Lowell, Mass.-- For the first time since the 2011 season, the San José State University volleyball team won its first tournament title Saturday afternoon with wins over Quinnipiac (3-1) and Holy Cross (3-1) at the UMass Lowell Invitational.
The Spartans last won a tournament title at the Hilton Stockton Invitational where the team was 3-1 on September 9 & 10, 2011.
After sweeping host UMass Lowell Friday night, San José State needed four sets in each match on Saturday to win the title. The Spartans started the day against Quinnipiac and had another good hitting match at .266. Three players hit .300 or better, led by Giulia Gávio who had a team-best 18 kills and hit .342 (18-5-38). Sara Hibbs hit .324 with 17 kills, while Tyanna Roy hit .429 with eight kills on 14 attempts and only two errors.
The Spartan block came alive against Holy Cross as the team recorded a season-high 14 blocks, two solo and 24 assists, and out-blocked the Crusaders 14-7. Nandyala Gama led San José State with a career-best 10 block assists, while Roy added a career-high seven block assists.
Hibbs hit a career-best .565 in the match as she led the team with 15 kills on 23 attempts and only two hitting errors. Tresnáková added 12 kills and three service aces in the win.
Andrade again led the team with 18 digs, while Meehan recorded 40 assists, nine digs and three block assists.
For her efforts over the three matches, Hibbs was named the Most Valuable Player of the Invitational. She hit .427 on the weekend and averaged 3.82 kills and 0.73 blocks per set. Gama and Tresnáková were named to the all-tournament team. Gama hit .326 for the weekend and led the team with 15 blocks, 1.36 per set. Tresnáková recorded a team-best seven aces, 20 kills and 11 digs in two matches played.
“This was an important weekend for us to gain valuable experience,” said Spartan head coach Jolene Shepardson. “I think we grew stronger as a unit as the tournament progressed. We are learning to support each other in taking risks together as a team. We must bring this ability into our conference season that begins in two weeks.”
It is also the team's first three-match winning streak since the 2013 season when the Spartans defeated Nevada, San Diego State and UNLV (11/2-9). San José State looks to continue the winning streak next weekend at the Chippewa Challenge hosted by Central Michigan. The Spartans will play Omaha, Evansville and Central Michigan.
UMass Lowell Invitational
San José State def. Quinnipiac - 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 25-13)
Records - San José State 5-4; Quinnipiac 1-8.
San José State def. Holy Cross - 3-1 (25-20, 25-11, 22-25, 25-5)
Records - San José State 6-4; Holy Cross 2-7.
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