Proving it knows how to finish a five-set match this year, Santa Clara was led by a career-high 28 kills by Megan Anders in its 3-2 win at San Francisco Thursday night. Santa Clara is now 8-3 in five-set matches this year, including 3-1 in West Coast Conference play. The Broncos host Portland at 1 pm on Saturday in the Leavey Center.
Set scores were 25-11, 25-27, 25-22, 24-26 and 15-13. Santa Clara is 18-8 and 7-4 in the WCC. San Francisco is 13-11 and 4-7 in the WCC.
"Watching tape, I thought USF played really well at home, especially at the end of matches," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "I thought they were aggressive and we were fairly tentative to close it out in game four. But like other matches, we have been finding a way to win big points, the right time and we did it again in game five. Taylor Milton was ridiculous with how well she played tonight. Megan was really good tonight too."
Wallace was also impressed with the team's passing. "USF served tough especially at home and I thought we served well as well. More so, I thought emotionally we were into every pass and we did a great job tonight. Kat played a great leadership role tonight. She not only had 24 digs and passed well in serve receive, she also had two enormous straight down blocks on their best middle attacker."
Santa Clara was led by a career-high 28 kills by Anders, hitting .404 (7 e, 52 att.). Milton had 19 kills and 15 digs with two aces. Kayla Lommori scored 10 kills and five digs. Alyssa Anderson had 42 assists, 13 digs and four service aces. Chelsea Heier had 23 asssits, four aces and 10 digs. Katherine Douglas scored a season-high 24 digs and five kills. Katy Schatzman had 14 digs.
"I knew they were blocking me more in the end of the match and I just looked for the blockers more to see where the seams were on my approach," said Anders.
USF was led by three players with double digit kills: Valentina Zaloznik had 11 with seven block assists; Ester DeVires had 16 kills and 14 digs; and Jocelyn Levig had 10 kills with five digs. Leanna Ludes scored 39 assists and 10 digs. Rebecca Kopilovitch grabbed a team-high 19 digs.
Santa Clara hit .209 with 75 kills (33 e, 201 att.). The Broncos collected 73 assists, 93 digs, 10 service aces, 10 service errors and five team blocks. USF hit .179 with 49 kills (18 e, 173 att.). The Dons collected 45 assists, 73 digs, four service aces, nine service errors and 13 team blocks.
Anderson started the first set with two aces on the first three points she served. A Dons hitting error was sandwiched between. The Dons scored three of the next four points. An Anders kill to the back row stopped the mini-run, 5-3 SCU. Trading points, a Douglas kill bounced off the legs of a Dons player in the front row. Another USF hitting error and a Heier service ace made it 8-4 SCU. The Dons scored a couple kills and SCU wacked it out before a Lommori kill off the block gave SCU the ball, 9-7 SCU. Another Lommori kill off the block and one by Milton cross court made it 11-7 SCU. The Dons scored two of the next three points, including a Bronco service error. Milton's kill off the single blocker and Anders flying kill to the back row made it 14-9 Broncos. Timeout USF. Williamson's kill off two blockers, Anders kill to the side, Anderson's serve bouncing down in front of a Dons player and kills by Williamson, Milton and Anders gave SCU six straight points out of the timeout. Timout USF with SCU up 20-9. Williamson crushed it to the back row and Douglas smacked it down to put SCU up by 13, 22-9. SCU was called in the net for a USF sideout after scoring nine straight. A Dons service error was followed by a blistering kill by Williamson, 24-10 SCU. A kill by Anders helped SCU to a 25-11 set one win. SCU hit .419 with 16 kills (3 e, 31 att.). USF hit .111 with six kills (3 e, 27 att.). Anders scored five kills and Milton four.
The teams tied it up twice before a kill by Milton made it 3-2. USF scored four of the next five to go up 6-3. Anderson set Anders in the middle for a kill and a Dons hitting error helped to break the Dons rally. USF scored a kill but then served it out, 7-6 USF. A Dons dump in the donut put USF up 8-6. A kill by Lommori off the blockers gave SCU a sideout. USF went up 11-7 when the Broncos whistled for time to regroup. A Dons service error slowed their roll and an Anders kill bounced off Terrell's head. A hitting error by the Dons followed a kill by Anders to tie it up 11-11. After a USF sideout, Anders crushed it to return the ball to the Broncos. Terrell's kill to the side and matched by a kill by Anders to tie it up 13-13. USF scored twice and then Milton knocked it off the block for a kill and the Dons hit it out to tie it up 15-15. A ball handling error by Ludes was followed by a Bronco service error to tie it up. The teams traded points to tie it up at 17 each. Levig's kill gave USF the lead but then Zaloznik whizzed it out on her serve. USF scored on a kill before Cameron scored on a quick to tie it up 19-19. An error by Terrell tied it up again, 20-20. De Vries bounced high for a kill off the Bronco block and SCU hit it out to give USF a 22-20 lead before Wallace called for time. Anders kill to the back row quieted the rally. Timeout USF with the Dons leading 22-21. Anders crushed it to tie it up 22-22. Anders 13th kill of the match, to the back row, got the USF coach up again, whistling for time with SCU leading 23-22. A kill by Zaloznik gave USF the ball before Anders responded with a tip for a kill, 24-23 Broncos. After what looked to be almost a ball dead on the ground, the Dons smacked it down for a kill to tie it up. A Douglas kill off the top of the blockers head gave SCU the 25-24 lead. Lommori smacked it into the team block for a Dons point to tie it up 25-25. Milton wacked it up to put USF up one, 26-25. A kill by Levig gave USF the set, 27-25. SCU hit .140 with 15 kills (8 e, 50 att.). USF hit .196 with 14 kills (5 e, 46 att.). Anders had 10 kills.
