Led by the talented play of junior middle blocker Megan Anders and Haley Cameron, Santa Clara defeated Portland 3-1 Saturday afternoon in the Leavey Center. Set scores were 25-19, 21-25, 25-20 and 25-18. Santa Clara is 19-8 and 8-4 in the WCC. Portland is 6-21 and 0-13 in the WCC.
"I thought our team played a little flat this afternoon. Where that really show was our inconsistency in the passing game," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "For the last two weeks our three passers, Katherine, Taylor and Katy, have been doing an amazing job for us. I also noticed our lack of focus with our attacking. We hit a lot of balls out of bounds this afternoon. When our team is off a little bit, those are the errors that show up in the stat column. I am pleased with our ability to continue to fight and not be down emotionally based on when we are playing poorly. This team has great resolve and a strong sense of pride to continue to fight."
Wallace praised the play of Cameron. "Haley had one of the best attacking and blocking nights of the year. She and Chelsea had a good connection today," added Wallace.
Santa Clara was led by Anders 19 kills as she hit .351 (6 e, 37 att.). Anders collected a block solo and two block assists as well. Cameron hit .421 with 10 kills (2 e, 19 att.). Kayla Lommori had eight kills, Taylor Milton collected seven and Lexi Williamson scored six. Alyssa Anderson had 27 assists and eight digs, adding a service ace. Chelsea Heier scored 22 assists, three aces and six digs. Katy Schatzman had 10 digs and four assists. Katherine Douglas added eight digs, two aces and five kills.
Portland was led by Ariel Usher's 17 kills, hitting .556 (2 e, 27 att.). Jessica Nguyen had 15 digs and Monica Jordan scored a team-high 21 assists.
Santa Clara hit .185 with 55 kills (28 e, 146 att.). The Broncos collected 54 assists, nine service aces, nine service errors, 49 digs and 10 team blocks. Portland hit .119 with 37 kills (23 e, 118 att.). The Pilots collected 35 assists, eight service aces, four service errors, 52 digs and nine team blocks.
The two teams tied it up three times in the early going. Anders scored her first kill to tie it up 4-4 and her second made it 6-4. An ace by Williamson made it 7-4. After Pilots sideout, Anders crushed it to the back row and Heier served up an ace to make it 9-5 SCU. The Pilots were called in the net and then picked up a hitting error to put SCU up by six, 11-5. Portland got the ball back on a kill and then Lommori smacked it out. The teams traded points to put SCU up 12-8. Lommori crushed it in the back for a sideout. Portland scored four straight to pull within one and SCU called for time, up 13-12. Portland scored on a tip to tie it up 13-13. Cameron stopped the run with a kill to the back row and the Pilots were called to the net, 15-13 SCU. Portland scored three straight with a kill, an ace and a Bronco hitting error to go up 16-15. Milton quickly stopped the rally with a kill and a Pilot hitting error. Ali Rambis served up an ace and the Pilots hit it out again to put SCU up 19-16. Portland called for time. A team block by Williamson and Anders and a ball handling error continued the Bronco run, 21-17. Portland scored twice on kills, but Anders stopped the run. The Pilots scored a sideout, but Anders answered again, 23-19 Broncos. Lommori's cross court kill gave SCU a set point. A team block by Douglas and Cameron gave SCU the set, 25-19. SCU hit .360 with 12 kills (3 e, 25 att.). Portland hit .129 with 12 kills (8 e, 31 att.). Anders had four kills and Usher had seven for Portland.
Portland ran out to a 3-1 lead in the second set. Williamson's kill off the block stopped the rally. The teams knotted it up at 4-4 but Heier served it into the net for a Portland sideout. A kill by Cameron and a team block by Cameron and Lommori put SCU up 6-5. Sideout Pilots on a kill. Lommori smacked it line for a sideout, but Portland scored four straight to take a 10-7 lead. Timeout Broncos. Williamson's kill quieted the Pilots, but a Bronco error gave Portland the ball. The Pilots scored four more to go up five, 15-10. The Broncos called for time. Portland served it out. Portland scored three of the next five points to move ahead 18-12. A Portland error, a Cameron kill, a team block by Cameron and Lommori and another Cameron kill made it 18-16 Portland. Timeout Pilots. The teams traded points on a kill by Cameron. A Bronco service error gave Portland the ball up 20-17. Williamson's kill made it 20-18 Portland. Portland scored three of the next four to go up 23-20. Anders hit it out to give Portland set point. Anders stopped the rally with a kill down the line, 24-21 Portland. Loper picked up a kill to win set two 25-21. SCU hit .205 in the second set with 15 kills (7 e, 39 att.). Portland hit .267 with 12 kills (4 e, 30 att.). Anders had five kills and Williamson three. Usher had four kills and Bostwick three.
An ace by Anderson started the third set. Anders crushed it between two players in the back row and the Pilots had a pair of attack errors to put SCU up 4-0. The Pilots collected a kill to sideout. Anders kill got the Broncos a sideout. The Pilots scored four straight to pull up to 5-5. Anders kill stopped the run and a Pilot setting error made it 7-5 Broncos. Loper's kill gave Portland the ball, but again, Anders kill in the back row, Cameron's block solo and back-to-back aces by Heier made it 11-6 SCU. Timeout Pilots. SCU scored three of the next four to go up 14-7. A kill by Moore gave Portland the ball, but Cameron answered with a kill in the back row. Down 15-8, Portland whistled for time. Portland scored a couple on kills before Milton smacked it cross court for a kill, 16-10 Broncos. Anders knocked down her 13th kill of the match before Portland picked up a kill for the sideout, 17-11 SCU. Anders stopped the run again, but the Pilots answered three times, 18-14 SCU. Timeout Broncos. Portland scored twice more before Williamson's kill off the block made it 19-16 Broncos. The teams traded points twice. Douglas put SCU up 22-18 with a kill. After a long rally, Lommori's tip scored a kill. The Pilots scored twice before Lommori's cross court kill gave SCU set point. Cameron's kill off the block gave SCU the set 25-20. SCU hit .115 with 15 kills (9 e, 52 att.). Portland hit .143 with nine kills (4 e, 35 att.). Lommori had five kills and Anders four. Moore had three kills.
SCU jumped out to a 5-1 lead in set four. The Pilots scored a team block to get a sideout, but the Broncos answered. A block solo by Douglas put SCU up 7-2. The teams traded points with Cameron scoring her 10th kill of the match. Portland scored three straight before they were called for a ball handling error with SCU leading 9-6. The teams traded points and Anders kill off the block and Milton's kill cross court made it 12-7. Timeout Portland. Portland scored three of the next four before SCU whistled for time, up 13-10. Portland scored a couple more before Milton crushed it. The teams traded points with a Bronco service error, 14-13 SCU. A tip by Anders, a kill by Douglas and another by Anders put SCU up 17-13. A team block by the Pilots gave them the sideout. The 19th kill of the match for Anders gave SCU the ball. A hitting error by Portland pushed the Bronco lead to 19-14. Portland scored twice on a kill and an ace. A Pilot service error, a Pilot hitting error and back-to-back aces by Douglas made it 23-16. Milton's kill gave SCU set point, but Douglas served it into the net with SCU up 24-17. Milton hit into the block for an error, but scored a kill on her next attack giving SCU a 25-18. SCU hit .133 with 13 kills (9 e, 30 att.). Portland hit -.136 with four kills (7 e, 22 att.).