Volleyball is without an equivalent term to extra innings in baseball, but it took the Santa Clara Bruins volleyball team “extra kills” to win each of the first two sets on Tuesday. The Bruins eventually won the match over Milpitas. “Eventually,” being the key word as the four-set match lasted over two hours.
“Definitely exhausting,” remarked Bruins captain Fiona Paul on the rather lengthy match. “It was crazy, especially the second set going all the way to 35. It was insane. But the best thing about the game was nobody ever gave up — on both teams.”
As usual, Paul paced the Bruins in kills against the Trojans, but she did so with even more ferocity according to her coach.
“I’ve been trying to tweak her approach a little bit recently to make it a faster and more aggressive hit and she’s been able to do that,” noted Head Coach Megan Morse-Quevedo. “And she was hammering the balls today. She was placing the balls well too. I was really impressed with her tonight.”
Outside of Paul, it was two younger players that stood out for the Bruins in junior Kayla Chew and freshman Brianna Kendall. In each of the first two sets that went into “extra kills,” it was Chew delivering huge, powerful kills. Three of Chew’s kills either put the Bruins at set point, or saved the Bruins while facing set point.
“You can always count on [Chew] to jump at those opportunities,” added coach Morse-Quevedo. “One of the things we teach our hitters is to look before they hit, and she did a great job with that tonight.”
Kendall, on the other hand, brings the Bruins a taller inside blocking and hitting presence that they had previously been missing.
“I definitely rely on [Kendall] for a lot because I don’t often get the blocks since I’m kinda short,” said Paul. “She’s been awesome in the front row, getting blocks left and right.”
The scoring on Tuesday went 28-26, 35-33, 22-25, 25-22 with the Bruins beating the Trojans for the second time this season. Santa Clara improved their league record to 2-5 and will next take on league-leading Cupertino on Thursday, Oct. 4.