Santa Clara plays Delaware in its final match of the Notre Dame Invitational Sunday morning at 8:30 am Pacific prior to returning to California. Santa Clara will then host Seattle Sun., Sept. 26 at 1 pm in the Leavey Center before opening WCC play vs. LMU on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 7 pm and Pepperdine on Sat., Oct. 2 at 1 pm.
"The girls played really hard. We started poorly in game one and after we called timeout early, they came out with a spark and played really well from then on," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "We played aggressive throughout and I don't think Notre Dame was not as aggressive. We got down in set three, but we showed maturity, rode the storm and battled to win in three sets."
Wallace said there were two keys: the team stayed steady throughout the match and believed they could compete against Notre Dame. "We had girls make plays - everyone made plays. It's a nice win for us. We came out to Notre Dame; and they have showed us great hospitality as a fellow Catholic/Jesuit school. Notre Dame is a good team. Our athletic director, Dan Coonan, graduated from Notre Dame and so we know it means a lot to him and the girls certainly know that and are pumped for us to get the win for him."
"Kayla Lommori played great," added Wallace. "She was a much smarter hitter on the outside tonight. She made great shots and tips. We thought in looking at the scouting report, Tanya Schmidt could have a big night and she rose to the occasion."
Wallace smiled big when asked about the play of the night. It happened in the third set with Santa Clara up 25-24. "Ali Rambis (pictured to the right) came in, hit a great serve and she pancaked the ball for us on the return and then Notre Dame made a hitting error to end the match. She did a real nice job serving and playing in the back row." Santa Clara fans may remember Rambis' father, all-time leading scorer Kurt Rambis.
Santa Clara has an early wake-up call tomorrow as it plays at 8:30 am Pacific against Delaware in its last match of the Notre Dame Invitational. "It's going to be tough to play at 8:30 am, but if you asked the girls now, they are pretty pumped and want to play well tomorrow," said Wallace. "Delaware is a good team. They don't make mistakes and we will have to earn a lot. We do play early, but I think we will be ready."
Santa Clara hit .244 with 45 kills (16 e, 119 att.), 58 digs and 42 assists. They collected 5.5 team blocks and three service aces. Notre Dame hit .096 with 38 kills (25e, 136 att.), 51 digs and 35 assists. They collected 10 team blocks and three service aces.
Lommori led all hitters with 15 kills and collected eight digs. Kaleigh Durket had 11 kills, hitting .231 with five digs. Tanya Schmidt hit .421 with nine kills and two aces. Emily Burke collected 39 assists, eight digs and two kills. Notre Dame, who had no one in double-digit kills, was led by Kellie Sciacca's nine kills and six block assists. Kristen Dealy collected eight kills with five errors and 14 digs.
In the first set Santa Clara took a 2-1 lead off an Irish ball handling error and a Lommori kill. The Irish scored five straight, including two kills and an ace by Andrea McHugh, taking a 6-2 lead. Wallace whistled for a timeout. After the timeout, an Irish error gave SCU the ball; and Santa Clara scored three straight of four to tie it up 7-7. The two teams tied up three more times, including 10-10. Santa Clara scored four straight points on kills by Schmidt, Durket and Lommori and a team block by Lommori and Schmidt. Timeout Irish. Santa Clara then scored three of the next four points on Irish errors and kill by Schmidt, taking a 17-11 lead. UND quieted the rally with a Sciacca kill and then an Irish team block; and Durket quieted that rally with her own kill, 18-13 SCU. Two straight Irish points and Durket knocked down another kill and then one by Burke to push SCU to 20-15. Trading points, a Knudsen kill and an Irish error gave SCU a 22-16 advantage. The Irish called their second timeout of the set; and after a Nicole Smith kill, Lommori knocked one down to put SCU up 23-17. An Irish hitting error and another Schmidt kill, her fourth of the set, and Santa Clara won game one 25-18. Santa Clara hit .400 in game one with 16 kills. They were led by Schmidt and Lommori, who scored four kills each . The Irish hit .182 with 12 kills. Santa Clara out-blocked UND 4-1.
In the second start, Santa Clara jumped ahead 4-2, mainly Irish errors (one kill to four errors early on). A team block by Knudsen and Durket, an Irish kill and then a Durket kill made it 6-3 Broncos. The two teams traded points twice, including a Knudsen kill and a hitting error, pushing it to 7-6 Broncos. Schmidt knocked smacked a kill to make it 10-7 Broncos. Lommori quieted the four-point Irish run with a kill down the line to tie it up 11-11. A Durket kill after one by the Irish tied it up 12-12. An attack error by Andrea McHugh, another Durket kill, her sixth of the match, and a ball handling error by the Irish and SCU went up 15-12. Out of an Irish timeout, UND scored five of the next six points to take a 17-16 lead. Santa Clara rallied with Burke dumping the ball, a Lommori kill, her seventh of the match, and a Lexi Williamson ace, giving SCU a 19-17 lead. After the Irish whistled for their second timeout of the set, Kristen Dealy made an attacking error and Lommori scored four kills in the next five plays, 24-18 Broncos. Lommori had 11 kills in the match already with just two errors. Burke had a ball handling error and then Schmidt knocked down her second straight set winner to give SCU set two, 25-19. Santa Clara hit .182 with 16 kills. The Irish hit .049 with nine kills and seven errors. Lommori had seven kills in the set.
After the Irish ran out to a 5-1 lead, Wallace called timeout to rally the Bronco group. The Irish scored two straight and then Santa Clara scored three straight before an Irish team block and kill put Notre Dame up 9-5. Durket battled for her ninth kill of the match and an Irish error stopped the rally with the Irish up 9-7. The Irish scored four of the next five points to take a 13-8 lead. After McHugh's attack error, her fifth of the match to go with five kills, another Irish error and a kill by Durket; and it was 14-11 Irish. SCU won four of the next five points. That span included Schmidt putting down her seventh kill of the match, a Bronco team block and an Irish attack error by Kristen Dealy to tie it up 15-15. Timeout Irish. The Irish scored three of the next five points move forward 18-16. The Irish went up 20-18 on another Sciacca kill. Lommori's 14th kill of the match tied it up 20-20. Santa Clara took the lead, 21-20, on a McHugh hitting error. After the Irish called timeout for the second time in the set, Santa Clara set the block to take a 23-21 lead. A Hillary Eppink kill was followed by her own hitting error put SCU up 24-22. A kill by Dealy gave the Irish hope at 24-23 Broncos. An Irish ace tied it up 24-24 and the Broncos called timeout. Smith hit it into the net and SCU went up 25-24. Santa Clara won set three 26-24 on Irish hitting error. Santa Clara hit .200 in set three, collecting 13 kills. Notre Dame hit .081 with 17 kills and 12 errors.