Aug. 31, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team notched its fourth-straight win Friday morning against North Carolina State in its first match of the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. The No. 19 Broncos swept the Wolfpack, 3-0 (30-22, 30-25, 30-23), for the victory.
"The match was fairly early for us, playing at 7 a.m. our time," said head coach Jon Wallace. "But we were able to steady out towards the end of the games and that is what enabled us to win in three. [Kim] Courtney and [Nina] Sevastopoulos both stepped up for us this morning and attacked the ball real well."
Leading the way for SCU was sophomore Lindsy Evans, recording a match-high 14 kills. Also registering double-digit kills were outside hitters Brittany Lowe and Kim Courtney. Lowe tallied 13 kills and recorded eight digs, while Courtney posted 11 kills on 20 attempts with only two errors for a .450 hitting percentage. Leading the Broncos' in the back row was senior libero Caroline Walters, who grabbed 11 digs, while senior setter Crystal Matich dished out a match-high 42 assists.
Santa Clara went 20-for-30 on attack with only seven errors in the first match for an impressive .433 hitting percentage. The Broncos opened the match with a 5-2 lead on kills from Evans, Lowe and Matich, and continued to hold onto control of the scoreboard. SCU only allowed NC State to come within two points during the first game. Wolfpack errors and a kill from Evans pushed the Broncos to a seven point lead, 15-8, the largest gap of the game. Two service aces from Evans and a kill by Courtney brought the final score of game one to 30-22 in Santa Clara's favor.
The Broncos once again took early control of game two, but a little fire from the Wolfpack saw them rally back to tie the score, 8-8, on a kill from Janay Yancey. NC State took the one point lead on a point from Keri DeMar, but Nichole Clark knotted the score, 9-9, and the Broncos began to pull away with a small lead. However, the Wolfpack was not ready to give up quite yet and tied the score at 15-15. The teams battled point-for-point until Santa Clara was able to grab the advantage behind strong serving efforts from Lowe. Tied again at 25-25, Lowe, Evans and Dowd put the ball down with force for the Broncos, winning the second game, 30-25.
Santa Clara struggled to take the lead in the beginning of the third game as NC State jumped to a 4-1 start. The Wolfpack was able to fend off the Broncos for a while until two kills from Nina Sevastopoulos and Wolfpack errors tied the score, 11-11. With NC State still in control of the scoreboard, Sevastopoulos stepped up once again for SCU with back-to back kills off of Matich sets that gave the Broncos a two-point lead, 20-18, and forced NC State to a timeout. With the edge, the Broncos held onto the advantage and rallied behind serves from Taylor O'Brien to cruise to a 27-23 lead. With game-point in reach, Lowe slammed the ball down to give the Broncos a 30-23 win and the 3-0 match sweep.
For the Wolfpack, Lauren Zaniboni registered a team-best 10 kills, while Nikki Sweet tied the match-high 11 digs.
The Broncos return to action Friday afternoon against the Eagles of Georgia Southern in their second match of the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT.