SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball closed out opening week of West Coast Conference play with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 defeat against No. 7 San Diego Saturday afternoon at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Broncos held leads midway through each of the three sets against the Toreros.
Saturday's tilt marked the last of Santa Clara's 14 straight matches away from home to start the season. The Broncos (9-5, 0-2 WCC) have lost five consecutive matches. The Toreros (11-2, 2-0 WCC) have won 10 straight contests.
Sabrina Clayton led Santa Clara with 11 kills and tied for a team-high four blocks alongside Taylor Odom, who hit .545 with seven kills. Callie Jones notched 29 assists and Taylor Laugero had 14 digs. Three Toreros hit .429 or better: Kaity Edwards (.545, 7 K – 1 E – 11 TA), Lauren Schad (.500, 13 K – 3 E – 20 TA) and Addie Picha (.429, 4 K – 1 E – 7 TA).
After dropping the first set, Santa Clara used a 6-0 run early in the second frame to take a 9-4 lead. Mary Shepherd was on serve for five of the points and had an ace during that spree. Later in the stanza, the Broncos got on set point at 24-23 after USD's Lauren Fuller committed an attacking error. The Toreros called timeout and won the next three points to go ahead 2-0 in the match.
Clayton helped get the Broncos out to a 14-7 advantage in the third set with four kills, a block and an ace in the first 21 points. Trailing 16-10, the Toreros went on an 11-4 run as Lisa Kramer produced four of her match-high 14 kills to pace the home side. Santa Clara fought off a set point at 24-22 before Schad completed the sweep with a kill.
The Toreros — the highest-ranked team in the WCC — went on top 7-2 in the first set. Santa Clara won three straight points on a kill by Odom and two aces from Jones to take their only lead of the opening frame at 13-11. San Diego took 10 of the next 12 points and capped the stanza with a block from Edwards and Jayden Kennedy.
Santa Clara plays its first home match of the season next Tuesday, Sept. 27, against the Pacific Tigers (8-6, 2-0 WCC) at 7 p.m.
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