Opening the 2012 West Coast Conference season at home, Santa Clara defeated Gonzaga 3-1 on Thursday night. The Broncos host No. 18 San Diego on Sat., Sept. 22 at 1 pm in the Leavey Center. Set scores were 25-16, 25-15, 22-25 and 27-25. Santa Clara is 11-4 and 1-0 in WCC play and Gonzaga is 8-6 and 0-1 in the WCC.
Wallace was pleased the team started the 2012 WCC schedule with a win. "There is no easy match in the WCC this year. Every team has been through so much and they will fight until the end. I was really happy with our team and how responded to Gonzaga's spirited play," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Taylor had some big plays. Lexi Williamson had the hit of the night that allowed us to take the lead in game four. We served well as a team, minus the five serving errors in game one. We settled down and I liked the aggressiveness the rest of the way."
San Diego, Santa Clara's opponent on Saturday, has been nationally ranked all year. "They have all their starters back from last year. I feel like this is a good time to play San Diego for our team because it will be a great test to our believe and trust in ourselves," said Wallace.
Santa Clara hit .310 with 59 kills (19 e, 129 att.). The Broncos collected 55 assists, 46 digs, nine service aces, 12 service errors and 7.5 team blocks. Gonzaga hit .172 with 46 kills (24 e, 128 att.). The Zags collected 35 assists, 43 digs, three service aces, three service errors and 8.0 team blocks.
The Broncos were led by Taylor Milton, who collected 15 kills (4 e, 30 att.), hitting .367. Megan Anders hit .231 with 11 kills (5 e, 26 att.). Haley Cameron had nine kills, hitting .429 (3 e, 14 att.). Katherine Douglas had eight kills, hitting .286. Douglas had three aces and 15 digs. Alyssa Anderson had 28 assists, one ace and eight digs. Chelsea Heier had an ace and 23 assists.
In the first set the teams tied it up six times in the early going. Tied at 9-9, the Broncos went on a 3-0 run before they served it into the net. Cameron's cross court kill gave the Broncos a sideout. A kill by Anders and another by Douglas made it 15-11 Broncos. Another kill by Anders off the Zags block made it 16-12. Anders smacked it over the block again and a Zags error made it 19-13. Timeout Zags. Gonzaga scored three of the next five, but Lexi Williamson's ace stopped the rally, 22-16 Broncos. A bad set by the Zags and Gonzaga whistled for time again, down 23-16. A Douglas kill was followed by another ace by Williamson for set point, 25-16 Broncos. Anders and Cameron both had three kills each. SCU hit .259 with 11 kills. Gonzaga hit -.056 with seven kills.
The third set the teams tied it up six times in the early going before the Zags took an 8-6 lead. A kill by Douglas pulled SCU within one before the Zags scored four of the next six to go up 12-8. Timeout Broncos. The Zags scored three of the next four points before a Milton kill off the block stopped the run. A couple Bronco kills pulled the Broncos within three, 16-13 Zags. The Zags scored four of the next seven points to take a 20-15 lead, including an ace. After another Zags point, timeout Broncos with Gonzaga leading 21-15. After a Bronco hitting error, an Anders kilk, a Douglas ace and a Zags error made it 22-18. A Zags ball handling error caused the Zags to whistle for time up 23-20. An ace by Danielle Rottman and another Zags hitting error pulled SCU within one, 23-22. Timeout Broncos. The Zags won two of the next three to win set three 25-22. Santa Clara hit .179 with 14 kills. The Zags hit .290 with 13 kills.
After the Zags went up 2-0, Cameron tapped it down for a kill. Gonzaga scored on four of the next five balls to go up 6-2. After an ace, the Broncos whistled for time. An Anders kill of the face and a team block by Williamson and Anders stopped the run. An error by Gonzaga brought SCU within one. After a side-out, a kill by Milton off the Zags arms and a kill by Cameron tied it up 8-8. The teams traded points to tie it up three times before the Zags took a 13-11 lead. Trading points, GU took a 14-12 lead. A Milton kill down the line and another by Williamson tied it up 14-14. Gonzaga scored three more before Wallace called for time, down 17-14. A Williamson kill stopped the run again and another by Milton, her 13th, tied it up at 17-17. Trading points, Cameron's kill in the back row put SCU up 19-18. Timeout Bulldogs. A Bronco service error tied it up 19-19. Williamson's kill off the block once again put SCU up by one, but another service error tied it up 20-20. Lommori's error was followed by her crushing the ball down the line to tie it up 21-21. A Zags kill was matched by one by Anders, 22-22. A kill, which hit the line, gave Gonzaga a one point lead, but Milton crushed it off the block to tie it up 23-23. Williamson crushed it in the back row to put SCU up 24-23. Timeout Bulldogs. An error by the Broncos tied it up but Milton answered, 25-24 Broncos. Gonzaga wizzed a kill to the back row, but again SCU answered with a Douglas kill, 26-25 Broncos. Gonzaga hit it way out to give the Broncos a 27-25 set four win.