Santa Clara looks to finish the season with a bang as it travels to San Diego on Thurs., Nov. 17 at 7 pm before returning to the Leavey Center Sat., Nov. 19 at 1 pm vs. St. Mary's for its final match of the season. Seniors Tanya Schmidt and Bridget O'Hara will be honored prior to the Saint Mary's match.
Santa Clara is 11-14 and 6-8 in the West Coast Conference while San Diego is 26-3 and 11-3 in the WCC. St. Mary's is 15-12 and 9-6 in WCC play.
In WCC stats Santa Clara is third in assists (12.90 apg) and in kills (13.58 kpg) as well as fifth in hitting (.214) in overall matches. In conference play the Broncos are fifth in assists (12.32 apg), kills (12.98 kpg), and digs (13.70 dpg).
Santa Clara is coming off a perfect weekend at home that featured sweeps of Gonzaga and Portland. The team has now won back-to-back games five times however they are still looking for their first three match win streak. Santa Clara fell in five sets to San Diego in its first WCC contest Sept. 24. The Broncos have gone 6-7 since while the Toreros are 12-2 with their only two losses coming at then-No. 18 Pepperdine Oct. 24 and vs. St. Mary's Oct. 26.
On Saturday against Portland the Bronco team was led by Dana Knudsen's nine kills on .250 hitting. Lexi Williamson and Tanya Schmidt both collected eight kills each. Schmidt hit .316. Alyssa Anderson had 38 assists with four digs. Taylor Milton led the Broncos with four service aces. Bridget O'Hara had 10 digs and Williamson collected eight.
Knudsen, a 2010 All-WCC Honorable Mention and 2009 WCC All-Freshman honors recipient, has continued her impressive play in 2011. She is fifth in the league and first on the team in hitting (.336). She is second with 0.58 bpg and she is third with 2.35 kpg. Katherine Douglas is ninth in the WCC with 2.98 kpg which also leads the team. Anderson is ninth in the league with 7.09 apg. O'Hara is sixth in the league with 3.83 dpg. Milton has stepped up during conference play and her 0.23 sapg pace the team against WCC opponents.
San Diego swept Santa Clara twice last year but narrowly avoided an upset in their first showdown this season. The then-No. 21 ranked Toreros beat LMU 3-1 in their last match with Carrie Baird leading the attack with 13 kills on 32 attacks for a .250 hitting percentage. She added 11 digs for a double-double. Setter Rachel Alvey had 26 assists with nine digs to narrowly miss a double-double.
Katie Hoekman hits .405 which leads the league and Chloe Ferrari is second at .392. Amber Tatsch averages 3.11 kpg which is seventh and also paces the league in service aces with 0.48 sapg. Alvery is seventh in assists 9.17 apg. Kandiss Anderson is third in digs with 4.30 dpg.
San Diego is first in the league in opponent hitting percentage (.144) and assists (13.48 apg), second in hitting percentage (.245), kills (14.16 kpg) and digs (15.58 dpg), third in blocks (2.55 bpg), and fourth in service aces (1.29 sapg).
Santa Clara is 45-17 vs. Saint Mary's all-time but the Broncos have dropped eight straight to the Gaels dating back to 2007. In their last meeting on Oct. 15 the Gaels came from two sets down and edged the Broncos 3-2.
St. Mary's hosted WCC-leading and then- No. 14 Pepperdine last week and swept the visitors 3-0 to the delight of the home crowd. The loss shattered Pepperdine's perfect 13-0 conference record and gave St. Mary's its season-high fifth consecutive victory. SMC hit .349 and recorded 46 kills on 106 attempts with a season-low nine errors. Samantha Tinsley had a strong game with nine kills and seven total blocks. Jordan Shaw led the team with 10 kills on 21 swings with five digs and two total blocks. Lauren Corp contributed six kills, six digs and two aces. Missy White had 38 assists, six digs and three aces. Sarah Reams finished with a team-high 15 digs.
Shaw is third in the league with 3.36 kpg while Corp is eighth with 3.02 kpg. White is second with 11.00 apg and is third in service aces (0.38 sapg). Jolly is third in blocks (1.16 bpg) while Reams is fifth in digs (4.18 dpg).
St. Mary's is first in the league in service aces (1.50 sapg), fourth in kills (13.24 kpg), assists (12.57 apg), and blocks (2.50 bpg).