Oct. 12, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's volleyball team registered a dominating 3-0 (30-26, 30-26, 30-21) victory over Saint Mary's Friday night in West Coast Conference play at the Leavey Center. With the win, the Broncos improved their overall record to 12-9, while their WCC record climbs to 4-1.
"It was great to play at home and get a conference win tonight," said head coach Jon Wallace. "I have to acknowledge Nichole Clark and Lauryn Dowd for their efforts tonight. They had the right match-ups and they played them well. Also, Crystal Matich played another excellent match and really ran the offensive for us."
Dowd recorded nine kills, two service aces and two total blocks for SCU, while Clark added seven kills. Leading the Broncos was Brittany Lowe, who tallied 13 kills. Meanwhile, Matich compiled a match-high .571 hitting percentage (4-0-7) and dished out 39 assists, two service aces and two total blocks.
The score in game one started out tight, as Santa Clara and Saint Mary's battled point-for-point. After the Gaels knotted the score, 9-9, the Broncos rallied behind the serving of Krista Kelley and attacks from Lowe to take a five-point lead, 14-9. SCU continued to push ahead, but the Gaels fought back and tied the score again, 22-22. However, a kill from Clark brought the game to 29-26, and a Saint Mary's service error ended the first game, 30-26, for Santa Clara.
The Gaels took a small edge in the start of the second game on back-to-back kills from Meagan York, but a high-powered attack from Kelley ended their short run and a kill from Dowd tied the score, 3-3. The teams went back and forth once again until a block assist from Clark and Matich put the Broncos up by two-points, 9-7. That was all Santa Clara needed as it continued to control the scoreboard and gain an eight-point advantage during impressive service from Kim Courtney. However, the Gaels were not ready to throw in the towel for game two, and rallied back to bring the score within one, 26-25, on points from Taylor Groess, Kelly Huston and York. Yet, Clark slammed the ball down to finish the second game, 30-26.
The Broncos energy continued through the 10-minute break and right into game three as they plowed their way to an 11-2 run on points from Dowd, Lindsy Evans and Clark. Santa Clara rode the energy high to closeout the match with a 30-21 third game victory.
"There were a lot of one-on-one match-ups tonight," said junior Clark. "So that made it a bit easier on the attack. But we executed really well and had a lot of fun out there tonight."
For the Gaels, York registered a match-high 15 kills and Shannon Lowell posted a contest-best four total blocks.
The Broncos return to action on Thursday, Oct. 18 in a nationally televised match against the Waves of Pepperdine. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m., on ESPNU. Then, on Saturday, Oct. 20, Santa Clara hosts Loyola Marymount for the annual "Dig For The Cure" national fundraiser for the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. start at the Leavey Center.