SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball looks for its 20th victory of the 2019 campaign in the regular-season finale on Tuesday night. The Broncos host Pacific for a 7 p.m. first serve in a West Coast Conference match at Leavey Center.
The Broncos (19-11, 9-8 WCC) have four victories in the last five contests. Santa Clara fell against Pepperdine in three sets and defeated Loyola Marymount in four sets at home last week.
Pacific (13-16, 5-12 WCC) lost its only match last week in four sets against Saint Mary's. The Tigers enter the matchup having lost three straight matches and seven of the last eight.
Taylor Odom leads the WCC and ranks third in the NCAA with 176 total blocks and 1.63 blocks/set. Odom already owns Santa Clara's single-season total block record in the rally-scoring era. She needs four more blocks Tuesday to set the single-season block record (179 by Stacey MacDonough in 1988). Odom's block average is also second all-time (Annalisa Muratore – 1.77 in 2004).
As a team, the Broncos lead the WCC with 296.5 total blocks (16th NCAA) and 2.65 blocks/set (22nd NCAA). Their opponent hitting percentage of .166 is second in the WCC and 32nd in the nation.
Julia Sangiacomo leads the Broncos with 366 kills (3.42/set) on the season. The outside hitter produced a team-high 24 kills over two matches last week. She has double-digit kills in six straight matches, 11 of the last 12, and 22 times in 30 tilts on the year. Sangiacomo ranks second in the WCC in points (437.5) and third in total kills; she is first among freshmen in both categories.
Kathryn Decker has played in seven straight matches (five starts) after seeing action in only six of the first 23 matches. She had 11 kills on .357 hitting against Pepperdine.
Michelle Shaffer and Gretchen Reinert are the only Broncos to play in all 30 matches and all 112 sets on the season. Shaffer set the Broncos to .317 hitting against the Waves and .305 hitting against the Lions. She has 30-plus assists, six-plus digs and multiple blocks in six straight matches as well as being the team leader with 12 double-doubles.
Allison Kantor has 10-plus kills in nine of the last 10 matches. She also has 10-plus digs in five of the last six matches. The outside hitter has nine double-doubles this season.
MISCELLANEOUS SEASON NOTES
Michelle Shaffer tied the program record of eight aces in a single match and became the first Bronco to hit that mark in 30 seasons (1989) as the team rolled through the second, third and fourth sets to defeat Northern Colorado 3-1 in the South Bay Battle on Sept. 14. The Thousand Oaks, California native is the fourth Bronco to serve up eight aces in a match and the first in the rally scoring era (2001-present). She had three aces in four points as part of a 7-0 Bronco run in the second set and five aces in six points as part of a 12-0 Bronco run in the fourth set en route to all-tournament team honors.
Shaffer logged Santa Clara's first 20-20 match since 2017 in Santa Clara's matchup against Denver on Sept. 20, posting 22 assists and 22 digs. Shaffer had a 12-kill, 24-assist, 11-dig triple-double Aug. 31 against Marshall, and is the first Bronco since 2003 and second in program history to record a triple-double and a 20-20 match in the same season (Becky Potter).
Julia Sangiacomo was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 2, 2019 following the first action of her debut season at the Indiana Invitational. Sangiacomo had 54 kills (4.15/set) on .341 hitting to go along with 25 digs, nine aces, two block solos and 66.5 points en route to all-tournament team honors. SCU was one of only two WCC teams to finish opening weekend undefeated.
Allison Kantor served up four consecutive aces in the first set of a sweep victory over Indiana on Aug. 31.
Santa Clara started 6-0 for the fifth time in program history (1979, 2002, 2005, 2016) and won all four matches to claim the Indiana Invitational crown on opening weekend (Aug. 30-31). The Broncos also posted their best start through 13 matches since 2014 (10-3, five seasons). The team had a perfect 6-0 record in neutral-site tournament matches and SCU was the only WCC program to win 10 matches in nonconference play.
HEAD COACH ERIN LINDSEY
Erin Lindsey is in her first season as head coach of Santa Clara in 2019. Lindsey joins the Broncos after winning a national championship as an assistant coach at Stanford in 2018. She is the 10th head coach for a program that dates back to 1963 and enters her second stint as a head coach after leading Dartmouth from 2011 to 2015. Her overall record as a head coach is 73-80 (19-11, 9-8 WCC at SCU) and she is the first head coach in Santa Clara history to start 6-0 in her debut season.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN + WCC PRESEASON POLL
• The Broncos return 13 players from 2018, 12 of whom saw the court last season; they posted a 6-24 record. 2019 returners accounted for the following percentages of last year's team stats:
1,220/1,315 kills (93 percent)
839/1,224 assists (69)
87/109 aces (80)
1,039/1,615 digs (64)
191.5/214.5 blocks (89)
• Senior Alexa Dreyer and sophomore Michelle Shaffer played in all 30 matches and all 108 sets a year ago. Shaffer, a 2018 West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team selection, led the team with 297 kills (2.75/set) and ranked second with 294 digs; she had the second-most digs among WCC freshmen. Dreyer led the team in hitting percentage (.273), total blocks (93) and block assists (87).
• Sophomore Liliana Light took the court in 27 of 30 matches, primarily as a setter, and led the team with 687 assists (6.87/set). She finished third on the Broncos in digs (187) and posted six double-doubles.
• Senior Michelle Gajdka and junior Allison Kantor each appeared in 25 matches as outside hitters. Gajdka had 10-plus kills in four straight matches from Aug. 25-31. Kantor started 20 of the last 21 matches after appearing in four of the first nine matches, all off the bench.
• Brittany Gillingham (24 matches), Gretchen Reinert (23), Kamrin Caoili (22), Taylor Odom (20), Anna McCreadie (17), Alex Anthony (14) and Kathryn Decker (14) round out the returners that took the court. Natalia Rentsch did not play last season.
• By Class: Seniors (4), juniors (3), sophomores (6), freshmen (5).
• By State: California (11), Washington (3), Oregon (2), Colorado (1), Hawai'i (1).
• The Broncos were picked to finish 9th of 10 teams in the 2019 West Coast Conference preseason poll. BYU was the unanimous pick to win the conference title.
• 2019: 13-6 (5-12 WCC, 5-7 Away) | 2018: 13-16 (8-10 WCC)
• Picked to finish t-6th of 10 (Portland) in 2019 WCC preseason poll
• All-time series: Pacific leads 28-11 (first meeting 1975)
• 2019: 10/26 SCU won 3-1 @ PAC
• 2018: 9/25 PAC won 3-0 @ PAC | 10/18 SCU won 3-1 @ SCU
• Pacific has won five of the last seven meetings in the series
Riley Patterson leads the WCC with 402 kills and 450 total points. Jadyn Tubbs ranks second in the conference with 493 digs and third with 4.21 digs/set. The Tigers have recorded more kills (1,503) and digs (1,785) than any other team in the WCC.
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 BroncoTickets@scu.edu. 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.
Volleyball: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram