SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Emily Allen registered a match-best 20 kills and Maddie Merlino posted 31 assists and a match-high tying 21 digs to help UC Davis rally from a set down to post a 25-18, 20-25, 21-25, 25-15, 15-13 victory over Santa Clara volleyball on Saturday night.
Michelle Shaffer had a double-double with 16 kills and 15 digs for the Broncos (4-5) in the final contest of the three-day Santa Clara Invitational.
After Santa Clara battled to take the second and third sets, the Aggies used an 8-1 run behind a pair of kills each from Allen and Lauren Jackson to build an 18-9 lead in the fourth set. The Broncos were unable to get closer than seven the remainder of the way.
In the fifth set, an Allison Kantor kill, one of a season-best 13 in the match, gave the Broncos a 7-3 edge, but UCD proceeded to scored nine of next 10 points by taking advantage of five attack errors.
The Broncos closed within one point three times. They cut the deficit to 12-11, but Brianna Karsseboom answered with one of her eight kills. An attack error enabled Santa Clara to pull within 14-13, but a combo block from Jackson and Nicola Moore ended the match.
SET 2 | Solid effort both offensively and defensively for #SCUBroncos to take set 25-20 and even the match with @ucdvolleyball at 1-all. Here's the set clincher. #StampedeTogether pic.twitter.com/ZfRMz9HnY9— Santa Clara Volleyball (@scuvolleyball) September 9, 2018
"We have to get smoother offensively," Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace said. "With our hustle and responsibility, I think we're doing a great job. We have to get smoother on our sideout game."
After downing an undefeated Boise State 3-1 on Friday evening, UC Davis started strong, hitting .486 in the opening set led by Allen (six kills) and Merlino (nine digs and 14 assists).
The Broncos got their footing in the next two sets, posting an attack percentage of .237 and .243, respectively, while forcing a total of 16 errors after the Aggies had only one in the opening set.
Malia Bolko had 21 digs for the Aggies. Allen, who was named the tournament MVP, chipped in six digs.
The Broncos were upended by Boise State, 3-0, on Thursday in the tournament opener.
• SCU now leads the all-time series 4-2 and this was the first-ever meeting in Santa Clara.
• Michelle Shaffer (16 kills/15 digs) posted her third double-double of the season.
• Chloe Loreen posted 20 digs, her second-highest total of the season (26 vs. Grand Canyon, Aug. 25).
• Kamrin Caoili posted a career-best 10 kills and Liliana Light registered a career-high 15 digs.
Santa Clara heads to Indianapolis, Indiana, next week for the Bulldog Brawl. The Broncos play Cleveland State and Kent State on Friday, and host Butler on Saturday in the famed Hinkle Fieldhouse.
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