Santa Clara 3, Pepperdine 0Dec. 9, 2005

Stanford, Calif. -- On her 20th birthday, sophomore setter Crystal Matich couldn't have asked for a better birthday present.

After dishing out 47 assists and leading Santa Clara to a .368 hitting percentage, Matich and her teammates are dancing through the postseason and will have a chance for a berth into the Final Four Saturday night after sweeping West Coast Conference rival Pepperdine in the Round of 16.

"I don't want to insult all my other birthdays, but this has to be my best birthday ever," exclaimed Matich after the Sweet Sixteen match was completed.

"To win in the Sweet Sixteen on my birthday and to have a chance to compete in the Final Four is just awesome. There's nothing more that I'd want today."

Three players hit over .400 for Santa Clara (26-4, 12-2 WCC), led by middle blocker Anna Cmaylo and Annalisa Muratore. Cmaylo recorded a match-high 14 kills to go along with a .765 hitting percentage, while Muratore collected 13 kills and hit .500 for the third straight match.

Senior opposite Cassie Perret hit .465 on her way to 11 kills on the night. Outside hitters Brittany Lowe and Kim McGiven also chipped in with 8 kills apiece in the 30-28, 30-23, and 30-14 victory. On the defensive end, sophomore libero Caroline Walters totaled a match-high 10 digs, while Cmaylo blocked a match-high five balls on the night.

Perret and Matich also had three blocks each in the winning effort.



-- Courtesy Santa Clara