Santa Clara plays just one match this week and it's a big one! The Broncos host BYU on Sat., Oct. 29 at 1 pm for the first time since the Cougars joined the West Coast Conference. Santa Clara is 9-11 and 4-5 in the WCC and BYU is 16-7 and 5-4 in the WCC. Santa Clara enters the week on a two-match winning streak, while BYU dropped two 3-1 matches at home last week to No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 17 San Diego.
Santa Clara is playing first-year WCC opponent BYU for just the third time in school history. In its first match in school history, the Broncos were defeated by the Cougars in the first round of the 1992 NCAA Tournament 3-0. The Broncos, the WCC champions, were 21-11 that season and 13-1 in the WCC.
On Oct. 7, BYU defeated Santa Clara 3-0 in Provo, Utah. Santa Clara hit .029 with 31 kills (28e, 103 att.). They collected 31 assists, 29 digs, two aces and three team blocks. BYU hit .400 with 42 kills (8e, 85 att.). They collected 40 assists, three aces, 36 digs and 11 team blocks.
Jennifer Hamson led the Cougars with her seventh double-double of the season, posting 13 kills and 12 digs. Carpenter recorded 10 kills on the match and LeCheminant also broke her career record in block assists, with 8.
For the fourth time in her Bronco career, Santa Clara junior Dana Knudsen was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .548 last week in the team's 3-0 win vs. LMU and its 3-1 win over rival USF. She was chosen over five other WCC nominees and was named to the All-WCC Preseason Coaches Team.
Shoring up the middle with senior captain Tanya Schmidt out with a high ankle sprain for 4 weeks, Knudsen stepped up her play and leadership last week. Knudsen hit .548 last week in a 3-0 win versus Loyola Marymount and a 3-1 win vs. Bay Area rival San Francisco. She had just three errors on 42 attempts during the weekend with 26 kills and led the team with 3.71 kpg and also collected 0.57 bpg.
Against Loyola Marymount, Knudsen hit .667 in the Broncos' 3-0 win and then hit .481 in the 3-1 win over San Francisco. Her 16 kills versus the Dons served as a season-best for the junior.
Knudsen led the Broncos with eight kills, hitting .235. Tanya Schmidt collected seven, hitting .267. Alexandra Palmer had 16 assists and Alyssa Anderson 14. Bridget O'Hara led the team with nine digs.
After a disappointing 7-11 record through their first 18 contests Santa Clara has stepped its game up recently with two big wins over WCC opponents LMU and USF. Against USF Santa Clara hit .264 with 60 kills (21 e, 148 att.). They collected 73 digs, 57 assists, one service ace, six service errors and 12.0 team blocks. USF hit .151 with 48 kills (25 e, 152 att.). They collected 52 digs, 45 assists, six service aces, nine service error sand eight team blocks.
Individually Dana Knudsen led the Broncos with 16 kills, hitting .481. Megan Anders had 10 kills, hitting .429 with two block solos and four block assists. Katherine Douglas and Kayla Lommori collected 12 kills each. Douglas and Durket had 12 digs each and Bridget O'Hara scored a match-high 24 digs. Alyssa Anderson had 53 assists and collected her first Bronco block solo and four block assists.
In their match last Thursday vs. LMU Santa Clara scored 51 kills (11 e, 105 att.), hitting .381. They collected 50 digs, 48 assists, three service aces, eight service errors and two team blocks. LMU scored 38 kills (12 e, 106 att.), hitting .245. They collected 41 digs, 35 assists, two service aces, eight service errors and 4.5 team blocks. Individually, Santa Clara was led by Kayla Lommori's 14 kills, hitting .571 (2e, 21 att.). Kaleigh Durket (.280) and Dana Knudsen (.667) both scored 10 kills each. Katherine Douglas had nine kills (.250) with eight digs. Bridget O'Hara had 15 digs for the Broncos and Alyssa Anderson scored 44 assists and eight digs.
On the season Knudsen has been one of the Broncos most consistent offensive weapons. She hits.334, is second on the team in blocks with 0.56 bpg, and is third in kills with 2.22 kpg. Douglas is seventh in the league in kills with 3.14 kpg and is third in service aces with 0.15 sapg. Durket is second in kills with 2.49 and hits .223. Palmer is second in hitting at .308. Anderson is one spot ahead of her teammate with 6.18 apg and has a team-leading 0.19 sapg. Libero O'Hara adds 3.86 dpg, placing her sixth in the league.
After being swept by No. 8 Illinois and St. Mary's to start the season, BYU won 13 of its next 14 matches including a season-high 10 consecutive victories. The Cougars have lost twice to nationally ranked conference foes San Diego and Pepperdine. In their latest showdown against San Diego, the team battled but found themselves on the short end of the 3-1 match score. Christie Carpenter led BYU with 14 kills and five blocks to tie her season high while Jennifer Hamson added 13 kills and five digs. Heather Hanneman posted a match-high 36 assists while Tia Withers and Kendalyn Hartsock had nine digs apiece. Previously against Pepperdine the team had fallen 3-1 in another hard fought match. Hamson's double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs led the BYU attack. Carpenter and Vaughn contributed 10 kills each, while Hartsock added 17 digs.
Hamson has been one of the top offensive players in the league this year as she is first in kills, fifth in hitting percentage, fifth in service aces and seventh in blocks. She leads the team in each of these categories except blocks where she places third. Lecheminant is another offensive force hitting .302 and averaging 1.10 bpg, good for second on the team. Carpenter is second with 2.87 kpg, second in service aces with 0.27 sapg and fourth in hitting at .224. Warner adds a WCC-best 1.51 bpg and hits .265. Hartsock contributes 4.27 dpg, which is third in the league, while Hannemann leads with 10.31 apg which is third in the league.
BYU leads the league in blocks with 2.91 (236 total), is second in opponent hitting at .161, and is third in hitting at .235.