SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In its first home dual of the 2019 season, Santa Clara beach volleyball dropped a 4-1 decision against No. 18 Saint Mary's on Saturday at the SCU Beach Volleyball Courts. Santa Clara's Chloe Loreen/Alex Anthony picked up a three-set victory against Alexsa "Crash" Parker/Sienna Young at No. 3 in the West Coast Conference tilt.
The Gaels (15-6, 8-2 WCC) defeated the Broncos (2-7, 2-6 WCC) for the third time in as many matchups this season. They are 5-1 in their last six duals, including seven match wins in a row from top pair Lindsey Knudsen/Sarah Chase. Saint Mary's won 5-0 against Santa Clara on Wednesday in Moraga.
"We have definitely shown growth every week that we've been out here," associate head coach Jeff Alzina said. "Every time we've played, we've gotten smarter and better at executing the game plans we're developing in practice. This is the third time we've played Saint Mary's and today showed better results and better process. We competed well at their place on Wednesday and today we won our first match against a ranked team."
Loreen/Anthony claimed the first pairs match for the Broncos (2-7, 2-6 WCC) in five tries against a ranked opponent this season with a 24-22, 13-21, 15-13 victory; they make up SCU's winningest tandem on the year with four match victories. Santa Clara wrapped up a stretch of eight straight contests against conference opposition on Saturday, including a pair of dual wins at the WCC Midseason Invitational last weekend.
"In the last three practices, we covered a lot more game plan commitment," Alzina said. "Chloe and Alex were able to stick with their offensive and defensive plan the whole way through, plus make subtle changes. It worked consistently so they said 'let's just stay with it and grind' even when they gave up a few points.
"The group is excelling a lot more. This is our fifth week of true beach training with athletes that are not full-time for beach. I'm really proud of the commitment and the process."
NO. 18 SAINT MARY'S 4 SANTA CLARA 1
The Broncos play their second and final home dual of the 2019 campaign Tuesday against San José State. First serve is set for 4 p.m.
Admission to beach volleyball matches at Santa Clara is free. There will be light, single-row bleacher seating available that is first come, first served. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs. See the map below for court location (outlined in green on left).
On weekdays, parking on campus is subject to normal daily rates and restrictions, including the Leavey Center lot and the main structure, located on Palm Drive. On weekends, most campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions. See the map below for parking in the Leavey Center lot (outlined in green on right).
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