Women's Volleyball

Regular Season Road Finale

Junior Michelle Look and the Lions wrap up their 2004 regular season road schedule this weekend at Gonzaga and Portland.
Junior Michelle Look and the Lions wrap up their 2004 regular season road schedule this weekend at Gonzaga and Portland.

Nov. 9, 2004

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Briefly...
LMU volleyball will make its final scheduled road trip of 2004 this weekend when the Lions travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on Gonzaga and Portland. With four WCC matches left to play, the Lions sit in a tie for fourth place in the standings. But LMU has traditionally found success against the Bulldogs and the Pilots, winning 25 straight over Gonzaga and building a 31-6 all-time series record against Portland.

Nerison Among Nation's Best...
Senior middle blocker Kelli Nerison remains among the nation's best this week in the NCAA statistic leaders. She currently ranks seventh in the nation in blocks per game (1.71).

Lions Can't Complete Sweep of Pepperdine...
In front of a crowd of rowdy fans- cheering for the Lions- Loyola Marymount volleyball fell at Pepperdine 3-0 in WCC action. The match (30-22, 30-27, 30-18) in Malibu wrapped up the season series with the Lions' crosstown rival in a series split, as LMU took the first meeting in Gersten Pavilion on October 8. Jania Motton led the Lions with nine kills. Michelle Look added 12 digs, while Kelli Nerison tallied seven blocks.

LMU To Retire Kimball's #18...
On November 19, 2004, a fourth volleyball jersey will be unveiled in the rafters of Gersten Pavilion. That jersey will bear the number 18 and the name Kimball, in honor Loyola Marymount volleyball standout Kealani Kimball. The LMU alumna will be honored with a jersey retirement ceremony prior to the Lions' match against San Diego at 7:00 p.m. Kimball will become just the fourth volleyball player in LMU history to have her number retired, an honor reserved for the top athlete, student, and person. Her jersey will join those of three other LMU volleyball greats: Tracy Holman (1994-97), Sarah McFarland (1997-2000), and Mardell Wrensch (1992-95).

Volleyball Alums To Be Inducted Into LMU Hall of Fame...
With many of the jerseys already hanging in the rafters of Gersten Pavilion with their numbers retired, the 2005 Inductees to the LMU Hall of Fame are some of the most recognized and accomplished former student-athletes in the history of LMU athletics. The LMU Hall of Fame Class of 2005 includes Terry Buckley ('57), Hank Gathers ('91), Tracy Holman ('98), Bo Kimble ('91), Anthony Napolitano ('94), Mardell Wrensch ('96) and the 1989-90 Men's Basketball Team. The 2005 class will be inducted into the hall during the LMU Hall of Fame Dinner on Friday, Jan. 28 on the campus of LMU. The formal induction ceremony will be held during the dinner while the new inductees will be recognized during halftime of the LMU vs. Pepperdine men's basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 29. As a group, the 2005 Hall of Fame class won 10 conference championships, 18 all-conference honors, nine academic all-conference honors, three All-American honors, a trip to the Sweet 16 in volleyball and the Elite Eight in men's basketball. With those honors, it is no surprise that four of them have their numbers retired. Gathers and Kimble both had their numbers retired in 2000, and joined the retired jerseys of Wrensch and Holman of women's volleyball. While Gathers and Kimble and the rest of the 1989-90 men's basketball are the most remembered student-athletes at LMU, Wrensch and Holman were key in putting LMU women's volleyball among the nation's elite. Holman was the first student-athlete in LMU history to win four straight first-team all-conference honors in the West Coast Conference. She helped the women's volleyball team to three straight WCC titles in 1994-96. The 1996 squad rivals the 1989-90 men's basketball team as the best LMU squads of all-time. Holman helped that team to the 1996 Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, going 26-3 overall, a perfect 14-0 in the WCC and advancing to the Pacific Region semifinals. A teammate of Holman's for two seasons, Wrensch was a part of the first two title runs, winning it in her junior and senior campaigns. She was a three-time first-team All-WCC selection in her tenure and was named Academic All-Conference all four years.

