Sept. 24, 2005
Providence, R.I. - Family can be an inspiring and motivating factor to play well. Just ask sophomore Anna Cmaylo. The Santa Clara middle blocker led her team to a three-game victory over Stony Brook this morning in front of family who had never seen her compete before. One of the reasons head coach Jon Wallace scheduled his team to compete in the Brown Invitational was so that Cmaylo's family could finally see her play. And she didn't disappoint, putting down 11 kills at a .400 clip to lead the No. 18 Broncos to a 30-10, 30-24, and 30-27 victory.
Santa Clara jumped out to an early 17-6 lead in the opening frame, after setter Crystal Matich got several of her teammates involved on offense. Freshman Brittany Lowe served six consecutive points during that run to easily distance the Broncos from the Seawolves. Five straight SCU kills, two of them by middle blocker Megan Pura, followed by a Stony Brook attacking error closed out the first game 30-10.
The second game was a little bit more competitive, as neither team was able to gain much of an edge in the opening stages. After a Stony Brook kill tied the game up at 8-8, Santa Clara went on a 13-2 run to comfortably take control of the match. However, the Seawolves would not back down, as they mounted a mini-comeback of their own. Stony Brook pulled to within four points at 28-24 after a Nichole Clark hitting error, but a kill by Rachel Greenburg and a Seawolve hitting error closed out Game Two for the Broncos, 30-24.
As it was in Game Two, the third frame saw both teams compete on an even level, with Santa Clara maintaining a slim two-point advantage in the opening plays. The Broncos built a 5-point edge at 20-15 after a Jessika Horlemann kill. Stony Brook would close the gap to two points at 29-27, but a kill by Cmaylo closed out the game and the match for Santa Clara.
Aside from Cmaylo, the Broncos got offensive contributions from senior opposite Cassie Perret and freshman outside hitter Jessika Horlemann, as both pitched in eight kills. Freshman Michelle Luxton tallied seven digs to lead all players in the back row, while Taylor O'Brien, Clark, and Horlemann added a team high two blocks. Cmaylo was named the Tournament MVP and Lowe and Perret were added to the all-tournament team.
With this victory, Santa Clara is riding on a three-match win streak and improves its overall record to 10-1 on the season. The Broncos return to action Tuesday night against San Jose State in the first of many matches of the Rivalry Series. The two schools will compete head-to-head in a variety of sports to claim school bragging rights and volleyball will be the first athletic contest to be determined. Game time will be at 7 p.m. and the match will be held at the Leavey Center. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by going to www.santaclarabroncos.com.