Nov. 1, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team pushed its current winning streak to six matches Thursday night as it served up a 3-1 (30-16, 17-30, 30-21, 30-26) victory over San Francisco in West Coast Conference action. With the win, the Broncos improved to 9-1 in league play, which is good for first place, and 17-9 overall. Meanwhile, the Dons dropped to 4-5 in WCC action and 15-10 on the season.
Freshman Krista Kelley recorded a match-high 20 kills and posted three total blocks, while junior Brittany Lowe earned a double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs. She also led the match with four service aces. Sophomore Lindsy Evans was a force at the net. She registered 16 kills and .393 hitting percentage. Setter Crystal Matich dished out a match-high 52 assists and collected 11 digs, while libero Caroline Walters added a match-best 16 digs to her career total. The senior is now just 10 digs away from setting a new all-time program record.
Although the Dons scored the first point of the match, the Broncos quickly tied the first game up and took a substantial lead on points from Lowe, Evans, Lauryn Dowd and Nichole Clark. A service ace from Lowe gave Santa Clara a 16-4 advantage. SCU continued to push through and quickly ended the first game, 30-16, on a kill from Dowd. The Broncos outhit the Dons .410 to .133 and tripled USF's kills total 21 to 7.
Yet, the tides had turned in the second game as San Francisco eventually earned a 30-17 win. Before the Dons were able to earn the double-digit edge over the Broncos, the two teams fought point-for-point and tied the score six times. USF took control of the scoreboard for good on a kill from Addie Webster, 14-12. From then on, the Dons continued to widen the gap and produced a 9-0 run on solid serving efforts from Haley Carroll to end game two.
"We let up a little in the second game because game one was so easy," said head coach Jon Wallace. "They served well but we did not pass well and they developed an edge that carried them through. During the break, I told the team to go back and start over because nothing has been lost. San Francisco could have continued their edge and we were a little soft in the third game, but we battled through it and I'm proud of my team's win tonight."
Tied 1-1, the start of the third game was tight and drawn out. Once again the teams went head-to-head trying to take control of the score. Yet a short 5-0 rally on service from Lowe and points from Kelley and Matich, gave the Broncos a two-point edge, 9-7. SCU then battled to a score of 15-10 on kills from Kelley and forced USF to take a timeout. Back from the short break, Kelley continued to apply the pressure at the net and helped the Broncos to a 10-point lead, 24-14, on a block with Dowd. A kill from Darcy Carroll gave the Dons 20 points and an SCU attacking error brought them within six points of the Broncos, but that was the closest they would get as a service ace from Dowd ended the third game, 30-21.
The fourth game saw a similar start as the previous game, with both teams grinding it out for the advantage and Santa Clara was the team to come out on top and points from Evans, Clark and Kim Courtney fueled a 5-1 run to make the score 17-11. San Francisco fought the knot the score again and found themselves within one point, 26-25, but were unable to equalize the score as a back-to-back errors and an ace from Lowe brought Santa Clara to match point. A kill from Kelley brought the match to a finish, 30-26.
The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Nov. 3 against the Toreros of San Diego. It is Santa Clara's final home match of the season and senior day. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.