Stratos Gets #300 vs. Portland...
The Lions' 3-0 sweep of Portland gave LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos his 300th career victory, making him just the second coach in WCC volleyball history to reach the milestone. With the 300 career wins, Stratos joins current Pepperdine coach Nina Matthies as the only two volleyball coaches in WCC history to reach the milestone. Stratos defeated Matthies the previous Friday for his 299th victory. The 15-year head coach is now the fourth active LMU coach with 300 wins, as Gary Ferrin (softball), Steve Aggers (basketball), and Jamie Sanchez (tennis) have each accomplished the feat. The win kicked-off the campus-wide Madness at Midnight celebration, which continued in Gersten Pavilion following the Lions' sweep.

Seniors Lift LMU Over Waves...
Nicole Oehlman tallied triple-double stats in front of Gersten Pavilion's largest crowd since 1996 to lead Loyola Marymount to the 3-1 win over local rival Pepperdine in WCC action. The Lions defeated the Waves 30-20, 30-27, 20-30, 30-25, earning LMU's first win over Pepperdine since 2000 in front of 1,142 fans. Oehlman tallied 39 assists, 10 kills, and 12 digs as the Lions improved to 8-1 in Gersten Pavilion. Fellow senior Kelli Nerison added 19 kills and 10 blocks, hitting .471 on the night. In addition to Oehlman's triple-double, Nerison and Hughes posted double-double numbers. Nerison ended a big week, tallying 43 kills and 14 blocks in two matches. It was the first career triple-double for the setter and the largest LMU volleyball crowd since the Lions hosted the playoffs in 1996.

Nerison Named WCC Player of the Week...
The WCC named Kelli Nerison its Player of the Week, after the senior led LMU through an exciting 2-0 week, defeating then-No. 13 UC Santa Barbara and local rival Pepperdine 3-1. LMU's middle-blocker recorded 43 kills in two matches (eight games total) for a 5.38 kill per game average. She notched a new career-high 24 kills against UCSB. Nerison added 14 blocks, including six solo blocks, for a 1.75 block per game average. On the week, Nerison hit .500, with .75 service aces per game. At the time of the award, Nerison led the WCC and ranked seventh in the nation in blocks, and ranked second in the conference in hitting percentage. The 2003 honorable mention AVCA All-America was the WCC 2003 October Player of the Month, but received her first career Player of the Week recognition this week.

Oehlman Tallies First Career Triple-Double...
Nicole Oehlman came up big when the Lions' needed it most, tallying her first career triple-double to lift the Lions past local rival Pepperdine in WCC action. Oehlman tallied 39 assists, 10 kills, and 12 digs, for the only triple-double of the past two seasons for the Lions. One of just four players in the nation to achieve the feat last week, Oehlman was listed in the AVCA's triple-double club for the week.

Lions Knock-Off #13 UC Santa Barbara...
The Lions defeated 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara 3-1 Tuesday night in Santa Barbara. It was LMU's second straight win over the Gauchos (9-2), as senior Kelli Nerison led the Lions to the 31-29, 30-27, 17-30, 33-31 victory. Nerison tallied a career-high 24 kills, hitting .526. Freshman Heather Hughes added 18 kills and 12 digs, with nine kills in game one alone. Tuesday's contest gave the Lions back-to-back wins over a top-15-ranked UCSB, but it marked LMU's first victory in the Thunderdome since 1995.

Oehlman First LMU/Enterprise Student-Athlete of the Month...
With the competition in the month of September over, Loyola Marymount University Athletics has announced Nicole Oehlman and Endre Rex-Kiss as the September Enterprise Rent-A-Car/LMU Student-Athlete of the Month for their efforts in the field of play to start the 2004-05 school year. For the senior Oehlman of the women's volleyball team, it is her first Student-Athlete of the Month honor. For Rex-Kiss of the men's water polo team, it is his third. Oehlman has helped her team start the season at 8-4 while Rex-Kiss is one of the nation's leading scorers and has helped his team to a program best 8-2 start on the year. Oehlman was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 13 as she helped the Lions climb back into the nation's top-20. She was the first Player of the Week of the 2004 season after receiving MVP honors at the LMU Furama Hotel Volleyball Invitational. Oehlman and Lions defeated Washington State to defend their tournament title. As the team's setter, Oehlman led the team to hit better than .275 five times, including one of the program's best all-time hitting percentage of .467 against San Diego State last week. Oehlman and the Lions will start conference play this weekend with 11-1 Saint Mary's on Friday and San Francisco on Saturday.

