Oct. 8, 2005
Santa Clara, Calif. -Staying perfect in the West Coast Conference is a difficult task to accomplish, but thus far the Santa Clara women's volleyball team has been able to defy all odds after defeating Portland 3-0 to stay a perfect 4-0 in conference play. Leading the way for Santa Clara in the 30-19, 30-12, and 30-18 victory were outside hitters Kim McGiven and Brittany Lowe, as the duo combined for 21 kills and 10 digs. Playing in only two games, middle blocker Anna Cmaylo had seven kills at a .778 hitting percentage, in addition to pacing SCU with four blocks. Fellow middle blocker Annalisa Muratore saw action in two games as well, contributing six kills at a .545 clip to go along with her two blocks. As a whole, the team hit .344, with setter Crystal Matich directing the Bronco attack.
Portland came out firing against Santa Clara in the first game, matching the home team point for point until a Cmaylo kill gave the Broncos the slim 11-9 edge. SCU would slowly build a lead over the visitors, thanks to the offensive prowess of Lowe. The outside hitter had three kills in a key 7-2 run to make the score 16-12. The Broncos took control of the match, scoring 11 straight points to put the first game out of reach. McGiven was responsible for four of those points, all on kills. Santa Clara would eventually take Game One 30-19 after a Portland service error.
In the second frame, the Broncos built an 11-5 lead to set the tone for the rest of the game. Santa Clara's offense was hitting on all cylinders, hitting an incredible .429, while its defense held Portland to an -.136 hitting percentage. Cmaylo had three blocks in the second game, anchoring the front-row block. Back-to-back kills by Cmaylo and Lowe gave SCU the 30-12 game.
After the 10-minute intermission, Santa Clara came out of the locker room and continued to dominate the visiting team, taking a 10-3 edge due largely in part to a slew of Pilot attacking errors. The Broncos would continue to apply the pressure on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court and the Pilots were unable to stop the Santa Clara juggernaut. Middle blocker Megan Pura ended the third game and the match on a kill.
Santa Clara improves its record to 15-1 on the year and 4-0 in the WCC, while Portland drops to 3-12 in 2005 and 0-3 in conference play. SCU returns to action when it hosts WCC rival San Diego in a key conference match-up on Saturday, October 15. The contest will be held at the Leavey Center and will begin at 2 p.m.