Nov. 3, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Libero Caroline Walters shattered the Santa Clara and West Coast Conference all-time digs record Saturday afternoon as she helped SCU to a 3-1 (30-28, 22-30, 30-23, 34-32) upset of No. 15 San Diego. The senior collected a team-best 18 digs to improve her career total to 1,869 and break the current career record of 1,860. With the win, the Broncos pushed their winning streak to seven matches and improved to 10-1 in WCC play and 18-9 on the season. Meanwhile, the Toreros dropped to 7-3 in league play and 17-7 overall.
"What Caroline has accomplished this afternoon is an amazing feat," said head coach Jon Wallace. "She beat out some amazing players for that record including Lia Young who held the record since 1993. We are all extremely proud of her."
Outside hitter Krista Kelley registered match-highs with 22 kills and three service aces and tied the team-best three total blocks. Junior Brittany Lowe recorded 20 kills and 14 digs, while sophomore Lindsy Evans added 12 kills and three total blocks. Junior Taylor O'Brien made huge contributions to the back row as she collected 10 digs and assisted in two key plays and Nichole Clark led the team offensively with a .312 hitting percentage (9-4-16).
Santa Clara opened the first game 6-2 and points from Evans, Kelley, Lowe and Lauryn Dowd. However, San Diego fought back to knot the score 8-8 on a kill from Erin Wiskar. The Toreros then gained a six point lead, 16-10, on points from Amy DeGroot, Torey Ellick and a service ace from Laurel Abrahamson. Yet SCU forced USD to take a timeout after it rallied back to bring the score within two, 24-22, on successful plays by Lowe, Clark and Evans. An ace by Evans tied the score, 25-25. San Diego would take the lead once more but another Bronco ace by Walters tied the score for the last time and a solid block from Dowd ended game one, 30-28.
The Broncos took early control of the second game, coming out of the gates with a 4-0 fueled by serving from setter Crystal Matich and blocks from Evans, Dowd and Kelley. SCU tried to widened the gap but USD battled to tied the score 10-10 and then again at 13-13. Back-to-back kills from DeGroot gave the Toreros a three-point edge, 17-14. San Diego held the advantage for the remainder of the game although Santa Clara did come within one point, 21-20 on a kill from Matich, but was unable to knot the score. The Toreros finished game two, 30-22 on a kill from Abrahamson.
After the break, Santa Clara and San Diego battled point-for-point throughout the majority of the third and fourth games. Yet in the third game, the Broncos finally broke free on a kill from Dowd, 17-16. Two straight points from Evans gave SCU a three-point lead, 19-16, and forced San Diego into a timeout. After the short break, the Broncos continued their run on points from Dowd and Evans to make the score, 23-19. Back-to-back kills from Kelley brought Santa Clara to game-point, 29-21, and a solo block from Kelley ended game three, 30-23.
Although they were trailing 2-1 in games, the Toreros came out firing in the start of the fourth game and won the first two points. Yet, Santa Clara tied the score 2-2 on an ace from Kelley and the two team's once again went head-to-head. The Broncos tied the score 10 out of the 11 times. At 22-21, Evans slammed the ball down to even out the score, but a kill from Ali Troost would give San Diego the edge once again and this time they would jump to a two-point lead on an ace from Andrea Csaszi. USD remained in control of the scoreboard the earned a four-point lead, 28-24, on a Broncos error. SCU was forced to their second and last timeout of the game. Coming out of the timeout, Lowe killed the ball to break the Toreros run and keep the Broncos alive. Yet, USD earned game-point, 29-25, on a kill from Abrahamson. Freshman Kelley reacted quickly to hold off San Diego and bring the Broncos into a rotation that would lead them to victory. Behind the serving of Walters, Santa Clara tied the score, 29-29, on a kill from Dowd. A block solo from Kelley gave SCU game-point, 30-29, but USD would tied the score quickly afterwards. Kelley gave the Broncos game point once again, 32-31, but the Toreros would not give up that easily and tied the score on a kill from Troost. However, a solo block from Lowe made the score 33-32 and a San Diego error brought the match to a close, 34-32.
"We got into a rotation that gave us great match ups," said Wallace. "We trusted it and stayed aggressive. In that last timeout when we were down four points I told the team we just need a burst of energy right now and who knows what can happen and I believe the turning point was Brittany Lowe's block, which was unbelievable."
The Broncos return to action on Friday, Nov. 9 against the Gaels of Saint Mary's. First serve is schedule for 5:30 p.m. at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga, Calif.