Oct. 1, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University volleyball team won its seventh match in a row, besting Gonzaga in five games to open West Coast Conference action tonight at the Leavey Center. The Broncos improve to 10-2, 1-0 on the season with the 30-23, 28-30, 24-30, 30-23, 15-6 victory. The Bulldogs became the first opponent to out-block SCU this season, but fall to 4-10, 0-1.
Junior Toni Muratore and her sister Annalisa posted 20 kills each to lead all attackers. Three other Broncos reached double digits in kills: sophomore Kim McGiven 15, junior Cassie Perret 11 and freshman Anna Cmaylo 11. Perret notched her fifth double-double of the season adding 10 digs. Jac Heler led SCU defensively with her match-high 16 digs, while Libero Caroline Walters added 15.
Santa Clara was out-blocked for the first time this season, with Gonzaga taking a 19-14 advantage, including a 5-0 edge in game one. The Broncos saw nine blocks from Cmaylo and five from Annalisa Muratore.
Gonzaga was led by Christina Davis' 14-kill, 10-dig performance. Lacey Bell registered 13 kills, while three other Bulldogs added nine kills apiece. Libero Jessica Herrera posted 13 digs and Briawna Mueller posted 10 blocks for the Gonzaga defense.
Santa Clara controlled game one from the start and earned the victory in part from six kills from Cmaylo and a team .395 hitting percentage. The second frame was close, with 14 ties in the game. A Gonzaga setting error pulled the Broncos within 26-27, but the visitors evened the match by closing out the frame with two kills from Davis. Sophomore Megan Pura returned to the court after missing the last 10 matches due to injury. She recorded three kills, including one that held off Gonzaga's first game point.
The Bulldogs kept the momentum upon returning from intermission and jumped out to an early lead in game three. Toni Muratore slammed the ball off an overpass to tie the frame at 12, but Gonzaga rebuilt its advantage to 23-17 before the Broncos called a time out. A Becky Jones kill gave GU a 2-1 match lead. Santa Clara was held to a .093 clip in the frame.
Bronco attackers took over game four with a vengeance. Toni Muratore posted nine of her kills in this frame. One was an attack from the right side that tied the match at 14. She followed with a spike from the left to give Santa Clara a lead it would not relinquish.
Gonzaga took a time out to regroup, but Santa Clara held strong. One side out later, Toni Muratore notched two more kills before rotating to the back row. Her sister then took over, with a block solo and a kill to push the Bronco lead to 19-15. McGiven sent the match into the deciding frame when she closed out game four by scoring the last five points, with four kills and a block.
Santa Clara closed out the night with Cmaylo's final kill, off an overpass on the serve reception.
Santa Clara remains at home and will host Portland (9-4, 0-1) on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Broncos hold an 18-match win streak and a 30-6 all-time record against the Pilots.