Defeating its third top 20 team in the past month, Santa Clara was victorious in San Diego Saturday when it finished off No. 14 San Diego in five sets. Set scores were 20-25, 28-26, 19-25, 25-22 and 15-13. Santa Clara is now 7-3 this season in five-set matches.
Santa Clara is 17-7 and 6-3 in WCC play while San Diego, the first place team in the WCC, falls to 17-4 and 9-2 in the WCC.
In the last month, the Broncos have beaten then-No. 18 Pepperdine 3-1 on Sept. 29, then-No. 16 BYU 3-2 Oct. 20 and now have a win at No. 14 San Diego on Saturday.
"This was a total team effort. It was a lot of fun. Total team battle. We hung in there and kept going. Everybody had to do their job. Everybody made plays to pick up a point here or there. Even when Megan was getting kills, it was a good pass and a great set by Alyssa or when Haley was getting a kill, again it was a great pass and a great set by Chelsea. It was a total team effort," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "If someone had success today, it had to do with the success someone had the play before. It was a total team effort. Everybody believed and everybody trusted. They all worked really hard."
Does playing in five set matches help with the team's confidence? "I really do think so," said Wallace. "The five-set losses help us and the five-set wins also help us. It helps us determine how we want to play and how we want to be confidence-wise. We have a lot of experience there and that helps us compete a lot better."
Santa Clara hit .197 with 63 kills (28 e, 178 att.). They collected 58 assists, four aces, 15 service errors, 67 digs, two block solos and 18 block assists for 11 team blocks. San Diego hit .205 with 63 kills (28 e, 171 att.). They collected 58 assists, two aces, eight service erros, 71 digs, three block solos and 12 block assists for nine team blocks.
Santa Clara was led by a trio of hitters with 15 plus kills. Megan Anders tied a match-high with 17 kills, hitting .293 (5 e, 41 att.). Taylor Milton had 15 kills, hitting .231 (6 e, 39 att.) with nine digs and four block assists. Kayla Lommori also had 15 kills, hitting .263 (5 e, 38 att.) with four digs and a block assist. Haley Cameron once again came up in the middle with nine kills, hitting .333 (3 e, 18 att.), two block solos and six block assists. Katherine Douglas had four kills, an ace and 12 digs, adding two block assists. Katy Schatzman tied a match-high with 18 digs. Alyssa Anderson collected 30 assists, an ace and nine digs. Chelsea Heier added 22 assists, an ace and 11 digs.
San Diego was led by a trio with double-digit kills in Sandra Lozic (17), Katie Hokeman (14) and Chloe Ferrari (11). Rachel Alvey collected 18 digs and 41 assists.
In set two the teams were again tied five times, including 9-9 on a kill by Cameron, but USD scored five of the next six points to go up 14-10. After an error by Lozic, USD rallied to score five of the next six points to move ahead 19-12. A kill by Anders stared a Bronco run which saw SCU score nine of the next 12 points to pull within one, 22-21 USD. Lozic crushed it to make it 23-21, but SCU wasn't to be denied. They tied it up 23-23 on a Lozic error and then 24-24 on a kill by Milton. The teams traded points, tying it up at 25 and 26 before SCU rallied to score two and win set two 28-26.
Set three was more of the same – back and forth points scoring. The teams were tied up three times before USD scored three straight to go up 7-4. A kill by Douglas stopped the run and a couple by Lommori helped the Broncos tie it up 9-9 and 10-10. The teams were tied at 11 before USD scored four of the next five points to go up 15-12. USD scored seven of the last 11 points to win set three 25-19, including a Chloe Ferrari ace to end the set.
While set four was back and forth to start, the Broncos took control when tied 6-6 as they scored the next six points to go up 12-6. USD never recovered as the Broncos went up 19-12 on a USD error, 21-16 on a Jianna Bonomi service error and 23-19 on a service error by Amber Tatsch. Back-to-back kills by Lozic brought USD within one at 23-22, but an Anders kill and a Milton ace gave the Broncos set four 25-22.
In the final set the teams were tied up five times before SCU scored two on kills by Milton and Lexi Williamson to go up 7-5. USD quickly tied it up 7-7, but a kill by Cameron and an error by Carrie Baird made it 9-7 SCU. Timeout San Diego. The teams kept battling, tying it up at 11 and 12 before a kill by Anders and another by Lommori put SCU up 13-12. An attack error by Baird made it 14-12, but Ferrari crushed it to pull USD within one. But team block by Douglas and Cameron proved to be the winner as SCU won set five 15-13.