Sept. 18, 2003
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Senior Becky Potter tallied a match-high 18 kills to lead the 17th-ranked Santa Clara University women's volleyball team to a 3-2 victory over host South Carolina to open the Gamecock Invitational. There were 24 tie scores and 14 lead changes in the back-and-forth match. Game scores were 32-30, 30-25, 12-30, 25-30, 15-12.
Santa Clara improves to 6-4 on the season, while the Gamecocks fall to 4-6. Four of South Carolina's losses have now come against teams ranked in the top-25.
Santa Clara's Cassie Perret added 12 kills while setter Kelli Sousa earned 41 assists. Lexie Bothman led the team defensively with a match-high 18 digs. Perret and Potter posted 11 digs each for the Broncos.
South Carolina was led by Lauren Ford's career-high 17 kills and .323 hitting percentage. Lynae Vanden Hull and Shonda Cole also reached double digits in kills for USC, with 12 and 10, respectively.
Santa Clara was out-blocked 17-6, marking a season high for South Carolina. The Gamecocks also posted a 15-4 service ace advantage and out-hit SCU .222 to .068. However, the host squad did commit 24 service errors.
The Broncos won the first two games, despite having a lower hitting percentage. It caught up with them as Santa Clara hit for a negative percentage and tallied only seven kills in each of the next two frames, both losses to tie the contest. The team won their sixth match of the season by out-hitting South Carolina .250 to .150 in the decisive game five.
South Carolina took a 4-6 deficit and scored five straight for a 9-6 lead in the final frame. The Broncos responded with kills by Becky Biniek and Perret. Three Gamecock hitting errors contributed to a tied score at 11-11. Santa Clara only allowed one more USC kill as Sousa, Potter and Kim McGiven recorded kills to secure the victory.
In game two, South Carolina jumped out to a 13-8 lead but Santa Clara fought back to tie the game at 19. After tying the match three times, Santa Clara jumped out to a 24-23 lead and never looked back. South Carolina committed seven service errors in the frame. The Gamecocks won game three, holding SCU to the lowest points scored of any opponent thus far this season. South Carolina went on a 9-1 run to end the game.
The Broncos will conclude their season-opening 12-match road trip with two more contests at the Gamecock Invitational on Friday, against Duke at 7 a.m. (Pacific Time) and George Washington at 2 p.m. SCU has not faced either opponent in program history. Both matches can be followed online via a live statistical game tracker on www.SantaClaraBroncos.com.
Santa Clara will open its 2003 home season with a high-profile match against No. 2 Hawaii on Sunday, September 28, at the Leavey Center. The match will begin at 1 p.m. and will be televised live on College Sports TV. CSTV is available only to Direct TV customers and is located on channel 610. The match is being played as part of the AVCA/CSTV Sunday Night Spike package.