Nov. 21, 2008
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball faced a hard-fought loss Friday night as Saint Mary's completed the regular-season sweep. The final set scores were 25-18, 25-20, 25-15. The Broncos (17-9, 8-6 WCC) now wait to find out their postseason fate, which will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 30.
Prior to the match, SCU honored its five graduating seniors - Nichole Clark, Anna Cmaylo, Brittany Lowe, Michelle Luxton and Taylor O'Brien. The quintet represents the final class of the 2005 Final Four team.
Lowe led the Broncos and the match with 14 kills. She registered her 10th double-double of the year and the 46th of her career with 11 digs. The Yorba Linda native also had three blocks. Junior setter Lindsy Davigeadono dished out 28 assists and had three blocks. Cmaylo led the match with two aces, while O'Brien collected 17 digs.
The Broncos started off with a 3-1 lead in the first set with a pair of kills by Lowe and a kill from Kim Courtney. However, the Gaels rallied back and, with a solo block by Megan Burton, knotted the score, 5-5. Saint Mary's gained a two-point edge, 9-7, on a kill by Burton and never gave up control. Santa Clara tried to keep the score close, but SMC produced a late 5- run to make the score 23-17. A kill by Burton closed set one, 25-18.
The second set was tied four times before Saint Mary's went on a short 3-0 run to make the score 14-11 and force Santa Clara to call a timeout. Out of the break, the Broncos posted three straight points to knot the score, 14-14. However, the Gaels quickly reclaimed the lead. SCU came within one point of SMC, 18-17, on an ace by Cmaylo, but could not tie the score as the Gaels won the second set, 25-20.
The score was kept tight throughout the beginning of the third and final set. Saint Mary's utilized a 4-0 run to tie the score, 7-7, and take a two-point lead. Lowe interrupted the run, 9-8, but the Gaels got right back on track and claimed a15-11 lead. Courtney reacted for the Broncos and brought the team within two points, 15-13, on back-to-back kills. However, Saint Mary's created a 6-1 rally to take a 21-14 lead. The Gaels reached set point on a kill by Taylor Groess and won the match on a kill by Chanteal Satele, 25-15.
For the Gaels, Shannon Lowell had 14 kills and three blocks, while Burton compiled a 61.5 hitting percentage and posted a match-high six blocks.
Santa Clara waits to find out its postseason fate on Sunday, Nov. 30 when the 2008 NCAA Tournament field is announced live on ESPN News.