Dec. 5, 2008
SEATTLE - Led by Brittany Lowe's 11th double-double of the season, the Santa Clara volleyball team posted a 3-2 upset over No. 13 Kansas State to advance to the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The final set scores were 25-22, 25-20, 19-25, 16-25, 15-13. With the win the Broncos improved to 18-9 overall, while the Wildcats bring the season to a closer with a 24-8 record.
"We started off with great energy today," said head coach Jon Wallace. "As a group, we came together and created all of our luck and all of our opportunities. I could not be more proud of this group and what they accomplished today. To play so hard and to win this match for a coach is just awesome to see. We're proud of that they played really hard. It's always really good to win."
With three players from the 2005 Final Four team on the court at any given time for Santa Clara, the Broncos advance to the second round for the first time since that historic run and for the third time in program history. On Saturday, Dec. 6, SCU will face the winner of the Washington/Portland State match with a first serve scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Bank of America Arena on the campus of the University of Washington.
Lowe produced a team-best 13 kills and had 14 digs to tally another double-double. She also led the match with four service aces. Lowe's career tally climbed to 148, which moves her to No. 2 on the Santa Clara all-time list. Kim Courtney also had a double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs. Anna Cmaylo and Tanya Schmidt added 12 kills, with Cmaylo chipping in with a team-best six blocks. Setter Lindsy Davigeadono led the match with a 46.7 hitting percentage and added five blocks and two aces for the Broncos.
The Wildcats took an early 3-1 lead in the first set but the Broncos rallied back to knot the score, 4-4 on a kill from Davigeadono. However, K-State continued to hold the lead as it produced a four-point run to take an 8-4 lead. Santa Clara interrupted the run with a solid block assist from Cmaylo and Davigeadono, 8-5. The Broncos were still trailing but an 8-2 rally that began on a Wildcat attack error and ended on a kill by Courtney, gave SCU a 15-14 edge. The Broncos took their first two-point edge on a diving save from Libby Morrison and a kill from Cmaylo. A 3-1 run fueled on kills from Lowe made the score, 20-16. Although Kansas State came within two-points on five occasions but couldn't tie the score as a kill from Cmaylo ended the set, 25-22.
The beginning of the second set was kept close as the score was tied four times. However, after Jenny Jantsch knotted the score, 6-6, a tip from Cmaylo gave Santa Clara a 7-6 lead and never looked back. The Broncos produced a 6-0 run on four service aces from Lowe and kills from Schmidt and Courtney to take a 17-9 advantage. Yet, the Wildcats responded with a 7-2 rally to make the score, 19-16, and forcing the Broncos to call a timeout. Out of the break, SCU climbed to a five-point lead 23-18, on a kill by Schmidt. Davigeadono tallied an ace to bring the second set to a close, 25-20.
Kansas State won the first two points of the third set but Cmaylo slammed the ball down the line to put Santa Clara up on the board. The Broncos then tied the score, 3-3, on a dig from Courtney that was drilled over the net and landed in the back right corner. SCU created a two-point lead on several occasions but a kill by Kelsey Chipman tied the score for K-State, 7-7. The Wildcats then went on an 8-1 run to take a 14-8 lead. The Broncos produced their own rally late in the set to bring the score within two-points, 20-18. The run began and ended with back-to-back kills from Davigeadono. Yet, that was the closest Santa Clara would get as Kansas State took the set, 25-19.
The Wildcats dominated in the fourth set. Although K-State held no larger than a six point lead until late in the set, SCU was unable to tie the score. The nearest the Broncos came was within two-points on a kill from Lowe, 15-13. A service ace by Jantsch brought the Wildcats to set point, 24-16, and a block assist by Rita Liliom and Chipman won the set for K-State, 25-16.
Santa Clara was first to reach eight points in the fifth and decisive set. Lowe started things off with a kill and Courtney followed with her first solo block of the season to give Santa Clara a 2-0 lead. However, Liliom interrupted their run helped the Wildcat's knot the score. An ace by Chipman made the score, 3-3. Yet, SCU reclaimed the lead on a kill from Lowe and a block assist by Davigeadono and Schmidt, 5-3. But, the Wildcats were not about the back down and knotted the score three more times in the first half of the set. A kill by Schmidt gave SCU eight points, 8-7.
After the switch, two straight Bronco attacking errors gave the Wildcats their first lead of the set, 9-8. The score was tied four times before Santa Clara regained the advantage on an attack error and then Lowe pushed the Broncos to a 14-12 lead. However, Kansas State would have one more point to make, on a kill by Megan Farr, before another Lowe attack gave SCU the, 15-13, win.