Note: Santa Clara will host Alumni weekend on Sat., Oct. 20 vs. BYU at 1 pm. If former players are interesting in attending please Matt Lyles ([email protected]).
After finishing 2-0 in its trip Northwest last weekend, the Bronco volleyball team travels south this weekend when they face LMU in Los Angeles at 7 pm on Thur., Oct. 11 and then play No. 24 Pepperdine in Malibu on Sat., Oct. 13 at 1 pm.
Santa Clara won 3-1 at Portland last Thursday and then whipped Gonzaga 3-0 on Saturday, with the team hitting .579 with 50 kills and just six errors in 76 attempts. Taylor Milton had a monster day, hitting .786 with 11 kills in 14 attempts with no errors. Megan Anders hit .692 with nine kills and zero errors in 13 attempts. Haley Cameron hit .625 with five kills and three block assists. Kayla Lommori had a career night, crushing 14 kills in 16 attempts, hitting .875 with one dig and one block assists.
Bronco head coach Jon Wallace loves what he saw last weekend on the road. "We had a great weekend in the Pacific Northwest. We learned a lot about ourselves and became tighter as a team," said Wallace. "Our match at Portland we learned that must come with a great desire to play and a great focus especially when we are on the road against any team in our conference. Portland played very well and we had to fight for every point that we could get. Our girls responded very well to losing the first set and being in a tight second set to go on and win in four. The team met after the Portland match to refocus their preparation for Gonzaga and the team came out on fire in Spokane. We played one of the most complete matches of the year against Gonzaga. Everyone contributed a lot to the win."
LMU is 10-8 this season and 1-4 in the WCC. They pushed then No. 16 to five sets before falling 15-8 in the deciding set on Oct. 4. While they defeated Saint Mary's 3-0 in Moroga, the Lions fell 3-1 to the Gaels last Saturday at home.
"LMU is a good team," added Wallace. "They took BYU in five, won at Saint Mary's and defeated Notre Dame in the preseason. They have a great middle blocker in Litara Keil and a transfer outside hitter, Kathleen Luft, who is playing extremely well for them. They are very well-coached and their system is challenging to match up against."
Pepperdine is 12-7 this season prior to hosting USF on Thursday night and ranked No. 24 this week. They defeated Bucknell 3-0 on Monday night. They have lost four of their last six matches, including a 3-1 loss at Santa Clara on Sept. 29.
Wallace knows his team got the best of Pepperdine the last time the two teams played and because of that, he knows the Waves will be ready. With that said, he feels very confident that the team is ready for this weekend. "Our team feels more now than ever before that we will compete in every match we play," added Wallace. "As a coaching staff we are very pleased with our groups preparations and dedication that they will be ready to play Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons."
"The team seems very hungry just to compete which is very fun for us to see as a coaching staff," continued Wallace.
While Wallace was quick to point to the success of Anders and Milton last weekend, he believes the play of Lexi Williamson, Katherine Douglas and Lommori gave the team a real lift. "Their energy has picked up, their aggressive has picked up and it's great to see from our three leaders," said Wallace. "Kayla's more relaxed and more confident in addition to be more healthy. She is a very determined young lady that is overcoming her own battles. She is giving everything she can for the team and that's allowing her to play great."
Anders is hitting a team-leading .384 with 2.79 kpg and 0.96 bpg. Milton leads the team with 219 kills this season and is hitting .260 with 2.84 kpg and 2.23 dpg. Alyssa Anderson scores 6.34 apg, 0.35 sapg and 2.00 dpg. Chelsea Heier collected 4.88 apg, 0.35 sapg and 1.47 dpg. Katy Schatzman leads the team with 3.70 dpg and Douglas is second with 2.40 dpg and is tied for the team-lead with 0.35 sapg.
"My coaching staff is doing a phenomenal job. They are a lot of fun and they really enjoy it," said Wallace. "It's great to have Emily Burke back with us. She brings a great player's prospective to all of our meetings, she has a really high volleyball IQ and she's a lot of fun."