Oct. 24, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's volleyball team dropped a five-game thriller Friday night at Loyola Marymount by scores of 21-30, 28-30, 30-28, 30-24 and 17-15. With the loss the 12th-ranked Broncos fall to 14-7 overall and 5-1 in West Coast Conference play while the 17th-ranked Lions improve to 20-3 overall and 5-1 in league action.
SCU raced out to an early 2-0 lead in the best of five game match only to have LMU rebound and win the next three games, giving the Broncos their first league loss of the season in heartbreaking fashion. Santa Clara led in game five by a scores of 10-7 and 13-11 only to have Loyola Marymount rally to tie and eventually win the match on consecutive kills when the match was tied at 15 apiece.
Senior captain Becky Potter shone in the loss for SCU, posting her second 20-20 match of the season, notching a match-high 28 kills and career-high 24 digs. Sophomore Toni Muratore recorded a career-high 23 kills while Becky Biniek and Cassie Perret chipped in with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Setter Kelli Sousa tied a career-high with her 76 assists on the evening.
Potter's 24 digs give her 1,004 for her career making her only the sixth player in program history to reach the 1,000 kill - 1,000 dig plateau, and only the fifth player in WCC history to reach the 1,600 kill - 1,000 dig milestone.
Kealani Kimball led the way for the Lions with her 22 kills while Tiana Newsome trailed closely behind with her 17 kills on the night. Kelli Nerison and Dina DeBernardi also registered double-digit kills in the match with their 13 and 11, respectively. Nicole Oehlman directed the Lions' offense with her 60 assists in the match while Nerison's five solo blocks were also a factor in the win.
The loss for the Broncos was their first to a conference opponent other than Pepperdine in over two years. The last WCC team to beat the Broncos, other than the Waves, was San Diego on September 28, 2001.
Santa Clara will look to rebound Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m as they take on No. 5 Pepperdine in front of a live national television audience on CSTV in Firestone Fieldhouse on the Pepperdine campus. Santa Clara can regain its position as a front runner for the league title with a win over the Waves who improved to 16-2 overall and 6-0 in conference action following their sweep of No. 16 San Diego Friday night.