Santa Clara closed out its non-conference slate with a 3-0 win over Seattle in the Leavey Center on Sunday. Game scores were 25-21, 25-22 and 25-17. Santa Clara is 9-5 and Seattle is 7-10. Santa Clara will now prepare to open WCC play on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 7 pm vs. LMU, 6-6, and then Sat., Oct. 2 at 1 pm vs. Pepperdine.
The match featured the return of sophomore Katherine Douglas. Bronco head coach Jon Wallace felt the team looked like it was the first match of the year with the return of Douglas. "Her return changes everyone's role on the court," said Wallace. "Everyone has new roles and responsibilities with Kat's return. It'll take this week and the next couple matches to get back after it – she was a little rusty, but I am glad she was able to play the whole match. It's good to see her out there.
"Overall our energy was low, which was a little disappointing given it was a home match," said Wallace. "We are no turning the page to the next phase, which is conference, and they will come back ready. Given the injuries we had this preseason, which were significant, we did a pretty good job of getting through the schedule. Kayla Lommori improved so much and took great strides. And the same thing with Dana Knudsen. She had to carry a load and she too has grown up. When we get Kat up to speed, we will be a pretty balanced team."
Santa Clara hit .235 with 42 kills (15 e, 115 att.), 46 digs, 41 assists and seven service aces. Seattle hit .078 with 30 kills (22 e, 102 att.), 49 digs, 30 assists and four service aces.
Santa Clara was led by Kayla Lommori with a match-high 12 kills (4 e, 32 att.), hitting .250 with two service aces. Tanya Schmidt had six kills, hitting .500. Dana Knudsen had six kills, three blocks solos and two block assists. Douglas hit .097 with seven kills in her return. Emily Burke had 39 assists, three service aces and five digs. Bridget O'Hara had 12 digs.
In the first set the two teams scrapped back and forth with five ties before Santa Clara took a 8-5 lead on back-to-back block solos by Lommori and Knudsen and then by Knudsen and Burke. Seattle tied it at 8-8 before a Douglas kill quieted the rally. After a Lommori hitting error, she crushed the ball off the block to make it 10-9 SCU. A Knudsen kill put SCU up 15-11 when the Redhawks whistled for time. Coming out of the timeout, Santa Clara scored two of the next three points to take a 17-12 lead. A Douglas kill from the left side put SCU up 18-14. A tip by Knudsen made it 19-16 after a mini-Redhawk run; and then Lommori's blistering kill to the back row caused Seattle to call for its second timeout, 20-16 Broncos. Lommori's kill to the opposite side of the back row, a hitting error by the Redhawks and a kill by Kaleigh Durket make it 23-19 Broncos. After two straight hitting errors, the Broncos called timeout, 23-21 Broncos. A kill by Schmidt quieted the rally and a ball handling error by Seattle gave SCU set one, 25-21. SCU hit .233 with 15 kills (5 e, 43 att). Seattle hit .077 with 11 kills (8 e, 39 att.). Lommori had six kills and O'Hara scooped up six digs.
A Schmidt kill, a team block by Schmidt and Durket and a Burke service ace started the second set action. Seattle tied it up 3-3. SCU took a 9-6 lead on a Redhawk hitting error and a Knudsen error. A Lommori tip, a blistering kill off Schmidt's palm and kills from Durket and hitting error by SU made it 14-10. Timeout Seattle. Seattle scored three times before an SU hitting error, a Durket service ace and Douglas kill made it 17-14 SCU. Seattle scored four of the next six points to make it 19-18 when a kill by Durket made it 20-18. A dump by Burke into the donut and an Ali Rambis floating service ace pushed it to 22-19 when Seattle called for time. A kill by Knudsen, her fifth of the match, made it 23-20. Two straight Redhawk points and Wallace whistled for time. Douglas' kill off the block and a Redhawk hitting error gave SCU the set, 25-22. SCU hit .297 with 16 kills (5 e, 37 att.). Seattle hit .250 with 14 kills (14 e, 32 att.). Durket had four kills. Richards had seven kills for the Redhawks.
In set three a Redhawk hitting error and a two straight Burke aces made it 3-0. A kill and then a service ace, both by Lommori, made it 5-1 SCU. Seattle scored four of the next six points to make it 7-5 Broncos. A Redhawk hitting error and a tip by Burke pushed their lead to 9-5 Broncos when Seattle whistled for time. Lommori's kill from the left side, her 10th of the match and Knudsen's block solo pushed the SCU lead to 11-6. Schmidt skied in the middle for a kill, Lommori crushed one from the back row and a Redhawk hitting error, 15-8 Broncos. Timeout Redhawks. Seattle scored three of the next five points before a Knudsen kill off the block and a Redhawk hitting error made it 19-11 Broncos. Scoring three of the next four points, Seattle hung around in the match off kills. Durket's kill off a Burke mis-set, a scorching kill from Lommori and a Redhawk hitting error gave SCU a 23-15 advantage. A Redhawk service error and a Lommori ace gave SCU a 25-17 set three win. SCU hit .171 with 11 kills (5 e, 35 att.). Seattle hit -.097 with five kills (8 e, 31 att.). Lommori had four kills in the set.