Nov. 9, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 19th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team fell to 10th-ranked Pepperdine in three games in West Coast Conference action tonight at the Leavey Center. Game scores were 30-23, 30-27, 30-26.
The Broncos remain in second place in the league standings, but fall to 17-8 overall, and 9-3 in the WCC. The Waves clinch at least a share of the league championship and improve to 18-3, 11-0.
"We played a very good team, but a team that gives you a couple of opportunities here and there," Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace said. "And when those opportunities came our way, we weren't able to capitalize. It's almost like we got so wide-eyed that we would forget what we had to do. We gave up a lot of runs, but I thought our girls competed hard."
Both teams opened the match strong, with Santa Clara taking an early 6-3 lead. A great save by junior defensive specialist Chrissy Hirsch was converted into a point when sophomore teammates Kelli Sousa and Becky Potter blocked a Wave attack to put the score to 13-10 favoring SCU. Chrissy's sister Cindy increased that lead by one with a service ace. Pepperdine rallied to tie the score at 16 and the teams traded leads for the next few points. The Waves inched ahead with two key blocks and four Bronco errors in the last five points ceded the game to the visitors 30-23.
The Broncos converted a 1-3 deficit in game two into a 6-3 advantage with another ace by Cindy Hirsch. Again, Pepperdine tied the match, this time at 17 apiece and the teams traded one-point leads through 27 all. Two kills and a block by the Waves' Melissa Snow sealed another victory to put the Waves ahead 2-0 at intermission. Although the Broncos lost the frame, senior outside hitter Jami Bari notched her 1,000 dig midway through the game, becoming only the seventh Bronco all-time to reach the mark. She finished the night with 12, and her career mark is at 1,004.
The Broncos were held to a .115 hitting percentage as four more attacking errors allowed the Waves to jump to a 6-1 lead in game three. Pepperdine extended the advantage to 12-4 before the Broncos rallied. Senior outside hitter Merrin Thompson kick-started the comeback with two consecutive kills and the frame was tied at 17-17 after five straight Pepperdine hitting errors. The Waves turned to Katie Wilkins, who posted five of her match-high 18 kills in the third game to seal the victory.
Leading Santa Clara was Potter, with 13 kills and 15 digs. Bari added 10 kills while Pepperdine's Stacey Rouwenhorst led all defensive efforts with seven blocks.
The Broncos will host Loyola Marymount tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. The match will give fans a chance to say thank you to seniors Jami Bari and Merrin Thompson, who will be playing one of their final home matches in a Bronco uniform. Fans that bring a canned food item will receive admission on Saturday night for only $2.