Polk has career night in Pepperdine’s Sweep of Santa Clara


MALIBU, Calif. — First-year intermediate blocker vanessa polk impressed fans at Firestone on Thursday night, leading Pepperdine’s women’s volleyball team to sweep Santa Clara with a game-high 12 kills and a .647 completion rate. Three waves in total reached double-digits as the waves beat the Broncos with final set scores of 25-16, 25-13 and 25-20.

Polk also led with six blocks, while Emilie Hellmuth and Meg Brown amassed 11 and 10 wins respectively. The match marked Polk’s first double-digit kill of the season, while Hellmuth and Brown scored 13 and 15 double-digit kills, respectively. Isabelle Zelaya captained the Waves to an impressive .316 collective hitting percentage with 51 kills on the night, posting 37 assists, eight digs, three blocks and three kills in an overall effort.

With the West Coast Conference win, Pepperdine moves to 16-6 overall and 7-4 in the league, while Santa Clara drops to 8-15 overall and 4-7 in conference.

vanessa polk (Saint Louis, Mo./John Burroughs HS): 12 kills, 0.647% hitting, 6 blocks
Isabelle Zelaya (Tomball, Texas/Concordia Lutheran HS): 37 assists, 8 digests, 3 aces, 3 kills, .600% hits
Emilie Hellmuth (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park HS): 11 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace, 1 block
Meg Brown (Santa Ana, CA/Mater Dei HS): 10 kills, 0.389% success rate, 3 digs, 1 ace, block
Grace Chillingworth (Tustin, CA/Foothill HS): 8 kills, 8 recoveries, 1 block
Riley Patterson (Sonora, Calif./Sonora HS/Pacific): 11 digs, 3 assists
Avery Shimaitis (Sugar Land, Texas/George Ranch HS): 7 wins, 3 blocks
Kayleigh Hames (Maryville, Tenn./Webb School of Knoxville): 5 digs, 1 ace
Trinity Stanger (Los Angeles, CA/Viewpoint HS): 6 digs


Pepperdine dominated Santa Clara from start to finish, scoring 51 eliminations on a .316 clip, while allowing just 30 eliminations on a .157 outing to the opposition. The Waves also amassed 7.0 blocks and seven aces, while adding 47 digs, while the Broncos were good for 42 digs, 6.0 blocks and two aces.


Set KE TA Pct
1 19 4 42 .357
2 12 3 29 .310

3 20 7 46 .283
TTL 51 14 117 .316


Set KE TA Pct
1 9 4 32 .156
2 9 7 35 0.057

3 12 3 35 .257
TTL 30 14 102 .157

The first set was the waves from start to finish after taking a 5-1 set lead thanks to spikes from Meg Brown and Emilie Hellmuth and an ace from Hellmuth. Pepperdine continued with positive games finding more victims of Avery Shimaitis and vanessa polk and a Malibu Roofing Company greeting from Polk and Grace Chillingworth to make it 11-4. Santa Clara found a few spots soon after, but the waves were on an uptrend after further kills from Isabelle Zelaya and Polk and a statement of a block from Polk and Hellmuth. A pair of Hellmuth kills would end the set 25-16 in favor of the Waves.

Although the Broncos took a 6-3 lead to open the second set, the Waves were right behind, going 8-0, turning the script around and taking an 11-6 advantage. Throughout the run, Zelaya put up two more aces and Polk denied three separate attack attempts – one solo and two with Shimaitis. SCU came back to make it a three-point set at 14-11, but kills from Chillingworth and Brown and others made it a 21-12 advantage for the home side. Emma Ammerman found a good spot to pick up an ace and Polk closed the set 25-13 with a smash to help the cause.

Pepperdine stormed out in the third set, once again racking up an 8-3 run to set the tone after several kills from Hellmuth, Polk and Chillingworth. Another Polk block collaboration, Shimaitis, along with two kills each for the same duo, gave the Waves a 16-9 advantage near the back half of the set. Late in the action, the opposition launched a rally attempt, battling five match point opportunities, until Chillingworth closed things down with a smash to give the side a final score of 25-20 and end the scan.

On Saturday, the Waves host San Francisco at noon at Firestone Fieldhouse. The match will be the Waves ‘Dig Pink’ match, so fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of the fight against breast cancer.

Follow the Waves on Facebook and Twitter, @WavesVolleyball, and follow the team on Instagram, @peppvolley. Get all the latest schedules, results and more at www.PepperdineWaves.com.

Gallery: (27-10-2022) Women’s volleyball against Santa Clara


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