Oct. 6, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University volleyball team earned its 10th victory of the season, sweeping Portland tonight in West Coast Conference action at the Leavey Center. Game scores were 30-20, 30-19, 31-29. With the victory, SCU improves to 10-5 overall, 3-1 in league play, while the Bulldogs fall to 3-9, 0-4.
Santa Clara sided-out for the match's first point and then scored four more for a 5-0 lead. The Broncos kept a five-point edge through 20-15 before pulling away. A kill by freshman middle blocker Toni Muratore ended the frame in the Broncos' favor.
After a similar game two, the Pilots opened the third frame with an early lead, but the Broncos recaptured it at 11-10 and pulled away to 15-10 on a kill by senior outside hitter Jami Bari. Three straight block assists by the Pilots' Heather Denison and Sara Engstrom denied three Bronco match-point attempts and pulled Portland to within 29-27. After tying the match at 29, a Bronco kill set up the team's seventh match point and a block assist by senior defensive specialist Merrin Thompson and freshman middle blocker Christina Vick ended the night.
Sophomore outside hitter Jessie Mechem and Muratore led the Broncos with 11 kills each, while sophomore outside hitter Becky Potter added 10. Bari led the Broncos defensively with 16 digs on the night. And although the Broncos did record six service aces, including three by Thompson, the team committed 11 service errors to the Pilots' 12.
Portland was led by Bridget DeChant's eight kills, while Kamanao Kuulei posted 10 digs.
The Broncos return to action next weekend in Southern California, facing Loyola Marymount on Friday in Los Angeles and 15th-ranked Pepperdine on Saturday in Malibu. Both contests will begin at 7 p.m. at their respective venues.