Volleyball

Volleyball Knocked Off in Five Sets by Portland

Defense
Defense

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara volleyball dropped a West Coast Conference five-set match to Portland 13-25, 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 15-8 at home Saturday afternoon.

Allison Kantor led all players with a career-high 21 kills while Jensen Cunningham added 16 and Michelle Gajdka had 14 for the Broncos (7-10, 0-5). Gadjka finished with a career-high 18 digs.

Kirsten Mead collected a match-high 55 assists for Santa Clara, which outhit the Pilots .308 to .245 in its second-straight outing that went five sets.

Hannah Troutman led the Pilots (12-4, 3-1) with 16 kills and Cali Thompson had 45 assists. Morgan Robinson led the team with 17 digs.

In the decisive fifth set, Portland scored six straight points to pull away with a 14-5 lead. The Broncos answered with three straight but a kill by Reghan Pukis ended the comeback attempt.

Santa Clara had a chance to put the match away in the fourth after scoring five in a row to take a 19-18 lead. The Broncos got to match point but the Pilots scored the final four of the set, the last two on aces from Morgan Robinson, to force the decisive fifth game.

The Broncos lost to Gonzaga 25-19, 24-26, 25-18, 18-25, 16-14 on Thursday.

Kantor posted a career high in kills for the second-straight match, posting 11 against the Bulldogs.

DOUBLING UP AGAIN
For the second consecutive match, Santa Clara had multiple players record double-doubles. Cunningham (16 kills/14 digs), Mead (55 assists/15 digs), and Gadjka (14 kills/18 digs) accomplished the feat against Gonzaga on Thursday. Kantor (21 kills/11 digs) was the other Bronco with a double-double.

"Allison is being aggressive for us," head coach Jon Wallace said of Kantor, who has seen her role grow. "She is super athletic and developing some good range. She's worked hard to be ready for that moment. She did another nice job."

NOTES
• The Broncos were again without starter Taylor Laugero who appeared in just three matches this season and missed the last three.
• Gajdka (14) had her 10th match of the year with double-digit kills. Her 18 digs were also a career-high.
• Cunningham (16) finished in double figures in kills for the 12th time this season.

QUOTABLE
"It's disappointing for sure. I like our fight. I liked the way we came out. We were very organized to the start the match. We did a good job. We had a chance to win, but we didn't capitalize on that. The bottom line is I think we're playing well. We have a different lineup out there that is working well. We just have to grow up a little bit."

Head coach Jon Wallace

UP NEXT
The Broncos stay at home to take on San Francisco Friday at 7 p.m.

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