Oct. 25, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week Krista Kelley's match-high 26 kills led the Santa Clara volleyball team to a 3-0 (32-30, 30-23, 30-26) sweep of Gonzaga Thursday night. With the win, the Broncos improved to 15-9 overall and 7-1 in league play, while the Bulldogs are now 15-9 on the season and 3-5 in WCC action.
Junior Brittany Lowe compiled a team-best .421 hitting percentage (21-5-38) and posted two total blocks. Leading the Broncos in blocks were Lauryn Dowd and Nichole Clark. Each player registered three. Senior setter Crystal Matich dished out 53 assists and a match-high three aces. Meanwhile, Caroline Walters collected a match-best 11 digs.
The Broncos and Bulldogs started the match battling point-for-point in the first game. Four straight kills from Kelley gave the Broncos the first lead of the match, 9-5. Santa Clara then climbed to a six-point advantage, 12-6, on a service ace by Matich. Yet, Gonzaga rallied back to knot the score, 19-19. The two teams went head-to-head once again before Santa Clara gained another four-point edge, 26-22 on points from Kelley, Matich and Clark. The Broncos reached game-point on a kill from Kelley, but were held off by the Bulldogs for another seven plays. Gonzaga tied the score, 29-29 on a service ace from Allyson Powell. But the Broncos reached its second game point on block assist from Lowe and Clark and a kill from Kelley ended the first game, 32-30.
SCU earned a 3-0 lead in the second game on points from Matich, Dowd, Kelley and Lindsy Evans. Yet, Gonzaga quickly responded to tie the score, 4-4, on a block by Elaina Renius. The team's fought point-for-point until two straight kills from Kelley put the Broncos up by three, 11-8. The Zags continued their fight and tied the score, 12-12, on a kill from Michelle Boevers. The Broncos finally broke free and took a 20-16 lead on a kill from Matich and then jumped on a 5-0 run to push the score to 27-17. A kill from Evans gave Santa Clara a 30-23 victory and sent the Broncos into the break leading 2-0 in games.
The Bulldogs came out swinging the beginning of the third game and took a 3-1 lead on points from Boevers. A kill from Lowe tied the game, 3-3, and Gonzaga attacking errors gave Santa Clara a 6-3 edge. Gonzaga tied the score again, 8-8, and then took a one-point lead on an ace from Becky Jones. However, SCU tied the score, 9-9 and then jumped to a 11-9 lead on points from Dowd and Matich. The Broncos held control of the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, although the Bulldogs fought hard to knot the score. A kill from Matich brought the match to a close with a 30-26 game three triumph.
The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Oct. 27 against the Pilots of Portland. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Portland, Ore.