Volleyball Back to California for Fresno State Invitational Beginning Thursday

Santa Clara looks to build off of its Indiana Invitational tournament victory and 4-0 record from opening weekend at the Fresno State Invitational.
Santa Clara looks to build off of its Indiana Invitational tournament victory and 4-0 record from opening weekend at the Fresno State Invitational.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball returns to The Golden State for the second match week of 2019 at the Fresno State Invitational. The Broncos open the tournament against CSUN on Thursday at 7 p.m., then face Cal State Bakersfield Friday at noon and the tournament host Bulldogs Friday at 7 p.m. 

The Broncos went 4-0 on opening weekend at the Indiana Invitational. They topped Florida International, UT Martin, Marshall and the Tournament host Hoosiers. First-year head coach Erin Lindsey has the team off to its 11th 4-0 start in program history.


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Julia Sangiacomo earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors and a spot on the Indiana Invitational All-Tournament Team. The freshman racked up 54 kills (4.15/set) on .341 hitting to go along with 25 digs, nine aces, two block solos and 66.5 points in her debut weekend.

Sangiacomo totaled at least 11 kills in all four matches, including 18 in the victory over Marshall. She was responsible for four set-clinching kills and one set-clinching ace.

Allison Kantor had 43 kills (3.9/set) on .475 hitting to go along with 26 digs, six aces, six blocks and 52.0 points en route to tournament MVP honors. She produced a highly-efficient offensive weekend, committing only five attacking errors on 80 attempts.

Facing Indiana with the tournament title on the line, Kantor tied for a match-high with 16 kills on .519 hitting. In the first set against the Hoosiers, she produced seven kills on eight swings (no errors) and served up four consecutive aces as part of a 6-0 run.

Michelle Shaffer posted Santa Clara's first triple-double since 2003 (16 seasons) in the win over the Thundering Herd. She had 12 kills, 24 assists and 11 digs.


Erin Lindsey is in her first season as head coach of Santa Clara in 2019. Lindsey joins the Broncos after winning a national championship as an assistant coach at Stanford in 2018. She is the 10th head coach for a program that dates back to 1963 and enters her second stint as a head coach after leading Dartmouth from 2011 to 2015. Her overall record as a head coach is 58-69.


• The Broncos return 13 players from 2018, 12 of whom saw the court last season; they posted a 6-24 record. 2019 returners accounted for the following percentages of last year's team stats:
1,220/1,315 kills (93 percent)
839/1,224 assists (69)
87/109 aces (80)
1,039/1,615 digs (64)
191.5/214.5 blocks (89)

• Senior Alexa Dreyer and sophomore Michelle Shaffer played in all 30 matches and all 108 sets a year ago. Shaffer, a 2018 West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team selection, led the team with 297 kills (2.75/set) and ranked second with 294 digs; she had the second-most digs among WCC freshmen. Dreyer led the team in hitting percentage (.273), total blocks (93) and block assists (87).

• Sophomore Liliana Light took the court in 27 of 30 matches, primarily as a setter, and led the team with 687 assists (6.87/set). She finished third on the Broncos in digs (187) and posted six double-doubles.

• Senior Michelle Gajdka and junior Allison Kantor each appeared in 25 matches as outside hitters. Gajdka had 10-plus kills in four straight matches from Aug. 25-31. Kantor started 20 of the last 21 matches after appearing in four of the first nine matches, all off the bench.

Brittany Gillingham (24 matches), Gretchen Reinert (23), Kamrin Caoili (22), Taylor Odom (20), Anna McCreadie (17), Alex Anthony (14) and Kathryn Decker (14) round out the returners that took the court. Natalia Rentsch did not play last season.

• Santa Clara welcomes five newcomers: freshmen Claire Doud, Haley Flanagan, Katie Lawton, Kamaile Manol and Julia Sangiacomo.

• By Class: Seniors (4), juniors (3), sophomores (6), freshmen (5).

• By State: California (11), Washington (3), Oregon (2), Colorado (1), Hawai'i (1).

• The Broncos were picked to finish 9th of 10 teams in the 2019 West Coast Conference preseason poll. BYU was the unanimous pick to win the conference title.


• 2019: 0-3 | 2018: 8-20
• Picked to finish 7th of 9 in 2019 Big West preseason poll
• All-time series: Santa Clara leads 7-4
• Last meeting: Aug. 30, 2013 – CSUN won 3-0

The Matadors dropped matches against Portland, UNLV and Weber State last week at the Wildcat Invitational. Seyvion Waggoner opener the season with a 21-kill match against the Pilot and totaled 52 kills (4.33/set) over three matches. 


• 2019: 0-3 | 2018: 14-16
• Picked to finish 6th of 9 in 2019 WAC preseason poll
• All-time series: Santa Clara leads 2-0
• Last meeting: Sept. 11, 2010 – Santa Clara won 3-0

The Roadrunners fell against Nevada, Sacramento State and Canisius last week at the Hornet Invitational; they took the Hornets and Golden Griffins to five sets. Brooke Boiseau had double-digit kills in all three matches, including 17 against Sacramento State.


• 2019: 2-1 | 2018: 22-11 (NIVC Second Round)
• Picked to finish 6th of 11 in 2019 Mountain West preseason poll
• All-time series: Fresno State leads 18-9
• Last meeting: Aug. 31, 2013 – Santa Clara won 3-2

The Bulldogs defeated Ohio in four sets, swept Indiana State and were swept by Green Bay last week at the GBD Invite. Desiree Sukhov and Amilya Thompson combined for 78 of the teams 129 kills overall; they had 19 and 18, respectively, in the season-opening win over the Bobcats. Grace Doyle tallied 11 blocks (1.1/set).

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