SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball hits the halfway point of West Coast Conference play Thursday night when it hosts Pacific. The Broncos and Tigers take to the court for a 7 p.m. start in Leavey Center.
Both teams enter the match on the heels of a WCC road victory from last Saturday. Santa Clara finished an 18-25, 25-18, 26-28, 26-24, 15-11 win over Pepperdine with a 5-0 run in the final set at Firestone Fieldhouse. Emily Baptista delivered 25 kills for Pacific as the Tigers took down Saint Mary's 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21 in McKeon Pavilion.
Thursday's match marks the second meeting of the season between Santa Clara and Pacific. The Tigers defeated the Broncos 25-18, 25-22, 25-20 on Sept. 26 at Alex G. Spanos Center.
GAME DAY LINKS
• Santa Clara: 9-11/2-6 WCC/3-4 Home | Pacific: 8-11/3-5 WCC/4-7 Away
• SCU All-Time vs. Tigers: 9-26 | First Meeting: 1975
• 2017: 9/26 Pacific Won 3-0 in Stockton
• 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 | Last SCU Home Win: 10/22/15 3-2
• Pacific Has Won Three Straight in Series
Kirsten Mead notched her fourth-career 20-20 line by matching a season-best effort with 61 assists and adding 21 digs on Saturday. The senior setter was one of four Broncos to post a double-double alongside Chloe Loreen (career-high 18 kills, 16 digs), Jensen Cunningham (17 kills, 10 blocks) and Michelle Gajdka (17 kills, 16 digs). Mead leads the WCC with 804 assists and ranks second in the conference with 10.59 assists/set.
The Palo Alto, California native Mead is second all-time in career assists among Broncos that spent their entire careers in the rally-scoring era. She has 3,828 career assists, and needs 48 more to pass Julie Jamile (1987-90) and move into fifth-place all-time for SCU.
Cunningham hit .431 with 33 kills and committed only five attack errors on 65 swings between two matches last week; she averaged 3.3 kills/set. The senior middle blocker logged two block solos along with 18 block assists (20 total blocks) for a gaudy 2.0 block/set average. She was on serve for Santa Clara's set-clinching point in the fourth frame against the Waves, then posted two kills and an assist to spur a 5-0 run that closed out the match in the deciding stanza.
Gajdka has 13-plus kills in each of her last five matches. The sophomore outside hitter is averaging 3.35 kills/set over that stretch. She has produced double-digit kills in 13 of 20 matches overall.
After being limited to six sets in the team's first 17 matches due to injury, Taylor Laugero has played in all 13 sets of Santa Clara's last three matches. The sophomore libero is averaging 4.77 digs/set in those three tilts, including a co-career high 32 digs against the Waves. She totaled 14 assists against San Francisco, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine along with an ace in each of the three contests. The Broncos are 4-2 when Laugero takes the court this season.
Loreen has logged double-doubles in two straight matches. She had 14 kills and 13 digs against Loyola Marymount on Thursday night. The freshman outside hitter has four double-doubles during her debut campaign with the team.
Pacific's victory over Saint Mary's snapped a four-match losing streak. The Tigers hit .313 as a team against the Gaels and have topped the .300 mark for hitting seven times in 19 matches.
Baptista leads the team with 258 kills and 3.44 kills/set; she has double-digit kills in 13 of 19 matches this season. Ashlyn Fleming ranks second in the conference with a .387 hitting percentage. Andie Shelton has two triple-doubles on the season and is one of only eight players in the country who has more than one.
Perfect Attendance Challenge (SCU Students Only – Must be a Ruff Rider): Join the Broncos at all FIVE of the designated "Perfect Attendance" games and be eligible to win Nike prizes! If you attend two games, you're entered to win a Nike Dri-Fit Santa Clara volleyball shirt. If you attend four games, you're eligible to win a Nike Santa Clara Athletics backpack and a Nike Dri-Fit Santa Clara volleyball shirt. If you attend ALL five games, you're eligible to win a Nike Santa Clara Athletics backpack, a Nike Dri-Fit Santa Clara volleyball shirt, and Nike tennis shoes of your choosing (limited $50 value). How to play: Check-in on the Ruff Riders Rewards app at the following volleyball games: 9/21, 9/28, 10/6, 10/19, and 11/9. Our winner will be announced at the Nov. 9 match against Pepperdine.
Ruff Rider T-Shirt Distribution (SCU Students Only – Must be a Ruff Rider)
Season or single-game tickets are available. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or [email protected]. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Doors to the Leavey Center, as well as its ticket office, are open one hour prior to the start of the match.
For weekday matches, the Leavey Center lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is free beginning one hour prior to first serve. 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. During the weekend, campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.
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