Volleyball

Volleyball Battles in Close Defeat at No. 8 Washington

Hailey Lindberg (24) and Taylor Odom (right) combine for a block attempt against the No. 8 Huskies Friday night. (Jamie Mitchell Photo)
Hailey Lindberg (24) and Taylor Odom (right) combine for a block attempt against the No. 8 Huskies Friday night. (Jamie Mitchell Photo)

SEATTLE — Santa Clara volleyball recovered from a slow first set to keep pace with No. 8 Washington in the second and third frames at the Washington Invitational Friday night. The Huskies edged the Broncos 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Friday's second set featured 11 ties and the third set featured six ties. The Huskies (3-1) jumped on the Broncos (2-2) early in all three stanzas; they led 5-0 in the first, 8-4 in the second and 7-2 in the third.

Bronco setter Kirsten Mead made it four double-doubles in four matches this season by logging 33 assists and 12 digs. Jensen Cunningham led all players with 11 kills on .444 hitting. Allison Kantor hit .538 and posted a career-high seven kills in her fourth match as a Bronco. Tatiana San Juan tied Mead for the team lead with 12 digs.

Courtney Schwan and Carly DeHoog led the Huskies with 10 kills apiece; DeHoog hit .500 on the night. Bailey Tanner registered a match-high 35 kills and set Washington to a .313 hitting percentage. 

Michelle Gajdka's eight kills in the second set were the most by any player in a single frame for the contest. Santa Clara held six leads in that set and was on top as late as 20-19 before Washington won three straight points on its way to a 2-0 lead at the break.

Trailing 10-5 in the third, the Broncos rattled off a 10-3 run to pull in front 15-13. Kantor and Hailey Lindberg each had two kills over that stretch. Santa Clara committed two service errors for Washington's final two points.

The Huskies, ranked No. 3 in the AVCA preseason poll, controlled play in the first set and outhit the Broncos .458 to .042. Washington won the first five points of the contest and had four different players tally three kills in the opening frame, including four from Schwan.

Notes

• Mead's four straight double-doubles marks a career-long streak.

• The Broncos faced a 2016 NCAA Tournament participant for the third time in four matches. They defeated American and fell to Howard on opening weekend.

Taylor Laugero, who led the team with 471 digs as a freshman in 2016, has not taken the court this season due to injury. 

Up Next

Santa Clara plays two matches Saturday. The Broncos face Cal Poly at 10 a.m. and Seattle at 6 p.m. The Mustangs (4-0) swept the Redhawks (1-3) 25-19, 25-10, 25-15 on Friday night.

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