Nov. 9, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In a hard-fought five game decision, the Santa Clara volleyball team was edged 3-2 (17-30, 30-26, 21-30, 30-25, 10-15) by the Gaels of Saint Mary's Friday night in West Coast Conference action. With the loss, SCU is now 18-10 overall and 10-2 in WCC play, while SMC improved to 6-6 in league play and 14-10 on the season.
For the Broncos, junior Brittany Lowe and senior Crystal Matich each compiled a double-double. Lowe led the match with 24 kills and 17 digs, while Matich dished out a match-high 63 assists and registered 13 digs. Freshman Krista Kelley chipped in with 16 kills and sophomore Lindsy Evans added 12 kills. Meanwhile, libero Caroline Walters recorded 16 digs to make her current career total 1,885.
The Gaels opened the first game with a 5-1 lead on points from Kelly Huston, Lauren Jaeckel and Meagan York. A kill from Kelley interrupted Saint Mary's run, but the Gaels bounced back on a block from York and Brittany barker to take a 7-2 lead and force the Broncos to take a time out. After the break, Saint Mary's continued to widen the gap and took a 13-point lead, 23-20, on a block from Barker and Jaeckel. The Gaels won the first game, 30-17.
At the start of game two, the Broncos and Gaels went point-for-point until a service error gave Saint Mary's a one-point edge, 12-11. The Gales pushed their lead to three-points, 14-11, and kept the advantage until the Broncos were able to rally back and knot the score, 21-21, on a kill from Kelley. The two teams then fought head-to-head once again but back-to-back kills from Lowe broke SCU free and gave them a two-point lead, 26-24. Santa Clara eventually earned a 30-26 game two win off a kill from Nichole Clark.
With the match tied 1-1, Saint Mary's took early control of game three, pushing its way to a 9-4 score. Santa Clara fought hard to tie the game, with solid points from Clark, Lowe, Evans and Lauryn Dowd, but the closest the Broncos would get would be within three points, 13-10, on a kill from Lowe. The Gaels closed out the third game, 30-21.
Trailing 2-1, Santa Clara came out of the gates running in the fourth game as it took a eight-point lead, 12-4, on a seven point run fueled by kills from Kelley, Evans and Lowe. Although Saint Mary's tried to keep the score tight, SCU held a commanding advantage and reached game-point on a successful attack from Lowe. Yet, the Gaels held the Broncos win off for three more rallies, as a solo block from Kelley gave Santa Clara a 30-25 win and tied the match 2-2.
In the decisive, Jaeckel gave the Gaels the first point, but a Lowe tied the game fast for the Broncos. Matich then put the Broncos up by one, 2-1, but a bad set call on SCU tied the game again. Yet, Santa Clara earned the one-point edge once again, 3-2, on a kill from Kelley and then again on a block assist from Dowd and Evans, 5-4. But Saint Mary's tied the score 5-5 and earned a two-point lead on a kill from Taylor Groess, 7-5. Santa Clara fought to knot the score again, but the closest it would get was 8-7 on a solo block from Lowe, as Saint Mary's earned a 15-10 fifth game victory.
Santa Clara concludes the 2007 regular season on the road next weekend against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. The Broncos will face the Lions on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in Los Angeles and will then battle the Waves on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.