Oct. 23, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. - Despite a career-high 21 kills from freshman middle blocker Toni Muratore, the 19th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team was unable to rally for a victory against California, falling in five games tonight at Haas Pavilion. Game scores were 30-21, 30-26, 24-30, 25-30, 18-16.
The Broncos committed nine of their season-high 15 service errors in the match's first two frames, but rallied through game five, holding off one match-point opportunity for the Bears and serving twice for the victory, but was unable to overcome 17 California blocks, including the match-winner by Heather Diers and Jessica Zatica.
SCU took an early 6-2 lead to begin the night, but allowed Cal to take an early advantage and finished the frame with a kill from Leah Young, who finished with a career-high 19.
In game two, the reverse happened, with the Bears taking the early lead before two tough serves by sophomore setter Kelli Sousa forced Cal to return the ball over with easy bumps that set up two Broncos plays that resulted in kills by Muratore and senior outside hitter Merrin Thompson down the middle for a 17-16 lead. Cal tied it it again at 24 and used three blocks to close the frame with a two-game lead at intermission.
Sophomore middle blocker Becky Potter returned from the break on fire, and registered five kills and two blocks to begin the Bronco rally. Game four was much of the same, with the Broncos outhitting Cal .316 to .048 in the frame.
The Broncos took the early lead in game five, up 8-5 as the teams switched sides, but Bear Gabrielle Abernathy posted five kills as Cal rallied to tie the match at 8 and again at 11, 12 and 13. A kill by Young set up Bear match point No. 1, but Potter responded with a kill to even the score again at 14. Thompson registered a kill from the back row to set up the Broncos' first match point, but again, Young had an answer for SCU. Bari set up the Broncos' second match point of the night, but the team's 15th service error of the contest even the score at 16. Two Bronco hitting errors ended the night.
Potter equaled Muratore's kill mark, while junior outside hitter Cindy Hirsch added 10 kills. Four Broncos reached double digits in digs, led by Thompson's 20. Potter added a career-high six blocks to the team's defensive efforts.
The Broncos return to the Leavey Center and West Coast Conference action this weekend, hosting Saint Mary's on Friday and San Diego on Saturday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.