SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Seven Gaels had at least three kills and seven had at least two digs Tuesday, but Santa Clara came away with a 3-0 (25-13, 27-25, 25-13) West Coast Conference win at the Leavey Center in both teams’ season finale.
Lindsey Calvin led Saint Mary’s (11-18, 6-12 WCC) with seven kills. Emily Bible had six kills and Sienna Young added five. Lindsey Knudsen reached the 300-kills mark for the season with four kills. Mary Hernandez had 17 assists and Hannah Liserra tallied 11. Madi Wilkerson led all players with 17 digs.
But the Gaels only hit .143 in the match, including .083 in the third set. Santa Clara (16-14, 7-11 WCC) hit .266 in the match, including .391 in the clinching set. Nikki Hess led all players with 12 kills and 13 digs. Kirsten Mead had a match-high 28 assists. SCU out-dug SMC, 49-39.
The Gaels had a chance to tie the match at 1-1 in set two. SMC got out to a 3-0 lead and only trailed by more than two points once. They erased that deficit with a 7-2 run to take a 17-15 lead and after that, the teams were never separated by more than one point. Back and forth they went, trading points eight times in a row.
Saint Mary’s reached match point at 25-24 on an ace from Liserra. But Santa Clara scored three straight points with kills from Hess and Sabrina Clayton. The Broncos clinched the set on an SMC attack error.
Saint Mary’s finished 2016 with five more wins than 2015, both overall and in WCC play. Two Gaels (Calvin, Knudsen) were named Tuesday to the WCC All-Academic Team and three others (Hernandez, Payton Rund, Alexis Salmons) were named honorable mention.
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