Volleyball Hosts Sacramento State in Home-Opener Tuesday Night

Michelle Gajdka had her 11th career double-double on Saturday against Grand Canyon.
Michelle Gajdka had her 11th career double-double on Saturday against Grand Canyon.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball is set for its 2018 home-opening match. The Broncos host Sacramento State on Tuesday night in Leavey Center for a 6 p.m. first serve.

Opening weekend featured the team's first victory over New Mexico in program history at the Idaho Volleyball Classic. The Broncos swept the Lobos on Saturday morning for their first win of the season. They went 1-2 in the tournament after falling to host Idaho 3-0 on Friday night and finishing the weekend with a 3-2 defeat against Grand Canyon on Saturday night.


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Junior Alexa Dreyer earned all-tournament team honors by compiling 27 kills and an SCU-best six aces in her debut weekend with the team. Dreyer served up four aces against the Antelopes and spurred several key Bronco runs during the tournament.

Freshman Michelle Shaffer led the Broncos with 36 kills (3.27/set) and had 24 digs over three matches in Idaho. She topped the team in kills against New Mexico (12) and Grand Canyon (20), and added 11 digs for a double-double against GCU.

Junior Ngozi Nwabuzoh had 32 kills in 21 sets and 15 matches during her first two seasons with the Broncos. She has already eclipsed her 2017 kill total with 26 through three matches this season. She hit .365 to lead the Broncos last weekend.

Freshman Liliana Light racked up 114 assists (10.36/set), including 54 against the Antelopes. She set the Broncos to a .257 hitting percentage in the first four sets on Saturday.

Junior Michelle Gajdka, who logged 10 double-doubles in 2017, had her first of the 2018 season against Grand Canyon on the strength of a 13-kill, 11-dig performance.

Roster Breakdown

• The Broncos return 12 players from the 2017 roster, 10 of whom saw the court last season.

Michelle Gajdka and Taylor Odom played in all 30 matches and 115 of 116 sets a year ago. Gajdka led the team with 361 kills (3.14/set) and ranked third with 277 digs. Odom tied for the team lead in block assists (97) and was second with 108 total blocks (.94/set).

Allison Kantor and Tessie Powers each took the court in 29 of 30 matches. Kantor, a 2017 WCC All-Freshman Team selection, posted seven double-doubles on the season and closed out the year with six double-digit kill efforts in her last seven matches. Powers finished second on the 2017 team with 287 digs and posted 10-plus digs 16 times.

Brittany Gillingham (25 matches), Tatiana San Juan (23), Gretchen Reinert (19), Chloe Loreen (16), Anna McCreadie (11) and Ngozi Nwabuzoh (9) round out the returners that took the court. Laura Willems did not play last season and Kathryn Decker redshirted. 

• Santa Clara welcomes six newcomers: UCLA transfer Alexa Dreyer — who joins the team with two years of eligibility remaining — as well as freshmen Alex Anthony, Kamrin Caoili, Liliana Light, Natalia Rentsch and Michelle Shaffer.

• 2017 players lost to graduation: setter and 2017 West Coast Conference assists leader Kirsten Mead (1,232 assists, 10.62/set), middle blocker Jensen Cunningham (team-best 114 total blocks), setter Erin Reineking. Mead also led the team with 33 aces.

Head Coach Jon Wallace

• Jon Wallace, the winningest coach in program history, is in his 20th season at the helm in 2018. His overall record is 362-208 (.635).

• The Broncos have reached the NCAA Tournament 13 times in Wallace's 19 seasons.

Home-Opening Matches

• Wallace is 14-5 in home-opening matches, including a 5-1 mark in the last six seasons.


• Redshirt juniors Anna McCreadie and Taylor Odom, junior Alexa Dreyer and freshman Liliana Light are the 2018 team captains. 

Class Breakdown

• Seniors: 1 - Tatiana San Juan

• Juniors: 7 - Alexa Dreyer, Michelle Gajdka, Anna McCreadie (RS), Ngozi Nwabuzoh, Taylor Odom (RS), Tessie Powers, Laura Willems

• Sophomores: 4 - Brittany Gillingham, Allison Kantor (RS), Chloe Loreen, Gretchen Reinert

• Freshmen: 6 - Alex Anthony, Kamrin Caoili, Kathryn Decker (RS), Liliana Light, Natalia Rentsch, Michelle Shaffer

• By State: California (13), Oregon (2), Washington (2), Colorado (1)


• SCU leads the all-time series 19-10 and has won five in a row | First Meeting: 1979

• 2015: 9/19/15 @SAC | Santa Clara Won 3-1

• Last Sacramento State Win: 10/9/07 @SAC (3-0)

• Last Sacramento State Win at Santa Clara: 11/4/97 (3-1)


Sacramento State opened the 2018 season by defeating Utah State 3-1 on Friday before falling to Cal State Northridge 3-2 on Friday and Arizona 3-1 on Saturday as hosts of the Hornet Invitational. Mikaela Nocetti totaled 37 kills (3.36/set). 

The reigning Big Sky regular-season champions went 26-10 and 15-1 in conference last season en route to an appearance in the NIVC postseason tournament. Sacramento State is picked to finish third of 11 teams in the conference this season.


Season and single-game tickets are available. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Doors to Leavey Center are open one hour prior to first serve. Pricing is subject to change. 

For weekday matches, the Leavey Center lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is free beginning one hour prior to first serve. Any other parking facility on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions, including the main structure, located adjacent to Stevens Stadium on Palm Drive. During the weekend, campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.

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