San Jose-Freshman Savanah Leaf made her home debut Friday night for the San Jose State volleyball team and was one short of a double-double. The Spartans fell to North Dakota 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, inside Spartan Gym.
Leaf led the team with nine kills and 10 digs on the night. She added three assists, one ace and one block assist for the Spartans.
"Once she settled down, Savanah did a very nice job for us tonight," said Spartan head coach Oscar Crespo. "Her play can be dominating at times and her finest is still to come. She passes well on the court as was shown tonight by her leading us in digs."
After falling in the first set 25-19, San Jose State started the second set by scoring the first four points including two service aces by Caitlin Andrade. The Spartans held the lead for much of the set before the Fighting Sioux used a 4-0 run to take a 22-18 lead and win the set 25-22. Andrade finished the match 28 assists, three kills, three digs and three block assists.
Two other freshmen made their Spartan Gym debut Friday night. Mary Alice O'Reilly started in the middle and had four kills and a block assist before an injury at the beginning of the third set took her out of the match. Capri Tirrell came in as a defensive specialist in the first set, was the team's libero for the second and third sets and finished with six digs on the match.
Also contributing for the Spartans included Kylie Miraldi with four kills and a team-high five blocks (one solo, four assists), Taylor Japhet with six kills and four digs, Krista Miller with three kills and nine digs, Alex Akana with three kills and a block assist, and Hanah Blume with five digs and a solo block.
"We need to start matches like we finished tonight," said Crespo. "I am pleased with our progress, especially with three freshmen on the court. Capri did a nice job settling down our serve-receive tonight."
San Jose State continues play at the San Jose State/Santa Clara Invitational with a match against UC Santa Barbara Saturday at 6 p.m., inside Spartan Gym.
North Dakota def. San Jose State - 25-19, 25-22, 25-21.
Kills - North Dakota - Lisa Parlich 13.
San Jose State - Savanah Leaf 9.
Records- North Dakota 6-3; San Jose State 2-5.
# # #