Sept. 14, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. - Despite a solid start that made Bronco fans think that everything would go well Thursday night, the No. 8 Broncos hit a wall late in the first game, and No. 7 Stanford capitalized to capture the battle between the heated rivals with a 3-0 (30-28, 30-14, 30-23) sweep at Maples Pavilion.
The Broncos will return to action Saturday with a pair of matches, the first at 12 p.m. against UC Irvine, and finally at 7 p.m. against Georgetown.
"We were probably looking at winning game one for a little bit there, but our passing broke down and they picked up their level of play," said head coach Jon Wallace. "It kind of crippled our offense and I think our offense stayed crippled the rest of the night because of their strong service game."
Kim McGiven led the Bronco attack with 16 kills, and Caroline Walters paced the team with 13 digs, but the Broncos could not regain their rhythm in the final two games, hitting only .121 for the match. Crystal Matich also had 37 assists and three blocks for SCU (7-2).
Kristin Richards led the Cardinal (7-1) with 16 kills, while Franci Girard provided the defense up front, making nine blocks.
Santa Clara was primed and ready at the start of the match, but at first that intensity worked against them, as service errors helped the Cardinal to a quick 7-3 lead. But the Broncos got under control, catching the Cardinal and taking a 15-14 lead behind a pair of kills by Anna Cmaylo.
SCU continued its steady play to a 23-20 lead, but at this point things began to slowly unravel, as Stanford was the beneficiary of an SCU net violation and tied the game at 26-26. A Cardinal block put them at game point, and a Richards kill gave Stanford the stanza at 30-28.
The Broncos got out to a 3-1 lead to begin the second game, but again, things took a turn and Stanford put together an 8-1 run behind the play of Foluke Akinradewo that gave the Cardinal a five-point lead. SCU cut the deficit to three at 11-8 on a Matich kill, but more inconsistent play plagued them and Stanford took control of the game with a 10-4 run that made it 21-12, then a 7-1 run that essentially iced things and gave the Cardinal the 2-0 lead.
Santa Clara, after coming back from an 0-2 hole Tuesday at San Jose State, couldn't pull off another big comeback Thursday, dropping the third and final stanza, 30-23. Although the Broncos kept things within three at 21-18 late, Stanford pulled away to clinch the match.