Aug. 31, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY - The Santa Clara volleyball team faced its first loss of the season, an intense five set contest against Utah. The final scores of the match were 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 19-25, 13-15. With the win, the Utes take home their tournament title, while the Broncos finished in second with a 1-1 record.
Redshirt senior Anna Cmaylo tied for the match-high kills with 21, while leading the match with six total blocks. Senior Brittany Lowe notched a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs, while junior Nina Sevastopoulos posted a career-high four block assists and junior Lindsy Davigeadono compiled a career-high 83.3 hitting percentage.
Utah opened the match with a 3-1 lead in the first set, with all three points coming from Kathryn Haynie. Yet, Santa Clara rallied back to knot the score, 5-5, on a block by Tanya Schmidt and Sevastopoulos. Although the Utes quickly regained control of the set, the Broncos fought back to tie the score on two occasions in the final moments of the first set. Another block by Schmidt and Sevastopoulos tied the set, 23-23, but a kill from Karolina Bartkowiak and a Bronco attacking error gave Utah the 25-23 win.
The Broncos and Utes went head-to-head in the second set as the score was tied six times before Santa Clara pulled ahead with a three-point edge. Back-to-back kills by Cmaylo lifted the Broncos to a 12-9 lead. Yet, Utah fought back to even the score at 13 points each and then claimed a two-point advantage, 15-13, on a block by Cinthia Silva and Bartkowiak. Cmaylo then knotted the set at 18-18 with a kill and the Broncos kept the score tight until a kill by Schmidt tied the set, 24-24. Santa Clara was victorious in evening the match score to 1-1 as two straight service aces by Davigeadono gave the Broncos a 26-24 win.
SCU returned from the break and quickly took control of the third set. A block by Cmaylo and Davigeadono gave the Broncos a 4-1 lead and then never looked back. A kill by Cmaylo, who went 4-for-7 in the set, gave Santa Clara a nine-point advantage, 16-7. Although Utah continued to fight, the Utes could not catch the Broncos as they won the set, 25-20, on kill by Lowe.
Leading 2-1 in sets, the Broncos took a 3-1 lead at the beginning of the fourth set, but their edge was short-lived as the Utes tied the score 3-3 and took a three-point advantage, 9-6, on a kill by Lori Baird. Utah held the lead and reached set point on a block by Haynie. Yet, Santa Clara held off the conclusion of the set with three straight points by Lowe, Cmaylo and Sevastopoulos. However, a kill by Haynie gave the Utes a 25-19 win.
The fifth and final set of the match was quite the nail-biter. SCU and Utah exchanged points through a 7-7 tie, when a kill by Sevastopoulos and an ace from Kim Courtney gave the Broncos a 9-7 lead. Back-to-back kills by Lowe then brought SCU to a 12-9 edge. However, two service aces by Haynie tied the score once again at 12-12, forcing the Broncos to call a timeout. Utah came out of the break and took the set, 15-13, on a kill by Baird.
Santa Clara returns to action on Friday, Sept. 5 at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The Broncos will face the Red Raiders of Texas Tech in the opening match at Noon. Later that night, SCU will play Arizona at 7 p.m., and then battle Texas State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.