Defense Lifts Volleyball to Victory
Oct. 24, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Freshman middle blocker Annalisa Muratore matched career highs in kills and block assists to lead the 19th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team to a five-game victory over Pepperdine this evening at the Leavey Center. Offensively, Muratore notched 23 kills for a new mark, and on the defensive end, tied her personal best with 14 block assists. Santa Clara improves to 14-4 overall with the 30-20, 25-30, 27-30, 30-22, 15-9 victory, and is now 5-2 in West Coast Conference play. The Waves fall to 5-11, 3-4.
Additionally, the Broncos posted 19.5 blocks as a team, the third best performance in program annals. Santa Clara out-blocked the Waves 19.5-4. The Broncos also remain undefeated at home with an 8-0 mark.
Muratore led a group of four who reached double digits on the attack. Kim McGiven followed with 13, Toni Muratore added 12 and Anna Cmaylo posted 11. Cassie Perret added eight blocks to the team's performance, while McGiven added six. Libero Caroline Walters registered 28 digs.
Pepperdine was led by Katy Daly's 22-kill, 16-dig performance. Also recording a double-double was Kristen Shultz, who notched 15 kills and 11 digs. Sophia Milo added 17 kills, and Christina Hinds led the team defensively with 27 digs.
Santa Clara's defense led the team to the game one victory. Three consecutive stuffs gave the home team a 24-17 lead and forced Pepperdine to regroup by calling a time out. Jac Heler and Cmaylo paired for the team's fifth block of the frame to close out scoring.
The Waves recovered to take game two. Milo notched back-to-back kills after taking advantage of two overpasses off the serve and earned her team a 10-6 lead. Santa Clara stayed with Pepperdine and the Muratore sisters combined for a block to tie the match at 21 and bring the crowd of more than 1,000 to its feet. Pepperdine maintained the lead and a kill by Daly sent the teams to the locker room with the match tied at 1-1 at intermission.
It took three tries, but Pepperdine was able to earn the game three victory, hitting .250 in the frame, led largely by Schultz' seven kills.
The Broncos controlled game four, and a service ace by Toni Muratore put the home squad ahead 20-9. Pepperdine went on an 8-2 run to make the game exciting, but Perret and Annalisa Muratore combined for back-to-back blocks to push the lead to 28-21. Annalisa Muratore followed with a kill to set up game point. Perret followed with a block solo to send the match to game five. where a Pepperdine hitting error set up match point, allowing Cmaylo's final kill of the night to send the team home with a victory.
Santa Clara will return to action for the second half of the conference season next weekend. The Broncos will travel to the Northwest and play at Portland on Friday night and at Gonzaga on Saturday night. First serves for both contests at their respective venues is scheduled for 7 p.m.