Zags Once Again Play Five in Loss to Santa Clara
Oct. 28, 2017

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SPOKANE, Wash.--The Gonzaga volleyball team played its 10th five-set match of the season Saturday afternoon, falling to Santa Clara 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12) at home inside the Martin Centre.

"Santa Clara just got us today," said Gonzaga head coach Diane Nelson. "We didn't take care of our side, and they did a better job at that. We lost, that happens sometimes."

In a match that saw 31 total tie scores and 13 lead changes, the fifth set was no different. There were six ties in the frame, and neither team led by more than two points until Santa Clara won back-to-back tallies to go up 12-9 late in the set. The Zags claimed the next two to pull back within one, but the Broncos took three of the final four points to hand Gonzaga its first five-set loss in West Coast Conference play.

Entering the day, the Bulldogs had won their last six five-set matches, all of which came against conference foes. Despite the loss, Gonzaga is 7-3 when going the distance this year. The Zags' best-ever record in five sets is 13-0, set during the 1990 season, and they also played 13 five-set matches in 2014.

Freshman Chapin Gray saw the best match of her young career offensively, landing 17 kills on a .432 attack percentage for a pair of personal bests. After sitting out the first set, Gray caught fire upon entering the rotation. The outside hitter landed six kills in the second set, three in the third, and six more in the fourth, and she didn't commit an attack error until that fourth frame, which was her only error on the day. Sophomore Jenna Kuehn also had a strong performance, tallying her third triple-double of the season with 16 assists, 15 digs, and 10 kills. That's the third of the Eugene, Ore., native's career, and the third by a Bulldog during the rally-scoring era.

Senior Alyse Whitaker, meanwhile, tallied a season-high 14 kills and a .393 attack percentage.

Santa Clara led the Bulldogs in the attacking categories - kills, attack percentage, and assists - Saturday, but the Zags held the advantage defensively. They tallied 73 digs compared to Santa Clara's 68, and GU libero Tiyana Hallums led all players with 19 digs. Three more Zags reached double-digits in the category. Gonzaga also out-blocked the Broncos 10.0-8.0.

The Zags (13-10, 8-3 WCC) are back in action Thursday, Nov. 2 against Loyola Marymount. That contest will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Los Angeles.



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