In its last Thursday night home match of the year, Santa Clara defeated Gonzaga 3-1. Game scores were 25-13, 14-25, 25-21 and 25-17. Santa Clara hosts Portland in its final match of the year on Sat., Nov. 6 at 1 pm. Santa Clara is 13-11 and 4-6 in the WCC. Gonzaga is 2-24 and 0-10 in the WCC.
"Kayla played well and she managed the game well. She was a great presence blocking and worked hard offensively," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Good to see Kaliegh Durket get back into things. She is working to get her swing back. We moved Bridget O'Hara to middle back and our defense picked up tremendously. She was able to make a lot of plays for us. Tanya is playing great. She is seeing the game really well. She took really good swings for us. She is working hard and is playing extremely well. She deserves all-conference honors. She is one of the best middles in the conference."
Saturday's match vs. Portland is senior day. "It wil be great to acknowledge our seniors and it's a great group. I hope we can gel together and get a win for them," added Wallace.
Santa Clara hit .261 with 59 kills (18 3, 157 att.). Santa Clara collected 74 digs, 54 assists, four service aces and 11 team blocks. Gonzaga hit .148 with 45 kills (23 e, 149 att.). Gonzaga collected 63 digs, 38 assists, six service aces and eight team blocks.
Individually Santa Clara was led by Kayla Lommori's 18 kills (4 e, 45 att.), hitting .311. Kaleigh Durket had 12 kills (5 e, 29 att.), hitting .241. Tanya Schmidt collected 11 kills, hitting .391 (2 e, 23 att.). Emily Burke collected 27 assists and nine digs. Alexandra Palmer had 18 assists and seven digs. Bridget O'Hara led the Broncos in digs with 28. Gonzaga was led by Schylur Edelman's nine kills (2 e, 15 att.), hitting .467.
In the first set Santa Clara went up 5-1 off a Megan Anders kill and a Zags attack error. A net error by Gonzaga and the Zags called timeout down 8-2. Coming out of the timeout, the teams traded points and then a Lommori kill gave the Broncos the ball back. A team block by Lommori and Knudsen and was followed by a team block by Knudsen and Durket, 12-3 Broncos. A Lommori kill, one by Knudsen and an ace by O'Hara gave the Broncos a 15-6 advantage. Timeout Zags. Trading points, a long rally led to a Bronco point after Caitlin Cozad hit it out of bounds and then a team block put SCU up 18-7. Moving forward, the two teams traded points as SCU took a 23-11 lead on a kill by Anders and another by Knudsen. Kills by Lommori and Durket closed out set one, 25-13. Santa Clara hit .314 with 16 kills (5 e, 35 att). Gonzaga hit -.026 with 6 kills (7 e, 38 att.).
In set two the two teams tied up six times before two Gonzaga kills and Bronco error gave the Zags a 9-6 lead. A team block by Schmidt and Anders ignited the Bronco offense and Lommori knocked down a kill to edge back within a point. The Zags scored six of the next eight points to take a 16-10 lead. Timeout Broncos. The Zags scored eight of the next 11 points to move forward 24-13. The Zags won set two 25-14. Santa Clara hit .135 with 9 kills (4 e, 37 att.) and the Zags hit .378 with 19 kills (5 e, 37 att.).
In set three the teams tied it up six times in the early going. Durket's kill to the back row and a Zags hitting error gave the Broncos an 8-6 lead. The Zags tied it 9-9. A Zags hitting error, a team block by Schmidt and Lommori and another Zags hitting error gave the Broncos a 12-9 lead. Schmidt's back row kill, another by Lommori and ace by Alexandra Palmer, 15-12 Broncos. Timeout Zags. The teams traded points and Knudsen knocked a kill off the block to make it 17-13. The Zags scored two straight when the Broncos called timeout, up 17-15. A kill by the Zags and a Bronco hitting error tied it up 17-17. Knudsen's kill in the middle, another by Durket and a hitting error by the Zags gave the Broncos the lead, 20-17. Timeout Bulldogs. Two Durket kills put SCU up 22-17. Two straight points by the Zags and SCU whistled for time. The two traded points before Schmidt hit pay dirt to give the Broncos a 24-21 lead. A team block by Anders and Schmidt gave SCU set point 25-21. SCU hit .204 with 16 kills (6 e, 49 att.). Gonzaga hit .098 with 10 kills (5 e, 41 att.).
In set four the two knotted it up 2-2. A team block by Anders and Schmidt, Lommori's kill off the block and a Zags hitting error made it 5-2. Timeout Bulldogs. A team block by Schmidt and Lommori greeted the Zags out of the timeout and a kill by Anders made it 7-2 SCU. Schmidt's kill over the block and two straight Gonzaga hitting errors pushed the Broncos lead to 10-3. Timeout Gonzaga. A Zags attack error and two straight Alexander service aces made it 14-4 Broncos. Trading points, Lommori's kill off the block and Durket's to the open hole in the court, 16-6 Broncos. The Zags scored four straight, including two on services aces. Timeout Broncos, up 16-10. The teams traded points twice. Schmidt scored on kills in two of the next three points to give SCU a 19-13 advantage. Lommori's kill off the block made it 20-14. Lommori's tip was followed by one by Knudsen, 23-15 Broncos. A long rally was ended by a Zags attack error and the Broncos won set four and the match 25-17. SCU hit .389 with 17 kills (3 e, 36 att.). Gonzaga hit .118 with 10 kills (6 e, 34 att.).