SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Competing for the fourth time in a little more than a day and facing elimination for the third straight match, Santa Clara beach volleyball fell 5-0 against Saint Mary's Saturday morning during day two of the 2017 West Coast Conference Championship. The sixth-seeded Broncos, who met the second-seeded Gaels for the third time this season, scored a set win from Ngozi Nwabuzoh/Erin Reineking at No. 5.
The Broncos (3-12) wrap up the conference championship at 2-2, good for a fourth-place finish. They won elimination matches against seventh-seeded San Francisco, 3-2, and fourth-seeded Pacific, 4-1, on Friday afternoon after a morning defeat against third-seeded Loyola Marymount.
Nwabuzoh and Reineking traded 21-18 sets with Madi Wilkerson/Sienna Young at the fifth position before Saint Mary's tandem took the third set 15-10. Santa Clara's No. 5 team had the most success against the Gaels (19-9) in three matches this season; they picked up a dual win and three sets overall.
Each of the other four duals was decided in straight sets. Nikki Hess/Allison Kantor had the most competitive bout of those matchups at No. 1, keeping the competition close at 21-17, 21-16 against one of the conference's top pairs in Lindsey Knudsen/Payton Rund.
Santa Clara finishes the 2017 season with three victories in its last six matches. Kirsten Mead/Jensen Cunningham (No. 2) made up the most successful pair for the Broncos, going 7-7 in duals and 15-18 in sets this spring.
MATCH 10 (ELIMINATION): SAINT MARY'S (No. 2) 5 SANTA CLARA (No. 6) 0
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4 (Clinched Match), 1, 5