Although given a battle by their hosts, the West Coast Conference’s co-leaders prevailed at Gersten Pavilion, handing Loyola Marymount University women’s volleyball squad a pair of four-set defeats heading into the final weeks of the regular season.

On Oct. 24, national No. 12 BYU downed the Lions 25-22, 25-12, 15-25, 25-22. A third-set win, fueled by an 8-1 run, got LMU back in the match, and the fourth set included 12 ties and five lead changes before the Cougars (18-3 overall, 9-1 WCC) won the last three points to clinch the match.

For the Lions, Megan Rice had 18 kills, Tess Reid 21 assists and Jessie Prichard 20, and Alexis Morrow seven blocks.

Two days later, the Lions won the first set but fell to No. 22 San Diego 21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-15. Prichard’s service ace got LMU off to a good start in set one, but a 6-2 run by the Toreros (16-5, 9-1) late in set three broke a 19-19 tie, and San Diego’s 9-2 fourth set flurry put the match out of reach.

Rice again led the Lions in kills with 16 and eight blocks, while Reid had 38 assists and 10 digs. Bo Culo had 11 digs and Morrow seven blocks. For San Diego, freshman Grace Frohling (Marymount HS) led with 12 kills.

This week LMU (12-10, 6-4) travels north play Portland Oct. 31 and Gonzaga Nov. 2, then plays at Pepperdine Nov. 8 before their final home matches Nov. 14 and 16 against Pacific and St. Mary’s. The Lions are tied for fourth in the WCC with Santa Clara at 6-4, behind Pepperdine at 7-3.