Dec. 6, 2008
SEATTLE - The Santa Clara volleyball team did not back down without a fight Saturday afternoon in its second round match of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Fight they did in the third and final set; but, the Broncos late rally was not enough as the fifth-seeded Huskies of the University of Washington won the match, 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-21).
The seniors were the category leaders for the Broncos. Anna Cmaylo led the team with 13 kills and a 36.0 hitting percentage. Brittany Lowe was one did shy of notching her 12th double-double of the season as she added 10 kills and nine digs. Taylor O'Brien collected 15 digs.
The score was tied twice early on in the first set by the Broncos. The first time, 1-1, was on a kill from Cmaylo. The second time, 5-5, was off a service ace from Lindsy Davigeadono. But Washington reclaimed the lead and never relinquished it. Santa Clara brought the score within two-points twice. Both times were on kills from Kim Courtney. However, the Broncos could not catch the Huskies. UW claimed a seven-point lead, 20-13, on an ace by Jenna Hagglund, but SCU chipped away at the lead to make it a four-point set, 20-16, on back-to-back aces from Lauryn Dowd. Yet, that was the closest the Broncos would get as the Huskies won the set, 25-19.
Santa Clara took charge in the beginning of the second set with a 3-1 lead on kills from Cmaylo and Lowe. Washington fought back to tied the score 3-3 and take a 3-5 lead on a block assist by Becky Perry and Jessica Swarbrick. But a Huskies service error and a solo block by Tanya Schmidt tied the score again, 5-5. However, Washington created a 7-1 run to take a 12-6 lead. Although Santa Clara interrupted the runs, the Broncos could not produce any rally of their own. UW used an 8-1 run that started with a kill by Kindra Carlson and ended on a kill from Airial Salvo to win the second set, 25-12.
Trailing two sets, a block assist from Cmaylo and Alex Scoffone won the first point of the set for the Broncos. However, two kills from Perry and an ace by Hagglund gave the Huskies a 3-1 lead. Cmaylo led the fight to knot the score with two straight kills to tie the score, 3-3. Even thought Washington took control of the scoreboard once again, Santa Clara did not trail by many. The Broncos came within one point of tying the score again on a service ace by Cmaylo, 7-6. Twice Lowe put SCU in a position to tie the score, but they were unable to. UW reached 20 points on a kill from Perry, 20-14. The Huskies claimed set point, 24-16, but the Broncos held on a fought hard to post five straight points to close the gap, 24-21. However a kill by Salvo brought the made to a close, 25-21.
The Broncos end the 2008 season with an 18-10 overall record. Santa Clara made its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and reached the second round for the fourth time in program history. SCU was one of five West Coast Conference teams selected to advance to the postseason and the only team to advance to the second round. Santa Clara is 11-14 in NCAA Tournament action.