Volleyball

Volleyball Sweeps Past San Francisco on Friday

Volleyball Sweeps Past San Francisco on Friday

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara volleyball used an efficient offense and strong defense to secure its first West Coast Conference victory of the season, a 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 sweep of San Francisco on Friday.

Michelle Gajdka tallied a match-high 15 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs while Jensen Cunningham posted 12 kills and Allison Kantor added 11 for the Broncos (8-10, 1-5) who recorded a .255 attack percentage and 51 digs in the match.

Kirsten Mead filled up the stat sheet with 36 assists, nine digs and a career-best five aces for Santa Clara, which was knocked off in five sets in the last two outings.

Nora Buvarp-Lavik, Carly Lowry and Laura Leap each posted seven kills for the Dons (3-16, 0-6) who were held to a .168 attack percentage, but did manage 9.0 team blocks.

Taylor Laugero, the team's starting libero, returned from injury to post a match-best 17 digs.

Kantor (six), Cunningham (five) and Gajdka (four) combined for 15 of the team's 17 kills in the third set, which was tied at 11-all before the Broncos assumed control. A kill by Gajdka and an ace from Mead fueled a 4-0 that pushed the lead to 21-17. Cunningham and Gajdka closed it out with back-to-back kills.

With San Francisco on the verge of tying the match at one set apiece, the Broncos responded with Brittany Gillingham and Mead on the serve. After trailing 20-17, Santa Clara tied the second set at 20-all on a San Francisco attack error, but the Dons pulled ahead on a Lowry kill.

Santa Clara used that momentum to score the last five points on three service errors, an ace by Mead and kill from the All-WCC setter.

Gajdka (six) and Cunningham (five) combined for 11 kills in the opening set as the Broncos posted a .429 attack percentage.

NOTES
• Laugero missed all but three of the first 17 matches of the season due to injury.
• Mead had her sixth-career match with four-plus aces.
• Gajdka (15) had her 11th match of the year with double-digit kills.
• Cunningham (12) finished in double figures in kills for the 12th time this season.

QUOTABLE
"It feels good to get a win. The girls have been working so hard for this and we've come so close. I'm really happy for them and hopefully it gives us some momentum and confidence going forward. I hope we can ride this into next week.

Head coach Jon Wallace

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The Broncos make their annual Southern California trip next week, facing Loyola Marymount on Thursday (8 p.m.) and Pepperdine on Saturday (noon).

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