Last week’s win over top-ranked BYU helped catapult Loyola Marymount University’s women's volleyball team into the NCAA Division I Tournament as an at-large selection.

LMU — one of five West Coast Conference teams in the 64-team field — will open the tournament on Nov. 30, 4:30 p.m., against Duke at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, followed by Stanford vs. Alabama State at 7 p.m. The two winners will face off in the second round Dec. 1, 6 p.m.

This is the 14th time LMU has made the NCAA Tournament, and the first since 2015 when the Lions beat No. 6 Stanford to reach the Sweet 16. LMU is 4-2 all-time against Duke, including a four-set win at Durham, N.C., on Sept. 16, 2017.

The Lions’ lineup includes two All-West Coast Conference selections for 2018: senior Sara Kovac and junior Tess Reid. Kovac was just one of three players in the league to record 400 or more kills (414), while Reid led the WCC in assists with 1,279, nearly a full assist per game better than anyone else.

Two former All-CIF selections from local Catholic schools were honored by the WCC. Pepperdine sophomore Shannon Scully, a Mater Dei HS alum, was an honorable mention choice, while Santa Clara’s Michelle Shaffer, from La Reina HS, made the WCC’s All-Freshman team.

The WCC’s All-Academic team included the Lions’ Emma Johnson, a junior psychology major with a 3.84 GPA, her second such selection. Honorable mention choices included Reid, junior Savannah Slattery and senior Kekai Whitford (each for the second time), and sophomore Meredith Teague.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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