Buffalo, N.Y.-Mary Alice O'Reilly, Samantha O'Connell and Alex Akana led the San Jose State volleyball team to its best blocking match in five years to open the 2012 season at the UB Invitational. The 17 blocks could not hold off Oral Roberts who won the match, 26-24, 12-25, 25-16, 25-22.
San Jose State recorded 17 blocks, 1 solo and 32 assists, the most in a match since the 2007 season when the Spartans had 19.5 blocks against San Francisco in Spartan Gym. Last season, the team recorded 16 blocks in a win over UC Riverside.
O'Reilly led the Spartan blocking attack with nine block assists, a career-best for her. O'Connell also had a career-best six blocks in the match, one solo and five assists. Akana had seven block assists, followed by Krista Miller and Michaela Leonard with four block assists each.
The match also featured two players with double-doubles - Hanah Blume with team-bests 16 kills and 17 digs and Leonard with 43 assists and 15 digs. Leonard made her debut in a Spartan uniform as the starting setter for San Jose State, and freshman Sydney LaFollette made her first collegiate appearance in the second set.
Defensively, five Spartans recorded double-digit digs in the match, led by Blume with 17, Leonard at 15, Kiely Pieper with 14, Krista Miller at 12 and Katie Turner with 10.
"I was pleased with the way we played today, especially our blocking and digging," said Spartan head coach Oscar Crespo. "Mary Alice blocked well for us today, and it is nice to see that production from her at the net. We now need to capitalize on our digs and put the ball away for points.
"Michaela did a nice job of setting for us this morning. She continues to improve everyday and is still getting used to her hitters and where she needs to put the ball."
San Jose State faces host Buffalo later on Friday in the second match of the day (7:30 p.m. EDT/4:30 p.m. PDT).
Oral Roberts def. San Jose State - 26-24, 12-25, 25-16, 25-22.
Kills - San Jose State - Hanah Blume 16, Samantha O'Connell 13.
Oral Roberts - Sheina Fernandes 11.
Records - San Jose State 0-1; Oral Roberts 1-0.
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