MORAGA, Calif. — Julia Sangiacomo posted an 18-kill, 18-dig double-double and Santa Clara volleyball dominated the net with a 14-7 block advantage to complete the season sweep of Saint Mary's on Thursday night. The Broncos defeated the Gaels 25-20, 18-25, 26-24, 25-22 Thursday in a West Coast Conference match at McKeon Pavilion to claim their first conference road victory of the season.
The Broncos (15-7, 5-4 WCC) have won three straight matches and five of their last seven overall.
Sangiacomo recorded a career-high in digs and tied for a match-high four aces along with Santa Clara's Liliana Light and Alexsa "Crash" Parker of Saint Mary's. Taylor Odom matched a career-high effort with 12 blocks for the Broncos, Michelle Shaffer logged a 16-assist, 12-dig double-double and Gretchen Reinert led SCU by posting 20 digs. Allison Kantor chipped in 12 kills for the Broncos who outhit Saint Mary's .158 to .125.
Breyan Ashley (16 kills, 16 digs), Elena Baka (12 kills, 12 digs) and Parker (25 assists, 15 digs) all recorded double-doubles for the Gaels (7-12, 3-6). Kelsey Knudsen had a match-best 21 digs.
Santa Clara overcame a 21-17 third-set deficit and a 9-3 fourth-set deficit to win both frames and secure the match. SCU won nine of the last 12 points in the third stanza, highlighted by a kill from four different Broncos. Trailing 22-21 in the fourth set, Santa Clara won four points in a row and Sagiacomo had a hand in all of them, producing two kills and combining with Odom on two blocks.
The Broncos turned in a balanced and efficient offensive first set. They hit .317 and had six players produce multiple kills, led by four from Sangiacomo. Santa Clara trailed 17-16 and closed the back-and-forth frame on a 9-3 run; Kamrin Caoili started the spree with a kill and Sangiacomo added three to give the Broncos the early lead.
Saint Mary's hit .452 in the second set (15 kills – 1 error – 31 attempts) to level the match at one stanza apiece. Ashley had the first three kills for the Gaels and eight for the set overall. Four Gaels produced a kill as the hosts closed out the frame by winning seven of the last nine points.
QUOTABLE – HEAD COACH ERIN LINDSEY
"This was a battle and we had to play really well to win this match tonight. We've talked a lot about having the right mix of urgency and taking the opportunities that are presented to us, but also having patience and composure. Our blocking really came on toward the end and our outside hitters did well to manage points, make it tough on them and wait for the opportunity to get their kills."
Santa Clara travels to Pacific for a road match at noon on Saturday. The Tigers defeated San Francisco in four sets on Thursday night.
Volleyball: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram