SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 15th ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team defeated Saint Mary's College in a battle for first place this evening inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion by a score of 3-1.
With the 25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23 win tonight, the Toreros are now 13-2 overall, and remain in first place in the WCC, with an undefeated mark of 5-0. Saint Mary's is now 8-8 on the year, with a WCC record of 3-2.
Katie Hoekman was the superstar tonight for the Toreros as she recorded 13 kills, hitting for a .500 clip, also adding eight total blocks. Carrie Baird led the team with 15 kills, and Sandra Lozic reached double digits with 10 kills. Rachel Alvey recorded a double-double with 50 assists and 17 digs, and Kandiss Anderson led the defense with 19 digs. USD hit .134, while holding SMC to a .088 attack percentage.
The first set was a back and forth affair between the top two WCC teams. An Alaysia Brown kill gave the Toreros a three point lead at 6-3, and the Toreros kept a lead around three, until a Hoekman kill allowed the Toreros to stretch the lead to five at 11-6. The Gaels stormed back off two straight attack errors by the Toreors, forcing USD head coach Jennifer Petrie to call a timeout. The Toreros came out of the timeout focused, as they were able to stretch the lead to 22-17 on a block by Hoekman and Lozic. The Toreros closed out the set 25-19 outhitting the Gaels in the set .138 to .022, with only one Gael hitting above .000.
In the second set, neither team could sustain a lead halfway into the set, but an attack error by USD gave the Gaels a slim lead of 11-13. Later in the set, a kill by Amber Tatsch sparked a 5-0 run by the Toreros forcing a Gaels timeout, and immediately after the timeout the Toreros continued their run scoring three consecutive points, causing another Gaels timeout. Saint Mary's could not respond, as the Toreros won the second set 25-20.
The Toreros came out a little slow in the third set trailing the Gaels until a service ace by C'era Oliveira gave the Toreros a 14-13 lead. The Gaels then scored the next two points, the last one on a kill by Katie Renninger, to give the SMC a 15-14 lead heading into the media timeout. The score remained extremely close for the rest of the set as neither team could get more than a 2-point lead late into the set. The Toreros were gifted by three straight service errors by the Gaels, but could not capitalize as the Gael's Kristina Graven answered with three straight kills, and the Gaels closed out the set with a kill by Jordan Shaw to make the score 26-24.
USD bounced back in the fourth set, however, with a service ace by Alvey giving the Toreros a 12-9 lead, causing a Saint Mary's timeout. The Gaels were able to tie the score up at 18 a piece, thanks to a block by Gabby Jolly and Dallas Dodd. However, the Toreros followed with a 3-0 run forcing a second Saint Mary's timeout. The Gaels came out hungry after the timeout, tying the set up, with a USD error, at 23-23. The Toreros won the last two points, however, closing out the set 25-23, keeping the Toreros undefeated in WCC play.
USD will return to action on Saturday as they head up to Malibu to take on No. 23 Pepperdine University in a 1 p.m. WCC match.
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