Volleyball Upsets WCC's First Place Team In Four, Defeating No. 21 BYU At Home For Second Straight Year
After a number tough, close losses this season – how satisfying is this win? "It is great for the girls," said Wallace. "I always felt there would be a breakthrough for this team. I felt like it could happen and it's really satisfying against a team as highly-ranked as BYU."
Santa Clara hit .254 with 66 kills (23 e, 169 att.). The Broncos collected 64 assists, 81 digs, nine service aces, four service errors and eight team blocks. BYU hit .240 with 62 kills (20 e, 175 att.). The Cougars collected 59 assists, 70 digs, five service aces, five service errors and 12 team blocks.
Individually Santa Clara had five players with double-digit kills. Taylor Milton scored 15 kills and 16 digs with four aces. Megan Anders hit .360 with 14 kills. Sabrina Clayton had 13 kills and seven digs. Nikki Hess scored 11 kills, 12 digs, an ace and a block solo. Haley Cameron had 10 kills, hitting .381 with two digs, a block solo and three block assists. Alyssa Anderson paced the offense with 53 assists and 14 digs. Mary Shepherd collected 15 digs, four assists and an ace. Danielle Rottman had 14 digs.
BYU was led by Alexa Gray's 19 kills. Kathryn LeCheminant had 10, Hannah Robison had 10 and Tambre Haddock scored 14.
BYU started the first set on a 3-0 run. Santa Clara scored four of the next five to tie it up 4-4. And the Broncos took a two-point lead on a kill off the block by Milton and a kill by Cameron. Hess scored a point in the middle for a sideout, 7-5 SCU. BYU scored a couple to tie it up, but Anders flew in for a kill in the middle and then Hess won the battle on a long rally. Milton's slider whizzed off the arms of Tia Welling for an ace. After Haddock smacked it way out, BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead had seen enough and called for time with SCU leading 11-7. Milton crushed it on the back line for another ace. Hess and Anders blocked Robison's attack to put SCU up 13-7. After a BYU kill, back-to-back kills by Milton made it 15-9 Broncos. BYU scored a couple, but Anders scored off the single blocker for a sideout, 16-10 SCU. Cameron and Anderson collected a team block off a Gray ball and then Anderson served up an ace, 18-11 SCU. Clayton was blocked three straight times and Wallace called for time, leading 18-14. Out of the timeout, BYU blocked its fourth straight ball and then collected a kill to pull within two. Milton stopped the rally with a ball down the line, 19-16. BYU scored six of the next eight to take a 22-21 lead. Timeout Broncos. Anders and Anderson teamed up for a block to tie it up. After Haddock smacked it out, BYU was up again for a time-out with SCU leading 23-22. The teams traded kills with Clayton smacking it cross court for the sideout. Gray hit it between the Bronco blockers for a kill to tie it up 24-24. Godfrey and Young teamed up for a block, but Cameron got up for a kill in the back row to tie it up 25-25. Milton won the long rally cross court with the Broncos playing great back row defense. Young collected an attack error to give set one to the Broncos 27-25. Hess and Milton scored four kills each in the first set with Robison and Gray adding four a piece for BYU.
"After game one we took both Nikki and Sabrina aside to remind them how good they are and how big of an impact they can have on this match and they responded. They believed," said Wallace. "We believe in both of those freshmen."
