Gritty Effort, But Volleyball Comes Up Short Against 11th-ranked BYU

Gritty Effort, But Volleyball Comes Up Short Against 11th-ranked BYU

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara volleyball put forth a gritty effort against the 11th-ranked team in the nation, but came up short in Thursday's West Coast Conference tilt.

Madelyn Robinson had a double-double (15 kills/12 digs), McKenna Miller tallied 14 kills and Whitney Bower had 38 assists and seven digs to lead BYU to a 25-22, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18 victory.

Julia Sangiacomo (14 kills/12 digs) was one of three players with a double-double for the Broncos (16-9, 6-6) who outhit the Cougars .217 to .200 in the match.

Allison Kantor had 12 kills and 16 digs, and Kathryn Decker had career highs in kills (11) and digs (13) for Santa Clara, which had a chance to become just the third WCC team to even hold a lead against the Cougars (21-3, 12-1) this season.

After evening the match by hitting .407 in the second set, the Broncos trailed by as many as seven in the following set before digging out of that hole. A 6-2 run, capped by an ace from Kantor, pulled Santa Clara within three points at 20-17. The lead was still three when Decker and Sangiacomo had back-to-back kills to trim the lead to 23-22, but Robinson and Miller answered with kills to close out the set.

In the fourth set, BYU built a 12-4 lead, but the Broncos again chipped away. They crept within three points six more times in the set, including at 21-18 on a kill from Taylor Odom, one of her 10 in the match, but could not get over the hump. Miller's two aces, sandwiched around a Santa Clara attack error, closed out the match.

The Broncos won the second set despite posting seven of their 16 service errors thanks to a blistering .405 hitting percentage. 

The opening set featured 11 ties and six lead changes. Santa Clara led 22-20 after a kill from Decker, but the Cougars scored the final five points. Two errors by the Broncos were followed by an ace from Mary Lake, who had 21 digs, and a pair of kills from Robinson.

BYU's lone loss in conference play was a 3-2 defeat at the hands of San Diego on Oct 18. Other than that, the Cougars had only trailed to Pacific (Nov. 2) after dropping the opening set.

Taylor Odom continues to climb the school's single-season blocks chart. She entered the day in fifth place and with six in the match now has 147, which places her No. 2. She is first in the rally scoring era. Stacey MacDonough is the all-time leader with 179 in 1988.

• BYU leads the all-time series 15-4.
Michelle Shaffer set a career high with 46 assists. Her previous high was 30 against San Francisco (Nov. 1, 2019).
Kathryn Decker posted career bests in both kills (11) and digs (13). She had eight kills against Pacific (Oct. 18, 2018) and 11 digs vs. San Francisco (Nov. 1, 2019).

The Broncos are back home on Saturday to face San Diego. First serve is set for 1 p.m.


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 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.


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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