Nov. 23, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The 11th-ranked Santa Clara University women's volleyball team dropped its first game but rallied to win the next three, defeating Bay Area rival San Francisco by a 3-1 score to conclude the 2002 West Coast Conference season in second place.
USF (6-24, 2-12 WCC) took game one by a score of 32-30 behind Brittanie Budinger's seven kills and the team's .370 hitting percentage. The Dons rallied from behind twice in the game, the first at 24-2 and the second at a game-point deficit at 29-28, for the win. The Broncos hit a very respectable .255 as a team but two costly serving errors, including one at game point, contributed heavily to the game one loss.
The Broncos (24-5, 12-2) bounced back in game two for a 30-20 win behind a team hitting percentage of .447, coming on 19 kills and 38 attempts with only two hitting errors. Becky Biniek, Alyssa Lantz and Cassie Perret each four kills in the game while Kelli Sousa directed the offense with her 14 assists. Santa Clara limited the Dons to a .146 hitting percentage in game two, as they posted eight errors on 41 attempts with only 14 kills.
Game three ended with the Broncos on top by a 30-26 score. Santa Clara posted a .250 hittig percentage while limiting the Dons to a .114 clip in game three. Sousa registered 18 assists in game three, seven of which were pout away by Lantz. Christina Vick, who got her first start of the year, recorded five kills in game three while Chrissy Hirsch and Cindy Hirsch combined for nine of the Broncos' 24 digs in the game.
The Broncos put the finishing touches on their 24th win of the season with a 30-24 win in game four. The Broncos out-hit the Dons by a .264 to .093 margin, forcing USF to make nine errors in 54 attempts.
Lantz posted career-highs in both kills and digs with her 21 and 13 on the night whle Vick also posted a career high in kills with her 12. Becky Biniek and Megan Johnston each posted 13 kills in the match with Johnston also notching a team-high 18 digs. Sousa ended the night with 64 assists to go along with 11 digs.
Budinger ended the match with a match-high 23 kills, but her 11 errors pushed her hitting percentage to a meager .179 on the night. Ashley Bello was the only other Don in double-figures for kills with her 12. Kristina Bognar guided the offense with her 53 assists while Francessca Pomilia posted a match-high 20 digs to led their defense.
Santa Clara will conclude its 2002 regular season with a Tuesday night match at No. 4 Stanford. They will then await word on their postseason fate that will be announced live on ESPNEWS Sunday night, December 1st at 6:30 p.m.