Nov. 20, 2000
This Week Santa Clara's women's basketball (1-0) will take on its first ranked opponent tonight, traveling to No. 18 Stanford for a 7:30 tipoff at Maples Pavilion. The game will air live on Fox Sports Net. Winners over Pacific last week, the Broncos return home for a Saturday match against Providence. That game will take place at Bellarmine Prep Gym at 8 p.m.
The Opponents Ranked 18th nationally, Stanford lost it's season opener to Saint Mary's 74-63. The Cardinal returns four starters from a team that went 21-9 last season, 13-5 in the Pac-10 to tie for second place. Leading that group is senior center Carolyn Moos, who led the Cardinal with 12.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season, although she only posted four points in the loss to the Gaels. Stanford leads the all-time series with SCU 24-11. Santa Clara will face Providence on Saturday, marking the first meeting between these schools. The Friars are coached by Jim Jabir, now in his fifth season. Providence returns four starters from a team that went 10-17 last season and finished ninth in the Big East Conference.
A Change of Scenery Formerly known as Harold J. Toso Pavilion, the reconstructed Leavey Event Center will be one of the best venues on the West Coast. Santa Clara's loud, supportive fans will only turn up the volume once they see the new floor, a new digital scoreboard and new chairback seating.
"It's first class and it looks like a big-time arena when you drive by it," head coach Chris Denker said. "We're excited to play in it. Recruits are going to want to play in it. It's a great place to call home."
While reconstruction of Leavey is completing, Santa Clara is hosting home games at Bellarmine College Prep's Gymnasium. The Broncos won their two exhibition games there and will also host regular season contests against Pacific on Saturday and Providence on Nov. 25 at Bellarmine. After a six-game road trip, the Broncos will open Leavey for women's basketball action, hosting Maryland on Dec. 27.
The Starting Lineup Santa Clara returns two starters from the 1999-2000 season in senior center Annie Garrison and junior guard Becki Ashbaugh. The trio that has started both exhibitions and predicted to start in the regular season is junior forward Jennifer Glysson, junior guard Caroline Gruening and senior guard Kim Sorenson. Junior forward Tammy Annas, a starter last year, is out for the season after tearing an ACL in her left knee in an October practice.
Freshman Faces Alex Gientke, Megan Nelson and Jennie Rondel make the trio of new faces that join the team this season. Guards Gientke and Nelson join the backcourt. From Ventura High School in Southern California, Gientke was named Player of the Year in a solid area of basketball talent. Described as having a good head for the game, Denker said her three-point shooting ability will give Santa Clara greater depth. From South Eugene High School in Oregon, Nelson is a 5-10 guard recovering from an ACL tear she suffered in November while playing soccer. An All-State player, Nelson is used to winning, as her team was ranked 14th during last season by USA Today. Rondel is the lone newcomer to the frontcourt, arriving from a very successful Washington program. Once she finds a role to settle into, she should make great strides in the collegiate game.
Head Coach Chris Denker Entering his first season as head coach, Chris Denker (Oregon '90) is no stranger to Santa Clara basketball. Serving as an assistant coach on Caren Horstmeyer's staff for the last seven years, Denker becomes only the sixth head coach in the 36-year history of the program. Under Horstmeyer, Denker was the top recruiting and offensive coordinator. His teams amassed a 137-64 (.682) overall record, including a 69-29 (.704) mark in West Coast Conference play. The Broncos have also won three WCC Championships under his watch and advanced to the postseason four times. He inherits a squad that returns 11 letterwinners and three starters from a 1999-2000 team that went 21-9 and participated in the Women's National Invitation Tournament. He has also been an assistant coach Idaho State University and South Eugene (Ore.) High School. As a collegiate player, Denker lettered in basketball as a freshman at Boise State University before transferring to Linn Benton Community College the next year. At Linn Benton, he served as the basketball team captain and earned honorable mention all-league recognition in 1987.