Volleyball Returns Home for Santa Clara/San José State Tournament

Santa Clara is set to face a 2016 NCAA Tournament participant for the fourth time in as many weekends when it faces Kansas on Friday night. (Photo by Mike Centioli/Courtesy Seattle Athletics)
Santa Clara is set to face a 2016 NCAA Tournament participant for the fourth time in as many weekends when it faces Kansas on Friday night. (Photo by Mike Centioli/Courtesy Seattle Athletics)

Santa Clara/San Jose State Tournament Central

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball takes to Leavey Center for the first time in 2017 this week at the Santa Clara/San José State Tournament. On Friday, the Broncos host Idaho in the home-opening match at 11 a.m. and close the day's action against No. 9 Kansas at 7 p.m. Santa Clara plays its final match of the weekend on Saturday with a 7 p.m. first serve at San José State.

The combined record of all four tournament participants is 25-10 (.714). Santa Clara has won three of its last four matches, all by way of the sweep. The Vandals are winners of four straight matches, the Spartans have won five in a row and the Jayhawks began the year on a nine-match winning streak. Click here for a full tournament schedule, including neutral site matches in Leavey Center and two matches at San José State's Spartan Gym.

Santa Clara fell to Boise State in three sets on Friday morning before rebounding for victories against Portland State on Friday night and UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at the Davis Invitational. Santa Clara last posted three sweeps in a four-match span from Nov. 12-19, 2015, when the team swept San Francisco, LMU and Pepperdine in three consecutive home contests.


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Santa Clara finished in second place at the UC Davis Invitational. Hailey Lindberg and Michelle Gajdka earned spots on the all tournament team, which marked the third career all-tournament nod for Lindberg and the first for Gajdka. In three matches, Lindberg hit .378 with 21 kills and 10.0 blocks while Gajdka had a team-high 29 kills and 26 digs.

Gajdka led a balanced Bronco attack in Davis that included 28 kills from Jensen Cunningham and 26 kills from Chloe Loreen. Cunningham ranks second on the team with 88 kills for the season. Loreen turned in a career-best performance with 16 kills on .286 hitting against Portland State.

The Broncos controlled play at the net during the tournament, winning the overall block battle 23-10. They matched a season-best effort with 12.0 blocks against UC Davis, which included a season-high 8.0 total blocks from Taylor Odom. Facing the Aggies in the second set, Odom logged a block on three straight plays to help the Broncos close out the frame on a 5-0 run. She finished the weekend with 5.0 block solos and 14.0 blocks overall.

Preseason All-West Coast Conference selection Kirsten Mead logged a career-best five straight double-doubles in the first five matches of the season. The senior setter leads SCU with 11 aces (no other Bronco has more than seven) and ranks second on the team with 89 digs. She set the Broncos to a season-high .278 hitting percentage against the Vikings.

Taylor Laugero, who led the team with 471 digs as a freshman last year, has not played in 2017 due to injury. Tatiana San Juan has stepped in to the libero role and is averaging 3.84 digs/set while playing in all 32 sets through nine matches. She has double-digit digs in seven of nine matches, including a career-best 25 in Santa Clara's season-opening victory at American.


Idaho | Record: 4-4 | SCU Record vs. Vandals: 4-1
First Meeting: 1983 | Last Meeting: 2010 — SCU Won 3-1 at the Sacramento State Tournament in Sacramento, California

Idaho enters the weekend on a hot streak, having won four matches in a row and 10 consecutive sets. The Vandals swept Gonzaga, Fordham and Grand Canyon at the GCU Tournament Friday and Saturday. They rank 26th in the country with 1.7 aces/set and are led by the service of Maura Donovan (11 aces) and Klaree Hobart (10).

No. 9 Kansas | Record: 9-1 | SCU Record vs. Jayhawks: 0-1
First Meeting: 1994 — Kansas Won 3-2 at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, California

No. 9 Kansas boasts the best overall record of any team in the tournament and began its season at 9-0. The Jayhawks swept Belmont and downed Purdue in four sets last Friday before being swept by No. 9 Creighton at the Kansas Invitational. They enter the weekend atop the NCAA with 15.5 kills/set and are led by reigning Big 12 Player of the Year Kelsie Payne, who ranks 15th in the country with 165 kills.

San José State | Record: 7-1 | SCU Record vs. Spartans: 14-23
First Meeting: 1979 | Last Meeting: 2008 — Santa Clara Won 3-1 at SJSU

San José State brings a five-match winning streak to the weekend and is off to its best start since 2006. The Spartans rank 24th in the country with 14.26 kills/set and are outhitting opponents .260 to .170. Fernanda Vido (120 kills) and Nandyala Gama (114 kills) are the team's two offensive focal points.


Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets for the matches at Santa Clara. Entry on Friday is $12 for an all-day pass, which will allow patrons exit and entry for all games in Leavey Center. Entry on Saturday is $7 for the Kansas vs. Idaho match. Tickets purchased for events at SCU do not count for entry at SJSU. Admission at SJSU is free. Visit the San José State volleyball page for game information at that site.

Season and single-game tickets are available. Tickets are available by clicking the link above or contacting the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office's sales and service consultants. Doors to the Leavey Center, as well as its ticket office, are open one hour prior to the start of each match. 

Parking: Parking is free in Santa Clara's Leavey Center parking lot for each of Friday's matches. THE LEAVEY CENTER PARKING LOT WILL BE COMPLETELY OFFLINE ON SATURDAY due to SCU's move-in weekend. Plan on more time for arrival on both Friday and Saturday due to SCU's move-in weekend. Parking on Saturday is free in the Guadalupe Lot, across the street from the Leavey Center. Any other parking facility on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions, including the main structure, located adjacent to Stevens Stadium on Palm Drive. Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions. See below map for Saturday parking:


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