Oct. 21, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Despite leading in the latter stages of each of the first two games of Saturday's clash with the WCC-leading and 20th-ranked San Diego Toreros, the No. 15 Santa Clara Broncos were unable to fend off late charges by the Toreros, falling 3-0 (30-25, 30-28, 30-27) in the battle between the conference's top two teams in the standings.
The Broncos return home next weekend to begin the second half of the WCC season. SCU plays host to the San Francisco Dons on Thursday, October 26 at 7 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Saturday, October 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by clicking here.
Anna Cmaylo led the Broncos with 11 kills and four blocks Saturday, hitting at a clip of .316. Brittany Lowe continued to hit well, putting down nine kills at a .368 clip while Megan Pura made six kills and a pair of blocks.
Kristen Carlson led San Diego with 16 kills and 13 digs, while Laurel Abrahamson hit .381 with 10 kills for the Toreros.
"Today's loss taught us an important lesson, that you need to put teams away when you have them down," said head coach Jon Wallace. "It was disappointing to lose this match the way we did especially after we led at various points."
"We had a huge opportunity to put ourselves in a great position to battle for the conference title, and we let it get away," Wallace continued. "But the girls know what they need to do to improve upon this, and with five of our last seven conference matches at home, we know that we will still have our chances to make a run in the conference chase."
Things started off well enough for the Broncos out of the gate, as a quick 5-0 run featuring a pair of aces from Lowe built an early 8-3 lead in game one, but the Toreros got three of those points back right away, thanks in part to a couple of blocks by Abrahamson. San Diego continued to inch closer and caught the Broncos at the 12-12 mark, then taking the lead on the ensuing point on a kill from Abrahamson.
The teams stayed neck-and-neck for the next couple of points, until with a 19-18 lead, USD put down three consecutive kills to take a four-point advantage, then soon after extended things to 26-20 after a service ace from Jessica Nyrop. Although the Broncos cut things to three at 28-25, kills from Carlson and Jessica Andersen gave the Toreros the 1-0 lead.
Game two began by taking the opposite slant from game one, as it was the Toreros jumping out to the quick lead, then slowly being caught from behind by the Broncos. With an 8-4 lead in hand, USD watched it go up in smoke as SCU countered with a kill from Lindsy Evans and a block by Evans and Pura to even things up at 8-8. After ceding the lead back to San Diego momentarily on the next point, a 3-0 Bronco run behind a Pura kill and Lowe block put SCU up 11-9. Another Pura kill a few points later ignited a second 3-0 run, extending the lead to 15-11.
But again, San Diego slowly began chipping away, using a 5-1 run to knot things up at 16-apiece, and refusing to let the Broncos put together an extended run. Although Santa Clara took a 21-19 lead after a kill by Lowe, the Toreros got a kill from Carlson and scored on a Bronco error to tie things up once again. From there, the teams stayed with one another up to the 27-27 mark, when kills by Carlson and Christie Dawson brought USD to game point. Despite another kill from Lowe to cut things to 29-28, Dawson put down the game-ending kill on the next rally to put the second stanza in the USD column.
Santa Clara stumbled to start the third stanza, falling behind 4-1 right away, then giving up a five-point run soon after to find themselves at a 9-3 disadvantage. Following a timeout, the Broncos showed some fight, battling their way back to even at the 13-13 mark thanks in part to kills by Cmaylo and an ace from Evans. The teams then traded points up until 18-all, when San Diego benefited from three straight Bronco attack errors and an Abrahamson kill to go up 22-18.
Santa Clara cut the deficit to two at 25-23 after a pair of blocks by Cmaylo, then again at 27-25 after a Cmaylo kill, but it was not enough as the Toreros got another kill from Abrahamson to complete the sweep.