Volleyball Gears up for No. 11 BYU, San Diego at Home

Allison Kantor (5) has double-digit kills in five straight matches.
Allison Kantor (5) has double-digit kills in five straight matches.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball returns to Leavey Center for a pair of West Coast Conference matchups this week. The Broncos face co-conference leaders No. 11 BYU Thursday at 7 p.m. and San Diego Saturday at 1 p.m.

­­­­SCU (16-8, 6-5 WCC) lost its last match Friday night at San Francisco. BYU (20-3, 11-1 WCC) has won four straight matches and 14 of the last 15 overall; the Cougars swept Saint Mary's on Thursday and defeated Pacific in four sets on Saturday. San Diego (18-5, 11-1 WCC) has won three ­in a row and 16 of the last 17 overall; the Toreros swept Pacific on Thursday and downed Saint Mary's in four sets on Saturday. 


BYU | San Diego
Live Stats BYU | San Diego


Taylor Odom leads the WCC and ranks second in the NCAA in both blocks (141) and blocks/set (1.62). She ranks fifth in total blocks in SCU single-season history and has the second-most during the rally-scoring era. Odom needs two blocks to tie for fourth place (Jennifer Guigliano – 143 in 1991), three to tie for third place (Becky Potter – 144 in 2003) and four to tie for second place (Jamie Elson – 145 in 1996). Her block average is also second all-time (Annalisa Muratore – 1.77 in 2004).

Michelle Shaffer turned in a career-high 30 assists against San Francisco. She leads the WCC and ranks 31st in the country with 38 service aces. She has an ace in five straight matches, including six over two contests against Gonzaga (Oct. 17) and Portland (Oct. 19).

Julia Sangiacomo leads the team with 285 kills (3.31/set) and 344.5 points (4.01/set); the freshman ranks second in the WCC in points/set. She has double-digit kills in four of the last five matches and 16 of 24 tilts on the season.

Allison Kantor has double-digit kills in each of the last five contests and 16 of 24 matches overall. She has logged 11-plus kills and eight-plus digs in four straight contests.

Gretchen Reinert registered 12 digs against the Dons to mark her fourth straight match with 10-plus digs. She has recorded 10-plus digs in 20 of 24 matches and hit the 20-dig mark three times.

Reinert and Shaffer have played in all 24 matches and all 91 sets on the season. Odom, Kantor and Sangiacomo have also played in all 24 matches on the year.


Michelle Shaffer tied the program record of eight aces in a single match and became the first Bronco to hit that mark in 30 seasons (1989) as the team rolled through the second, third and fourth sets to defeat Northern Colorado 3-1 in the South Bay Battle on Sept. 14. The Thousand Oaks, California native is the fourth Bronco to serve up eight aces in a match and the first in the rally scoring era (2001-present). She had three aces in four points as part of a 7-0 Bronco run in the second set and five aces in six points as part of a 12-0 Bronco run in the fourth set en route to all-tournament team honors.

Shaffer logged Santa Clara's first 20-20 match since 2017 in Santa Clara's matchup against Denver on Sept. 20, posting 22 assists and 22 digs. Shaffer had a 12-kill, 24-assist, 11-dig triple-double Aug. 31 against Marshall, and is the first Bronco since 2003 and second in program history to record a triple-double and a 20-20 match in the same season (Becky Potter).

Julia Sangiacomo was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Sept. 2, 2019 following the first action of her debut season at the Indiana Invitational. Sangiacomo had 54 kills (4.15/set) on .341 hitting to go along with 25 digs, nine aces, two block solos and 66.5 points en route to all-tournament team honors. SCU was one of only two WCC teams to finish opening weekend undefeated.

Allison Kantor served up four consecutive aces in the first set of a sweep victory over Indiana on Aug. 31.

Santa Clara started 6-0 for the fifth time in program history (1979, 2002, 2005, 2016) and won all four matches to claim the Indiana Invitational crown on opening weekend (Aug. 30-31). The Broncos also posted their best start through 13 matches since 2014 (10-3, five seasons). The team had a perfect 6-0 record in neutral-site tournament matches and SCU was the only WCC program to win 10 matches in nonconference play.


Erin Lindsey is in her first season as head coach of Santa Clara in 2019. Lindsey joins the Broncos after winning a national championship as an assistant coach at Stanford in 2018. She is the 10th head coach for a program that dates back to 1963 and enters her second stint as a head coach after leading Dartmouth from 2011 to 2015. Her overall record as a head coach is 70-77 (16-8, 6-5 WCC at SCU) and she is the first head coach in Santa Clara history to start 6-0 in her debut season.


