Volleyball

Volleyball Hosts No. 9 BYU in West Coast Conference Opener Thursday

The last time Santa Clara took its home floor, the Broncos defeated No. 9 Kansas last Friday.
The last time Santa Clara took its home floor, the Broncos defeated No. 9 Kansas last Friday.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball carries momentum from its Santa Clara/San José State Tournament victory into Thursday's West Coast Conference-opening match against No. 9 BYU. The Broncos and the Cougars serve up the first action of WCC play at 7 p.m. in Leavey Center.

They Broncos swept Idaho to snap the Vandals' four-match winning streak on Friday morning and capped the tournament's first day with a five-set victory over No. 9 Kansas. SCU lost its final match 3-1 at SJSU on Saturday night. The Jayhawks are the highest-ranked team Santa Clara has defeated at home in program history. The Broncos became the first unranked team to defeat Kansas since 2014.

Kirsten Mead earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the three matches and Jensen Cunningham also landed a spot on the all-tournament team.

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THE BRONCOS

Last week, Mead totaled 138 assists (11.5/set) and finished second on the Broncos with 41 digs. The Bronco senior posted her third collegiate 20-20 match with 61 assists and a career-high 25 digs against the Jayhawks. Mead helped the Broncos sweep the Vandals with 39 assists and eight digs, in which she set the team to a season-best .282 hitting percentage.

Cunningham led Santa Clara with 41 kills (3.42/set) on an ultra-efficient .493 hitting percentage alongside a team-best 14.0 blocks. The Scottsdale, Arizona native hit .500 with 16 kills — she committed only two attack errors — and led SCU with six total blocks against the Jayhawks. Earlier in the day, Cunningham opened tournament play with 12 kills on .611 hitting and chipped in a team-best five total blocks to help the Broncos sweep the Vandals. She led Santa Clara with 13 kills on .391 hitting to cap the tournament Saturday night at San José State.

Taylor Laugero, who led the team with 471 digs as a freshman last year, saw her first action of the season Friday against Idaho and played in six sets on the weekend. Laugero, who missed the team's first nine matches due to injury, started against San José State on Saturday night. Tatiana San Juan, who has filled in as Santa Clara's libero, has double-digit kills in 10 of the team's 12 matches this season, including 24 against Kansas.

The Broncos won against an opponent ranked in the Top 10 for the third year in a row. They took down No. 7 USC on the road last year; the Trojans are the highest-ranked team Santa Clara has defeated in regular season program history. In 2015, the Broncos upended No. 10 BYU in a four-set match at home. They defeated the Cougars four straight times in Leavey Center from 2012-15.

Santa Clara tallied four sweep victories in five matches from Sept. 2-15 of this season. (Seattle, Portland State, UC Davis, Idaho). The last time the Broncos had four sweep wins in five matches was from Sept. 5-13, 2014 (Central Connecticut State, Delaware, Pennsylvania, No. 20 Duke).

LAST WEEK IN VIDEO

Kansas Highlights | Kansas Postmatch Interview with Jon Wallace | Idaho Highlights

NO. 9 BYU

2017 Record: 11-1 (4-1 Away) | SCU Record vs. Cougars: 4-9 | First Meeting: 1992
2016: 9/22 No. 13 BYU Won 3-0 in Provo | 11/19 No. 10 BYU Won 3-0 in Santa Clara
Last SCU Win: 9/26/15 3-1 vs. No. 10 BYU in Santa Clara

The Cougars are ranked in the Top 10 for the fourth time this season after downing three in-state opponents last week. BYU defeated No. 16 Utah 3-2 on Thursday, swept Weber State on Friday and won a four-set match against Utah Valley on Saturday.

BYU ranks 14th in the NCAA with 129.0 total blocks and 20th with 2.87 blocks/set. Individually, Cosy Burnett ranks 17th in total blocks (64.0) and 30th in blocks/set (1.42). The Cougars won their first eight matches of the year and lost only four sets during that span.

PROMOTIONS

Dick's Sporting Goods Conference Home Opener

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 November 9th match against Pepperdine. 

TICKETS

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. 

PARKING

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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GO BRONCOS!