No. 20 San Diego Edges SCU In WCC Volleyball Action Thursday Night
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team got past visiting Santa Clara University Thursday night at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion. Set scores went (25-17, 25-23 and 25-21).
Santa Clara (11-15; 6-9 WCC) received a team-high 11 kills from Kayla Lommori and six blocks from Dana Knudsen. The Broncos will wrap up its 2011 season at home on Saturday afternoon when they host local rival St. Mary's at 1 p.m.
San Diego (27-3; 12-3 WCC) entered the match needing a win to keep its conference championship hopes alive. However, league-leading and 18th-ranked Pepperdine needs just one more win to clinch the 2011 WCC title outright. Regardless, there is little doubt that USD will indeed receive a birth into the upcoming NCAA tournament. USD was led by junior middle-hitter Shelby Staab's nine kills and .389 attacking percentage.
Back on September 24 at the Leavey Center, Santa Clara took USD to the brink, winning the first two sets before the Toreros rallied for a 3-2 comeback victory.
Thursday night's match was closely contested as well, and in the opening stages of Set One, it looked as if things could go either way. After ties of 4-4, 5-5 and 7-7, San Diego pulled in front to take a 14-10 lead on a Bronco ball-handling error. Despite the ties, USD never trailed in the opening set and went on to win 25-17.
In Set Two, the Broncos rallied from a 10-6 deficit to tie things up at 20, thanks to kills from Knudsen and Katherine Douglas. Another Knudsen kill put the visiting Broncos up 22-21 and Lommori made it 23-22 until USD ran off three straight points to take command of the night with a 25-23 Set Two victory.
Behind the playmaking of Lommori, Set Three began with Santa Clara jumping out in front by scores of 3-0 and 4-1. After a one of Knudsen's six blocks, the Broncos led 9-6, but the Toreros fought back to tie things up at 12 and took a 15-13 lead on a kill from Staab. SCU would not have an answer as the homestanding Toreros managed to hold on for the decisive set victory, 25-21.
SCU entered the final weekend of play ranked third in the WCC in attacking offense, led by Douglas (229 kills) and Knudsen (223 kills). The Broncos will look to snap a string of losing eight straight to the Gaels in Saturday's season-finale.
For tickets or more information about Saturday's match against SMC call the Santa Clara Ticket Office at 408-554-4660.