• The Broncos return 13 players from 2018, 12 of whom saw the court last season; they posted a 6-24 record. 2019 returners accounted for the following percentages of last year's team stats:
1,220/1,315 kills (93 percent)
839/1,224 assists (69)
87/109 aces (80)
1,039/1,615 digs (64)
191.5/214.5 blocks (89)

• Senior Alexa Dreyer and sophomore Michelle Shaffer played in all 30 matches and all 108 sets a year ago. Shaffer, a 2018 West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team selection, led the team with 297 kills (2.75/set) and ranked second with 294 digs; she had the second-most digs among WCC freshmen. Dreyer led the team in hitting percentage (.273), total blocks (93) and block assists (87).

• Sophomore Liliana Light took the court in 27 of 30 matches, primarily as a setter, and led the team with 687 assists (6.87/set). She finished third on the Broncos in digs (187) and posted six double-doubles.

• Senior Michelle Gajdka and junior Allison Kantor each appeared in 25 matches as outside hitters. Gajdka had 10-plus kills in four straight matches from Aug. 25-31. Kantor started 20 of the last 21 matches after appearing in four of the first nine matches, all off the bench.

Brittany Gillingham (24 matches), Gretchen Reinert (23), Kamrin Caoili (22), Taylor Odom (20), Anna McCreadie (17), Alex Anthony (14) and Kathryn Decker (14) round out the returners that took the court. Natalia Rentsch did not play last season.

• Santa Clara welcomes five newcomers: freshmen Claire Doud, Haley Flanagan, Katie Lawton, Kamaile Manol and Julia Sangiacomo.

• By Class: Seniors (4), juniors (3), sophomores (6), freshmen (5).

• By State: California (11), Washington (3), Oregon (2), Colorado (1), Hawai'i (1).

• The Broncos were picked to finish 9th of 10 teams in the 2019 West Coast Conference preseason poll. BYU was the unanimous pick to win the conference title.

NO. 11 BYU

• 2019: 20-3 (11-1 WCC, 9-0 Away) | 2018: 31-2 (17-1 WCC), NCAA Tournament Final Four
• Picked to win WCC in 2019 preseason poll
• All-time series: BYU leads 14-4 (first meeting 1992)
• 2019: 10/12 BYU won 3-0 @ BYU
• 2018: 10/13 BYU won 3-0 @ SCU | 11/8 BYU won 3-0 @ BYU
• BYU has won eight straight matchups in the series (Last SCU win – Sept. 26, 2015)

The Cougars lead the WCC in opponent hitting percentage (.160, 22nd NCAA) and rank second in the conference in hitting percentage (.275, 15th NCAA) and blocks/set (2.61, 26th NCAA). McKenna Miller tops all WCC players with 3.73 kills/set.

BYU held Santa Clara to a season-low -.095 hitting percentage and outblocked the Broncos 10.5-5 to win 3-0 on Oct. 12 at Smith Fieldhouse. Miller led all players with seven kills for the Cougars and Sangiacomo had six kills for the Broncos.


• 2019: 18-5 (11-1 WCC, 6-3 Away) | 2018: 18-13 (13-5 WCC), NCAA Tournament Third Round
• Picked to finish 2nd of 10 in 2019 WCC preseason poll
• All-time series: San Diego leads 39-34 (first meeting 1979)
• 2019: 10/10 USD won 3-0 @ USD
• 2018: 10/11 USD won 3-0 @ SCU | 11/10 USD won 3-1 @ USD
• San Diego has won nine straight matchups in the series (Last SCU win – Nov. 1, 2014)

The Toreros lead the WCC and rank ninth in the NCAA with a .284 hitting percentage. Megan Jacobsen paces the team's offense with a conference-best .401 hitting percentage (20th NCAA). Thana Fayad has a team-high 223 kills on the season (2.9/set) and the Toreros have four players averaging 2.61 kills/set or better.

Jacobsen had 10 kills on .471 hitting and Fayad posted 10 kills for the Toreros in a 3-0 victory over the Broncos on Oct. 10 at Jenny Craig Pavilion. Odom recorded nine kills on .600 hitting and added seven blocks for the Broncos.



Season or 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, as well as its ticket office, are open one hour prior to the start of the match.


For weekday matches, the Leavey Center lot (see below for access), 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. The construction of the Stephen C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center has necessitated the closure of the main entrance (off Accolti Way) to the Leavey Center parking lot. Access is now ONLY directly from El Camino Real (Route 82). If you are traveling east on El Camino Real, the Leavey lot entrance will be approximately 150 yards on the right (enter through the black iron gate) after you pass the main campus entrance. If you are traveling west on El Camino, make a u-turn at the main campus entrance at Palm Drive/Railroad Ave and follow the same directions.

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