A series of comebacks helped bring home the Hilton Penn’s Landing Temple Invitational

Championship for the Loyola Marymount University women’s volleyball team last weekend.

LMU’s title at McGonigle Hall came at the expense of the host school, after the Lions (3-0 overall) had dropped the opening set of the best-of-five final to win 18-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-20. Similar to its opening match against Hofstra, LMU dropped the first set and trailed in the second set 10-6, but rallied to go ahead 19-15 and pull away, then eked out third and fourth set wins for the title.

Junior outside hitter Savannah Slattery led the attack with 13 kills and a team-best three aces, and on the year has amassed 41 kills while hitting .402. Also key to the win was senior Sara Kovac, who tallied 33 kills and 25 digs in the two matches, and junior setter Tess Reid, with 53 assists in the final.

The semifinal win over Hofstra was also challenging, as LMU trailed by a set and 24-23 in the second, a point away from going down 2-0. But the Lions rallied to win 22-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-18, and gain the final. Slattery, from Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, had 17 kills for the match, two of them late in the second set to swing the momentum LMU’s way.

“The team showed a lot of resilience,” said head coach Aaron Mansfield. “We kept learning and getting better as the matches went on. When everyone does their jobs within our system, we are tough to beat.”

LMU resumes play Aug. 31 at the Utah State Tournament in Logan with a morning match against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The Lions travel the following weekend to Lawrence, Kansas, for the Kansas Invitational, and open West Coast Conference play Sept. 20 at Gonzaga.

Soccer: Success at home

In her first game at Sullivan Field since a season-ending injury one game into her freshman season, Simone Handy's 82nd-minute goal gave LMU’s women's soccer team a 2-1 win over Loyola of Chicago Aug. 24.

Playing their home opener, the Lions scored twice in the second half, starting with a goal in the 66th minute by a combination of freshmen. Sydney Schultz found Jalyn Lupo in the box and Lupo scored to give LMU a 1-0 lead.

After the Ramblers tied the match in the 80th minute, the Lions responded less than a minute and a half later as Handy converted another Schultz pass for the game-winner, the first goal of her LMU career.

"It felt amazing," said Handy, a former All-CIF star from Whittier. "It was a lot of work over the last year, and I am so thankful that I got to play today and show my best."

“She tore her ACL as a freshman,” noted LMU head coach Michelle Myers, “but what people don't realize is prior to that she had a broken leg and another torn ACL, so she's been out of soccer for a few years now. It's been a long, frustrating road, so I'm happy to see her get a little bit of a reward.”

On Aug. 26, LMU again scored a late goal to defeat Northeastern 2-1 and run its season mark to 2-1-1.

Sarina Bolden tallied the game-winner in the 89th minute off a pass from Emma Tyrnalier, breaking a 1-1 tie created by a Northeastern goal early in the second half. The Lions opened the scoring in the 16th minute, with Samantha Jordan scoring with an assist from Maki Kono.

LMU’s next action is this weekend, Aug. 31 at UC Irvine and back home Sept. 2 hosting Indiana.

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

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