SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Santa Clara beach volleyball closed out its 2019 season on Friday at the West Coast Conference Championships. The fifth-seeded Broncos battled and fell 3-2 against fourth-seeded San Francisco in the morning before dropping an elimination dual 5-0 against third-seeded and No. 19 Saint Mary's at Ocean Park Beach.
Michelle Gajdka/Kathryn Decker won in straight sets for the Broncos (2-15) at No. 2 against the Dons (11-11). Brittany Gillingham/Alexa Dreyer took the first and third sets of their match to give the Broncos the win at No. 5. Each of the victorious Santa Clara pairs played together for the first time this season.
Gajdka/Decker pushed the Gaels (19-8) to three sets at No. 2. Saint Mary's won in straight sets at the other four spots to advance to day two along with top-seeded Pepperdine, second-seeded Loyola Marymount and San Francisco.
"We had the realistic goal of beating San Francisco again and winning the dual," associate head coach Jeff Alzina said. "We won two matches, the fives had a great comeback in the third set, but we couldn't close out a third match for the dual. Our twos played really well against Saint Mary's but let it slip away in the last points of the tiebreaker.
"This season was a whirlwind eight weeks that was really beneficial for the student-athletes' development. They were able to learn a ton about their personal skills and ability to grow as athletes and as teammates. It was an invaluable, competitive season which will serve us well in the fall and next spring. The coaches are really proud of their improvement."
SAN FRANCISCO 3 SANTA CLARA 2
NO. 19 SAINT MARY'S 5 SANTA CLARA 0
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