volleyball team

The LMU volleyball team huddles up during a home match against Saint Mary's on Saturday, Nov. 16. The Lions finished the season with a record of 15-15 and 9-9 in conference play.

The women’s volleyball team is losing an accomplished group of seniors this year, but the talent of their young stars indicates a bright future ahead.

The team posted a .500 record this season, going 15-15 overall and 9-9 in the conference. The Lions had success at home, going 6-3, but struggled on the road at just 4-10.

While they did not achieve a winning season, several players posted outstanding individual performances and received All-WCC awards. Two seniors, outside hitter Savannah Slattery and setter Tess Reid, closed out their collegiate careers by being named to the 2019 All-WCC First Team, and freshman middle blocker Emmelyn Walters was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team.

Slattery has been a valuable leader on and off the court for the Lions over the course of her entire career. Establishing herself as a key player from day one, Slattery was named the LMU Female Freshman Athlete of the Year during her first season with the team. She continued to post incredible numbers throughout the rest of her time at LMU, culminating in her All-WCC honor this year.

This season, Slattery led the team in kills with a total of 411, including 258 against the WCC. She also led the team in kills per set with 3.57.

Reid, as the team’s primary setter, also played a huge role in helping the new players adjust and play to their highest potential. She commanded the court, leading the entire conference in assists with 883 on the season and 455 against the WCC.

While Reid makes the game look easy, her outstanding success did not come without difficult obstacles. About halfway through her freshman season, Reid tore her UCL diving for a ball and effectively ended her season. Reid underwent a difficult journey to recovery, both physically and mentally, but came out even stronger; she earned prestigious awards every subsequent season, including LMU Female Athlete of the Year in 2018.

Another graduating senior who will be severely missed is Bo Culo, the Croatian hitter-turned-libero. Transferring to LMU from Florida State before the 2018 season, Culo quickly became a fan favorite, posting 230 kills as an outside hitter in 2018 and 284 digs as a libero in 2019.

This talented group of seniors will be greatly missed, but impressive younger players have everything it takes to achieve a winning season next year. Walters, the WCC All-Freshman, posted 115 kills and 65 blocks in just 18 games this season. Other impactful freshmen include outside hitter Rose Booth, an extremely talented player who posted 242 kills despite missing the last third of the season.

The outstanding group of hitters will be supplemented next year by recently signed incoming freshman Kari Geissberger, a 6'6" outside hitter from Kentfield, California. A full three inches taller than the tallest players on the current roster, Geissberger will add menacing height to the Lions’ front row. If they can avoid injury, this young group will provide an unstoppable offense for LMU next season.

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