Beach Volleyball Falls against Ranked Opponents Friday

Freshman Allison Kantor played alongside Arizona native Nikki Hess at No. 1 on Friday. (Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics)
Freshman Allison Kantor played alongside Arizona native Nikki Hess at No. 1 on Friday. (Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Santa Clara beach volleyball began its spring break trip with a pair of defeats against ranked opponents Friday as part of the Wildcat Spring Challenge at the Arizona Sand Volleyball Courts. The Broncos were swept by No. 13 Grand Canyon in the first match of a doubleheader, then fell 4-1 to No. 8 Arizona in the nightcap.

Arizona native Jensen Cunningham and fellow junior Kirsten Mead scored the lone dual victory of the day for the Broncos (0-7) in their tilt against the Wildcats (9-6). The pair won the first set of the matchup 21-15, then outlasted Olivia Hallaran/Olivia MacDonald at 25-23 No. 2 to complete the sweep. Mead/Cunningham are now 3-3 in duals and 7-7 in sets as Santa Clara's winningest combo this season.

Nikki Hess – also a Grand Canyon State native – played alongside Allison Kantor at No. 1 and gave Arizona's twin pairing of Madison Witt/McKenna Witt a good battle that included a 21-16 second frame. Tatiana San Juan/Michelle Gajdka (No. 4) had the most closely contested dual in Santa Clara's loss to the Antelopes (14-3) during the afternoon session.

No. 13 Grand Canyon 5 Santa Clara 0

No. 1 - Molly Turner/Tjasa Kotnik (GCU) def. Nikki Hess/Allison Kantor (SCU); 21-11, 21-6

No. 2 - Rebecca Conrad/Jessica Stansfield (GCU) def. Jensen Cunningham/Kirsten Mead (SCU); 21-13, 21-10

No. 3 - Hannah Towne/Jordyn Sanchez (GCU) def. Taylor Laugero/Hailey Lindberg (SCU); 21-5, 21-9

No. 4 - Kelli Iverson/Emily Reinking (GCU) def. Tatiana San Juan/Michelle Gajdka (SCU); 21-14, 21-12

No. 5 - Tyanna Roy/Jessica Clark (GCU) def. Erin Reineking/Ngozi Nwabuzoh (SCU); 21-11, 21-12

Order of Finish: 1-5-3-2-4

No. 8 Arizona 4 Santa Clara 1

No. 1 - McKenna Witt/Madison Witt (ARIZ) def. Nikki Hess/Allison Kantor (SCU); 21-12, 21-16

No. 2 - Jensen Cunningham/Kirsten Mead (SCU) def. Olivia Hallaran/Olivia Macdonald (ARIZ); 21-15, 25-23

No. 3 - Hailey Devlin/Sam Manley (ARIZ); def. Taylor Laugero/Hailey Lindberg (SCU) 21-7, 21-7

No. 4 - Mia Mason/Kendra Dahlke (ARIZ); def. Tatiana San Juan/Michelle Gajdka (SCU) 21-12, 21-11

No. 5 - Halli Amaro/Brooke Burling (ARIZ); def. Ngozi Nwabuzoh/Erin Reineking (SCU) 21-17, 21-8

Order of Finish: 1-3-5-4-2


The Broncos finish up play in the Wildcat Spring Challenge Saturday against New Mexico at noon. The Lobos swept Cal State Bakersfield and lost 4-1 to Arizona on Friday. Click here for live stats.


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