Oct. 8, 2009
In a battle for the ages, a visiting Santa Clara volleyball team gave Saint Mary's all it wanted Thursday night the Gales won in five sets, 3-2. Set scores were 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 20-25 and 15-10. Santa Clara moves to 10-7 and 0-2 in the league while Saint Mary's moves to 11-3 and 3-0 in the league. Santa Clara plays at No. 24 San Diego on Sat., Oct. 10 at 1 pm.
"It was probably the hardest we've played in the last month. Kat Douglas played a really solid match and so did Bridget O'Hara as the libero," said Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace. "We fought really hard. The girls were really focused and dialed into what we wanted to do. We battled and it was a little ugly at times because we aren't smooth offensively yet, but that's our team. We had as much of a chance as they did to win the match and we were able to do that by playing hard and not worrying about errors. When we have fun we can play pretty well. Saint Mary's is good. They are probably now a good front runner to win the conference."
Santa Clara hit .205 with 10 team blocks and seven service aces. Saint Mary's hit .258 with 18 team blocks - a team high vs. the Broncos this year - and two service aces.
Individually, Dana Knudsen, who collected a team-high .462 with 16 kills, led Santa Clara. Lindsy Davigeadono hit .393 with 12 kills. Katherine Douglas collected a career-high 22 digs with 15 kills. Bridget O'Hara added 18 digs and Libby Morrison had 10 of her own. Tanya Schmidt scored three block solos and three blocks assists to go along with six kills, hitting .375. Emily Burke had a season-high 57 assists with eight digs.
In the first set, SCU led briefly 20-19 on an error by an SMU attacker. Santa Clara tied it at 23-23 on a kill by Davigeadono, but the Gaels capitalized on a kill and a Bronco error to take the first set 25-23. Both teams hit .128 in the first set.
In the second set SCU jumped out to a 9-3 lead quickly before SMC came back to within two at 11-9 SCU. SCU took a 17-13 lead on a kill by Krista Kelley when SMC called time. The timeout didn't seem to rally the Gaels as Santa Clara won set two, 25-20, kills to end the set by Tanya Schmidt and Davigeadono. Santa Clara came back to take the second set 25-20. They hit .385 to the Gaels .365.
The two teams were tied at 17-17 when SMC took a 19-17 lead when Santa Clara called time. SMC came back strong to win the third set 25-22. SCU hit .222 and the Gaels hit .368.
In the fourth set, Santa Clara ran out to an 11-4 lead, and never looked back. SCU won the fourth set 25-20. SCU hit .250 and Saint Mary's hit .205.
The fifth and deciding set, Saint Mary's took an 8-3 lead before Santa Clara rallied to scored four of the next five points when Saint Mary's called a break in the action. Santa Clara pulled within one, 9-8 Gaels on a kill by Knudsen, but SMC scored the next two points to take an 11-9 lead. SCU scored a point on a kill by Schmidt before Shannon Lowell knocked down a kill to the back row to take the set and the match, 15-10. SCU hit -.091 in set five and SMC hit .286.