Sept. 27, 2005
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara has never lost the Rivalry Series and the volleyball team has done their part to make sure the Broncos don't lose their grip on the trophy. In a battle between two South Bay rivals, 15th-ranked Santa Clara (11-1) swept San Jose State (7-7) tonight at the Leavey Center, 30-20, 30-27, and 30-22.
The Rivalry Series is a year-long athletic competition between Santa Clara and San Jose State in 13 varsity sports and the Broncos took the first step in repeating as champions by beating the unranked Spartans. SCU Head coach Jon Wallace has always taken the annual contest with SJSU seriously and he is excited that the Rivalry Series brings extra attention to not only his volleyball team, but to the university as well.
"I think it is good for both schools in an area where any kind of publicity between our two schools can only make things better for our student athletes and universities," said Wallace about his opinion of the Rivalry Series.
Added Wallace: "[San Jose State] steps it up and they play hard and I told our girls this is a huge match and we never take them lightly. We have Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine this weekend and I told them the match I'm worried about is San Jose State."
Offensively, the Broncos were lead by a trio of outside hitters. Freshman Brittany Lowe tallied a game high 17 kills on the night, while senior Cassie Perret and junior Kim McGiven added 14 and 11 kills, respectively. As impressive as the three hitters were, Wallace believes that sophomore middle blocker Anna Cmaylo's performance tonight will standout in the Spartan's minds, as she attacked for 12 kills at an unreal .688 hitting percentage.
"When [San Jose State] goes home, they'll probably be thinking about #15, Anna Cmaylo. They stopped her once and they almost had to concede to her whenever we set her. She's just that good."
The first game opened up with both teams playing fairly even, though Santa Clara claimed a 10-8 edge after a Megan Pura kill. The Broncos would slowly pull way, thanks to the services of McGiven and Cmaylo. McGiven's mix of power shots and off-speed hitting kept the Spartan's defense guessing, while Cmaylo's quick slides proved to be unstoppable. The home team got an extra boost from Lowe, as she had three kills in the final moments of the first frame, including the game clincher.
Santa Clara jumped out to an 8-3 lead after sophomore setter Crystal Matich ran the offense to perfection, getting several of her teammates involved on offense. However, San Jose State would not back down in Game 2 and the Spartan's Collen Burke served five straight points to give her team a slim 9-8 lead. The two South Bay rivals would continue to battle for every point for the remainder of the game and although SCU held a slim two-point advantage heading into the latter stages of the frame, SJSU did not buckle under pressure. Lowe would give the Broncos game point at 29-25, but a Pura attack error and a Spartan ace forced Wallace to call a timeout. The San Jose State rally would be short-lived, however, as McGiven ended the second game with a kill.
After the 10-minute intermission, the visiting team buckled down and raced out to a 7-4 lead after a Spartan kill. The Broncos would not be deterred, however, as they mounted a furious rally behind Perret and a kill from the Menlo Park, Calif. native to make the score 8-7 put Santa Clara up for good. With SCU leading SJSU 15-11, sophomore libero Caroline Walters went on a four-point serving run to put her team firmly in control of the match. Serving at 29-22, Walters would end the third game with her second ace of the night.
Walters was the leading digger on the night, accumulating 15, while Matich totaled 52 assists and had the team hitting at a .328 clip.
West Coast Conference action begins this weekend, as the Broncos will travel to the campuses of Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University. The match against the Lions will take place on Friday at 7 p.m., while the contest with the Waves will be televised live on CSTV on Sunday at 3 p.m.