Nov. 19, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 11th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team dropped only its fifth match of the year Tuesday night, falling to Bay Area rival California by a score of 3-2 in the Leavey Center. The match was the third five-game match for the Broncos in the last five days.
Santa Clara (23-5) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but it had to rally in the first game after falling behind by a score of 15-8. The Broncos pulled to within one at 20-19 on a Megan Johnston kill but gave up four of the next six points to trail 24-21. From there SCU rallied to score 10 of the next 16 points to take game one by a 31-29 count.
Game two was a little different as the Broncos scored early and often for a 6-3 lead, but California (18-10) stormed back to take the lead at 11-9 on a Lisa Collette kill. The game went back-and-forth for much of the second game following Cal's lead, but the Broncos prevailed in the end with a 30-28 win in game two, moving them one game away from their 24th victory.
But the Golden Bears rallied and blitzed the Broncos in the next two games by scores of 30-14 and 30-25. Game three saw Cal hit .500 as a team while limiting Santa Clara to a -.029 hitting percentage. Game four saw much of the same as the Bears hit .315 while the Broncos could only hit .220. The wins in games three and four set up a fifth game, a position in which Santa Clara has been in each of its last three matches.
In game five Santa Clara took an early 3-1 lead but watched Cal storm back to take a 9-5 lead on a hitting error by Becky Biniek. Biniek bounced right back with a kill, propelling them to the next four points to tie the score at nine apiece. The Broncos took a 14-13 lead on a Cal error but a service error and an attack error gave the Golden Bears match-point which they capitalized on when a Camille Leffall kill ended the match with a final score in game five of 16-14.
Becky Potter led four Broncos in double-digit kills with her 24. Alyssa Lantz had 14, Megan Johnston had 11 and Cassie Perret added 10. Kelli Sousa posted 60 assists and 15 digs, while twin co-captains Chrissy Hirsch and Cindy Hirsch posted 28 digs between them. Potter added 19 digs and Johnston added 12 in the loss.
Leah Young led the way for Cal, posting a career-high 29 kills with only three errors for a remarkable .426 hitting percentage. Jessica Zatica added 14 kills while Jenna Brown recorded 13. Alicia Powers posted a team-high 21 digs with Young following close behind with her 18. Caity Noonan had a match-high 72 assists to go along with two service aces, but it was her serving that may have been the difference in the match.
The Broncos return to action this weekend with their final West Coast Conference match of the season at San Francisco Saturday evening at 7 p.m. They will then conclude their regular season with a non-conference match at No. 4 Stanford next Tuesday night.