Volleyball Begins Back Half of WCC Play Saturday against Saint Mary's

Michelle Gajdka (35) and Taylor Odom (15) turn back an attack attempt by Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 in Leavey Center.
Michelle Gajdka (35) and Taylor Odom (15) turn back an attack attempt by Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 in Leavey Center.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball gets going with the second half of West Coast Conference play on Saturday afternoon. The Broncos host Saint Mary's for a 1 p.m. match at Leavey Center in the first meeting of the teams this season.

On Thursday night, Santa Clara started fast but ultimately fell 17-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-14 against Pacific at home. Saint Mary's swept San Francisco 25-18, 25-13, 25-18 for its first road win of the season.


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• Santa Clara: 9-12/2-7 WCC/3-5 Home | Saint Mary's: 6-13/2-7 WCC/1-5 Away

• SCU All-Time vs. Gaels: 50-23 | First Meeting: 1979

• 2016: 10/22 Saint Mary's Won 3-0 in Moraga | 11/12 Santa Clara Won 3-0 in Santa Clara

• Last SMC Road Win: 10/19/13 3-2

• Santa Clara Has Won Five of the Last Six Matches


Kirsten Mead is second all-time in career assists among Broncos that spent their entire careers in the rally-scoring era; she added to that total with 36 assists on Thursday. Mead has 3,864 career assists, and needs 12 more to pass Julie Jamile (1987-90) and move into fifth-place all-time for SCU. The senior setter leads the WCC with 840 assists and ranks second in the conference with 10.51 assists/set and 27 aces.

Chloe Loreen has double-doubles in three straight matches and five overall on the year. She had 11 kills and 11 digs against Pacific. The freshman outside hitter is averaging 14.3 kills/match and 13.3 digs/match in Santa Clara's last three tilts, including a road win at Pepperdine on Oct. 14.

Jensen Cunningham hit .431 with 33 kills and committed only five attack errors on 65 swings between two matches last week against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine; 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.

Michelle Gajdka has 13-plus kills in five of her last six matches. The sophomore outside hitter has produced double-digit kills in 13 of 21 matches overall.

After being limited to six sets in the team's first 17 matches due to injury, Taylor Laugero has played in all 17 sets of Santa Clara's last four matches. The sophomore libero averaged 4.77 digs/set in three matches from Oct. 6-14, including a co-career high 32 digs against the Waves. The Broncos are 4-3 when Laugero takes the court this season.


Saint Mary's swept San Francisco for each of its WCC wins to this point in the season. The Gaels have played four matches against teams ranked in the top 10 (No. 9 Creighton, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 BYU) and six matches against ranked teams overall. Saint Mary's is the only WCC team to take BYU to five sets this season; the Cougars are undefeated in conference play at 9-0 entering Saturday's action.

Alexsa Parker leads the WCC with 30 aces (43rd in NCAA) and and .43 aces/set (27th NCAA). As a team, Saint Mary's ranks 34th in the country with 1.57 aces/set; five Gaels have 10-plus aces this year. Sienna Young (155 kills, 2.54/set) leads a balanced offense that includes four players with 126-plus kills.


Youth Free Day presented by Dick's Sporting Goods: All kids 12 and under will receive free admission into the match.

Postgame Autographs: Stick around following the game to receive autographs from your favorite Santa Clara Broncos! One team poster will be provided per fan while supplies last.

Bronco Kids Packet Pick-up: Bronco Kids members can visit the marketing table to pick up their membership packet including t-shirt, lanyard and drawstring bag. Don't forget to bring your membership card for entry into the game! Not a member? Sign up here!


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 BroncoTickets@scu.edu. 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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