MALIBU, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball capped the opening weekend of 2019 West Coast Conference play with a four-set defeat at Pepperdine on Saturday. The Broncos fell to the Waves 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19 at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Hannah Frohling led all players with 19 kills for the Waves (6-7, 2-0 WCC) and added 10 digs for a double-double. Rachel Ahrens (14 kills on .345 hitting) also went for double figures to help Pepperdine hit .231 as a team. Isabel Zelaya racked up a match-best 44 assists and Hana Lishman turned in a match-best 21 digs.
Allison Kantor produced a 14-kill, 19-dig double-double and hit .364 for the Broncos (10-5, 0-2), who faced a 2018 NCAA Tournament team for the second straight match and third time in the last four contests (Denver, Loyola Marymount). Julia Sangiacomo registered nine kills and three aces while Alexa Dreyer had eight kills on .444 hitting for the Broncos, who logged a .201 attack percentage.
Pepperdine seized the momentum early in the first set, as four different players came through with a kill to help the team grab a 9-3 lead. The Waves used a 5-1 run to take a 22-15 advantage and Frohling clinched the set with one of her four kills in the frame.
Santa Clara used a 7-2 run to take a 16-15 lead in the second set as part of a stretch that included two kills and a block by Kantor. After Pepperdine went ahead 19-17, the Broncos got two kills apiece by Dreyer and Shaffer to win five straight rallies and take a 22-19 lead. The Waves tied the back-and-forth stanza (seven ties and five lead changes) at 22 and Santa Clara won three of the last four points, punctuated by Shaffer's third kill in nine points, to cap the stanza.
Pepperdine turned a 14-12 deficit into a 20-16 advantage in the third set, aided by kills from four different players. The teams traded the next 10 points as the Waves rode their best single-set hitting percentage of the afternoon, .270, to a 2-1 match lead. In the fourth frame, Pepperdine started with an 8-4 edge, and later added a 9-1 spree to lead 19-9 en route to finishing opening weekend of conference play at 2-0.
QUOTABLE – HEAD COACH ERIN LINDSEY
"We competed a lot harder than we did Thursday night against LMU. I was really excited that the team came out ready to go. We needed to get on the details more in terms of lining up the block, creating opportunities for the defense to dig, and even when we did dig, our transition offense needs to continue to improve. I think we played two of the better teams in the league this weekend on their home floor, so that will give us a really good idea of what we need to work on over the next few weeks."
"I saw better play in our serving and attacking compared to Thursday's match. I felt like today we came out and were looking for opportunities to score. It came along eventually in our defense as well. As the match went on, we got into a groove there and were fighting pretty hard on the defensive side of the ball."
Santa Clara plays its first conference home matches of the year Tuesday against Saint Mary's and Friday against San Francisco. Both contests begin at 7 p.m.
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