June 2, 2004
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- For the third-straight year the Santa Clara University athletic department finished second in the West Coast Conference Commissioner's Cup standings behind Pepperdine, league officials announced Tuesday.
On the strength of its conference championships in women's soccer and runners-up finishes in women's cross country and volleyball, the Broncos also finished second in the women's all-sports competition. The men's soccer league title helped the Broncos to a tie for third-place in the race for the men's all-sports award.
"Considering that every institution in the West Coast Conference is putting significant energy and resources into improving its athletics programs, it gets harder and harder each year to remain at the top of the Commissioner's Cup standings," said Cheryl Levick, Santa Clara's director of athletics. "It is a noteworthy accomplishment to finish in second place for three straight years and our coaches, staff and student-athletes are all equally committed to competitive excellence."
The Commissioner's Cup is an all-sports award presented at the end of each academic year to the league's top performing school in conference play. A Men's and Women's All-Sports Award, recognizing athletic achievement within each gender, is also presented.
The recipient of the Commissioner's Cup is based on a point system reflecting the place finish of each team in conference play. The Men's and Women's All-Sports Awards are given to the schools that accumulate the most points within each particular gender. The institution with the highest point total after combining the men's and women's point totals will be honored with the Commissioner's Cup.
The Broncos jumped out to an early lead in the overall standings on the strength of its fall season. Santa Clara won the men's and women's soccer titles, finished in second-place in volleyball and women's cross country and took third in men's cross country during the fall season.
After mid-range league finishes in men's and women's basketball, the spring was highlighted by a program-best third-place finish in women's golf. Women's crew, women's tennis and men's tennis each finished in fourth-place in WCC play, while baseball ended the season in fifth-place overall.
Four Santa Clara sports participate in conferences other than the WCC and the results of those teams do not count toward the Commissioner's Cup standings. The Bronco softball team won the Pacific Coast Softball Conference title, while the women's water polo squad took fifth in the Women's Western Water Polo Association.
Additional highlights for the 2003-04 season were a second-straight year of achieving the highest graduation rate in the WCC and the second-highest among Division I institutions in the state of California and a fifth appearance for the men's soccer team in the College Cup. In addition, the women's club lacrosse team advanced to the national championship game and the Bronco athletic department won its second-straight Rivalry Series title over neighboring San Jose State.