PORTLAND, Ore. — Santa Clara volleyball got itself back into the win column Thursday night in a West Coast Conference matchup at Portland. The Broncos defeated the Pilots 25-18, 30-28, 25-23 at Chiles Center.
SCU completed the season sweep of Portland in the victory; the team rallied from two sets down earlier this year in Leavey Center to claim the first matchup.
Julia Sangiacomo led all players with 12 kills and five blocks for the Broncos (17-10, 7-7 WCC). Allison Kantor added nine kills on .280 hitting and produced a team-best 12 digs. Michelle Shaffer totaled 30 assists as Santa Clara outhit Portland .171 to .080.
Shayla Hoeft topped the Pilots (11-14, 3-11) with seven kills and Carey Williams racked up a match-high 18 digs.
The Broncos won the first set in wire-to-wire fashion after jumping out to a 7-2 lead; they held at least a four-point edge the rest of the way. Santa Clara outhit Portland .214 to -.094 in the opening stanza and got three kills apiece from Kantor and Decker.
In the second set, Santa Clara led 24-18 before Portland rattled off seven points in a row to go on set point at 25-24. The Broncos fought off four set points and Sangiacomo produced an ace and a kill to help the team win the last three points and take a 2-0 lead at the break.
The teams were knotted up at 17-all in the third set and traded 4-0 runs to find themselves tied again at 21 points apiece. They traded the next five points and the Broncos converted on their first match point opportunity on a kill by Sangiacomo.
QUOTABLE – HEAD COACH ERIN LINDSEY
On Santa Clara's effort: "We came out super determined tonight. We knew we had done some great things last weekend against two great teams in BYU and San Diego. I challenged the team to keep that level of play and urgency up and get even better for the next five matches. We had a lot of positive execution and communication that led us to jumping on Portland.
On the matchup against Portland: "They started to respond and they run a very fast offense which can cause some issues. They have some great attackers, especially Shayla Hoeft in the middle. We knew we needed to start fast which is also why we saw the number of errors on service but we also had a lot of aces which kept them off the net; that was one factor that allowed us to win the match."
• Santa Clara leads the all-time series 56-13 (first meeting 1979)
Santa Clara plays its final road match of the 2019 regular season Saturday at Gonzaga. First serve is set for noon.