Sept. 4, 2009
Sacramento, Calif. - Playing at the Sac State Invitational on Colberg Court, Santa Clara, playing UC Riverside for the first time in 29 years, defeated the Highlanders 3-0. SCU won the three-game series: 25-21, 25-16 and 25-15. SCU is 2-2 and UC Riverside is 0-4 this season. SCU is now 1-4 lifetime vs. UCR.
"This was a great learning experience because we were down 10-3 in the first game. We learned a lot by being down and coming back. We stayed strong, we played hard and that was a great sign of unity for this team," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace who has 11 underclassmen on the 2009 team. "I personally thought we were going to lose that first game. We just had to find our rhythm. It was a very methodical comeback for a young team and they showed maturity to not panic. In addition to that, we made small adjustments during the rest of the match and kept the pressure on their team."
Santa Clara plays CSU Bakersfield at 10 am on Sat., Sept. 5 and then at 7 pm the Broncos will close out the tournament with a match vs. host Sacramento State.
Santa Clara hit .299 collectively, with 6.0 total team blocks. UCR hit .068 with nine total blocks. Individually, SCU was paced by the effort of freshman Dana Knudsen, who hit a team-high .643 (season and match), posting nine kills with zero errors. Krista Kelley had a match-high 12 kills, hitting .292. Kelley and Libby Morrison both had nine digs. Emily Burke tallied 36 assists, hitting .571 with five kills and seven digs.
Wallace was impressed with the play of Knudsen in her hometown; and also pleased with the continuing development of the dynamic duo of Kelly and Douglas. "This is Dana's hometown and she had a good night - she was great," said Wallace. "Krista and Kat were again very consistent. Libby played solid as well and dug a lot of good balls. Emily Burke continues to show heady experience as our setter and she did a good job running the 5-1. I was impressed with her play."
In the first game, Santa Clara scored first on a kill by Kelley. Riverside then went on a 10-2 run to take a 10-3 lead. Santa Clara then started to shake the dust off its own game and got within two to make it 13-11 UCR before the Highlanders called a timeout. SCU's 8-3 run included kills by Knudsen, Douglas and Kelley and a number of UCR errors. The two teams then knotted it up at 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20 when Santa Clara scored the next five of six points to take game one 25-21. Santa Clara hit .214 in game one and UCR hit just .097. The Broncos were led by Douglas and Knudsen who had three kills each and Burke who put up 11 assists.
In game two, SCU never trailed. The Broncos took a 5-2 lead when UCR got within on at 5-4 SCU, but the Broncos had enough; and went on a 5-2 run to take an 11-6 lead. The run included two kills by Kelley and another by Knudsen and Douglas, forced UCR to call its third timeout of the match. Coming out of the Highlander huddle, UCR rallied for four of the next seven points. A few UCR errors and two kills by Douglas put SCU up by six, 17-11. A couple UCR points pushed SCU to halt play with a timeout, up 17-13. SCU came out of Wallace's huddle swinging, scoring seven of the next nine points on three kills, an ace by Morrison and a kill by Burke and Kelley to take a 24-15 lead. SCU won game two, 25-16, on a kill by Kelley. SCU hit .250 in the game to UCR's own .091 hitting percentage. Knudsen rallied to score five kills and Kelley three in game two.
In game three SCU ran out to a 7-2 lead on two kills by Kelley, single kills by Schmidt, Davigeadono and three UCR attack errors. SCU rallied to score six of the next nine points to take a 13-5 lead when UCR called its first timeout of the game. The timeout didn't quell the Bronco rally as Santa Clara went up 16-6 on kills by Kelly and two straight kills by Kayla Lommori - pushing its lead to 18-6 on a kill by Douglas and another UCR hitting error - before UCR called its second timeout of the game. They rallied to score three straight points on SCU attack errors when SCU called timeout of its own. While UCR scored three points after the timeout, it wasn't enough as Santa Clara went up 24-12 on kills by Douglas, Lexi Williamson and Knudsen. UCR scored another three straight points to make it 24-15 before SCU finished off the match on another kill by Williamson to take game three 25-15. Santa Clara dominated in game three, hitting .448 to UCRs own .000.