In what took a total team effort, the fifth-ranked Waves defeated No. 12 Santa Clara, 3-1, at Firestone Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon to keep their 15-match win streak alive. Game scores were 30-25, 30-24, 27-30 and 30-27.
Pepperdine improves to 17-2 overall and 7-0 in West Coast Conference play, while Santa Clara dropped its second consecutive match and fell to 14-8 overall and 5-2 in the WCC. Today's win was the 34th consecutive West Coast Conference victory for Pepperdine, dating back to the 2000 season when Santa Clara beat the Waves in regular season play.
The Waves relied on senior captains Katie Wilkins and Lyndsey Hache' who combined for almost half of the team's total kills (30-68). Wilkins led the way with 17 attacks and 23.5 points, while Hache' pitched in 13 kills and 17.5 points. Setter Melissa Mehlhorn finished with 52 sets, 15 digs, four kills, and three blocks, and libero Christina Hinds tallied 16 digs, respectively.
"After not playing up to par last weekend, I am really proud of the effort our girls gave against San Diego and Santa Clara," said Waves' assistant coach, Tim Jensen. "Both teams played well, and it was good that CSTV broadcasted our game, so others can see what a strong conference we play in."
While the majority of the stats seemed almost identical across the board, the difference of the game was found at the net, where Pepperdine out-blocked the Broncos, 17.5 to 11.0. Freshman Sophia Milo led the way with eight blocks for the second consecutive match (0-8, 1-7). Hache' also tallied seven block assists and Wilkins added a team-high two block solos.
Other outstanding overall performances went to Breegan Mulligan who finished with a team-high .333 hitting percentage (11-27) on offense and eight digs on defense, while Katy Daly accounted for 13 attacks and six digs.
The Broncos' Becky Potter paced both teams with 18 kills and Lexie Bothman finished with a match-high 17 digs.