Loyola Marymount’s Defense Stifles Long Beach State for a 3-0 Win

  0 Derek Johnson | September 08th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, WCC


  • Loyola Marymount def. Long Beach State 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-15)
  • Loyola Marymount improves to 4-3; Long Beach State drops to 1-6
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Box Score

Los Angeles, California – Loyola Marymount totaled 75 points in the match to Long Beach State’s 52 as the Lions defense came to play in a three-set sweep.

The Lions held Long Beach State to a -0.011 hitting percentage, which was amassed by the 49ers totaling 26 attack errors to 25 kills on 93 attempts. A big part of the defense came at the net, as beyond the amount of balls tipped or affected, Loyola Marymount out-blocked Long Beach State 9-1. Emma Johnson (five blocks), Sierra Bartley (four blocks) and Alexis Morrow (three blocks) led the way, as two others had a pair of blocks. The defense also netted 36 digs compared to Long Beach State’s 27, led by Kristen Castellanos (11 digs).

The offense was up to par for Loyola Marymount as well, as the 6-2 of the Lions produced a .333 hitting percentage with Savannah Slattery putting down a dozen kills on a .375 hitting percentage. Sara Kovac was second on the Lions with nine kills, but led the way by hitting .467.

Loyola Marymount now holds a winning record as they look to get rolling and improve its two-match winning streak with a match coming against San Diego State, especially with UCLA, North Carolina and Duke coming after that.

Coming off a 21-10 season, Long Beach State has struggled to regain their form as they now hold a 1-6 record. They will look to start the turn around process at the Aztec Challenge for a three-match haul, starting with Pacific and San Diego State.


Courtesy of Loyola Marymount:

Taking aim at the first-ever home victory over Long Beach State, LMU volleyball (4-3) swept past the 49ers (1-6) in convincing fashion on Thursday night from Gersten Pavilion, recording a 25-21, 25-16, 25-15 victory.

The Lions hit .333 as a team, posted five aces and recorded nine blocks en route to limiting Long Beach State to -.011 hitting. Sophomore Savannah Slattery led all players with 12 kills on 24 swings for a .375 clip. She added nine digs, a block solo and one block assist to fall just short of a double-double. Junior Sara Kovac continued to excel on the right side, posting nine kills while hitting .467 on 15 attacks. Tess Reid and Jessie Prichard set the attack to the strong showing, dishing out 19 and 15 assists, respectively.

“Our setters did a really nice job distributing the ball,” first year head coach Aaron Mansfield said in the postgame. “All of our outsides and opposites hit over .250 … Sara Kovac had another really high efficiency on the right side.”

LMU’s strong blocking effort was led by sophomore Emma Johnson, who recorded five block assists to accompany three kills. Freshman Sierra Bartley had four block assists, teaming that mark with six kills.

Of the five LMU aces in the match, three came in the second set, but LMU struggled early keeping the ball in play from the service area, serving up 11 of its 12 errors in the first two stanzas. The Lions righted the ship in the finale, erring on just one serve.

“Serving tough is a big part of our identity,” Mansfield said. “The message from of us wasn’t to keep the ball in play, it was to hit their best serve … we didn’t become more conservative, we just dialed in to our training and what we do every day.”

LMU hit .281 in the opening set behind three kills apiece from Slattery, Kovac and Bartley, but it was the LMU blocking game that made the distance in the opener, as LMU registered four blocks, including two block assists from Johnson. Dishing out six assists in the set, Prichard also dug up six balls on the Long Beach attack, helping to limit the 49ers to just .031 hitting. The two teams played close throughout the first, with LMU taking the initial timeout trailing 17-16 following a Hailey Harward ace. The Lions rattled off five straight points out of the huddle, exhausting one LBSU timeout and claiming a 21-17 advantage. Trailing 23-18, Long Beach went on a run to cut the deficit to two at 23-21 following consecutive aces from Megan Kruidhof, but LMU again utilized a well-time timeout, answering with the final two points after the break, including the final tally on a block from Slattery and Alexis Morrow.

It was all LMU in the second, as the Lions hit .500 while receiving six kills on seven swings from Slattery en route to taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the match score. Not only did the Lions hit for the stellar clip, they also limited Long Beach State to a .000 hitting percentage on the other side of the net. Long Beach State hung within a pair of points to 15-13, but LMU won four straight points, and seven of the next eight, to open up a 22-14 lead capped by a kill from Slattery. The Lions cruised to victory from there, eventually winning the set on Slattery’s final tally of the period.

Carrying momentum out of the break, LMU never trailed in the third en route to the sweep. The Lions forced Long Beach State into an early timeout at 8-1, and after a short spurt from the visitors, eventually advanced the lead to 16-9 to force the final timeout of the match from the Beach. A Kovac kill allowed LMU to reach the 20-point plateau, and Slattery fittingly put the match away with her 12th kill of the night.

LMU will hit the road on Friday, traveling to San Diego State for a match at 7 p.m.

Courtesy of Long Beach State:

LOS ANGELES – It was a tough night at the office for Long Beach State (1-6) as the Beach suffered a 25-21, 25-16, 25-15 loss to Loyola Marymount (4-3) on Thursday at Gersten Pavilion. It’s the first time Long Beach State has ever lost a match at LMU.

Junior Megan Kruidhof again led the Beach in kills, collecting 10 on the night. She now has six matches this year with double-digit kills and 10 in her career. Sophomore libero Hailey Harward had a strong night with 15 digs and an ace. Kruidhof and Emma Kirst each had a pair of aces for Long Beach. The service game was where LBSU held an advantage over the hosts as the Lions had 12 service errors in their own gym, compared to just six for the Beach.

The first set was the closest of the night as the teams stayed within a few points for most of the frame. The Beach took its first lead of the night on a 3-0 run, capped by an ace from Harward. That made it 17-16 Long Beach and forced an LMU timeout. Unfortunately, the Lions went on a 5-0 run after the stoppage and regained control of the set. Consecutive Kruidhof aces brought Long Beach back within two at 23-21, but after another timeout LMU was able to close out the set.

The Lions rolled that momentum into set two, where they hit .500 as a team. Long Beach led 5-4 early in the frame but wouldn’t hold a lead for the rest of the evening as LMU secured the sweep at home. Harward had an impressive nine digs in the third set alone, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Beach in the match.

LBSU will head to San Diego for a pair of matches this weekend. The Beach will face Pacific on Friday at 4 p.m. then take on San Diego State on Saturday at 11 a.m. Both matches will be played at Peterson Gym on the San Diego State campus.

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