Malina Terrell's kill to the back row and Milton's in back tied it up 1-1 to start the third set. The team's traded points with Anders crushing it again. Trading points again, Lommori scored a kill before Heier scored another service ace, 4-3 SCU. Trading kills, Lommori scored a kill in the back row and Lommori and Cameron teamed up to block a Terrell attempt, 6-4 SCU. Trading points, Milton wacked it off the block, 7-5 SCU. Trading points again, Milton's cross court kill put SCU up 8-6. Anders spotted an opening after a long rally and put it down in the back row for her 17th kill of the match, 9-6 SCU. Another Anders kill made it 10-7. The teams traded points before a ball handling error gave SCU the sideout, 12-8 SCU. The Dons scored twice on SCU attack errors before a Dons service error, 13-10 SCU. USF scored on a kill and then Cameron scored her own to the side, 14-11 SCU. USF scored three straight to tie it up 14-14. An error by the Dons was matched by a Williamson kill. Timeout USF with the Broncos leading 16-14. Trading points, a tip by Milton gave SCU the ball. Anderson's serve squirted off the hands of Levig for an ace, 18-15 SCU. Williamson's kill off the block was followed by an error by Anders. Anders returned to crush it after a rally, 20-16 SCU. Trading points, Williamson scored on a kill on the outside and a block solo by Anders got the USF coach up again for a timeout with SCU leading 22-17. Two kills by USF and the Broncos whistled for time, up 22-19. An Anders kill on the outside was unexpected, 23-19 SCU. Zaloznik answered and then De Vries scored on a tip. Timeout Broncos, up 23-21. A kill by Douglas in the back row gave SCU set point. An error by Milton gave USF the sideout with SCU up 24-22. Milton crushed it to give SCU a 25-22 set three win. SCU hit .256 with 17 kills (7 e, 39 att.). USF hit .214 with 13 kills (4 e, 42 att.). Anders scored five kills and Milton four.
The teams traded points with Milton scoring on her ninth kill of the night. A kill by Anders tied it up 2-2. The Dons rallied to score a couple before the teams traded service errors, 5-3 USF. Cameron's kill stopped the run. The Dons scored twice to advance 8-4. Timeout Santa Clara. Milton ended a long rally with a kill and started another with a cross court kill Back to back Segota kills made it 10-6 USF. SCU scored twice, including a kill by Anders. An ace by Milton brought SCU within one and then a punch kill by Anderson tied it up 11-11. Williamson's kill gave SCU a 13-11 lead. Timeout USF. The Dons scored on a kill to sideout. An Anders kill gave SCU the ball back, 14-12 SCU. A kill by Zaloznik gave USF the ball down by one. A Lommori kill on the back of the line made it 15-13 SCU. After an error, a team block by Cameron and Douglas gave SCU the ball. USF scored a kill for a sideout. A service error by Zaloznik made it 17-15 SCU. A USF kill and an SCU error tied it up 17-17. A kill by Douglas off the block and one by Milton cross court, 19-17 SCU. A Bronco service error gave USF the ball. The 24th kill of the night by Anders made it 20-18 SCU. A Bronco service error again gave USF the ball. Anders tied her career best with her 25th kill of the night off the block, 21-19 SCU. A kill by Levig and an error by Lommori tied it up 21-21. An ace by Levig and Wallace whistled for time with USF leading 22-21. A kill by Lommori to the back row tied it up 22-22. Douglas got the put-back kill by being aggressive, 23-22. A kill by De Vires off the block and an ace by her as well gave USF set point, but she served it into the net to tie it up 24-24. Douglas' serve floated out of bounds to give USF its second set point. A team block by USF gave the Dons set four, 26-24. SCU hit .239 with 17 kills (6 e, 46 att.). USF hit .303 with 13 kills (3 e, 33 att.). Anders had five kills and Milton five.
USF scored first on a kill in set five. Milton scored down the line for a sideout and Douglas snared a block solo to put SCU up 2-1. USF got the sideout on a long rally, 2-2. After an error, Anders answered with her career-best 26th kill and tied it up 3-3. The Broncos collected a couple of hitting errors before Wallace whistled for time, down 5-3. The teams traded points with Anders scoring another kill. Back-to-back aces by Heier, her third and fourth of the night, tied it up 6-6. A team block by Cameron and Douglas caused USF to whistle for time with SCU up 7-6. Heier served it into the net out of the timeout, but Lommori's ball hit the back row for a kill, 8-7 SCU. Milton's 15th kill of the night made it 9-7 Broncos. After a Bronco error, USF served and Milton made up for her past error with a blistering kill, 10-8 SCU. USF scored a kill to keep within one, 10-9 SCU. Milton crushed it cross court to a wide open floor. DeVires hit it way out and then the Dons called for time, down 12-9. USF scored a couple points on long rallies before Santa Clara called for time, still up, 12-11. Milton's 18th kill of the night barely touched a Dons player sailing out for a point, 13-11 SCU. A kill by Levig pulled the Dons within one. Milton crushed it from the back row for a kill and gave SCU set point at 14-12. DeVires kill to the far side gave USF the ball. Anders kill ended the set in the back row with SCU winning 15-13.