SPOKANE, Wash. — A multi-faceted offensive attack made the Saint Mary’s volleyball team competitive all afternoon Saturday, but Gonzaga’s block up front made the difference, as the Bulldogs came away with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22) West Coast Conference win at the Martin Centre.
Saint Mary’s (11-17, 6-11 WCC) had three players with double-digit kills, led by Payton Rund’s season-high 14. Lindsey Calvin had 12 kills and hit .303, while Lindsey Knudsen added 10 kills and 18 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Mary Hernandez also logged a double-double, her fourth straight and eighth of the year. She logged 31 assists – her second-most this season – and 10 digs.
Gonzaga held back the Gaels’ attack, however, with 15 total team blocks. Katelyn Oppio led the way with seven block assists. Four Bulldogs had at least four blocks. It was the most blocks Saint Mary’s had allowed since Nov. 21, 2015, when Portland had 18 blocks at McKeon Pavilion. SMC only had six other unforced attack errors in 158 attack attempts throughout the match, but Gonzaga’s 15 blocks held the Gaels to a .190 team hitting percentage.
Saint Mary’s held leads in all four sets. The Gaels held leads of 6-2 in set one and 13-7 in set two, but big runs by Gonzaga allowed it to earn the advantage. In the first set, a 7-1 run gave the Bulldogs a 9-7 lead they would never surrender. Gonzaga flexed its balanced attack as well during the run, with kills from four different players.
A 10-2 run in set two gave Gonzaga a 17-15 lead. Saint Mary’s came back to take a 21-20 advantage, but another quick 5-1 spurt by the Bulldogs gave them a 2-0 match lead. Emmy Allen led all players with 16 kills. McKayla Ferris had 15 terminations and 14 digs for a double-double. Faith Smith had 27 assists and 14 digs for a double-double as well.
Saint Mary’s concludes its 2016 season at Santa Clara at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The match will be broadcast live on the Gaels’ “GaelVision” Gameday Central page.
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