With the season winding down, Santa Clara will travel to Saint Mary's on Thur., Nov. 14 for a 6 pm match in Moraga. Santa Clara will finish off its travel for the season when it heads to Stockton to play the league's newest member, Pacific, on Sat., Nov. 16 at 1 pm.
Santa Clara is fresh off its 3-1 upset off the West Coast Conference's top team in the standings, then-No. 21 BYU, on Nov. 9. It is the second year the Broncos have beaten a ranked BYU team in the Leavey Center. Individually Santa Clara had five players with double-digit kills. Taylor Milton scored 15 kills and 16 digs with four aces. Megan Anders hit .360 with 14 kills. Sabrina Clayton had 13 kills and seven digs. Nikki Hess scored 11 kills, 12 digs, an ace and a block solo. Haley Cameron had 10 kills, hitting .381 with two digs, a block solo and three block assists.
"Beating BYU was a total team effort," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Haley Cameron and Megan Anders set the tone by being really strong offensively. They answered. I told the girls two things in the lockerrom afterwards: they stayed together and we stayed aggressive when we had to. When we were up 20-15 - we have lost that set all year long – but we stayed aggressive and stayed together and that was the difference."
After a number of tough, close losses this season – how satisfying is this win? "It is great for the girls," said Wallace. "I always felt there would be a breakthrough for this team. I felt like it could happen and it's really satisfying against a team as highly-ranked as BYU."
Santa Clara is now 9-14 and 4-10 in league play. They are led by Cameron, who is hitting .309, and Anders, who is hitting .301 with a team-leading 3.0 kpg. Rookies Clayton (2.8 kpg and team-leading 0.33 sapg) and Hess (2.77 kpg) continue to improve in their freshmen campaigns.
Milton brings a lot of balance to the team with her steady play, collecting 2.66 kpg, .30 sapg and 2.52 dpg. And Alyssa Anderson leads the offense with 10.20 apg and 2.57 dpg. Danielle Rottman (team-leading 2.75 dpg) and Mary Shepherd (2.16 dpg and .24 sapg) help the team in the back row.
Saint Mary's enters the week at 13-9 and 9-5 in the WCC. They are 8-1 at home this season, including 6-1 in league play. They have lost three of their last five matches, including being swept down in LA by Pepperdine (3-2 loss on Nov. 7) and by LMU (3-0 loss on Nov. 9). They lost 3-0 to then-No. 8 San Diego, but defeated then-No. 19 BYU 3-2 the week before.
Saint Mary's defeated the Broncos in five earlier this season on Oct. 19.
Pacific is 11-14 and 4-10 in league play prior to hosting USF on Thursday night. Pacific is 0-6 since defeating Santa Clara 3-1 in the Leavey Center on Oct. 17. They have lost four straight 3-0 matches to then-No. 9 San Diego, Saint Mary's, LMU and Pepperdine.
Santa Clara returns home next weekend to host its final two matches. It will welcome LMU on Thurs., Nov. 21 at 6 pm and then host senior day on Sat., Nov. 23 vs. Pepperdine.