Behind a record-setting hitting performance, the Seattle University volleyball team controlled all facets of the match, sweeping UC Riverside, 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-17) in the Redhawks’ final match at the Wildcat Weekend Tournament, hosted by Weber State at Swenson Gym.
The Redhawks committed only eight attack errors, none in the third set, in posting a .411 hitting percentage, breaking the school record of .407 from Oct. 19, 2008, at Savannah State. Martina Samadan (Split, Croatia) notched the eighth-highest individual single-match hitting percentage at .583, earning 15 kills in 24 attempts with just one attack error.
After four Samadan kills helped give Seattle U a 6-4 lead in the first set, UC Riverside scored four unanswered points to pull ahead, 8-6. Down 10-9, the Redhawks would close out the set by outscoring the Highlanders 16-3, featuring four service aces and three kills by Iris Ivanis (Pozega, Croatia) among the final six Seattle U points.
UC Riverside (0-3), coming off a five-set loss to Weber State right before taking on the Redhawks, took the lead midway through the second set, but Seattle U finally took the lead for good on a kill by Sarah Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) and a block by Jaeckel, Samadan, and Alec Goodrie (Springfield, Ore.). Samadan ended the set in Seattle U’s favor with a kill to put the Redhawks ahead in the match 2-0.
Two kills by Samadan and a service ace from Goodrie helped Seattle U establish a 5-1 lead in the third set, but two kills apiece by Ashley Cox and Cristina Maietta helped UC Riverside close its deficit to one. The Redhawks went on a 7-1 scoring run thanks to a kill and a service ace by Kerry Lane (Tucson, Ariz.) as well as a kill and consecutive service aces from Ivanis. Once again, Samadan would close out the set, and this time the match, with a kill.
Besides her 15 kills, Samadan, named to the All-Tournament Team, collected a service ace, four digs, and three block assists, while Ivanis, also named to the All-Tournament Team, finished with 11 kills in 21 attempts without an attack error for a .524 hitting percentage, along with two aces and five digs.
Goodrie earned six kills, two service aces, 10 digs, and seven total blocks, while Jaeckel picked up six kills, four digs, and three block assists. Lane ran a successful offense, finishing with 34 assists, plus she earned four kills and five digs, and libero Lani Beadle (Seattle, Wash.) added 10 digs and five assists to the winning cause.
Cox led the Highlanders with 16 kills and a .364 hitting percentage, plus she collected eight digs in the match. UC Riverside hit a respectable .210 during the contest, but hurt its cause in part with eight serve reception errors and 10 team blocks by the Redhawks while earning only one service ace and one team block of its own.
Seattle University (2-1) plays its only non-conference home match of the season Labor Day, welcoming Eastern Washington to the Connolly Center Monday, Sept. 2, for a 6 p.m. contest. Live stats and live video will be available on GoSeattleU.com. That will be the first of two straight matches in Seattle for the Redhawks, who travel across town to face nationally-ranked Washington Tuesday, Sept. 3, starting at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena.