Sept. 28, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 19th-ranked Santa Clara University women's volleyball team opened up its 2002 home season with a 3-2 win over cross-town rival San Jose State in front of 1,009 fans inside the Leavey Center.
Behind career-high performances in kills by junior Becky Potter (28) and freshmen Cassie Perret (20) and Alyssa Lantz (19), the Broncos improved to 11-2 on the season. Junior setter Kelli Sousa also set a new career-high in sets with 71 to go along with seven kills and 10 digs. Potter added 13 digs on the night while senior co-captains Chrissy Hirsch and Cindy Hirsch chipped in with 20 and 14 digs, respectively.
Santa Clara jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, winning game one by a score of 30-24 and game two by a 30-23 count, seemingly poised for an easy sweep. But the Spartans, who fell to 5-8 on the year, bounced back to take the next two games by scores of 30-28 and 30-27, forcing a decisive game five.
In the final game, San Jose State jumped out to an early 8-4 lead. After switching sides of the court, the Broncos came racing back to take the lead and eventually win after scoring 11 of the next 12 points, ending the game with a 15-9 win in game five.
As a team the Broncos hit .327 for the game and registered 79 digs, which were 20 more than the Spartans. Santa Clara was out-blocked in the game by a 10-6 margin, but SJSU just could not capitalize as they hit .233 for the game but only .043 in the deciding fifth game.
Kimberly Noble had a tremendous night for the Spartans, posting 25 kills while Christina Lukens recorded a double-double with her 16 kills and 17 digs. Lindsey Rule had 54 assists on the evening while Liz Hudson added 11 digs, six kills and a match-high seven block assists.
The win for the Broncos adds three more points to their season total, which now stands at six in the standings of the newly formed rivalry series between Santa Clara and San Jose State. The two schools have met in men's soccer and the game tonight, with the Broncos winning both contests. There are 11 more contests between the Broncos and Spartans this year, the next coming on October 15 when the women's soccer squads face off. The school with the most points at the end of the 2002-2003 athletic season will be crowned the inaugural winner of the series which is still yet to be named.
The volleyball team will return to action next weekend as they open West Coast Conference play with two matches against San Diego and Saint Mary's on Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.