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Saint Mary's Defeats WCC Leader Santa Clara, 3-2

Nov. 9, 2007

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's volleyball team defeated the Santa Clara Broncos, 30-17, 26-30, 30-21, 25-30, 15-10. Five Gaels recorded double figures in kills, with junior Taylor Groess posting a team-high 15 kills. The Gaels out blocked the Broncos 21-8 in the match, as Brittany Barker recorded a double-double with 10 blocks and 10 kills, and Lauren Jaeckel recorded nine blocks and 14 kills. The Broncos were led by Brittany Lowe, recording a match-high 24 kills.

Kapua Kamana'o did an outstanding job running the Saint Mary's offense. Kamana'o distributed the ball well, with five Gaels recording double figures in kills (Groess, Jaeckel, York, Lowell, Barker). The freshman setter dished out 55 assists on the night, while the Gaels hit for .251 hitting efficiency.

The Gaels dismantled the Broncos in game one, recording a 30-17 win. Saint Mary's defense forced Santa Clara to a .065 hitting percentage in the first game, while the Gaels recorded 14 kills with only one error as a team. The Gaels picked up five blocks to Santa Clara's none. Kamana'o dished out 13 assists in the game, with Jaeckel recording four kills, and York and Groess each chipping in two.

Santa Clara turned things around in game two, forcing the Gaels into a .065 hitting percentage. The Broncos were led by Brittany Lowe and Lauren Dowd in the game, recording five and three kills respectively. Brittany Barker was 3-of-3 for the Gaels, while also adding two blocks in the game.

After the break the Gaels came out ready to play, recording 16 kills with only two errors in game three. Kamana'o guided her team to an impressive .424 hitting percentage. Junior Libero Nikki Gonzalez picked up nine digs in the game, helping her team to a decisive 30-21 win over the Broncos. Santa Clara's Lowe ignited for seven kills in the game, but her efforts would not be enough.

Once again the momentum switched, as the Broncos came out with the hot hand in game four. Although the Gaels out blocked Santa Clara 6.5-2, Saint Mary's was unable to find their rhythm on the offensive end. Freshman Shannon Lowell recorded four kills on six swings for the Gaels, while the Broncos were led by Brittany Lowe posting eight kills in the match.

Both teams entered game five ready to battle. Saint Mary's traded points back and forth with the Broncos, but once the score hit 5-5 the Gaels surged ahead and never turned back. Service errors would haunt the Broncos, recording two in the last six points of the game. York recorded the match winning kill on the outside, as the Gaels defeated the Broncos 15-10 in game five.

The win improves the Gaels' record to 14-10 overall and 6-6 in conference. Saint Mary's returns to action in Southern California next weekend. The Gaels will first face the Pepperdine Waves in Malibu, CA on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00 PM. Saint Mary's last WCC outing of the 2007 season will take place at Loyola Marymount on Saturday, November 17 at 1:00 PM.