PORTLAND, Ore. — Lindsey Knudsen set a new single-season high in kills and Payton Rund gave the Saint Mary’s volleyball team two players with double-digit kills Thursday, but the host Portland Pilots completed the season sweep over the Gaels with a close 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17) West Coast Conference win at the Chiles Center.
With 11 kills on Thursday night, Knudsen put her season total at 286, surpassing the mark of 275 she set last season in her first year at SMC. Rund logged her second double-digit kills game of the season with 10 and nearly had a double-double with nine digs. Mary Hernandez posted her seventh double-double of the season with 28 assists and 10 digs.
The Gaels (11-16, 6-10 WCC) were narrowly defeated in sets one and two. After falling behind early, Saint Mary’s went on a 5-0 run in the first set to tie it at 13-13. With the set still tied at 15, Portland (16-12, 9-7 WCC) went on its own 9-2 run to pull within set point at 24-17. Reghan Pukis had four kills and a block during the run. She would finish with 14 kills on the night.
Hannah Troutman had a double-double for the Pilots with 15 kills and 15 digs. Brittney Markwith led all players with 16 kills. Cali Thompson had a match-high 45 assists, as Portland topped Saint Mary’s in kills, 54-43 and outhit them .224 to .162.
Saint Mary’s led as late as 7-6 in set two and was still within two points at 15-13, but Portland again went on a run, this time stretching its lead to 21-14 with a 6-1 push. The Gaels finally punched through with a set victory in set three. After giving up the first point, Saint Mary’s scored four straight points and never surrendered the lead afterwards. Leading by as much as 22-16, Portland tried again to go on a victorious run, but its 8-2 sprint to tie the set at 24-24 went for naught as a kill by Lindsey Calvin and a Troutman attack error sealed the set for SMC.
The Gaels play their penultimate match of the season at noon Saturday at Gonzaga. The match will be streamed live on the Gaels’ “GaelVision” Gameday Central page.
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