Orozco Sets Career High in 3-2 Decision Over LMU
Pepperdine takes over fourth place in the WCC standings after defeating LMU in five sets inside Firestone Fieldhouse.
Oct. 25, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. – The #23 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team extended its lead in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup Standings after defeating crosstown rival Loyola Marymount, 3-2 in Thursday’s West Coast Conference action. Jazmine Orozco set a new career high with 27 kills to lead the Waves’ offense.
Pepperdine (16-7, 6-4 WCC) won the first two sets by the narrow margins of 32-30 and 28-26 before the Lions (13-10, 4-6 WCC) fired back with 25-22 triumphs in the third and fourth frames. The Waves regained control of the match when it mattered most and won the deciding set 15-10.
"A win is a win. I knew it was going to be a really tough match and playing them (LMU) so late in the season, you know, everyone is 'seasoned,'” said head coach Nina Matthies following the contest. “I thought Loyola Marymount played really well tonight. I mean there were some great volleys and just an overall great volleyball match. Great rallies, good defense, good offense by both teams and great serving.
“I'm proud of our kids for hanging in there and deciding to come back. It's tough to win two, lose two and then in that fifth game you have to let everything go and start again. I thought we came out in the fifth game saying 'Yeah we are going to win this game.' I'm proud of the progression that our team is taking right now and that we have made through the season. I'll take a ‘W’ anytime!"
Orozco (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS/Illinois), who’s previous career-best mark was 21 kills, already tallied 23 put aways by the end of the fourth set. She extended her new record with four more kills in the fifth set. The junior lent 14 digs and four blocks to the defensive side to finish the night with a match-high 30.5 points.
Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) totaled nine kills and nine blocks to follow Orozco with a 14.5 point total.
Five players surpassed the double-digit plateau in digs led by Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge HS) with 22 and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) with 19. In addition to Orozco’s 14, Racich collected 11, while Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) finished the night with 10.
LMU was led by Kathleen Luft with 23 kills, followed by Caitlin DeWitt with 20. Betsi Metter, the defending WCC Defensive Player of the Year, was credited with 30 digs.
The Waves commanded a 21-15 lead in the opening frame before the Lions scored seven unanswered points to tip the scales in their favor. Although Pepperdine fought back for a set point at 24-23, LMU would not go down without a fight. The scales tilted once again in the visiting team’s favor as they would go on to earn six match points. However, six times the Waves would erase those set points and finally scored three-straight points – all on kills courtesy of Orozco – to claim the first set 32-30.
Orozco pounded down eight kills in the frame, while Adelhelm and Racich assisted on three blocks each.
Pepperdine maintained a small lead to start the second stanza, but Loyola Marymount went on a hot streak and went up 19-9 before the Waves found a way to answer. After siding out to make it 19-10 in favor of LMU, Orozco stepped up to the service line and sparked a 6-0 run to bring the Waves within three. Pepperdine continued to press and was eventually able to knot the score at 23-23, only to see the Lions take set point after a timely block.
The Waves’ go-to offensive weapon, Orozco, evened the balance with a kill once again, and Pepperdine was able to hold on for the 28-26 victory to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Although Pepperdine led by as much as six points in the first half of set three, the momentum took a clear shift after Litara Keil served her team to a 5-0 run to regain the advantage, 18-17. The Waves would tie things up twice more, but would never fully take over the lead as they went on to fall 25-22.
The Lions set the tone in the fourth set, and started things with three consecutive points. Despite five more kills by Orozco, LMU held on for the 25-22 victory to force a fifth and final frame.
The Waves passing improved in the decider, and with it came more offensive opportunities. Up by just two at 9-7, Pepperdine went on a 3-0 run highlighted by back-to-back blocks. Two more Orozco kills brought the home squad to match point, but the Lions fought to put three more points on the board. After a Pepperdine timeout, the 15th and match-clinching point flashed across the scoreboard after an LMU serve sailed just long.
Samantha Cash (San Diego, Calif./Canyon Crest Academy) provided a spark for Pepperdine with six kills and five blocks.
The Waves picked up one point in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup, and now lead the Lions by an overall score of 3.0-1.5. The contest is a year-long scorecard for the NCAA-sponsored athletic events between the two schools.
Next week the Waves play in key WCC match ups with Saint Mary’s at home on Thursday, Nov. 1, followed by a road contest at San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 3.