August 30, 2009

No. 25 Santa Clara Volleyball Falls 3-1 No. 7 Hawaii

Aug. 30, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Despite playing its heart out in front of 6,237 fans, the No. 25 Santa Clara volleyball team fell 3-1 at No. 7 Hawaii as part of the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The set scores were 25-19, 25-27, 30-28 and 25-13.

Santa Clara plays Western Michigan in its final match of the tournament on Sunday at 2 pm Pacific. Western Michigan advanced to the 2008 Sweet 16 with every starter returning in 2009. WMU fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-15) to UCLA earlier Saturday night.

"We played better tonight. We served well, we passed well, we just played solid," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Game three was just that close (Santa Clara fell 30-28 after serving for the game). We had our chances, but it a good experience for all of us. It was a great experience for the girls. The crowd was really into it. Hawaii made four great defensive plays to win the third game so kudos to Hawaii."

Wallace said he wasn't surprised by his team's play after falling Friday night to No. 9 UCLA 3-0 in the season opener. "Tonight we wanted to see how we can play. We still didn't do a lot of things well, but during game two and three we hung right in there with Hawaii step for step. For a young team that's not use to siding out well, we kept working hard."

"We stayed tough in game two, stepped up at the end and made it happen. We won game two because we did the right things. We did enough to win game three except for some extraordinary defensive plays by Hawaii. Hawaii is for real. Hawaii is a very good team; and they had two players tonight that were playing at an All-American level in Amber Kaufman and Kanani Danielson."

"I thought Krista Kelley played very well for us tonight," added Wallace. "She played with great energy and great effort. Emily Burke played really well - she set the ball really well. Dana Knudsen also had really good numbers. She probably played a little better than we expected. She matched up well on the court with the opponent and she executed well in her match-up."

Against Hawaii, Santa Clara hit .190 while UH hit .373. Santa Clara had six service errors to Hawaii's own 14. The Broncos were led by the double-figure kills of Krista Kelley (14) and Dana Knudsen (10), with the duo hitting .314 and .421, respectively. Alexandra Palmer posted 23 assists to Emily Burke's own 17 as the two continued to run the 6-2 offense. Tanya Schmidt and Lindsy Davigeadono both scored four blocks each with Davigeadono collecting eight kills.

Santa Clara started senior Lindsy Davigeadono, junior Krista Kelley, sophomore Tanya Schmidt and three freshmen in Dana Knudsen Katherine Douglas and Alexandra Palmer. Sophomore Libby Morrison began the match listed as the libero. Santa Clara has 11 underclassmen on its roster this season.

In the first set, Hawaii took a 3-0 lead quickly. Santa Clara then rallied to take a 6-5 lead on two Hawaii errors, a kill by Knudsen and a team block by Knudsen and Davigeadono. The two teams were back and forth in the early going and tied it up at six times, including 16-16. Hawaii, led by Kanani Danielson, went on a 5-0 run to take a 21-16 lead. Santa Clara got within four on a kill by Schmidt to make it 23-19; and then UH finished off the set on a UH kill and an attacking error by SCU. Santa Clara hit .292 in the set while Hawaii hit .556. Santa Clara was led by Kelley's four kills. Emily Burke posted four assists and two digs.

After tying it up at 3-3, UH then went on a 6-2 run to take an 9-5 lead before Burke and freshman Kayla Lommori checked back into the match. Play continued in the second set with each trading points as SCU got within three on an ace by Douglas to make it 10-7 UH. SCU's Kelley then knocked down a kill and two UH errors pushed the score to 11-10 UH with Hawaii then calling a timeout to regroup.

Immediately coming out of the huddle, Santa Clara scored on a kill by Schmidt and an attacking error by UH to knot it up at 12-12. The two battled to score ties at the 13th and the 14th points before SCU took a 16-14 lead on two straight UH hitting errors; and then took a 17-15 lead on kill by Knudsen. Santa Clara went up 19-17 on another ace by Douglas. A few points later Knudsen posted another winning attack to make it 24-22 SCU before Hawaii's Kanani Danielson stopped the rally with a kill and then a UH timeout with SCU up 24-23. The match as knotted at 24 and 25 before Kelly crushed two more winners to propel the Broncos to a 27-25 win in the second set. The Broncos hit .281 in game two to UH's .229 as UH collected nine errors in the set. Kelley was credited with five kills in the set.

In the third set UH stormed out of the lockerroom to take a 6-2 lead on four straight kills and a SCU attacking error before the Broncos halted play to regroup. Santa Clara rallied to keep the match in hand, taking a 16-15 Bronco lead on a Douglas kill and three straight hitting errors by UH's Danielson. SCU took an 19-17 lead as UH's serving woes continued and Kelley knocked down a kill. Hawaii stopped the Bronco rally with a timeout before Schmidt, Davigeadono and Douglas scored kills and UH served the ball long to make it 23-20 Broncos. The two teams battled, tying it up at five times at 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28. UH finally won the battle of wills with a kill and a SCU service error to win game three, 30-28. Santa Clara hit .204 in the game with UH posting a .293 hitting percentage.

While neither team was ready to concede the match in game four, UH took a speedy 6-1 lead before SCU's Wallace called the troops back to the huddle to settle the team down with a short timeout. UH continued its run in game four, taking a 10-3 lead before moving ahead 13-5 on a kill by Danielson. Santa Clara couldn't answer UH's experienced fourth-game answer to the Broncos fantastic play in the second and third games, winning game four 25-13 on a kill by UH's Amber Kaufman. SCU hit .095 in game four to UH's .522.