SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco volleyball's offense proved to be too much for Santa Clara to handle in the first West Coast Conference match of the 2018 season. The Broncos fell 25-22, 25-16, 25-15 to the Dons at War Memorial at the Sobrato Center on Thursday night.
Santa Clara had won the previous seven meetings – all by way of sweep – dating back to 2014.
Erin Anthony (21 assists) and Ally Wada (17 assists) combined to set the Dons (8-4, 1-0 WCC) to a .404 hitting percentage for the match. Kathya Garcia led all players with 10 kills and hit .320 as one of five Dons to top .300 hitting on at least 10 attempts.
The teams traded leads early in a close first set and neither side led by more than three until the Dons used a 5-0 run to get on set point at 24-18; Katie Wagstaff had two blocks and a kill during that stretch. Santa Clara answered with a 4-0 spree to pull within two points before Garcia gave the hosts the early lead on one of her four first-set kills.
Anthony's ace on the first point of the second stanza set the tone for San Francisco, as the Dons went in front 7-2 and led by at least four points to take a 2-0 match lead. Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-1 advantage in the third set and San Francisco responded by winning the next seven points. The Dons maintained at least a three-point edge on their way to completing the sweep.
Santa Clara hits the road to face Pacific next Tuesday. The Tigers (5-7, 0-1 WCC) lost in three sets at top-ranked BYU on Thursday night. They face No. 24 San Diego in a road match on Saturday.
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