CANYON, Texas (September 4, 2010) – The No.22 Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaparrals volleyball team is off to their best start in program history. Saturday, LCU defeated Eastern New Mexico University 3-0 (25-16,25-19, 25-14) and then ended No.7 (NCAA Div. II) West Texas A&M's 46-match home win streak by upsetting the Lady Buffs 3-2 (25-21, 14-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-9) to conclude their play in the Lady Buff Classic at WTAMU Field house.
The pair of wins by LCU places them with a 7-0 record, marking their best start in program history, surpassing a trio of seasons in which they started out with a 6-0 mark. LCU won the opening set against WTAMU, which also snapped a program record for starting out the season winning their first 19 sets played.
LCU trailed 15-14 in the opening set, but LCU took advantage of a pair of ball handling errors by WTAMU's Teresa Dunn with a pair of serving aces from Nikki Ralston to start an 8-1 run. The run helped LCU win the opening set 25-21. The Lady Chaps were plagued by ten attack errors in the second set and WTAMU cruised to a 25-14 set win to even the match at 1-1. LCU shook off the errors in the third set, while the Lady Buffs were the ones battling attack errors. Four attack errors early in the third set allowed LCU to jump out to a 12-5 lead. WTAMU made things interesting late in the set with a 6-0 run to cut LCU's lead to 22-21, but a ball handling error by Dunn and a pair of attack errors by Erika Dupree allowed LCU to claim the set 25-22. It was LCU rallying late in the fourth set, erasing a 17-12 deficit with a 9-3 run to take a 21-20 lead. A trio of kills by Lauren Thedford, who finished with a match-high 13 kills, allowed WTAMU to claim the set 25-23 and force a decisive fifth set. The Lady Chaps led throughout the final set, but not without drama. An 8-3 lead slipped away after a 5-2 WTAMU rally cut the LCU lead to 10-8, but LCU responded with kills from Bailey Jones, Caitlin Kender and a pair from Melissa Green to win the set 15-9 and pull off the upset.
The match had its sloppiness. Teams combined for 52 attack errors and 20 serving errors, with LCU victimized by 17 serving errors. WTAMU received double-doubles in the losing cause from Thedford (13 kills, 18 digs) and Erika Dupree (25 assists, 12 digs). Jones (12 kills, 18 digs) produced the only double-double for LCU. Elissa Loynes and Jones co-led LCU with 12 kills. Jordan Goings posted a season high and match-high 51 assists and Nikki Ralston had a match-high four aces and 20 digs.
The last time WTAMU lost at home was on August 27, 2007 against Pittsburg State (Kan.). The two teams last played in Lubbock last season and WTAMU defeated LCU to end LCU's 25-match home win streak. Saturday's win for LCU was just their fourth against WTAMU in the 22 meetings since the 1980 season.
Earlier Saturday, LCU defeated ENMU in straight sets. In the opening set, an LCU 7-2 lead disappeared after a 9-4 ENMU run tied the set at 11-11. LCU pulled away in the set with a 14-5 rally, which included a trio of kills by both Green and Brittany Johnson and a pair of aces from Jones. Four kills by Elissa Loynes early in the second set helped LCU jump out to a 16-6 lead and they cruised to a 25-19 set win. The Lady Chaps trailed 8-4 in the final set, but they closed out the set and the match on a 21-6 run, which was highlighted by four kills from Green.
Loynes led all players with 12 kills against ENMU. Green was solid with nine kills and a .571 kill percentage. Jones had four aces and seven kills. Goings produced a match-high 34 assists.
Amazingly, all of LCU's wins on the season have come on the road, as they have yet to play a home match. They remain on the road Wednesday, playing at University of Texas – Permian Basin Wednesday at 7 p.m.