Sept. 16, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 8 Bronco volleyball team, with the wound from Thursda's biting loss still fresh, fed off of their pent-up frustration Saturday afternoon, unleashing a dominating 3-0 (30-17, 30-20, 30-18) sweep on the UC Irvine Anteaters at the Stanford Invitational at Maples Pavilion.
The Broncos (8-2) return to the court tonight for a 7 p.m. match against Georgetown that will conclude tournament play.
"I thought that the girls came into this match really determined and focused to get better in the areas we discussed in our film session, and they did get better," said head coach Jon Wallace.
Megan Pura put down a career-high 11 kills at a .786 clip in the victory, while Anna Cmaylo had 10 kills as the Broncos hit a collective .427 for the match behind Crystal Matich's 38 assists. Brittany Lowe added nine kills and nine digs while Nina Sevastopoulos had three blocks up front.
"We've worked on Megan's hitting and she and Crystal have been connecting really well this year," Wallace said of the senior middle blocker. "Megan has worked hard in practice and has earned her time on the court."
Santa Clara did not mess around Saturday afternoon, opening the first game with a 6-0 run that featured a pair of kills by Cmaylo and an ace from Lauren Dowd. Things evened out for the next few points, but the Broncos put together another run, taking eight out of 11 points to extend their lead to 19-9 before UC Irvine (3-8) burned a timeout.
The stoppage in play had no effect on the Broncos, who continued to roll, extending their lead to 26-13 on kills by Lindsy Evans, Kim McGiven and a combined block by Pura and Lowe. Leading 29-17 after a Lowe kill, Matich again went to Lowe on the next point, who put down the game-clinching kill.
Game two wasn't much different than the first, as although the Broncos spotted the Anteaters a 2-1 lead early, a 4-0 run behind the howitzer-blast serves of Evans gave SCU a 5-2 lead that they would not relinquish. An Evans kill that made it 14-7 prompted the Anteaters to call another timeout.
Again, as in the first stanza, the timeout did not do much to slow the Broncos, as a Lowe solo block followed by a Pura kill and an ace from Taylor O'Brien gave SCU a double-digit lead at 21-11 and forced UC Irvine to call its final timeout of the game.
Three straight kills from McGiven, Lowe and Matich, followed by a solo block from Matich gave SCU a 4-0 run off the restart, and although the Anteaters managed to grab a few more points, the Broncos were not to be stopped. A block and then a kill by Sevastopoulos brought Santa Clara to game point at 29-16, and despite a 4-0 Anteater burst, the Broncos captured the stanza following a UC Irvine blocking error.
The third game started out as a closer affair, with the teams knotted at six-apiece before Pura helped the Broncos create some space on the scoreboard, making three kills over a 5-0 run that made it 11-6. Then deficit stayed at five at 19-14 after another Pura kill and a hitting error on UC Irvine, then SCU effectively put things on ice with a 5-1 run that gave them a nine-point advantage at 24-15.
Three hitting errors by the Anteaters gave the Broncos match-point at 29-18, and another one gave SCU the match.