DAVIS, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball bounced back from a morning defeat against Boise State to sweep Portland State Friday during the first day of the Davis Invitational. The Broncos fell in their first match 25-18, 25-15, 25-17 before scoring their second sweep of the season 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 against the Vikings at The Pavilion.
Each of Santa Clara's last five matches has been decided in three sets, and Santa Clara has won two of its last three tilts. Chloe Loreen tallied 21 kills on the day, including a career-high 16 as part of the Bronco victory over Portland State.
MATCH 1: Boise State Rides Balanced Performance to Victory
Boise State (5-2) turned in a well-rounded performance en route to its fifth victory of the season. The Broncos hit .378 for the match and at least .333 in all three sets. They committed only six attacking errors on 90 attempts. Sierra Nobley hit .370 with a match-high 12 kills and Jayme-Lee Bulda had 28 assists.
Boise State held Santa Clara without a block in the first two sets and had just one attacking error in each of those frames. Nobley had a pair of kills in a 5-1 span that put the Broncos ahead 16-12 in the first set, and Boise State closed the set on a 5-2 run. In the second stanza, BSU won the first five points and eight of the first nine overall, then maintained at least a five-point advantage the rest of the way.
Santa Clara used a pair of blocks to go in front 3-1 early in the third set before Boise State took control of the frame by winning eight of the next 10 points. Cunningham finished the match's final set with five kills.
MATCH 2: Loreen's Career Day, Bronco Blocking Down Portland State
Santa Clara (4-4) outhit Portland State (6-2) .278 to .103 and had seven more blocks than the Vikings (9.0-2.0) — the largest positive margin in that category through eight matches. Taylor Odom had three block solos and three block assists to match a season-high effort with six total blocks. Powers notched 15 digs and Tatiana San Juan had 18 digs, her most in a match since opening day at American. Mead set SCU to a season-best .278 hitting percentage.
Mikaelyn Sych topped Portland State with seven kills. Sych, who entered the weekend with the second-best block average in the country at 2.14/set, was held to two total blocks on the evening. Haley Glass led the team with 13 digs.
The Broncos turned in their most dominant spree of the day early in the second set. After spotting the Vikings three points, Santa Clara won seven points in a row and rolled that momentum into a 13-2 run. Loreen started the run with one of her six kills for the set, then served up three aces over the next six points to put the Broncos in front. Mead set the Broncos to a .577 hitting percentage in the frame.
The Broncos turned an 8-5 deficit into a 16-12 advantage in the third set, aided by two kills apiece from Loreen, Cunningham and Michelle Gajdka. Five different Broncos came through with a kill in the team's last nine points of the stanza.
Neither team led by more than three points in a close first set. Odom logged back-to-back block solos to help the Broncos win four straight points and take a 14-11 lead. Santa Clara broke a 17-17 deadlock by winning four of the next five points and held at least a two-point cushion before Gajdka clinched the set with a kill.
QUOTABLE (Head Coach Jon Wallace)
"Chloe Loreen attacked very well for us today. She's a difference-maker when she's on the court. We saw what she can do against American and her ability was on display again in these matches."
"Kirsten Mead displayed good senior leadership and ran a good offense."
Santa Clara finishes up the UC Davis Invitational against the host Aggies Saturday at 2 p.m. UC Davis fell 3-1 against Portland State in its first match on Friday.
• .577 is Santa Clara's highest hitting percentage in a single set in its last 42 matches. The Broncos hit .621 in a sweep of Pepperdine on Nov. 14, 2015 in Leavey Center.
• Loreen had eight kills in Santa Clara's prior four matches and entered the day with 19 on the season.
• Santa Clara is 4-3 all-time against Boise State and 2-4 all-time against Portland State.
• Taylor Laugero, who led the team with 471 digs last season, has not played through eight matches this year due to injury.
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