No. 12 Santa Clara Sweeps Second Place Pepperdine
Oct. 28, 2005
Santa Clara, Calif. - The outside tandem of Brittany Lowe and Cassie Perret has been solid all year long for the Santa Clara women's volleyball team and tonight in a pivotal conference match, the duo came up big again. Lowe recorded her eighth double double of the season in the 3-0 victory over West Coast Conference foe Pepperdine, tallying 19 kills and 11 digs. Perret, the WCC's most efficient hitter, added 13 kills on a .385 clip, in addition to her 9 digs and three blocks. The No. 12 Broncos also received help from middle blockers Anna Cmaylo and Annalisa Muratore, as the sophomores combined for 15 kills and 11 blocks on the night. Sophomore libero Caroline Walters played great floor defense, totaling 20 digs in the 30-25, 30-26, and 31-29 win over the Waves (12-9, 5-3 WCC). SCU has now won 12 matches in a row and pushes its conference record to 8-0.
Despite the sweep, head coach Jon Wallace was still impressed with how well Pepperdine played and the match was closer than the scores would indicate. Luckily, the team stepped up when they needed to and was able to win the important rallies down the stretch.
"I thought Pepperdine was really prepared to play us and did a great job with their game plan," said Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace. "What I thought we did well was handle some adversity and battling to just win the big points. We did a great job of staying focused and doing all the right things in order to win the match, which is obviously the objective."
In the opening frame, Lowe jumpstarted the offense by collecting three early kills to push SCU's advantage to 8-5. The home team would continue to maintain a three-point lead for much of the game, until a Pepperdine kill and back-to-back Santa Clara errors pulled the visitors even at 20-20, prompting a timeout by Wallace. The two teams continued to trade blows until consecutive blocks by the Broncos forced the Waves to call a timeout at 28-25, but kills by McGiven and Cmaylo sealed the 30-25 game one victory.
To start off the second frame, both squads battled evenly for until consecutive kills by Lowe in the middle of the game gave Santa Clara a slim two-point advantage and on the following play, a block by setter Crystal Matich and Muratore made the score 16-13, compelling the Pepperdine coaching staff to take a timeout. The Waves were able reorganize themselves and closed the gap to 22-21. From that point on, the Broncos revved up their offense and scored four consecutive points before Pepperdine called a timeout to stop the bleeding. It would prove to be no use, as two late kills by Perret ended game two at 30-26.
After the eight-minute intermission, Pepperdine came out of the locker room with a determined attitude and it was evident from the get go in the third game, as the visitors took an 8-5 lead. From that point on, Muratore spearheaded a 6-1 SCU run, recording two kills and a block to give her team the 12-9 edge. In addition, great floor defense by Lowe and Walters and solid blocking by Muratore and Cmaylo was responsible for the Santa Clara spurt. The lead would grow to 22-16, although a 4-0 run by the Waves forced Wallace to call a timeout and calm down his troops. Muratore automatically put a ball through the block to stop the string of Pepperdine points, although the visitors still managed to take a 25-24 edge, thanks to a few SCU errors. The two squads traded points back and forth until Pepperdine reached a game point off of an own kill, but Perret was able to silence the Waves' threat with a kill down the line. After a Pepperdine error, Lowe served an ace to close out the third game 31-29, and the match.
Santa Clara improves its overall record in 2005 to 19-1. The Broncos return to action when they host Loyola Marymount in another important league contest tomorrow night at 7 p.m.