Sept. 8, 2005
Santa Clara, Calif. - Fresno State kept the second game close, but a first game blowout and excellent hitting from Santa Clara led the Broncos to a three-game win over the Bulldogs in the first day of the Santa Clara Invitational, 30-13, 30-24, 30-16. Santa Clara hit .393 over the match and made only 8 errors as a team, led by Cassie Perret who had 13 kills with only 2 errors. The Bulldogs were led by Mounia Nihipali who had 9 kills.
The Bulldogs had trouble with Santa Clara's quick starts, falling behind early in both the first and third games, and were undone by excellent placement from the Broncos. The Bulldogs had only 2 blocks during the match, and the outside hitters from Santa Clara, Kim McGiven and Perret hit .455 and .393 respectively. Angela Wiggins had a strong second game for the Bulldogs with three early kills in a 30-24 loss, but No. 25 Santa Clara proved to strong for Fresno State in the end.
The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow, as they face the No. 18 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in another evening match at the Santa Clara Invitational. Both teams enter the match with losses in the tournament, as the Gauchos fell to No. 15 Arizona in their first match of the tournament. The Bulldogs' match with UC Santa Barbara will begin at 7 p.m. in the Leavey Center.
Game 1 Recap - Santa Clara started out quickly, scoring five straight points early against the Bulldogs, finished by a kill from outside hitter Cassie Perret. A service error from Santa Clara's Caroline Walters got the Bulldogs on the board, but Santa Clara continued their early run and took a 9-2 lead. A kill from Mounia Nihipali helped the Bulldogs cut into the gap, but the Broncos continued to control the game and extended a 14-3 lead before the Bulldogs could get a sideout. A kill from Alisha McKee and an ace from Nihipali helped the Bulldogs keep pace with Broncos, but the advantage was too great and Santa Clara took the first game easily, 30-13.
Game 2 Recap - Fresno State made a better start to the second game, scoring the first two points following an Angela Wiggins kill, but the Broncos again responded quickly, taking a three point run before the Bulldogs evened and took the lead 5-3 after two more Wiggins kills. The Bulldogs kept one step ahead of Santa Clara through the middle of the match, trading sideouts until the Broncos took the lead at 10-9. Santa Clara made a small run to take a 13-10 lead, and continued to hold onto that advantage until a Brittany Lowe kill extended it to 17-13. Three Mounia Nihipali kills gave the Bulldogs sideouts, but the Bulldogs only got as close as 19-17 before the Broncos answered back with a run of their own, moving the score to 23-17 before a Fresno State timeout. The Bulldogs responded out of the timeout, scoring three straight points culminating in a Cheryl Selenak ace. Santa Clara never let the `Dogs back within three however, and took the game 30-24.
Game 3 Recap - The third game started out much like the first, as strong serving from Santa Clara setter Crystal Matich and a kill from Cassie Perret paced the Broncos to an early 4-0 lead. The Bulldogs recorded a side out and brought the score back to 5-2. A Santa Clara side out was followed by three straight points, and the Bulldogs fell behind 9-3. The Broncos continued to press their advantage, and advanced to a 16-5 lead before the Bulldogs got the serve back, and Fresno State never recovered, keeping better pace with the Broncos but losing game three 30-16.
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