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Waves Sweep Santa Clara, Improve to 5-0 at Home in League Play

Nov. 2, 2006

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team had lost the last six matches to Santa Clara, including last year's NCAA Championship tournament. But Thursday night the Waves reclaimed their edge over the Broncos.

Freshman Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) scored 16 points with 15 kills, two blocks and 13 digs and sophomore Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) added 13 kills and six total blocks - four solo - in Pepperdine's (11-10, 7-3 West Coast Conference) 3-0 (30-25, 32-30, 30-28) victory over the Broncos (16-6, 6-4 WCC).

Pepperdine rallied back after an 8-1 Santa Clara run gave the Broncos a 12-8 lead early in game one. Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) picked up her second kill of the game to start the home team on a 6-2 run that tied the score at 14-14. Kim McGiven's kill with the score locked regained the Bronco's lead, but only momentarily.

Lumsden started the Waves on a 6-1 run that included a second kill from the freshman and two by Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif.) who also teamed up with Walker for a block of McGiven.

Consecutive kills by McGiven closed the gap to two, 20-18 when Rubenstein notched her second kill of the game to start a 3-0 run capped by a Chamberlain ace. Already leading by five, 24-19, Pepperdine buried back-to-back Santa Clara overpasses for the 26-19 lead en route to the game one victory.

"I thought we served really tough tonight," Nina Matthies said. "We took what we saw on film and what we had been working on and executed what we had worked on during the week."

Game two set the tone for the rest of the match with seven ties and three lead changes during the first 22 points. Trailing by one, Pepperdine's Rubenstein broke the rally-scoring record for solo blocks by a sophomore as she rejected the Bronco's Brittany Lowe. Lowe, who hit minus .103 for the match, was errant on her following swing and the Waves were off on a 6-0 run. Lowe would cap a 6-1 Santa Clara run that tied the score at 18-all but three unforced Bronco errors were followed by a Lumsden kill giving the home team the 22-18 advantage.

Lowe picked up a kill and an ace setting up a 7-2 run that gave Santa Clara a 25-24 lead. The teams traded sideouts to 29-29 when Lumsden struck for the fifth time in the set. The Waves took a 2-0 lead into the intermission following a solo block by Walker and a Chamberlain kill.

"When we execute, we can compete with anyone," noted Matthies. "I told my team that they can't worry about what happened before and focus on now and then move on. We got in a bit of a jam in game two but we were able to get out of it and that was huge. Give Santa Clara credit tonight, they were serving bullets."

Pepperdine scored the first three points of game three only to see the lead evaporate after a 7-2 Santa Clara run. Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) ended the run with the first of her five kills in the game. Chamberlain followed with her third ace of the night and Lowe followed with another error as the Waves took an 8-7 lead.

Things remained close with neither team gaining more than a three-point advantage the rest of the way. Pepperdine battled back from a 20-18 deficit to take a 24-22 lead, only to see the Broncos regain the lead, 27-26 on Lowe's fourth ace of the night. Rubenstein tied the score at 27-all with a kill and Nina Baltimore's (Seal Beach, Calif.) second ace of the night put the Waves back on top, 28-27. Anna Cmaylo picked up her team-leading 12th kill on the ensuing play only to see Rubenstein and Lumsden record consecutive kills for the victory.

The Waves have yet to drop a game at Firestone Fieldhouse in posting a 5-0 record at home in league play. The victory also moves Pepperdine alone into second in the conference standings, a game up on Santa Clara.

Thursday night's match will air on CSTV Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT as the station's Match of the Week.

League-leading San Diego will try its luck in Malibu on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. as the Waves' next opponent.