Sept. 6, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 24th-ranked Santa Clara University women's volleyball team increased it season-opening winning streak to four matches Friday night in game one of the NAU Fiesta Bowl Tournament, defeating Eastern Illinois by a score of 3-1.
The Broncos (4-0) raced out to an early 2-0 lead, winning game one by a 30-17 score and game two by a score of 30-15. Santa Clara dropped its first game of the year in game three, falling to the Panthers (2-2) by a score of 30-28. SCU rallied in game four to win by a 30-27 count despite being down by as many as four in the fourth game.
Sophomore Becky Biniek topped her career-high in kills from last week with her team-leading 16 on the evening. Junior Kelli Sousa proved to be the real difference in the game registering 45 assists to go along with a team-high 12 digs and a career-high seven kills.
The Broncos had a good hitting percentage in games one and two with their .282 and .448 percentages, but fell off quite a bit in games three and four where they posted averages of .170 and .020 respectively.
Eastern Illinois was led on the evening by Erica Gerth's 17 kills while Karen Liss posted a match-high 13 digs to get the Panthers back in the match.
"Tonight was a good match for us," said head coach Jon Wallace. "We jumped out to an early lead but weren't playing too particularly well. The adversity that we encountered in games three and four will hopefully help us out down the road. The important thing for us is that we came away with a win and should be able to learn some good things from it."
The Broncos will look to continue their four-game winning streak on day two of the tournament hosted by Northern Arizona, taking on the University of Idaho Saturday morning at 9:30 before wrapping up their participation with the host NAU at 7:30 p.m.