An Anders kill, an error by Robison and another kill by Anders to a wide-open hole gave SCU a 2-0 lead. Milton's ace made it 4-0 SCU. BYU followed with a couple kills, but Anderson dumped it for a sideout. Clayton smacked it off the double block for a point and she hit it between the block for a sideout a point later. Anderson dumped it again to make it 8-3 SCU and Olmstead didn't like what he saw and called for time. BYU scored twice. Clayton scored again off the double block and Cameron added her own score. SCU scored two of the next four, including a kill by Milton. Anders collected two sideouts for SCU on kills and Mary Shepherd scored an ace. Robison hit it down the line out and Olmstead called for his second timeout of the set with SCU leading 17-11. Clayton continued to wear out the double block with two more kills, 19-12 Broncos. BYU scored twice before Cameron hit it off the lone blocker, 20-14 SCU. BYU scored a couple more and Wallace called for a huddle. BYU tacked on three more kills out of the timeout. Timeout Broncos. Cameron stopped the run with a kill, 21-19 SCU. Haddock and Anders traded kills, 22-20 SCU. Gray scored off the Broncos block but Anders crushed it in the middle, 23-21 SCU. The serve by Hess barely cleared the net for an ace for set point. Hess served it into the net, but Anders tipped it for a kill on the next point and the Broncos won set two 25-22. Anders had seven kills in the second set and Clayton added five. Gray added seven for BYU and Haddock scored six.
BYU started the third set on a 3-1 run. Cameron's kill gave SCU a sideout twice and Milton's seventh kill of the set tied it up 3-3. A team block by Anders and Anderson and a kill by Hess gave SCU a 5-4 lead. BYU scored two of the next three to tie it up 6-6. The teams tied it up at 7 and 8. Milton collected back-to-back kills off of the double block and Cameron's kill in the middle got Olmstead up for time with the Broncos leading 11-8. BYU scored twice but Gray reached across the net for an attack error, Jessica Jardine smacked it out and Cameron collected an ace to put SCU up 14-10. BYU scored a three straight, including back-to-back blocks. Timeout SCU with the Broncos leading 14-13. SCU won three of the four out of the timeout on kills by Anders and Hess and error by LeCheminant. BYU scored three straight to tie it up 17-17. Clayton crushed it cross court for a sideout, but Haddock answered to tie it up. Haddock collected an ace and Cameron hit it out when Wallace called for time with the Broncos down 20-18. Out of the timeout, Clayton scored twice to tie it up 20-20. Gray scored, but LeCheminant served it into the net for a 21-21 tie. Gray scored back-to-back kills and an error by Hess gave BYU set point. Milton stopped the run cross court with a swing. Timeout BYU. Gray hit it way out but Robison scored a kill as BYU set three 25-23. Milton had four kills in set three and Gray added five for BYU.
The Broncos started set four on a 2-1 run, including another ace by Cameron. BYU scored three of the next four to move ahead 4-2. Milton hit the ball deep for a kill and Clayton tipped it in the front row to put SCU up 5-4. The teams traded points with Anders scoring her 13th of the day. A team block by Cameron and Milton followed a block solo by Cameron as SCU advanced 9-6. BYU scored three times to tie it up 9-9 and then the match went back and forth. The teams tied it up at 10 and 11 on kills by Milton. Hess blocked LeCheminant on the left side but LeCheminant answered with a kill to tie it up 12-12. After a Cougar sideout, Hess tied it up at 13. Shepherd's overpass landed in the back row for a kill to put SCU up by one, 14-13. Milton's knuckleball serve, her fourth of the day, got Olmstead up for a quick BYU huddle with SCU leading 15-13. The Cougars scored twice to tie it up 15-15. The teams had tied it up seven times after a Cougar sideout and then Camry Godfrey served it in the net. Clayton scored her 11th kill of the match in the backcourt, but Robison answered to tie it up for the eighth time at 17-17. Anders tipped it for a kill and Clayton scored cross court and then down the line before Olmstead whistled for the Cougars second timeout with SCU leading 20-17. During a long rally, Shepherd flung her arm out there and overpassed with Haddock then smacking her attack way out to put SCU 21-17. After a long rally, Haddock scored the kill. The Broncos called for a breather up 21-18. Clara Parker served it way out for a Bronco sideout. BYU scored three times to pull within one. Milton knocked it off the blocker for a sideout with SCU up 23-21. Hess scored down the line off the double block for set point. Haddock held off set point and SCU called for time.
"I thought Mary Shepherd and Dani Rottman made defensive plays that changed the momentum of those sets," said Wallace. "Their hustle and determination was contagious and inspiring to the other girls."