Volleyball Takes Final Three Sets, Downs Gonzaga on the Road

Volleyball Takes Final Three Sets, Downs Gonzaga on the Road

SPOKANE, Wash.Julia Sangiacomo (18 kills/15 digs) and Kathryn Decker (16 kills/16 digs) each had double-doubles, and Michelle Gajdka tallied 17 kills for Santa Clara volleyball, which rallied from an early deficit to secure a 21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 win against Gonzaga.

Gretchen Reinert posted a career-best 24 digs and Michelle Shaffer had a career-high 48 assists for the Broncos (18-10, 8-7) in Saturday's West Coast Conference matchup at Martin Centre.

Sarah Penner had a double-double with 14 kills and 12 digs, as did Kennedy Croft (10 kills/12 digs), for the Bulldogs (10-17, 4-11) who were outhit .252 to .182 in the match.

Santa Clara held off Gonzaga in the third set and then had an easier time in the fourth.

In the third set, the Bulldogs pulled within a point at 20-19, but Gadjka helped answer with a pair of kills and Sangiacomo closed it out with a kill.

Gonzaga led early in the fourth set, but a 6-0 run by the Broncos that featured kills from Sangiacomo, Gajdka, Decker and Taylor Odom, snapped a 4-all tie. The lead grew to 21-13 off a 4-0 flurry from Santa Clara and Decker finished off the match with a kill.

The Bulldogs hit .317 to take the opening set despite the Broncos leading through the first half of it. Tied at 13-all, Penner had a kill and then Gonzaga took advantage of five straight errors by Santa Clara. The Broncos pulled within 23-21, but suffered another attack error and allowed a kill from Croft.

Gonzaga led through the first half of the second set before the Broncos forged ahead and eventually took control with a 5-0 run that pushed the advantage to 23-16.

Odom had seven of Santa Clara's 21 blocks. She entered the week No. 2 in the NCAA in both blocks (152) and blocks/set (1.62).


On the team's effort: "I'm really proud of the team's effort this afternoon. We were unexpectedly without Allison Kantor so I was impressed with our ability to pull together and come out determined and focused."

On the matchup: "Gonzaga was scrappy and efficient on offense in the first set so we had to work really hard to get more efficient ourselves and cut down our errors. As the match went on, we defended them better and serving tough."

On Kathryn Decker and Michelle Gajdka: "Kathryn Decker has been working her way into our new system and this was her best offensive match thus far. Michelle Gajdka stepped up and played six rotations; she passes and served really well and took us on some runs to go along with thise 17 kills."


• Santa Clara leads the all-time series 51-14, including a sweep in this year's two matches.
• The kills (16) and digs (16) totals for Kathryn Decker were career highs.
Julia Sangiacomo (18 kills/15 digs) logged her fifth double-double of the season.


The Broncos play their final three regular-season matches at home, beginning Thursday as they host Pepperdine. First serve is set for 7 p.m. in Leavey Center.

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