VB | Thrilling Five-Set Win Closes 2017
The Saint Mary's women's volleyball team closed out its 2017 season in a record-setting way Tuesday vs. Santa Clara
MORAGA, Calif. -- The 2017 women's volleyball season came to an end Tuesday with a bang for Saint Mary's, as the Gaels came out on top in a record-setting, five-set thriller against West Coast Conference rival Santa Clara, winning 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 44-46, 26-24, 15-11) at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Mary's (9-19, 5-13 WCC) and Santa Clara (15-15, 8-10 WCC) scored a combined 90 points (46-44) in the third set, setting a new NCAA record for most points scored in a set during the 25-point scoring format era. The old record of 88 was set by Manhattan College and Rider University in 2009. Santa Clara won the set, setting a new NCAA record for points scored by a team in a single set.
- The record-setting third frame featured 27 tie scores and 13 lead changes. Saint Mary's held set point 15 times and Santa Clara held it seven, finally winning it on a block from Jensen Cunningham and Hailey Lindberg. The teams combined for 60 kills, 52 assists, 49 digs, eight blocks and four service aces in the set. Both teams hit over .300 in the third, with Santa Clara leading the way at .343.
- It looked as though the momentum had shifted to the Broncos in the fourth set after such a long battle, as they got out to a 17-11 lead. But SMC wasn't finished. The Gaels outscored Santa Clara 11-4 after trailing 20-15, including scoring five of the last six points to even the match with another extra-points set at 26-24. Consecutive kills by Morgan Hughes and Sarah Chase sent the match to a deciding fifth set.
- Santa Clara led the deciding set 1-0 and 2-1, but the Gaels scored four straight points on another Chase kill, an ace from Chase and two Santa Clara attack errors, and never trailed again. Senior Madi Wilkerson, playing in the final match of her SMC career, served for the last two points, sealing the match with what was her fifth ace of the night.
- Sienna Young recorded a season-high 21 kills while hitting .415. She added four blocks and three digs.
- Three other Gaels had double-digit kills. Sarah Chase recorded her second double-double of the year with 18 kills and 12 digs. Lindsey Knudsen and Morgan Hughes both had 14 kills.
- Alexsa "Crash" Parker recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 37 assists and 17 digs. Fellow setter Mary Hernandez also had a double-double in the final match of her SMC her career, tallying 28 assists and 12 digs. Wilkerson had a match-high 22 digs.
- Santa Clara's Michelle Gajdka posted a match-high 23 kills to go with 12 digs. Allison Kantor also recorded a double-double with 20 kills and 15 digs. Two other Broncos hit the double-digit kills mark. Jensen Cunningham had 15 and Hailey Lindberg 13.
- Kristen Mead joined the double-double parade with a match-high 60 assists and 13 digs.
- "It was a fabulous match. They were a very good team, they played really well throughout the match and made it very tough on us. Santa Clara withstood good serving by us. Coming out of a crazy third set and being down in the fourth, to come back showed a lot of toughness from our team. I was impressed. In fact, I think they showed more toughness than I thought they had. They stepped up and continued to fight and execute."
- "I think that we have been better all season than our record indicates. Our conference is extremely tough. I think we have battled against some of the top teams in the country and weren't consistent enough. Tonight was better because it showed more consistency. But the thing about tonight was in spite of the lows we have had and the loss in the third set, I think we are better at the end of the season. We have played really well and it has been a tough road."
- "I am looking forward to beach season. It is great that we have that because then we don't have to wait until September to compete again and to represent Saint Mary's. We have a very good team and we are all excited about it. I know the girls are excited and looking forward to it."
- "I've never played so many points in volleyball ever. The third set was crazy. I didn't even know what to think."
- "We started slow in the first set, we weren't hitting very hard. But everyone brought it throughout the game and started swinging super hard. Lindsey Knudsen killed it tonight. Our blocking was awesome, the middle blockers did a great job. No one was swinging scared and that really helped us."
- "This will be my second beach season, and I am excited to get better this year."
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