Playing its third five-set match in just 24 hours, Santa Clara outlasted host-UC Davis Saturday morning and won its sixth match in seven tries to start the 2012 season. SCU is already 3-1 in five-set matches this season. Santa Clara is 5-1 and UC Davis moves to 2-3. Santa Clara will play at the Stanford Invitational next weekend, fist matching up with the No. 9 Cardinal at 7 pm on Fri., Sept. 7. They will play Pacific at Noon on Sat., Sept. 8 and Loyola Chicago at 8 pm.
Set scores were 25-19, 25-19, 19-25, 22-25 and 15-6. Santa Clara hit .249 with 65 kills (21 e, 177 att.). They collected 61 assists, eight aces, 12 service errors, 80 digs and seven team blocks. UC Davis hit .168 with 53 kills (24 e, 173 att.). They collected 51 digs, six aces, seven service errors, 74 digs and four team blocks.
"We played pretty well. We were a little fatigued in the fourth set - it's tough playing three five-set matches in 24 hours early in the season. UC Davis started serving tougher and we lost a little bit of focus," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Before game five, the team said 'we aren't losing this game' in the huddle and they showed that focus. Megan Anders was fantastic. Taylor played good and we felt she could make plays at the end and she did by digging a lot of balls."
The Broncos were paced by three hitters with double-digit kills again. Megan Anders hit a sparkling .530 in the middle with 13 kills (1 e, 25 att.) and three block assists. Katherine Douglas had a match-high 17 kills (5 e, 42 att.), hitting .286 with 16 digs to collect a double-double. Taylor Milton hit .258 with 12 kills (4 e, 31 att.). She also had nine dig and two block assists. Alyssa Anderson had a double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs, adding three aces. Chelsea Heier had 26 assists and six digs. Katy Schatzman continued to play effectively as the libero, collecting 22 digs. Haley Cameron collected seven kills, an important block solo in the deciding set and three block assists.
"This was a total team effort to win our third five-set match in less than 24 hours. We got a great spark off the bench from Ali Rambis. She served a couple big aces for us and had great mental energy with a couple key digs," added Wallace. "Alyssa in game two completely won the set for us with great serving. She did a great job of setting Megan and honestly we probably didn't set her enough. Again, Matt and Aaron came up huge with good play calling throughout."
Davis was led by Allison Whitson's 14 kills. Devon Damelio had 11 and Victoria Lee has nine along with Katie Quinn. Jenny Woolway had 24 assists and 14 digs. Lindsay Dowd, the youngers sister of former Bronco Lauryn Dowd, had 14 assists and five digs.
In game one the teams were tied twice early before Santa Clara took a 7-3 lead. After Davis pulled within two, Santa Clara went up 12-7 on a Davis error. Back-to-back kills by Anders and an error by Brain put SCU up 16-10. Timeout Davis. A team block by Williamson and Cameron and two Davis errors made it 19-15 Broncos. Three of the next four points were Bronco kills by Douglas, Anders and Lommori, 22-16 SCU. The teams traded points on a kill by Milton. A Lommori service error followed another Milton kill. Quinn knocked one down in the back row before a hitting error by Whitson gave the Broncos set one 25-19. Santa Clara hit .395 with 17 kills (2 e, 38 att.). Anders collected five kills. Davis hit .189 with 12 kills (5 e, 37 att.). Brain and Whitson had three kills each.
Tied three times early in the second set, the Broncos strung together seven straight points including a couple service aces by Anderson and kills by Anders, Milton and Douglas to put the Broncos up 10-3. The Broncos scored four straight on two errors by Davis and an ace by Lommori and a kill by Milton, 15-7 Broncos. A kill by Whitson and error by Williamson stopped the Davis bleeding. But Williamson came back strong on the next point, crushing the ball to the Aggie floor to make it 16-9 Broncos. Douglas' back-to-back kills gave the Broncos a 19-13 lead. Timeout Davis. SCU scored six of the next 10 points, including a team block by Anders and Lommori on set point to win set two 25-17. SCU hit .235 with 14 kills (6 e, 34 att.). Davis hit .103 with 8 kills (5 e, 29 att.).
In game three, tied at 2-2, Davis scored four of the next five, including kills by Damelio, Whitson and Brain to take a 6-3 lead. Williamson's kill stopped the run, 6-4 Davis. The Aggies went on a 6-2 run to take a 12-6 lead. Timeout Broncos. Two kills by Anders and another by Milton helped the cause but the Aggies scored four on three kills and a Milton error to push their lead to 18-10 Davis. An Anders kill and a Brain attack error made it 18-12 Aggies. The Aggies were up 20-15 before the Broncos went on a 4-0 run to pull within one, 20-19 Aggies. The run included a team block by Milton and Cameron, a kill by Douglas and two aces by Ali Rambis. Davis posted five straight points to win set three 25-19. SCU hit .111 with 10 kills (6 e, 36 att.). Davis hit .306 with 14 kills (3 e, 36 att.).
The Broncos ran out to an early 6-2 lead on a couple kills by Douglas, one by Lommori and a team block by Lommori and Cameron. The Aggies then went on a 12-2 run to take a 14-8 lead. SCU scored three of the next four to make it 15-11 Aggies.. Trading points for a period of time, the Broncos then scored three of four with Williamson and Douglas both collecting kills to make it 17-14 Aggies. The Aggies scored three of four points to take a 20-15 lead. An Anders kill was followed by another Quinn kills, 21-16 Aggies. A kill by Lommori and an attack error by Whitson was followed by an Aggie timeout. Damelio scored her 10th kill of the match next, 22-18 Davis. Milton's 11th kill of the match and a block solo by Cameron made it a two-point Aggie lead, 22-20. Whitson's kill and Williamson' hitting error pushed the Aggie lead to four, 24-20. The first attack error of the game for Lee and then a kill by Damelio gave the Aggies a 25-22 set four victory. The Broncos hit .167 with 13 kills (6 e, 42 att.). The Aggies hit .196 with 17 kills (7 e, 51 att.).
In the deciding set, the Broncos ran out to a quick 3-0 lead on kills by Anders and Lommori and an attack error by Whitston. Two kills by Anders and a Whitson attack error put SCU up 6-1. Timeout Davis. Lommori's service error gave the Aggies a sideout, but Milton was money to push the Bronco lead to 7-2. Whitson and Williamson traded kills, 8-3 Broncos. The Aggies scored two of the next three points, 9-5 Broncos. Lommori crushed the ball in the back row and Douglas followed with one of her own, 11-5 Broncos. An Anderson service error was followed by kills by Douglas and Anders, 13-6 Broncos. Timeout Aggies. A team block by Anders and Milton and then an attack by Whitson gave the Broncos a 15-6 win in fifth and deciding set. SCU hit .370 with 11 kills (1 e, 27 att.). Davis hit -.100 with two kills (4 e, 20 att.).