THE SANTA CLARA
April 10, 2014
Santa Clara’s women’s club volleyball squad knocked off the No. 1 seed from the University of Arizona and went on to finish as the No. 5 team in the nation.
“I think we honestly hit our peak this weekend,” said team captain Megan Carlson. “It’s been an uphill climb the entire season and we made it work. I was proud of everyone. We did a really good job.”
The Broncos competed in a number of matches across a three-day span at the national tournament, challenging some of the toughest Division I squads.
In the opening stages of pool play, Santa Clara got off to a sluggish start but came to life in the single match elimination portion of the tournament. Pitted against Arizona in a Gold Bracket first-round matchup, the Broncos stunned their challengers with a gritty performance.
“Nobody thought we could do it,” said Carlson. “We were considered the Cinderella story of the tournament.”
Despite dropping the first game 21-25, the Broncos rallied to take down the top- seeded Wildcats 25-18 in the second game and 15-10 in the third game to survive and advance.
“Everyone was on,” said co-captain Sara Anselmo. “We were all hitting everything so well.”
Santa Clara rode its wave of momentum into another do-or-die match against Ohio State University just a few hours later but were outlasted in three games.
The Broncos’ performance cemented their spot as a top-5 team in the nation, a goal the team had created from day one.
“It’s a tribute to the girls because a lot of them played positions that they weren’t used to or weren’t accustomed to and they took it upon themselves to be willing to adjust their level of play, their style of play, for the betterment of the team and it showed finally at nationals,” said Head Coach Will Leonard.
Contact Brendan Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.