Broncos hit their stride in West Coast Conference action
THE SANTA CLARA
October 23, 2014
Traveling down south into hostile territory, the women’s volleyball team came away with an upset over No. 24 Loyola Marymount University, topping the Lions 3-2. Two days before the victory, the Broncos knocked off Pepperdine University.
“(These wins means) a lot for our team and our program,” said Santa Clara Head Coach Jon Wallace. “Our expectations are to be battling with teams in the top 25 nationally year in and year out.”
Senior outside hitter Taylor Milton also contributed to the Broncos’ upset win, earning 15 kills with two assists, 11 digs and five block assists.
“Between (Hess), (Clayton) and (Milton) -— they carry a big load for us and they are doing a great job for us,” said Wallace. “(Milton) is playing her best volleyball at Santa Clara right now. (Clayton and Hess) are two of our top players.”
LMU started the first set ahead at 5-2. The Lions ran the score up to 12-6 before Santa Clara halted the potential rout to tie it up at 13.
After tallying 12 more points, including back-to-back kills by Clayton and Milton, and an ace by Gigi Cresto, Santa Clara secured the first set 25-21.
LMU deadlocked the match 1-1, taking the second set 25-19.
The Lions dominated in the third set, eventually running away with a 25-9 win.
The Broncos came back strong in the fourth set, winning 25-18. Errors by LMU put Santa Clara up 6-2 early on. But both squads battled back and forth, tying the set three different times. The Broncos ended up victorious and started the fifth set looking for the win.
The final set was tight, but Santa Clara came out on top with a 16-14 score. An LMU kill gave the Lions a chance at match point, but Clayton shut the Lions down with her 19th kill of the game to tie the score at 14. Another Santa Clara point gave the Broncos match point, which Hess capitalized on to win the set and secure the match win.
“(In the LMU game), we hit very well and did not make very many errors,” said Clayton. “We also never gave up. We had our ups and downs during the game but kept pushing through, giving it all we had.”
While the team has their eyes set on the postseason, the players’ goals are focused on their efforts in the meantime.
“When we think to remind each other of our goal prior to practice, it always makes us work harder,” said Hess. “Having a common goal that we believe we can achieve brings us together and helps us stay focused on the things we need to do in order to win.”
Sydney Sanchez is a junior accounting major.