Volleyball

 

Bronco Volleyball Battles Gaels Friday

Nov. 7, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Broncos will travel to Moraga this Friday to face West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary's at 5:30 p.m. at McKeon Pavilion. Santa Clara enters its lone contest of the week riding a seven match win streak, its longest of the season.

Last Week for the Broncos
Santa Clara kept its winning streak alive last week as it posted back-to-back 3-1 victories over San Francisco and then-No. 15 San Diego. In Thursday's match, freshman Krista Kelley led the Broncos with a match-high 20 kills and three total blocks. Junior Brittany Lowe and sophomore Lindsy Evans added 17 and 16 kills, respectively, to the Broncos win, while Lowe handed out a match-best four service aces.

On Saturday, SCU rallied to post its first 2-0 season sweep of San Diego since 2003. Kelley led the way once again with 22 kills, as Lowe added 10 kills and 14 digs. Evans chipped in with 12 kills and junior Nichole Clark compiled a team-best .312 hitting percentage (9-4-16).

Outside hitter Lowe continues to lead the Broncos in kills, tallying 367 thus far. She is tied for third on the team with senior setter Crystal Matich in service aces and is second in digs. Matich continues to lead SCU in assists, averaging 13.39 per game and has a team-best .325 hitting percentage (110-33-237). In digs, senior libero Caroline Walters has registered 413 this season (4.49 per game) and in total blocks, Evans leads the way with 56 total (16 solo, 40 assists). Right behind her is sophomore Lauryn Dowd with 55 total blocks (seven solo, 48 assists).

Walters Shatters SCU and WCC All-Time Digs Record
Besides posting a 3-1 win over then-No. 15 San Diego, Santa Clara's Senior Day became a bit more special for senior libero Walters. Ten points into the second game, Walters registered her 10th dig of the match, her 405th dig of the season and her 1.861st career dig to break Santa Clara's and the West Coast Conference's all-time digs record of 1,860.

Walters began her senior campaign ranked second on the career list with 1,456 digs. She has tallied double-digit digs in all but three contests this season to make her way into the No. 1 spot. Both the Broncos and WCC record of 1,860 digs was set by Lia Young (1990-93). At this point in the season, Walters has 1,869 career digs.

SCU Libero Named WCC Player of the Week
Santa Clara volleyball senior libero Walters was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week it was announced Monday. The honor is Walters' first and comes on the heels of her shattering the Santa Clara and WCC all-time digs record this weekend.

The Los Gatos, Calif., native tallied 34 digs this weekend and made integral plays to help SCU to a 2-0 week with back-to-back victories over San Francisco and then-No. 15 San Diego. Entering Saturday's contest against the Toreros, Walters was 10 digs shy of breaking the career digs record of 1,860, which was set by Santa Clara alum Lia Young (1990-93). Just a handful of points into the third game, Walters notched her 10th dig of the match to compile 1,861 career digs. Her current total is 1,869 with three more regular season contests remaining.

This season, Walters averages 4.49 digs per game and has dished out 18 service aces. She has collected double-digit digs in all but three matches this year.

Walters ranks first on the career dig average list with 4.61 per game and holds the No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 spots in single season dig average, and the No. 3-4 and No. 10 spots in single season digs.

Kelley Receives WCC Player of the Month Accolades
Outside hitter Kelley was named the West Coast Conference's volleyball Player of the Month for October, it was announced Monday. The freshman helped the Broncos to a 6-2 overall record for the month, a 6-1 league mark and a first place conference standing. Santa Clara is now 18-9 on the season and 10-1 in WCC play.

For October, Kelley led the team with 4.87 kills per game and finished third with a .241 hitting percentage (112-47-270). She also averaged 2.74 digs per game and posted six total blocks. Her month was highlight by a personal best 27 kills and 21 digs in the nationally televised match against Pepperdine on Oct. 18. Kelley has registered double figure kills in six of the seven contests she saw time in. For her efforts against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, she was named the WCC's Player of the Week on Oct. 22.

