Volleyball Falls to LMU in Thursday’s WCC Home Opener

Volleyball Falls to LMU in Thursday’s WCC Home Opener

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Savannah Slattery (11) and Emma Johnson (10) combined for 21 kills with Tess Reid providing 33 assists to help Loyola Marymount defeat Santa Clara volleyball 25-21, 25-22, 25-22 in a Thursday matchup of West Coast Conference squads.

Michelle Shaffer posted a team-high seven kills and eight digs for the Broncos (5-10, 0-3) and Alexa Dreyer chipped in six kills on a .286 hitting percentage. Santa Clara hit .123 as a team.

Kekai Whitford had 24 of the 55 digs for the Lions (12-3, 2-2) who only had a .154 attack percentage, but came up with the key points.

The Broncos were in position to knot the match at one-all, but the Lions rallied by taking seven of the last nine points in the second set. Anna McCreadie's kill gave the Broncos a 20-18 lead and after the Lions tied it at 21-all, Johnson contributed three kills to close out the set.

The Lions carried that momentum into the third set, scoring the first seven points. Santa Clara answered by taking advantage of a number of LMU attack errors, eventually pulling within a point at 19-18. Kills by Slattery and Johnson increased the lead to 23-19 and the Broncos were unable to get closer than two points.

LMU used a 4-0 run midway through the opening set to take a 16-12 lead and hold off the Broncos.

After a seven-match winning streak, the Lions came in having dropped two of their last three.

The Broncos, meanwhile, have seen their lineup in a state of flux. In Tuesday's loss at Pacific, three players came back from injury. Liliana Light played for the first time since Sept. 14 (missed three matches) while McCreadie and Kathryn Decker played for the first time since Sept. 1 (missed six matches).

"It's just going to take time," head coach Jon Wallace said of finding some cohesion in the lineup. "Even tonight we were there, we were close. In the big points we were not as good as we needed to be. We created some opportunities to score, but we just didn't take advantage."

• LMU leads the all-time series 40-35. The teams have split the season series in each of the last five years. The face each other in Los Angeles on Oct. 27.
• Former Santa Clara assistant coach Aaron Mansfield is in his second season as LMU head coach.

Santa Clara is back at home on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup against Pepperdine.


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