Set, Hit, Block

Women’s volleyball made its third NCAA appearance in four years.

Santa Clara’s volleyball season began with a sweep of the tourney it hosted. The women were relentless right into the postseason and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years and 16th overall. They took the first set against Michigan but fell 3–1 in front of a crowd at UCLA. A 22–9 overall record gave the team its best winning percentage since 2006. In conference play, the Broncos went 13–5, the best since 2007.


The go-to digger for the team was Danielle Rottman ’16, whose 4.87 dig/set mark led the league and was second best for a season in Bronco history. The communication major played libero—a roaming defensive position on the court. Without a doubt, she says, this year’s team was “the hardest working and the most committed.” She was one of a program-high six All-Academic honorees and one of three to receive an American Volleyball Coaches Association award.


Double-digit kills in 28 matches earned Nikki Hess ’17 her All-America recognition. She led the team with 450 kills. Her honorable mention award from the AVCA came along with conference awards from the WCC for the third year in a row; this year she made First Team All-WCC.

“Nikki has an explosive game that is fun to watch, but what sets her apart is her competitive spirit every day in the gym,” said coach Jon Wallace.
Joining Hess as First Team All-WCC was Kirsten Mead ’18. Mead racked up a team-high 1,228 assists, with a per-set average that ranked second in the conference and 28th in the NCAA. Jensen Cunningham ’18 spearheaded the team’s blocking game. Her finest match: 16 block assists and 17 total blocks against San Diego.
post-image Photography by Don Jedlovec
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