October 31, 2001

Women's Basketball Opens Exhibition Season Thursday

Oct. 31, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's basketball team opens its 2001-2002 season Thursday, Nov. 1, with an exhibition game against the Bay Area Pro-Am at the Leavey Center. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. and there will be no admission charged.

The Broncos return 10 letterwinners and three starters from its 20-8 team that finished last season with an 11-3 West Coast Conference record, good for a share of the regular-season conference title. Led by all-WCC senior guards Becki Ashbaugh and Caroline Gruening, the Broncos advanced to the postseason for the fourth straight season with its participation in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Season and individual game tickets are on sale for the 2001-2002 women's and men's basketball seasons through the Santa Clara Athletic Ticket Office by calling 408/554-4660 or by clicking here. Several single game, season, group, team and family plans are available. For a seating map of the newly-renovated Leavey Center, click here.

Santa Clara welcomes the return of starters Ashbaugh (Bellevue, Wash.) and Gruening (Juneau, Alaska) as well as, junior Tammy Annas (Enumclaw, Wash.), who redshirted the 2000-01 season after tearing her left ACL just four days before practices were to begin, but was a starter as a sophomore. Additionally, Santa Clara returns part-time starters and experienced forwards in juniors Kendra Rhea (Lakeside) and Julie Butler (Tacoma, Wash.).

The Broncos also return juniors Courtney Cushing (Brush Prairie, Wash.) and Jennifer Bradley (Arvada, Colo.), sophomores Jennie Rondel (Redmond, Wash.) and Alex Gientke (Ventura), and redshirt freshman Megan Nelson (Eugene, Ore.).

Santa Clara welcomes three freshman to the roster in guards Kayla Huss (Everett, Wash.) and Quinn Thomas (Kent, Wash.), as well as forward Kim Butler (Tacoma, Wash.), the younger sister of Julie.

The Broncos open the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 17, against the University of the Utah at the Sheraton Four Points Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The home opener will take place Tuesday, Nov. 27, a 6 p.m. start against San Jose State.