Offense continues to struggle as Broncos shutout on the road
THE SANTA CLARA
October 27, 2016
Santa Clara came up empty on their road trip, dropping both matches against University of the Pacific and Saint Mary’s College. The Broncos faced Pacific Thursday night and were out of sync from the beginning. Santa Clara lost the first set handedly at 25-15.
“Our coaches talk a lot about being the aggressor and not letting other teams be the aggressor on us,” said senior Madison Dutra. “On Thursday, Pacific was the aggressor.”
Santa Clara stepped up their play from there, but could never top Pacific. The Broncos lost the next two sets 25-23 and 25-21. The Broncos played Pacific much closer in their first meeting of the season, losing a nail-biting five set match at Leavey Stadium.
“At Pacific a lot of different things weren’t working together as well as they should be” said senior Sabrina Clayton. “We just need to continue and focus on making it difficult for the other team to put the ball down on our side by having great defense.”
Throughout the match, there were 14 tie scores and five lead changes. Santa Clara actually totaled more kills than Pacific but had almost twice as many errors.
“They outplayed us,” Dutra said. “It is really unfortunate to come out this past weekend and not perform the way we know how.”
Though the squad left with a loss, they did gain the return of junior setter Kirsten Mead. Mead, who’d been out since the beginning of September with an ankle injury, had 16 assists.
The Broncos had two days to regroup after Pacific until they headed to their next match, a quick trip up north to visit the Gaels of St. Mary’s College. Santa Clara has struggled coming out of the gate all season, and Saturday was no different.
“We made too many uncharacteristic plays at the beginning of the match that may have set us up for a loss later on,” Dutra said.
The Broncos held their own throughout the match, but could never string together enough points to take a set.
“Saint Mary’s played a great match,” Dutra said. “I think we could have followed the scouting report better. They had a few girls that were taking over the match on offense and we did not find a way to shut them down.”
Santa Clara lost in straight sets, yet were outscored by just 10. But the Broncos are past the point of taking solace for remaining competitive. At this point in the season it’s all about getting a W.
The Broncos return home to the Leavey Center on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. to take on the University of Portland. They’ll then host Gonzaga University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.
“We are off to a good start this week with practice and I am confident we will come out on top against Gonzaga and Portland,” Dutra said. “Other than some technical changes, our mindset remains the same. We are here to win, compete and be the best we can.”
Contact Claire McLoughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.