Seattle University fell victim to a strong first set by the San Jose State offense, and then the Spartans were able to win the important points in the next two sets for a 3-0 victory (25-18, 26-24, 25-23) Thursday night in a Western Athletic Conference volleyball match at the Connolly Center.
Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.) was the offense for Seattle U, earning over half of the team's total kills with 20, including nine in the third set. Jacquie Brice (Fullerton, Calif.) compiled 34 assists and seven digs, Sarah Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) contributed five kills, two service aces, and 10 digs, and Lani Beadle (Seattle, Wash.) continued her solid play in the back with two service aces and a match-high 23 defensive digs.
San Jose State (10-11, 6-5 WAC) won the first three points of the first set and never gave up the lead, eventually taking a 16-9 lead. A Spartan service error help cut the margin to three at 20-17, but San Jose State won five of the final six points in the first set, including two kills from Krista Miller.
Consecutive kills by Jaeckel and one from Dill allowed Seattle U to pull ahead early in the second set, 6-3. Down by four at 10-6, San Jose State went on a 9-3 scoring run, led by three kills from Mary Alice O'Reilly. The Redhawks responded with six unanswered points to take a 19-15 advantage, but San Jose State again roared back, with an 8-3 run, including consecutive kills by O'Reilly, to squeak ahead, 23-22.
A kill by Dill and a Spartan attack error set up set point for the Redhawks, but Miller and O'Reilly picked up back-to-back kills to swing the momentum back towards San Jose State. Hanah Blume closed out the second set with a service ace, giving the visitors a 2-0 match lead heading into the intermission.
Seattle U took an early 8-5 lead in the third set thanks in part to a block by Andi Lowrance (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Brice as well as a service ace from Beadle. San Jose State rallied back with a 5-2 run, and then the two teams started exchanging points. The Spartans scored four unanswered points thanks in part to kills by O'Reilly and Sarah Griest as well as a block by Alex Akana and Samantha O'Connell to pull ahead, 23-20. San Jose State closed out the set and the match with two kills from Akana.
O'Reilly and Miller each finished with 13 kills and only one attack error apiece, while Blume added seven kills, three service aces, and a team-high 12 defensive digs to the winning effort. Setter Michaela Leonard dished out 38 assists as San Jose State hit .279 in the match.
Seattle University (7-13, 2-8 WAC) will host Utah State at the Connolly Center Saturday, Oct. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. This will be the last home match for the Redhawks before they play four straight road contests, including three in the span of five days next weekend.