September 10, 2011

Katherine Douglas Has 23 Kills for SCU in Close Loss to North Dakota

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University volleyball team dropped its second and final match of its own early-season tournament, losing to Great West Conference favorites North Dakota 3-1 Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center. Game Scores went (22-25, 25-20, 25-23 and 25-23).

Similar to its match with UCSB last night, Santa Clara (3-5) looked sharp in the first set and jumped out to the early lead but could not win close games down the stretch. Katherine Douglas was terrific for SCU, totaling 23 kills and 15 digs.

North Dakota (7-3) – picked to win the Great West Conference this season - swept San Jose State Friday night at the Event Center at SJSU. The Sioux totaled 21 blocks as a team and received 12 kills from Annika Sned and nine from Lisa Parlich.

Indicative of the way things would go all day, the first game went down to the wire as both teams traded points into the twenties. Douglas notched 10 of her 23 kills in the opening set. With game one tied 22-22, the Broncos pulled away, scoring three straight to close out UND, bookended with a service ace from Douglas which put the Broncos up 1-0.

UND responded by building up leads of 12-8 and 17-13 in game two. Santa Clara was able to close the gap at 12-11, and then to 20-18 on a kill by Kaleigh Durket. However, the Sioux got five kills from Sned during the set and hit .286 compared to a .160 clip in game one and held on for a 25-20 win, evening the match.

After the intermission, game three was deadlocked at 11 apiece and remained tight throughout, tied 18-18 and again at 20-20 and 23-23. With the pivotal game in the balance, Devin Trefz put down a key kill for the Sioux and an SCU attacking error gave the visitors the set and a 2-1 edge.

Facing elimination on its home floor, Santa Clara roared out to an 8-1 lead in game three, sparked by an emphatic kill from Kayla Lommori. UND rallied to make it 15-13 and remained within striking distance until tying it up, 18-18, on Ronni Munkey's solo block. UND then took the lead on Nikki Husfeldt's ace.

Douglas came up with a pair of big kills in the late stages, but UND surged ahead on a pair of blocks and won the match with a 25-23 decision in game four.

The Broncos, will try and bounce back next weekend in Austin, Tex. Santa Clara will play three matches at a tournament hosted by the University of Texas. The trip marks the final non-conference games for SCU before WCC play begins against San Diego at home on Saturday, September 24.  

Broncos pictured above (l-r) Taylor Milton, Dana Knudsen, Bridget O'Hara and Katherine Douglas (Mike Rasay Photo)