State and Utah Valley. With three teams tied atop the tournament standings, the decision on what team would become Champion was left to a tie-breaker rule - sets won and lost. LMU won eight sets over the course of the three matches and lost four. Utah State and Utah Valley both won eight sets...but at the expense of five losses.
ARRIOLA, BAILEY HONORED AFTER UTAH STATE INVITATIONAL
After LMU won the Utah State Invitational Tournament Championship, sophomore Felicia Arriola was named Tournament MVP, while Arriola and setter Olivia Bailey were named to the All-Tournament team. Arriola notched 41 kills on 91 attacks for a .330 hitting percentage over the course of the tournament. She averaged 3.42 kills per set, while also managing 26 digs (2.17 per set) and four block assists (.33 per set). The native of Laguna Niguel, Calif. was a key piece in LMU's two victories that weekend, as she hit for an efficient .348 percentage, posting nine kills on 23 attacks against UC Riverside in a sweep. She nearly collected a double-double in the three-set affair, managing a match-high 14 digs. The outside hitter picked up right where she left off against Utah Valley, leading all players with a career-best 23 kills on just 38 swings for a career-high .553 hitting percentage. Arriola also posted a service ace and six digs in that match en route to being named Tournament MVP. Bailey, LMU's primary setter, finished the weekend with 142 assists and nine kills. She averaged 11.83 assists per set, while also serving-up one ace and collecting 18 digs. The team hit .300 over the course of the three matches while Bailey set the offense. The native of Dallas, Texas finished just two assists shy of a career high against Utah State in the first of the three matches, posting 56 to guide LMU to a .260 hitting percentage. Bailey hit .444 with four kills and 34 assists from the setter position against UC Riverside, helping LMU to a .323 team hitting percentage in a sweep of the Highlanders. In the final match of the tournament, Bailey passed-out another 52 assists as the Lions hit .360 as a team to defeat Utah Valley.
Junior Jasmine Rankins and sophomore Felicia Arriola garnered 2010 Luxe City Center Trojan Invitational All-Tournament selections after helping the Lions to a 2-1 record over the course of the two-day tournament. Rankins notched 37 kills on 102 attacks for a .235 hitting percentage in the three matches against then-No. 10 USC, Cal State Fullerton and Bucknell. The native of Oceanside, Calif. averaged 3.36 kills per set, while also serving-up three aces at a rate of .27 per set. Stellar on defense, she posted 23 digs (2.09 per set) and six total blocks (.55 per set). Her only double-double came against Fullerton, teaming her 18 kills with a match-best 16 digs. Arriola managed a team-best 39 kills (3.55 per set) on 96 swings for a .240 hitting percentage. On defense, she captured a team-high 31 digs (2.82 per set) and one block assist. The native of Laguna Niguel, Calif. posted a pair of double-doubles, teaming a career-best 19 kills with 14 digs against Cal State Fullerton before notching 10 kills and 10 digs against Bucknell for the only double-double of the match.
WELCOME TO THE BLUFF
Coach Black and his staff have both inherited and built a newcomer class featuring five new options in freshmen Paige Craine, Alyse Hensley, Betsi Metter and Taylor Scioscia, in addition to junior transfer Alex Ferraco. Craine, a 2010 graduate of Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif., was a three-year varsity letterwinner playing for Todd Garrett. She served as team captain in her final season, while also garnering All-City recognition as a junior and senior. Craine was also named All-CIF as a senior after claiming All-League honors in each of her final two campaigns as a Charger. Hensley, a 2010 graduate of Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, Calif., earned a total of three varsity letters in volleyball, one from Maria Carrillo High School and the final two from Torrey Pines. Named All-League in all three seasons playing high school volleyball, Hensley helped Torrey Pines to the 2009 Avocado League Championship. Metter, a 2010 graduate of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz., was a four-year varsity letterwinner playing for Molly West. A team captain as a junior and senior, Metter was named All-City and All-State after both of those campaigns. She left high school owning five Desert Vista school records, including that for career kills at 1,317. Selected 2008 Southeast Valley Player of the Year and Desert Vista Female Athlete of the Year, she led the state of Arizona and was second in the nation in digs with 708 as a junior. A two-time All-Central Region selection, she twice garnered a spot on the Arizona Republic All-Arizona Top-Six Team, a list of Arizona's top-six players regardless of school size. Scioscia, a 2010 graduate of Louisville High School in Woodland Hills, Calif., was a four-year varsity letterwinner in high school. Scioscia served as team captain in her final season, and was named Team MVP as a junior and senior. After garnering second team All-Mission League honors in 2009, she was named honorable mention All-Area by the LA Daily News following her final campaign. Ferraco, who carries junior eligibility after transferring into the program from Fairfield University, had a solid sophomore campaign, appearing in 79 sets, forging 73 kills and 50 total blocks. Ferraco tallied six kills, three blocks and three assists in the MAAC Championship semifinal against Marist on November 22. As a freshman, Ferraco appeared in 14 sets with 13 kills, six blocks, and five digs.
GET OFF ON THE RIGHT PAW
Despite a three-set setback against then-No. 10 USC to begin the 2010 season, the Lions have had a knack for coming out of the gates strong in recent memory, having won 12 of their last 14 season-openers. The only losses over that span came this year and in 2007 to St. John's. LMU has had a winning record through the first three matches in 15 of its last 16 years, including starting the year 3-0 on seven occasions. In addition, the Lions have not started a season winless over its first three matches since 1989.
LIONS IN THE PRESEASON POLL
According to the 2010 Coaches Preseason Poll, the LMU volleyball team is picked to finish eighth this year in the competitive West Coast Conference. After finishing in second place last season, the San Diego Toreros have been selected to regain the top-spot and earn their fourth WCC title in six years. The Toreros received six first-place votes and a total of 48 points from the conference coaches, as they return 2009 WCC Player of the Year and All-American Ali Troost. Reigning WCC Champion Saint Mary's took the second-place spot with one first-place vote and a total of 43 points. Pepperdine, which received the remaining first-place vote, tallied 36 points to earn the third-place spot. Rounding out the top half of the poll for the second year in a row was Santa Clara with 33 points. San Francisco landed in the fifth-spot with 23 points. Gonzaga tallied 18 points for a sixth-place finish, while Portland edged LMU for the seventh-place spot.