Aug. 30, 2005
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On a muggy Tuesday night in Sacramento, the heat wasn't the only thing coming in waves.
Bronco red and white jerseys buzzed through the Hornets' Nest as the Santa Clara University women's volleyball team opened the 2005 season with a decisive three-game, 30-15, 30-26, 30-16 victory over Sacramento State.
Kim McGiven's double-double performance of 18 kills and 14 digs paced the Bronco attack, and Crystal Matich's 43 assists kept the Santa Clara machine humming throughout the match. Cassie Perret also had a great night, notching eight kills, eight blocks, and eight digs.
"Obviously I'm very happy with the way we played," said Broncos head coach Jon Wallace. "Cassie Perret, Brittany Lowe and Caroline Walters were very steady for us all night. They set the tone for us and Crystal was able to do a great job passing. Kim McGiven and Anna Cmaylo both had great nights. I also want to give credit to Kristen Luxton for coming in on a 25-25 tie during Game two and making a difference. She played like a senior should."
The Broncos overwhelmed the Hornets from the opening serve, blazing to an 8-3 Game one lead and forcing Sacramento State head coach Debby Colberg to burn her first timeout. The break had no effect on Santa Clara as it forced another Hornet timeout when it stretched the lead to 17-9. McGiven posted six kills in the first frame to go along with three digs to spark a 13-6 Bronco run that ended the first game.
As a team, Santa Clara registered a .531 hitting percentage in Game one while only committing one attack error in 32 total attacks.
Sacramento State recovered to open the second game, leading early and keeping the game close at crucial points. Yet, with the two teams running neck-and-neck at 25-apiece, McGiven notched a critical kill to give the Broncos a 26-25 lead they would not relinquish. Kristen Luxton's service ace on the following point affirmed the momentum shift toward Santa Clara and when the two-woman wall of Perret and Megan Pura snuffed out a Hornets attack attempt, the Broncos took a two games-to-none lead into the locker room.
Behind yet another stellar performance, this one from Brittany Lowe (nine kills and 10 digs in her collegiate debut), Santa Clara took control of Game three early and closed out a strong season-opening performance after a Hornets service error went into the net.
The Broncos will look to continue to play well this weekend as they travel to Irvine, Calif. for the UC Irvine Tournament. Santa Clara takes on Southern Mississippi Friday evening at 5 p.m. at Crawford Court.