Volleyball Falls in NCAA First Round

Volleyball Falls in NCAA First Round

Nov. 30, 2001

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STANFORD, Calif. - Spartan sophomore middle blocker Liz Hudson set a San Jose State school record for block assists in a season on match point as the San Jose State volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament by defeating 22nd-ranked Santa Clara, 17-30, 30-25, 24-30, 30-25, 16-14, Friday evening at Maples Pavilion on the Stanford University campus.

San Jose State (25-7) advances to the second round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament for the first time since the 1987 season while Santa Clara finishes the year with a 19-10 record.

Hudson now has 129 block assists on the season, breaking the old record of 128 set by Kim Hicks in the 1988 season. Hudson leads the Spartans in blocks with 142, the fourth highest total in school history.

San Jose State led 10-9 in game one on a kill by Stephanie Pascucci. However, Santa Clara then went on a 14-5 run to lead the game 23-15. The Spartans could get any closer than seven as the Broncos won the game 30-17. SJSU hit just .108 in the game, while SCU hit .444.

"We did not play to our potential in game one," said Spartan senior setter Savannah Smith. "We were nervous but were able to shake our nerves in game two."

In game two, the Spartans outblocked Santa Clara 4-1 and hit .555 in the game to win 30-25. Despite seven service errors in the game, San Jose State got five kills from Pascucci and four kills from Kimberly Noble and Brianna Blair.

Both teams battled back and forth in game three. SJSU had a 17-14 lead, but Santa Clara scored the next six points off senior outside hitter Jami Bari kills and Spartan errors to take a 20-17 lead. San Jose State could not recover as the Broncos won the game 30-24.

In game four, San Jose State and Santa Clara were tied at nine before SJSU went on a 12-2 run at 21-11. SJSU led 23-12 before three Bari kills helped Santa Clara use a 9-1 run to cut the Spartan lead to 24-21. Four Pascucci kills and a Blair kill put the game away as San Jose State won 30-25.

In the fifth and deciding game, Santa Clara jumped out to lead of 3-1 and 9-6, but San Jose State battled back behind the hitting of Pascucci. SJSU led 15-14 on a Blair's 15th kill of the night before Hudson and Blair recorded the Spartans 14th block of the evening to win the match 16-14.

"I think we had a lot of opportunities," SCU head coach Jon Wallace said. "We outdug San Jose State 71-55, but we couldn't convert on those balls that we dug. We made errors or didn't put them in the right spot to get points, and that was a big difference."

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