Sept. 27, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team served up a 3-1 (30-19, 30-20, 29-31, 30-21) win over Portland Thursday night in its West Coast Conference season opener. With the win the Broncos improved to 9-7 overall and 1-0 in the WCC, while the Pilots dropped to 7-7 on the season and 0-1 in league play.
"I liked the way we played tonight," said head coach Jon Wallace. "We came out really focused and with good energy. We lost that drive in game three but it was nice to see them come back in game four with the rejuvenated focus and win it."
Opposite hitter Lindsy Evans led the match with 16 kills and four service aces, while outside hitter Krista Kelley had 19 kills and 14 digs. Junior Brittany Lowe added 14 kills and 17 digs. Evans also posted a match-high 5 service aces.
The Broncos opened the first game with a 3-1 start on points from Lauryn Dowd, Evans and Lowe. Santa Clara continued to control the scoreboard and held seven 10-points leads during game one. An attacking error from Portland gave Santa Clara game point, and an ace from Evans gave SCU a 30-19 victory.
Santa Clara picked up from where it left off in game one and produced a 4-1 lead in the beginning of the second game. A block assist from Kelley and Nichole Clark, along with a kill by Kelley put the Broncos up by six point, 10-4. SCU compiled an eight-point lead, 17-10, and then back-to-back block assists from Clark and Crystal Matich made the score, 21-12, in the Broncos favor. Santa Clara pushed ahead and never looked back as sophomore Evans struck again, this time with a kill, to end game two, 30-20.
After the break, Portland came back with a bit more energy and kept the sore tight. A Bronco error brought the Pilots within one, 4-3, but a 4-0 run on points from Clark and Kelley improved the score to 8-3. Portland rallied back on kills from Ashley Grayson to come within three, 9-6, but Santa Clara continued to hold the edge. A service ace from Kim Courtney put SCU up by seven points, 20-13. However, the Pilots were not willing to give up that easily and brought the score within four, 22-18, on kill from Jessica Clemens, which forced the Broncos to call a timeout. Portland narrowed the game, 26-25, on a kill from Grayson and then tied the score 27-27. The two teams then battled point-for-point until Clemens gave the Pilots the edge and then the game, 31-29.
The fourth game saw the Broncos and Pilots go head-to-head in the start and the score was tied four times before SCU was able to breakaway. Santa Clara advanced to an 18-8 lead on a kill from Lowe. SCU earned an 11 point lead on a kill from Matich, 22-11, and continued to hold a large lead over Portland. A strong kill from Evans gave the Broncos match point, 29-20, and a kill from Lowe brought the match to a close, 30-21.
For Portland, Grayson and Jennifer Sheedy had a team-best 13 kills, while Clemens posted five total blocks.
The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Sept. 28, against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m., at the Leavey Center.