For the season, the Sandy, Utah native averages a team-best 4.41 kills per game and is in third place in kills with 278. She also averages 2.35 digs per game, has tallied 14 service aces and posted 23 total blocks.

Santa Clara Honors Matich and Walters
Prior to Saturday's match against the Toreros, SCU honored their graduating seniors Matich and Walters.

Matich starts the beginning of the end of her final season on the Mission Campus as an all-American setter who currently leads the West Coast Conference in assists per game and is ranked 12th in the nation in that same category. She is third all-time on the Broncos career hitting percentage and assist average lists, and fourth overall in total assists with 4,181. This season, Matich also entered the career service aces list and currently ranks seventh. She has also received All-WCC and All-Pacific region honors.

Walters is a two-time All-WCC honoree and currently is Santa Clara's career dig leader and single season and career dig average leader. She has compiled 1,869 digs over her four seasons as the Broncos leader in the back row, tallied 81 service aces and 149 assists.

Santa Clara In The WCC
The Broncos have sole possession of first place in the conference standings as they enter the second to last week of the regular season. SCU has a 10-1 league record and continues to lead the WCC in kills, assists and service aces.

Individually, Kelley moves up to the No. 3 spot in kills per game, while Lowe and Evans hold onto their sixth and 10th place rankings from last week. Matich's assists average of 13.39 is a league best for the second straight week, while Dowd moves up to the No. 2 spot in aces per game. Evans is also ranked eighth in that category. Walters holds onto the No. 4 spot in digs per game, while Kelley, Lowe and Evans are ranked fourth, seventh and ninth in points per game.

In WCC matches only, the Broncos are first in assists, kills and aces, and second in hitting percentage. On their own, Dowd ranks fifth in hitting percentage, while Evans is 11th. In kills, Lowe checks in at No. 2 this week with Kelley at No. 3 and Evans at No. 11. Matich is still in first place in assists per game, while Evans and Dowd continue to own the top two spots in aces per game. Joining them this week are Matich, Kelley and Lowe in the No. 8-10 spots.

Broncos on the National Stage
Santa Clara had a new player enter the national rankings this week as Kelley checked in at No. 64 in the kills per game category. She joins Lowe and Evans. Also moving up in the rankings this week was setter Matich. She is now 11th in the nation in assists per game, while Dowd takes over the No. 172 spot in aces per game.

As a team, Santa Clara is now ranked 10th overall in assists per game, 14th in kills per game and 63rd in aces per game. The Broncos are also No. 78 in match win-loss percentage and No. 93 hitting percentage.

Scouting Saint Mary's
The Gaels enter Friday's match with a 13-10 overall record and a 5-6 WCC mark. Saint Mary's split last week's contests falling 3-0 to then-No. 15 San Diego and defeating San Francisco 3-1.

Against USF, Megan York and Lauren Jaeckel tied the team-best 16 kills, while Shannon Lowell added 15 kills and Taylor Groess chipped in with 13. Groess and Lowell also tied the match0high seven total blocks.

For the season, York leads the Gaels as she averages 4.64 kills per game and is second on the team in digs with 3.53 per game. Megan Burton owns a team-best .291 hitting percentage (134-45-306) and is second on the team with 92 total blocks. Meanwhile, Lowell leads the Gales with 1.37 blocks per game.

In conference matches only, York averages 4.44 kills per game and 27 total blocks, while Lowelle chips in with 2.76 kills per game and 59 total blocks.

The Broncos and Gaels last met on Oct. 12 at the Leavey Center, where SCU served up a 3-0 (30-26, 30-26, 30-21) sweep. In the all-time series Santa Clara leads 44-9 and is 20-5at McKeon Pavilion.

On Deck
The Broncos close out the regular season next weekend against the Lions of LMU and the Waves of Pepperdine. SCU and LMU will battle it out on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. Santa Clara officially ends the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Pepperdine. First serve is schedule for 1 p.m. at Firestone Fieldhouse.