Hitting a season-high .500 on the volleyball court, Santa Clara defeated CSU Bakersfield Saturday morning in the match of the Santa Clara Invitational. Game scores were 25-17, 25-12 and 25-20. Santa Clara is 6-3 and CSU Bakersfield is 0-10.
"We bounced back and played really well this morning," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "It was good to see Alexandra Palmer set a couple games after being out with an injury, she could be a leader in the future. Hopefully next weekend we can use her if we need to. This whole weekend Kayla Lommori played without a lot of errors and she managed the game well; we saw a lot of improvement. Tanya Schmidt and Dana Knudsen continue to get better every game out offensively and we will continue to work on our blocking moves.
"I was not worried we wouldn't be flat today because we were upset about last night's defeat," added Wallace. "I had a good feeling they would play with focus and be ready to play hard this morning."
Santa Clara hit a season-high .500 with 51 kills, 33 digs, 44 assists and five service aces. CSU Bakersfield hit .200 with 30 kills and 14 errors, 26 digs, 26 assists and four service aces. Santa Clara had four team blocks and CSU Bakersfield collected three team blocks.
Four hitters in double-digit kills led Santa Clara. Kaleigh Durket had 13 kills, hitting .478 with two aces and six digs. Tanya Schmidt collected 12 kills, hitting .750 with three block assists. Dana Knudsen had 11 kills, hitting .688 with four digs. Kayla Lommori had 10 kills, hitting .368 with two aces. Emily Burke had 21 assists and two digs before giving way to Alexandra Palmer, who had 20 assists and one block assist. Bridget O'Hara had a game-high nine digs.
In the first set, back-to-back kills by Schmidt and Durket, a CSUB hitting error, a Lommori kill and a Burke ace made it 5-0 SCU quickly. SCU went ahead 13-6 on a Knudsen kill. Lommori's kill to the opposite hit pay dirt and a Roadrunner hitting error put SCU up 16-7. A CSUB hitting error made it 18-10 Broncos. A Lommori ace and a Lexi Williamson made it 21-11 SCU. Another Williamson kill by a tip gave SCU a 23-13 lead. A Knudsen kill gave SCU the set, 25-17. SCU hit .406 with 16 kills and two aces. CSUB hit .103 with nine kills and six errors.
Durket started the second set with a crushing kill to the back row. Lommori's tip, a Knudsen kill and another Williamson tip made it 6-3 SCU. Two Durket aces, a kill by her and another bomb by Knudsen put SCU up 10-3. A Durket kill made it 12-4 SCU. Two straight CSUB points and it was 14-8 SCU. Lommori's kill quieted the rally and a Schmidt kill to the back row made it 16-9. Two Williamson kills and two by Durket made it 22-10. Knudsen's kill gave SCU the game 25-12. SCU hit .692 with 20 kills. CSUB hit .316 with eight kills. Durket had six kills and Knudsen added five.
Lommori started the third set with her eighth and ninth kills of the match, with Durket collecting her ninth between Lommori's. SCU led 4-0 after a CSUB hitting error. SCU went up 9-3 on kills by Durket sandwiched between a CSUB kill. A Schmidt kill off the block made it 12-7 SCU. Two CSUB hitting errors and a Lommori ace made it 17-8 SCU. Four of the next five points were won by CSUB, including an ace, making it 18-13. The two teams traded points after a Schmidt kill. After a long rally, a team block by Alexandra Palmer and Knudsen resulted in a 20-15 SCU advantage. CSUB scrapped within three before a Knudsen block solo made it 21-17. Down 22-19, CSUB called timeout. After the play stoppage, Schmidt's kill gave SCU the ball back, 23-19 SCU. A kill by Durket gave SCU a 25-20 set win. SCU hit .433 with 15 kills. CSUB hit .219.