MALIBU, Calif. — Playing the first of two matches in its final road trip of the season, Santa Clara volleyball dropped a four-set match against Pepperdine Thursday night at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Broncos hit .298 in the second set, but just .066 in the other three sets combined in a match the Waves won 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 25-21.
The Broncos (14-12, 5-9 WCC) and Waves (11-16, 5-10) split the season series. Santa Clara defeated Pepperdine in four sets on Oct. 15.
Nikki Hess and Sabrina Clayton tied for the Bronco lead with 14 kills apiece, while the Waves' Hannah Frohling hit .344 with 14 kills Thursday night. Santa Clara's Kirsten Mead led all players with 31 assists and Taylor Laugero tied for the match high with 17 digs. Hess added 15 digs for her third straight double-double and ninth overall on the season; Mead also had 15 digs and a double-double.
Pepperdine rode a strong start in the match to a wire-to-wire victory in the opening frame. The hosts won six of the first eight points and led by as many as 12 as 21-9. Three Waves tallied three kills and six Waves had multiple kills in the first stanza.
Santa Clara responded in the second set, which was the closest of the night with 12 ties; the match was only knotted up 18 times. The Broncos broke a 20-20 tie by winning five straight points to close out the second frame. Mead had two kills as part of the stretch.
Both sides led by at least three points early in the third set. Pepperdine used a 5-1 run to take an 18-13 lead en route to pulling ahead in the match 2-1. Neither side led by more than four points in a close fourth set. The Waves won three of the last four points to end the contest; Frohling had kills in two of those points.
CONNECT WITH THE BRONCOS ON SOCIAL MEDIA