SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball begins its busiest stretch of West Coast Conference play for the 2017 season on Tuesday night. The Broncos travel to Pacific for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Tigers to begin a span of three matches in five days.
The Broncos (7-7, 0-2 WCC) began conference play with home losses against No. 9 BYU and No. 17 San Diego last week. Both matches were decided in three sets. Santa Clara has faced three ranked opponents in its last four matches, including a five-set victory over then-No.9 Kansas on Sept. 15 in Leavey Center.
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Kirsten Mead had 31 assists and 10 digs against the Cougars, which marked her 10th double-double of the year. The senior setter is averaging a single-season best 2.84 digs/set in 2017. She ranks second in the WCC with 514 total assists and fourth with 10.28 assists/set.
Mead ranks second all-time in career assists among Broncos that spent their entire careers in the rally-scoring era. She has 3,537 career assists, and needs 339 more to pass Julie Jamile (1987-90) and move into fifth-place all-time for the Broncos.
Jensen Cunningham totaled 19 kills on .486 hitting against the Cougars and Toreros. The senior middle blocker has hit .500 or better three times in the last five matches (.611 vs. Idaho, .500 vs. No. 9 Kansas, .500 vs. No. 17 San Diego). Her .363 hitting percentage for the season is 64 points above her career average of .299 and currently good for fourth in the WCC.
2017 Record: 6-7 (1-0 Home) | SCU All-Time vs. Tigers: 9-25 | First Meeting: 1975
2016: 9/27 Pacific Won 3-2 in Santa Clara | 10/29 Pacific Won 3-0 in Stockton
Last SCU Win: 11/24/16 3-1 in Stockton | Pacific Has Won Two Straight in Series
The Tigers, who have only played one time at home in 13 matches, are coming off three straight five-set matches. Pacific began conference play with a 3-2 victory at Portland Thursday before falling 3-2 to Gonzaga on Saturday. Ashley Fleming ranks second in the WCC and 40th in the country with a .388 hitting percentage. Andie Shelton has produced two triple-doubles on the year and is one of only five players in the NCAA to accomplish that feat this season.
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