GlaxoSmithKline Classic...
Junior Krista Houseman earned her first collegiate all-tournament selection at North Carolina's GlaxoSmithKline Classic just after LMU dropped its final match of the tournament to Rice (8-3) 30-23, 30-21, 30-28. For the third straight match, Houseman led the Lions with 12 kills and three blocks. Freshman Heather Hughes was one dig shy of a double-double performance, posting 11 kills and nine digs. Senior Kelli Nerison had ten blocks on the night, as the Lions out-blocked Rice 12.0 to 9.0. The Lions went 0-3 at the tough GlaxoSmithKline Classic, but placed Houseman on the all-tournament team after she tallied 53 kills on the weekend. The accolade marked the first all-tournament selection for the junior outside hitter, who has equaled or passed her former career-high kill mark (12) in seven of LMU's 11 matches this season.

Oehlman Named WCC Player of the Week...
Senior Nicole Oehlman was named the WCC Player of the Week as LMU climbed back into the nation's top-20. Oehlman is LMU's first volleyball player of the week of the 2004 campaign after receiving MVP honors at the 2004 LMU Furama Hotel Volleyball Invitational where LMU defeated Washington State to defend its tournament title. The Lions' setter led the team to .327, .246, and .315 hitting percentages while collecting 130 assists on the weekend. Oehlman also added 17 kills, including seven in the title game against Washington State. She hit .714 against Miami in the opening match of the tournament and tallied seven blocks, 19 digs, and five service aces on the weekend to lead LMU to the title and a 4-0 run this week. This week's accolade marks the senior's third WCC Player of the Week selection.

LMU Wins Furama Hotel Invite...
LMU claimed the 2004 LMU Furama Hotel Invitational by defeating Washington State in Gersten Pavilion 26-30, 30-23, 30-21, 30-22. The Lions fought to win three straight games after WSU took game one. Setter Nicole Oehlman was named tournament MVP after her 50 assist, seven kill performance Saturday night. She also led the Lion offense to a .315 team third game. Junior Dina Debernardi and freshman Heather Hughes also represented LMU on the all-tournament team. Jennifer Todd (WSU), Kelly Rosin (WSU), Val Tipiana (Miami), and Rachel Torblaa (Cincinnati) rounded out the all-tournament selections.

LMU Falls To Tennessee In Title Game...
After a 2-0 start at the LMU/Four Points Sheraton Classic, No. 18 Loyola Marymount volleyball (2-1) dropped a tough 3-0 match to Tennesee (3-0) Saturday night in Gersten Pavilion. The Lady Vols hit .348 as a team en route to the tournament title. With both teams entering the match-up 2-0, the scheduled 7:30 p.m. match in the round robin served as the title game. LMU, the defending tournament champions, hit .325 in game one, but dropped off to .026 as Tennessee took advantage of the match momentum. Seniors Dina Debernardi and Jacene Dimson represented LMU on the All-Tournament team, while Tennessee's Yuliya Stoyanova and Michelle Piantadosi shared the honors as well. Villanova and Duke, who played for third place in what turned out to be the tournament's consolation match, placed local product Celine Nguyen (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Ali Hausfeld on the team. Tournament MVP honors went to Tennessee's Kristen Andre (Kelseyville, Calif.), who hit .435 with 13 kills in the title game.

The Strat Stat...
Head Coach Steve Stratos completed his 14th campaign at the helm of the program with a 14th straight winning season. In his time at LMU, Stratos has led the Lions to nine 20-win seasons and nine postseason appearances, including four consecutive appearances from 1997-2000. Stratos has posted a career total of 302-139, the highest winning percentage in LMU volleyball history and second among current WCC coaches. In league action, he owns a record of 147-59. Posting 147 career conference victories, Stratos ranks second among current WCC coaches.

 

 

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