No. 25 Santa Clara defeats Western Michigan 3-2

Aug. 30, 2009

Honolulu, Hawaii - Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace knew it would be tough physically and mentally for his Bronco volleyball team to turn around and play Western Michigan Sunday morning at 11 am in Honolulu after finishing losing 3-1 in a very spirited match at No. 7 Hawaii Saturday evening; and it appears Wallace was right.

In a total team effort Santa Clara turned it around in time to post its first victory of the 2009 season, a 3-2 win over Western Michigan, a 2008 Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament team. The Broncos won in five sets: 19-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-17 and 15-11. SCU, ranked No. 25 in the preseason, is 1-2 on the year and heads to Sacramento next weekend to play three matches in the Sac State Tournament when it begins play vs. UC Riverside on Fri., Sept. 4 at 5 pm.

"It was a little hard to come back after last night, but we really tried. The little things that break down for us happen when we get fatigued. We did a good job coming in with a good sense of urgency this morning - it just took us a bit to get going," said Wallace. "Both Krista and Kat took really good swings for us. Kat was really solid in the back row passing and had a couple nice blocks. Krista's energy was great last night and today. She is without question developing in her leadership role with that type of energy and that's her way of contributing.

"Setter Emily Burke played well last night and today. Alexandra Palmer was a good, steady influence on the team and they both played like we wanted them to play," said Wallace. "I am a little disappointed with Friday night's effort, but they had a great effort last night and it gave us a chance to win. We had to play at a high level on Saturday night (vs. host No. 7 Hawaii) and we did. It's just a matter of sustaining it. Today was a test of character, playing 12 hours later, and we passed that test. We played against a Western Michigan team today that is a lot more unified than us with a lot of experience and won.

"It was a good opening weekend. I wish we'd gotten to game five against UH, but we went through a lot of emotions last night, including fear and disappointment after being just a few swings away from going up 2-1," added Wallace. "They were really happy today to get the win and celebrated after the match with a lot of hugs and smiles."

Santa Clara hit .279 in the match while WMU hit .181. Santa Clara collected 17.5 total team blocks to WMU's 10. Individually, Krista Kelley collected her first double-double of the year with a season-high 18 kills and 11 digs, hitting .308. Lindsy Davigeadono and Katherine Douglas also scored double-figure kills with 13 and 11, respectively. Davigeadono led the team with nine blocks and Dana Knudsen and Tanya Schmidt scored six blocks each. Libby Morrison led the team with 15 digs, Alexandra Palmer had 31 assists and two aces and Emily Burke dished 20 assists and nine digs.

In game one, the two teams were knotted up at three when Western Michigan scored three straight points on two kills and an ace to take a 6-3 lead; and then pushed the lead to 12-6 a few minutes later on another duo of WMU kills and an attack error by Santa Clara. SCU brought it within four with a kill by Kelley to make it 12-8 WMU, but then WMU went on a short roll of its own to take a 18-10 lead before SCU called a timeout. Rallying the Bronco troups, SCU pulled within three to make it 18-15, including two kills by Davigeadono and two attack errors by Western Michigan. WMU scored five of the next seven points to take a 23-17 lead and finished the game off to win 25-19. SCU hit .200 to Western Michigan's own .250. Davigeadono led the team with four kills and Kelley was close behind with three.

In game two, SCU came out with a different energy, taking a 6-2 lead on kills by Schmidt and a block assist by Schmidt and Douglas. WMU called a timeout to stop the rally and pulled within two to make it 6-4 SCU before Santa Clara scored five of the next six points to take an 11-5 lead. Shortly thereafter, Douglas and Kayla Lommori knocked down a point each to push it to 13-7 SCU. Two kills by Kelley and another by Schmidt made it 16-8 SCU with WMU calling its second timeout of the game to stop the bleeding. WMU scored the second point out of the timeout, but the Broncos continued their fine play to take a 23-13 lead on one kill each by Schmidt, Douglas, Dana Knudsen and Lommori. SCU won game two, 25-14, on a Kelley kill and hit .565 as compared to WMU's own hitting percentage of .097.

In game three the two teams were tied three times before WMU took the lead for good at 8-7. Santa Clara scrapped within a point at 12-11 WMU before SCU had four straight attacking errors to make it 16-11 WMU. WMU won game three 25-18 and SCU hit .000 to WMU's own .251.

In game four, the two teams were tied at four each when WMU took a 7-5 lead. SCU kept it within a point or two and then tied it at 9-9 on a kill by Davigeadono. A Palmer ace, another Kelley kill and a hitting error by WMU helped SCU to a 12-9 lead before Western called a timeout. WMU again scored the first point out of the timeout by Kelley cut their rally short with another kill to make it 13-10 SCU. SCU worked on its leads on kills by Schmidt and Douglas and a WMU error to make it 16-11 Broncos. SCU pushed its lead to 22-16 on kills by Davigeadono, Douglas, Knudsen and Kelley and two WMU errors. Schmidt knocked down an attack and two WMU errors later SCU won game four 25-17. SCU hit a sparkling .444 to WMU's own .111.

In game five SCU took a 3-1 lead on a WMU error and then kills by Douglas and Kelley. SCU then went up 6-3 on kills by Lommori and a WMU error before WMU called a timeout. Santa Clara went up 9-6 when WMU scored the next three points to tie it at 9-9. SCU then regrouped on the court to score three kills by Douglas and another by Davigeadono. Santa Clara won the game 15-11, and the match, on two kills by Douglas. SCU hit .364 in the game while WMU hit .185.

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