Up 2-0 at the break, the Broncos, led by Taylor Milton's 24 kills and 11 digs, had to rally in the fifth set to win their 10th match of the season at Pacific Saturday afternoon. Set scores were 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 21-25 and 15-12.
Santa Clara is 10-15 and 5-11 in the WCC. Pacific is 12-15 and 5-11 in the WCC.
"We played with great focus. We were very efficient and led by Taylor Milton and Haley Cameron," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "This is a team win. Everyone was really into it – whether they were on the court or the sidelines – total team win."
Wallace pointed out the team is improving every week. "Our girls are working so hard in practice," said Wallace. "We have gotten a lot better since we played UOP the last time and I see a lot of really positive energy from both our coaching staff and the entire team. I know going into our final week we will continue to put forth the kind of effort we did the first week of the season. Really excited to play LMU and Pepperdine at home next weekend to end the year. It's going to be a really special senior day next Saturday."
The Broncos were led by Milton's 24 kills, hitting .457 with 11 digs. Nikki Hess scored 17 kills, two block solos and 15 digs. Alyssa Anderson had 63 assists and 15 digs. Megan Anders hit .556 with 11 kills. Haley Cameron scored 11 kills, hitting .429, with three block assists. Sabrina Clayton scored 12 kills. Katy Schatzman had 25 digs and seven assists.
Pacific was led by Gillain Howard and Kat Schulz, who both collected 15 kills each. Megan Birch led the Tigers with 22 kills, hitting .340. Annie-Sophie Bauer had 10 kills.
The teams were tied three times in the first set before the Broncos raced out to a 10-5 lead. The Broncos scored four of the next six points to move ahead 14-7. Pacific pulled within three, 16-13 SCU, and Santa Clara called for time. After a kill by Gillian Howard, Anders quieted the rally with a kill and Katy Schatzman scored an ace. Timeout Pacific. The Broncos scored four straight points on two kills by Cameron sandwiched between one by Hess and a Tiger error. Leading 24-18, Milton's kill won the set 25-18.
In the second set, the Broncos jumped out to a 5-1 lead and then took a 6-2 lead on a kill by Hess. Another kill by Milton put the Broncos up 10-5. A UOP service error and kills by Hess and Milton made it 16-9 Broncos. The Tigers scored seven of the next eight points to pull within one, 17-16. The teams traded points before back-to-back kills by Clayton making it 21-17 SCU. The teams traded points twice before a kill by Hess gave SCU set point, 24-20. Birch scored back-to-back kills, but Hess answered with a winner to take set two 25-22.
The teams were tied four times in the third set and then the Tigers scored four straight to push the Broncos to use their first timeout to regroup, down 10-6. The Broncos scored six of the next eight points to tie it up 12-12 on an ace by Clayton. The Tigers knotted together four of the next five to take a 16-13 lead. A kill by Hess made it 18-16 UOP and they scored four of the next six to go up 22-18. Down 24-19, the Broncos held off three set points on kills by Cameron and back-to-back kills by Hess to make it 24-22 UOP. Timeout Tigers. Milton's kill brought the Broncos within one, but Schulz stopped the Broncos with one of her own to win set three for the Tigers 25-23.
The teams were knotted up four times to start the fourth set. Back-to-back kills by Schulz and Howard made it 7-5 UOP. UOP went up 10-5 after an SCU timeout. The Broncos scored four of the next seven points to pull within four, down 13-9. Howard's kill put UOP up 14-9. UOP scored four of the next seven to zoom ahead 18-12, but a kill by Hess stopped the rally.
Two straight UOP attack errors and the Tigers called for time, up 18-15. Hess scored an ace out of the UOP timeout, but Bauer collected a kill in the back row on the next point, 19-16 UOP. Milton held off set point with a kill, but Birch finished off the set with a kill, 25-21 UOP.
UOP took a 3-1 lead in the fifth set, but SCU answered on a kill by Milton and an error by Schulz to make it 5-4 SCU. Timeout Pacific. The Broncos scored two of the next three, but Tagart got UOP the ball back with a kill down the line, 7-6 SCU. SCU scored two of the three again to jump ahead 9-7, but a kill by Bauer gave UOP the sideout. Cameron scored back-to-back kills between an error by Milton to push the Broncos forward 11-9. Milton's kill down the line made it 12-9. Timeout Pacific. Hess scored a kill out of the timeout. After a kill by Schulz, SCU called for time. Anders scored back-to-back kills between a Bronco service error to give the Broncos set five and the match 15-12.