Dec. 6, 2002
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's volleyball team had its 2002 season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to California Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif. Their final record of 24-7 gives them a .774 winning percentage, the second highest in program history, while the 24 wins is the third highest total in program history.
The Broncos won game one by a score of 30-19 behind Becky Potter's seven kills and the team's .531 hitting percentage. After falling behind early by a 7-6 score, Santa Clara went on a 6-0 score to take a 12-7 lead. From there the Broncos never looked back as they increased their lead to 24-16 en route to the 11-point win.
The Golden Bears (20-11) rebounded with a strong sowing in game two, taking the second game by a score of 30-20. Led by Mia Jerkov's 11 kills in game two, Cal again jumped out to an early lead but was able to extend it early in the game. Cal led 10-7 early on and was able to push it to a seven-point lead at 21-14. From there the Bears exchanged points with Santa Clara, eventually posting the 10-point margin of victory to tie that match at one game apiece.
Game three started out much like game one as the Broncos went on an early run to take the lead. As the game progressed Potter set a new single-season Santa Clara record for kills in a season with a powering kill on an overpass, making the score 14-12 and giving her 560 kills for the season. From that point on, the Bears regained the form that won them game two, going on runs of 5-0 and 3-0 to pull away for the 30-22 win in game three.
California continued its hot play in game four, jumping out to a 7-1 lead to begin the contest. The extended their lead to 18-8, forcing the Broncos to call their final timeout. Santa Clara cut the lead to 19-14 out of the timeout, but an 7-0 run put the game out of reach as the Golden Bears went on to win game four by a count of 30-20.
The win gives Cal their second win over Santa Clara this season, and their third in a row. They advance to the second round where they will play the winner of the UCSB/Fresno State match that took place following the Santa Clara/Cal match.
Potter finished the game with 22 kills, moving her season total to 571, establishing the new single-season record. Freshman Alyssa Lantz posted 11 kills while junior Becky Biniek chipped in with 10. Kelli Sousa registered 50 assists on the night while senior co-captains Chrissy Hirsch and Cindy Hirsch combined for 27 digs in their final game as a Bronco.
Jerkov led the Bears with her match-high 25 kills while Jenna Brown and Camille Leffall posted 15 apiece. As a team Cal registered a .386 hitting percentage, making only 15 errors in the game on 153 attempts with 74 kills. Caity Noonan guided the offense with her 64 assists while Jerkov posted 13 digs. Leffal notched eight block assists with Leah Young chipping in with seven.