Oct. 4, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Led by Brittany Lowe's 19 kills and Tanya Schmidt's five total blocks, the No. 23 Santa Clara volleyball team handed No. 15 Pepperdine its first loss of the season in an intense five-set decision Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center. The final set scores were 21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-10.
With the win, the Broncos pushed their unbeaten streak to three-matches and are now 10-3 on the season and 2-0 in West Coast Conference action. The Waves dropped to 13-1 overall and 1-1 in WCC play.
Lowe produced her third straight and fifth double-double of the season with 19 kills and 18 digs. Krista Kelley and Anna Cmaylo tied for 12 kills each, while Cmaylo posted four total blocks. Nina Sevastopoulos added 11 kills for the Broncos and three total blocks. Taylor O'Brien collected a career-high 25 digs in the match.
Two Broncos made some waves in the Santa Clara record books in the match. Lowe's ace in the fifth set was her 125th career ace, and she is now tied for No. 6 all-time with Stacey MacDonough '88. Cmaylo's two solo blocks against the Waves moved her into the all-time career leaders category as she is now tied with Katie Hunsaker '89 with 45.
The first set started off tight as the score was tied 10 times before either team could really take control of the scoreboard. Pepperdine created a one-point edge on a kill by Julie Rubenstein, but the Broncos quickly tied the score on a kill from Sevastopoulos. After a Bronco service error and a Waves ace, Rubenstein struck again to give Pepperdine a 17-14 lead. SCU continued the fight and brought the score within two-points on two occasions. The first was after a diving save and kill from Sevastopoulos to make the score, 18-16, and the latter was on solo block by Cmaylo, 22-20. However, Santa Clara could not catch Pepperdine as they took the first set, 25-21.
Outside hitter Lowe came out swinging in the second set earning the Broncos its first three-points, 3-0. Santa Clara held the lead for quite a while, but Pepperdine kept creeping up from behind. Four straight points from the Waves eventually knotted the score, 12-12. The set was tied 10 times before Kelley quickly snapped the ball down to give Santa Clara the one-point edge, 23-22. However, Pepperdine would tie the score again and Rachel Lumsden would bring it to set-point, 24-23, with a kill. A Bronco error gave the Waves a 25-23 victory and a 2-0 set lead.
After the break, Pepperdine surged to a 6-2 lead to start the third set. Yet, the Broncos rallied from behind to tie the score, 11-11. SCU then produced a 5-0 run on points from Kelley and Lowe to take a 15-11 lead. The Waves fought hard to regain control of the set, but the Broncos continued to push ahead. Santa Clara reached set-point on a kill from setter Lindsy Davigeadono and freshman middle blocker Schmidt sealed the deal for SCU with a kill, 25-22.
The Broncos started off strong in the fourth set, but the Waves quickly tied the score and took a four-point advantage on back-to-back aces from Cassi Chamberlain. After a called timeout by Santa Clara, the Broncos knotted the score, 12-12, on a Waves error. The two teams then battled point-for-point until two kills and an ace from Davigeadono gave Santa Clara a 23-20 edge. Even though their short run was interrupted by an attacking error, the Broncos responded with a solid block by Kelley and Schmidt and a dangerous kill from Sevastopoulos to take set four, 25-21, and tie the match 2-2.
In the fifth and decisive set, Pepperdine earned the early advantage with a 3-1 lead, but back-to-back kills from Lowe knotted the score, 4-4. Santa Clara would tie the score again, 6-6, on a kill by Cmaylo before storming to a four-point edge, 11-7, on a block from Davigeadono and Schmidt. Returning from a timeout called by the Waves, the Broncos compiled a 5-1 run to win the match, 15-10.
For the Waves, Rubenstein led the match with 21 digs, while Stevi Robinson collected a match-high 28 digs. Lumsden also posted a match-high six total blocks for Pepperdine.
The Broncos return to action on Thursday, Oct. 9 against the Pilots of Portland. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore. Santa Clara then travels to Spokane to face Gonzaga on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m.