FRESNO, Calif. – Santa Clara volleyball continued its hot start to the season with a 25-12, 25-19, 22-25, 25-17 win over CSUN on Thursday in the opening day of action at the Fresno State Invitational.
Taylor Odom (13), Julia Sangiacomo (11) and Alexa Dreyer (10) each posted double-digit kills for the Broncos (5-0), who tallied a .343 attack percentage and 60 digs. Odom hit .600 (only one attack error on 20 attempts) to go along with a match-best seven blocks.
Seyvion Waggoner led all players with 20 kills for the Matadors (0-4), who were held to a .186 hitting percentage.
After CSUN won the third set to make the match score 2-1 Broncos, Odom had five kills and Sangiacomo, the reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week, added another four in the final frame. Waggoner's last kill of the match pulled the Matadors within four points at 18-14, but the Broncos scored the next three points and seven of the last 10 overall to seal the win.
Santa Clara hit a blistering .556 in the opening set, collecting 15 kills on 27 error-free swings. Dreyer had four kills in a five-point stretch as part of a 6-0 run to give Santa Clara a 14-5 advantage. They rolled that momentum into a 12-2 run for a 20-7 lead.
After a back-and-forth start to the second set, Michelle Shaffer's spurred a 5-0 run that put Santa Clara on top 10-6 and included two aces from Kathryn Decker; the Broncos led the rest of the way in a close frame as the Matadors cut the lead to one five times. SCU built on an 18-17 lead by scoring four of the next five points, including two kills from Shaffer, and capped the set as Odom and Light turned back Waggoner for a block.
CSUN overturned a 19-15 deficit in the third set and captured seven of the final nine points to win its first stanza of the night. Waggoner's kill evened the match at 21-all and Matadors scored the next two points before claiming the set on Waggoner's ace.
• Julia Sangiacomo, a freshman, has double digit kills in all five matches.
• Alison Kantor's 14 digs were a season-high.
• Taylor Odom's 13 kills were a season best.
• The Broncos lead the all-time series 8-4 over the Matadors.
QUOTABLE - HEAD COACH ERIN LINDSEY
Overall: "I was really happy with the way we came out to play. The starting group was really rolling in the first set. We were very focused and in our system. We had a little more information on the teams we were playing this weekend and I thought the team handled that really well in terms of being able to execute and handle some scouting information."
On the third and fourth sets: "We had a mental letdown in the third set. We didn't finish. It looked like we had things under control, but we didn't stay as aggressive as we needed to be to close it out. I thought it was a good opportunity for us to learn during nonconference play that we can't take the foot off the gas. We came out focused and determined in the fourth and showed how much we wanted it."
On Taylor Odom's night: "Taylor played really efficient volleyball offensively. She created opportunities for herself and even when the set wasn't there, made some really good decisions to find the floor. Defensively, she's always a force on the block. She was affecting the other hitters' choices, which is what a great blocker can do."
On Friday, the Broncos face CSU Bakersfield at noon and the host Bulldogs at 7 p.m. in Save Mart Center.
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