MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team (4-2) heads to Kansas State where it will take on No. 22 KSU (6-0) on Thursday, September 6 at 5:00 p.m. (PT). On Friday, the Gaels will take on Utah State (5-2) at 3:00 p.m. After the two matches, the Gaels will fly to Oregon to take on the No. 13 Ducks (6-0) in Eugene at 7:00 p.m. on Monday.
Last week the Gaels cruised through the Sacramento State Invitational with three sweeps against Morgan State (25-5, 25-15, 25-12), Boise State (25-17, 27-25, 25-20) and Sacramento State (27-25, 25-18, 25-23). Lauren Corp was named Tournament Most Valuable Player after hitting at a .369 clip for the week averaging 4.62 kills per set. Joining Corp on the All-Tournament team was Kristina Graven and Gabby Jolly.
Entering the week, the Gaels are hitting .250 as a team, led by Jolly with a .333 hitting efficiency. Jolly also leads the Gaels with a 1.22 blocks per set average. Corp and Graven are tied for the team lead with 3.63 kills per set.
Dalas Dodd runs the offense with 11.55 assists per set and leads the Gaels with 13 service aces.
The Gaels lost to Kansas State last season during the Saint Mary's Tournament. It was the first-ever meeting between the two schools as the Wildcats won 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-14. In that match, KSU's Kaitlynn Pelger led all players with 18 kills on .429 hitting. She also added nine digs and six blocks.
KSU faces Missouri State on Wednesday, before taking on the Gaels on Thursday. Entering the week, Lilla Porubek leads the Wildcats with 3.88 kills per set while Pelger adds 3.29 kills per set. As a team, Kansas State is hitting at a .256 clip with Caitlyn Donahue running the offense with 11.76 assists per set. Alex Muff has a team high 1.59 blocks per set.
Saint Mary's is 5-0 all-time against Utah State, but the squads have not met since the 2007 season. The Gaels and Aggies have only met on neutral courts.
Last week Utah State was in San Diego at the Aztec Challenge. The Aggies defeated Montana and Sacred Heart, but lost to SDSU in four sets. Earlier this season, USU played West Coast Conference member Portland as the Aggies swept the Pilots.
USU is led by Josselyn White with 3.12 kills per set while Rachel Orr adds 2.75 kills per set.
When the Gaels take on Oregon on Monday, it will be the third ever meeting between the schools. In 1990, Oregon swept SMC, while in 1999, the Gaels earned a four set victory over the Ducks in McKeon Pavilion.
Oregon enters the week undefeated, including wins against No. 24 Ohio State and No. 10 Kentucky. Oregon faces UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday before taking on the Gaels on Monday.