Volleyball

Volleyball Takes Five-Match Winning Streak into Senior Day Against Loyola Marymount

Left to Right: Kirsten Mead, Jensen Cunningham and Erin Reineking are the three members of Santa Clara's senior class this season.
Left to Right: Kirsten Mead, Jensen Cunningham and Erin Reineking are the three members of Santa Clara's senior class this season.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball takes to the Leavey Center court for the final time in the 2017 regular season on Saturday afternoon. The Broncos will look for their sixth-straight victory as they host Loyola Marymount in a West Coast Conference match that gets underway at 1 p.m.

The team will honor Erin Reineking, Jensen Cunningham and Kirsten Mead prior to the contest as part of senior day.

Cunningham and Mead led the offense while Taylor Laugero helped backbone the defense for Santa Clara, which defeated Pepperdine 30-28, 25-20, 11-25, 25-22 on Thursday night in Leavey Center. The Broncos completed the season sweep of the Waves and ran their record against Pepperdine to 5-1 over the last three years.

Loyola Marymount enters Saturday afternoon's match with three straight wins, including a 25-18, 25-16, 25-20 sweep at San Francisco on Thursday night. The Lions downed Gonzaga in three sets and Portland in five sets at home last week as part of the streak.

GAME DAY LINKS

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THE MATCHUP

• Santa Clara: 14-12/7-7 WCC/5-5 Home | Loyola Marymount: 15-11/8-7 WCC/5-6 Away

• SCU All-Time vs. Lions: 34-39 | First Meeting: 1979

2017: 10/10 @LMU Loyola Marymount Won 3-2

• 2016: 10/13 @SCU Loyola Marymount Won 3-0 | 11/12 @LMU Santa Clara Won 3-1

The teams have split the season series for five straight years.

THE BRONCOS

Cunningham had a team-high 13 kills on a .385 attack percentage, Mead dished out 46 assists and Laugero had 28 of the 102 digs for the Broncos in their victory over Pepperdine, the team's first four-set win of the season.

Allison Kantor (10 kills/19 digs) and Michelle Gajdka (12 kills/10 digs) each had double-doubles for Santa Clara, which was aided by long runs in each of the first two sets. The Broncos trailed 13-9 in the opening frame before ripping off nine straight points. Down 9-4 in the second, Santa Clara scored seven in a row to claim the lead it never relinquished.

Mead has hit a pair of milestones this year by reaching 1,000 assists for the season (Nov. 3 at San Francisco) and 4,000 assists for her career (Oct. 28 at Gonzaga). Mead has topped 1,000 assists three times in four years with the Broncos. She leads the WCC with 1,070 assists and ranks second in the conference with 10.70 assists/set.

Cunningham ranks third in the conference with a .357 hitting percentage, which is 48 points higher than her career average (.309) and 68 points higher than her single-season best .289 from 2016.

Kantor posted her third consecutive double-double on Thursday. The redshirt freshman outside hitter has started three straight matches and is averaging 3.08 kills/set and 3.50 digs/set over that stretch.

THE SENIORS

Reineking joined the Broncos midway through the 2016 season. She has played in 16 matches and 30 sets during two years with team. The native of Salinas, California has appeared in 15 matches this year and made two starts, while logging 12 digs for Santa Clara. 

Cunningham has played in all 87 matches since joining the Broncos in 2015, including 85 starts across three seasons. The middle blocker leads the team with a .357 hitting percentage and has reached double-digit kills 18 times this season.

The native of Scottsdale, Arizona led the Broncos with 137 blocks to help the team reach the NCAA Tournament in 2015. She set single-match program records with 16 block assists and 17 total blocks on November 21st of that season at San Diego.

One of the most accomplished players in program history, Mead has served as Santa Clara's number one setter over the last four seasons and led the team to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Mead's accolades include three all-WCC selections and two WCC all-academic team nods in addition to being named First Team AVCA All-Pacific North Region in 2015.

Mead took home the conference's freshman of the year honor in 2014, when she finished second in the nation with 11.94 assists/set. Her 4,094 career assists rank fifth all-time in program history and second among Broncos that spent their entire careers in the rally-scoring era.

THE LIONS

Loyola Marymount enters Saturday's tilt in fourth place as part of a crowded middle of the pack in the WCC (Gonzaga 8-6, LMU 8-7, Pacific 7-7, Santa Clara 7-7, Pepperdine 7-8). The Lions are one of only three WCC teams to win a pair of sets against No. 9 BYU this season (No. 12 San Diego, Saint Mary's).

The Lions are one of the country's top teams from the service line. They lead the WCC and rank fourth in the NCAA with 1.82 aces/set; they are also ninth in the country with 175 total aces. Meredith Teague's 0.47 aces/set top the conference and rank 14th in the country.

Lion head coach Aaron Mansfield spent the previous five seasons on Santa Clara's coaching staff (2012-16), including three years as associate head coach.

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!