Volleyball Defeats Kent State in Opening Day Split at Bulldog Brawl

Tessie Powers posted 51 assists in Santa Clara's victory over Kent State, 37 more than her prior career-high effort of 14.
Tessie Powers posted 51 assists in Santa Clara's victory over Kent State, 37 more than her prior career-high effort of 14.

INDIANAPOLIS — Santa Clara volleyball played its way to a split at the first day of the Bulldog Brawl on Friday. The Broncos (5-6) were swept by Cleveland State 25-22, 26-24, 25-16 in the morning match and rebounded to defeat Kent State 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14 in the afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Santa Clara caps the tournament tomorrow against host Butler at 7 a.m. PDT.

MATCH 1: Vikings Ride Late-Set Momentum to Victory

Cleveland State (5-5) won a close first set by three points and took the second set after it went past the 25-point mark, then posted a convincing third-set win to clinch the match.

Sara Skeens led all players with 13 kills and Trinniti Hall added 12 for the Vikings. Christina Grecol notched a 29-assist, 11-dig double-double.

Santa Clara's Michelle Shaffer hit .318 and topped the team with eight kills and 14 digs. She tied for a Bronco-best five total blocks alongside Taylor Odom. Liliana Light netted a 19-assist, 10-dig double-double.

The Broncos led by two points three different times in the opening stanza before the Vikings went on a 7-2 run to take a 20-17 lead. Santa Clara led 19-14 in the second set before Cleveland State rallied on the strength of a 7-1 stretch and fought off a set point to win the frame. The Vikings captured nine of the last 11 points to run away with the final set and win the match.

MATCH 2: Powers Sets the Broncos to Victory over the Golden Flashes

Tessie Powers had a career-high 51 assists and added 16 digs in Santa Clara's four-set win over Kent State. Allison Kantor (19 kills, 15 digs) and Shaffer (13 kills, 15 digs) paced the offense along with Kamrin Caoili, who notched career-high marks in kills (15) and digs (nine).

Alex Haffer posted a 20-20 effort with 40 assists and 20 digs for the Golden Flashes (6-6). Erin Gardner led all players with 27 digs and Kathryn Ellison had an 11-kill, 10-dig double-double.

Santa Clara outhit Kent State .372 to .325 in a first set that featured seven kills for Kantor and six from Caoili. The Broncos led early at 7-3 and capped the 25-21 frame with four points in a row.

Kent State broke a 20-all tie in the second set by winning five of the last seven points to tie up the contest.

The Broncos won seven points in a row to take a 7-1 lead in the third set; Caoili had two kills and Shaffer had two aces in the early run. Kent State responded by winning six straight points to tie the score at 7-7. Caoili ended the stretch with a kill and the Broncos led a close set the rest of way.

SCU was in front for all but one point of the fourth set and put an exclamation point on the victory by taking six straight points and nine of the last 10 overall.


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