San Jose-For the second consecutive match, Mary Alice O'Reilly hit better than .500 and led the Spartans in kills as the San Jose State volleyball team won over UT Arlington, 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 16-25, 25-20) Saturday night in a Western Athletic Conference match at Spartan Gym.
O'Reilly hit .552 to lead all hitters, tying her career high with 18 kills on 29 attempts and just two hitting errors. She also led the team in blocks with five, one solo and four assists. It was also the seventh time this season that San Jose State won when O'Reilly hits .500 or better.
"Mary Alice is playing relaxed and learning every day in practice and it is showing on the court," said Spartan head coach Oscar Crespo. "She is creating more opportunities for herself. Her success also shows we are passing and setting the ball well."
The Spartans hit .232 for the match. Hanah Blume and Krista Miller each recorded 11 kills, while Blume had her 12th double-double of the season with 12 digs.
Kiely Pieper led the passing attack with 22 digs, while Samantha O'Connell added 12 digs. O'Connell also had a career-high two solo blocks and two block assists in the match.
The Spartans started the match strong, taking control of the first set from the first serve and winning the second set after taking the lead for good at 9-8. The third set found the Mavericks taking control of the set early, San Jose State tied the set three times, and winning 25-16. The two teams battled in the fourth set before taking the lead for good at 17-16 on a Blume kill.
"This was a great win under pressure, and we were able to respond to UT Arlington's pressure," said Crespo. "We had a letdown in the third set. UTA is a good team and battled with us. We lost a little mental focus in the third set. We were able to handle their pressure and create runs for ourselves in the fourth set.
"We are learning to battle and fight. We had two good wins this week, and I am very proud of the them."
San Jose State improves to 12-12 overall and 8-6 in the WAC. The 12 wins matches last year's win total, while eight WAC wins is the most since 2006 when the team finished 9-7 in the conference. The win also guarantees the Spartans a place in the 2012 WAC Tournament, November 19-21, in San Antonio, Texas.
The Spartans now go on the team's final road trip of the regular season next week. The team plays at New Mexico State on Thursday and at Denver on Saturday.
San Jose State def. UT Arlington 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 16-25, 25-20).
Kills - UT Arlington - Shelby Dickson 11.
San Jose State - Mary Alice O'Reilly 18; Hanah Blume 11; Krista Miller 11.
Records - UT Arlington 8-17, 4-9; San Jose State 12-12, 8-6.
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