Santa Clara defeats BYU and St. Mary’s after San Diego loss
THE SANTA CLARA
October 1, 2015
After a disappointing home loss against University of San Diego, the Broncos Women’s Volleyball team earned a big win on Saturday, Sept. 26 to Brigham Young University.
The Broncos only had one day between Thursday’s unexpected loss versus USD and Saturday’s showdown with BYU, but they were able to make that day of practice count.
“We really came together on Friday’s practice,” said senior Danielle Rottman, who has led the team in digs in all three conference games thus far. “We knew we wanted to win, and we knew we just had to compete, so we worked hard in practice on Friday and it showed on Saturday.”
After dropping the first set 15-25 to the Cougars, the Broncos stormed back to win the next three sets and the match with scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-20 against the nation’s 10th-best team.
After the win, the Broncos cruised by Bay Area rival Saint Mary’s in Moraga, CA on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The match got off to a neck-and-neck start, as Santa Clara needed an extra point to defeat the Gaels in the first set, 26-24.
Things opened up in the second set since the Broncos were able to dominate 25-10, winning the match in the third set by a score 25-19.
Although Saint Mary’s had a difficult start to the year, Head Coach Jon Wallace still sees value in the win.
“Saint Mary’s is one of the most well-coached teams we face all year long,” said Wallace. “Every win in our conference is a great win, especially on the road.”
The upset win over BYU, however, gives the Santa Clara ladies an opportunity to gauge for how competitive they can be in the WCC and beyond.
Last season, BYU was able to advance to the National Championship game, but eventually lost to Penn State.
“Starting off with that win gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of our season, especially seeing as they are one of the top teams in not only our conference, but in the country,” said junior Nikki Hess, who led the Broncos in kills against BYU.
Rottman also knows what the match means, but realizes the team can’t look too far ahead.
“For now, it’s just about focusing on our conference games, because our way to the NCAA tournament is to win the conference,” she said.
Coach Wallace echoed his player’s messages about the meaning of the BYU win.
“To beat the No. 10 team in the nation for our first conference win shows the team what they can do and it’s going to catapult us going forward,” Coach Wallace said. “They were determined to compete harder than BYU and hopefully they will compete harder than the rest of our opponents going forward.”
Santa Clara currently sits at 11-4 overall and 2-1 in conference.
The team also received three votes in this week’s NCAA top-25 rankings, putting them one step closer to being a member on the illustrious list.
Up next for the Broncos are two more conference matchups.
Santa Clara plays University of Portland, who, despite being 1-1 in conference, are 11-3 overall this Thursday at 6 p.m.
They then face Gonzaga, 2-0 in conference and 11-4 overall, this Saturday at 2 p.m.
Both games will be at the Leavey Center before the Broncos begin a three game road trip the next week.
Contact Bo Kendall at email@example.com.