Volleyball to Play First Home Matches of Season as Co-Host of South Bay Battle

Santa Clara enters the South Bay Battle with a .300 hitting percentage in seven matches this season.
Santa Clara enters the South Bay Battle with a .300 hitting percentage in seven matches this season.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball plays its first home matches of the 2019 season this week as co-host of the South Bay Battle. The Broncos face fellow host San José State Thursday at 6 p.m., Marist Friday at 6 p.m. and Northern Colorado Saturday at 1 p.m. in Leavey Center. Marist and Northern Colorado will play a neutral site match in Leavey on Friday at noon.

Marist and Northern Colorado will play a neutral site match in Leavey on Friday at noon. San José State will host Northern Colorado Friday at 6 p.m. and Marist Saturday at 2 p.m. in Spartan Gym.

The Broncos enter the tournament with the best record of all participants at 6-1. They won two of three matches last week at the Fresno State Invitational, defeating CSUN in four sets and sweeping Cal State Bakersfield before suffering their first loss of the season in five sets against the tournament host Bulldogs. Santa Clara won all four matches on opening weekend at the Indiana Invitational, including a sweep of the tournament host Hoosiers.


Video (SCU Matches Only)
San José State | Marist | Northern Colorado
Live Stats San José State | Marist vs. Northern Colorado | Marist | Northern Colorado


Santa Clara is outhitting opponents .300 to .188 and outblocking the opposition 67 to 32. The Broncos have hit .311 or better in five of seven contests and won the block battle in all seven tilts this season. Allison Kantor, Liliana Light and Taylor Odom were named to the Fresno State Invitational All-Tournament Team. 

Kantor had an eight-kill, 14 dig performance in the victory over the Matadors and tallied a 19-kill, 18-dig double-double in the tournament finale against the Bulldogs. She ranks second on the team with 72 kills (3.43/set) and second in digs/set (2.9), the latter only to libero Gretchen Reinert.

Light combined with Michelle Shaffer to set the team to a .343 hitting percentage against CSUN and a .330 hitting percentage against the Roadrunners, both Bronco victories. She had 69 assists, 23 digs and 10 block assists for the tournament. Light has multiple blocks and six-plus digs in six of seven matches on the year.

Odom has 35 blocks for the season (1.46/set). She hit .600 with 13 kills and seven block assists in Santa Clara's victory over the Matadors and had 10 block assists against Fresno State.

Julia Sangiacomo leads all Broncos with 90 kills (4.09/set) on .341 hitting in her debut campaign. The freshman outside hitter had 11 or more kills in each of the first six matches, including a season-best 18 against Marshall.


Michelle Shaffer had Santa Clara's first triple-double since 2003 (16 seasons) on Aug. 31 in a four-set victory over Marshall. She notched 12 kills, 24 assists and 11 digs.

Allison Kantor served up four consecutive aces in the first set of a sweep victory over Indiana on Aug. 31.

Santa Clara started 6-0 for the fifth time in program history (1979, 2002, 2005, 2016).


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 60-70 (6-1 at SCU) and she is the first head coach in Santa Clara history to start 6-0 in her debut season.


• 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: 3-3 | 2018: 16-11
• Picked to finish 5th of 11 in 2019 Mountain West preseason poll
• All-time series: San José State leads 24-14. Thursday marks just the third meeting since 2009.
• Last meeting: Sept. 16, 2017 – San José State won 3-1 @ SJSU
• Last Santa Clara win: Oct. 21, 2008 – 3-1 @ SJSU
• Santa Clara has won eight of the last nine in the series

The Spartans downed Wichita State in four sets and outlasted North Texas in five sets before falling to Cal Poly 3-0 at the ShareSLO Mustang Challenge last week. Haylee Nelson racked up 22 kills in the victory over North Texas and leads the team with 71 kills (3.23/set) on the year.


• 2019: 0-6 | 2018: 14-15
• Picked to finish 5th of 10 in 2019 MAAC preseason poll
• All-time series: First meeting

The Red Foxes lost all three matches as last week's Hampton Inn-Vitational (Smithfield, Rhode Island), falling to Villanova and Bryant in three sets and North Dakota in five sets. Megan Fergus (60 kills, 2.73/set) and Sarah Austin (51 kills, 2.32/set) spearhead the Marist attack.


• 2019: 4-2 | 2018: 15-14 (NIVC First Round)
• Picked to finish 4th of 11 in 2019 Big Sky preseason poll
• All-time series: First meeting

The Bears have a pair of 2-1 weekends in the books to start the season. They defeated Charleston 3-2 and swept Buffalo before falling to Wyoming 3-2 at the UniWyo Invite last week. Kyndall Feather has racked up 16 aces (0.62/set) in six matches. Northern Colorado is holding opponents to a .168 hitting percentage for the year.


Season or single-game tickets are available. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Doors to Leavey Center, as well as its ticket office, are open one hour prior to the start of the match.

There is no tournament pass for matches played in Leavey Center; each attendee must purchase a ticket for each match. Click here to purcahse tickets for the Marist vs. Northern Colorado match.


Camper Reunion Night - Any summer camper will receive free admission to each of the three Santa Clara matches by wearing their camp T-shirt. This promotion does not apply to the Marist vs. Northern Colorado match.


For weekday matches, the Leavey Center lot (see below for access), located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is free beginning one hour prior to first serve. Any other parking facility on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions, including the main structure, located adjacent to Stevens Stadium on Palm Drive. During the weekend, campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions. The construction of the Stephen C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center has necessitated the closure of the main entrance (off Accolti Way) to the Leavey Center parking lot. Access is now ONLY directly from El Camino Real (Route 82). If you are traveling east on El Camino Real, the Leavey lot entrance will be approximately 150 yards on the right (enter through the black iron gate) after you pass the main campus entrance. If you are traveling west on El Camino, make a u-turn at the main campus entrance at Palm Drive/Railroad Ave and follow the same directions.

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