SANTA CLARA 3, LONG BEACH STATE 2 (25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 23-25, 16-14)
LONG BEACH, CA — Santa Clara had just two hitting errors in the first two sets to get off to a fast start, but required a comeback in the fifth set to get past Long Beach State in the first round of the 2019 NIVC.
Santa Clara (21-11) will play Tulsa at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday in Round 2. Long Beach State ends its season at 12-17. It was the first meeting between the programs since 2008.
The Broncos hit .382 in the first set and did not have a single hitting error. LBSU made it interesting in Set 2 and finally broke through in Set 3 to fend off the sweep.
In the fifth set, Allison Kantor had two kills to push the Broncos up, 11-9, but LBSU fought back and had match point at 14-13. Julia Sangiacomo punched down two kills to make it 15-14 for Santa Clara, and Michelle Shaffer delivered a service ace off the net to clinch the victory. Taylor Odom, third in the national blocks per set, had 10 on the night for Santa Clara to go with 12 kills.
Shaffer finished with 57 assists and 13 digs for Santa Clara; Kantor had 22 kills and 14 digs, Sangiacomo closed with 21 kills and Gretchen Reinert added 20 digs.
Carly Aigner-Swesey had 50 assists and 10 digs for LBSU; Yizhi Xue had 17 kills, and both Katie Kennedy and Kashauna Williams had 14 kills. Hailey Harward added 27 digs.