Oct. 16, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - For the second time this season, the 24th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team upset a higher-ranked team at the Leavey Center when it topped No. 15 Pacific tonight in four games in a non-conference match. Game scores were 30-22, 26-30, 30-26, 30-22.
The Broncos, who defeated then-13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara last month, improve to 12-6 on the season while the Tigers fall to 15-5.
Five SCU players registered double-digit figures in digs. Leading the defensive was senior Merrin Thompson and junior Chrissy Hirsch, each with 13 digs. Sophomore setter Kelli Sousa and senior Jami Bari added 12 each while junior Cindy Hirsch added 11 as the Broncos outdug Pacific 68-49.
The Broncos also received strong offensive nights by freshman Toni Muratore, with 17 kills, while sophomore Becky Potter, Cindy Hirsch and Bari also surpassed the 10-kill mark as the home squad outhit Pacific .286 to .182 including a .471 mark in the final frame.
Pacific gained the early lead at the start of the match, but six Bronco kills allowed an 8-2 scoring run to change the advantage. Pacific rallied with the help of three Bronco offensive errors but then committed four of its own to allow SCU to score seven straight for a 20-11 lead. Another streak, this time by the Tigers, pulled Pacific within three, at 21-18. Four different Bronco players registered kills to give the team its final push as it finished the frame with a service ace by Sousa.
The Broncos continued scoring in game two, taking the early lead, only to see Pacific tie it at 11. The teams exchanged leads until Pacific earned a two-point advantage at 18-16 off a kill by the Tigers' Elaine Goeders. The Broncos tied it again at 21, but five SCU attacking errors gave Pacific game point. Although Santa Clara held off two chances for the Tigers to end the frame, an SCU service error ceded game two 30-26. Despite seven service errors in the frame, Pacific evened the match at one game apiece heading into intermission.
Pacific returned to the floor for a quick lead in game three, but a solo block by sophomore Becky Potter tied the frame at nine. A transition kill by Cindy Hirsch gave SCU its first lead of game three. The Broncos expanded their lead with strong kills from numerous players, including a smart play off the block by Thompson to give SCU a 27-22 advantage. The Tigers' Jennifer Joines began a small rally for the visitors with one of her match-high 25 kills of the night as the teams exchanged sideouts with the Broncos ahead by only three. Sophomore outside hitter Jesse Mechem entered the match late and recorded the game-winning kill to set up game four. The excitement continued as the Broncos' defense handled the Tigers to close out the night.
The Broncos remain at home while returning to West Coast Conference action. SCU will host San Francisco on Saturday to close out the first half of league play. The match will begin at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center.