SANATA CLARA, Calif. – With students back on campus, Santa Clara women's basketball held its first official practice of the 2013-14 season this week. Head coach Jennifer Mountain, in her sixth season leading the Broncos, welcomed in five freshmen as well as making two changes to her coaching staff. Amanda Brown was promoted from Director of Basketball Operations to assistant coach and Angie Bjorklund was hired as the D.B.O.
"Our first few practices have been energized," said Mountain. "Our players are working really hard and are improving everyday. I love our chemistry and like how the freshmen have come in and made an immediate impact."
Coming off a 14-win season, Santa Clara women's basketball welcomes back eight players who saw significant minutes in 2012-13. Santa Clara will also have two players who red shirted the season and five heralded freshman from Washington, California, Oregon, and Colorado
The 14 wins the Broncos put up were a high under current head coach Jennifer Mountain, as were the six wins in the competitive West Coast Conference. Santa Clara also improved its win total for the fifth consecutive season.
Ricki Radanovich is the top returning scorer for Santa Clara. Radanovich added 10.5 points per game while hitting a West Coast Conference-high 68 threes. She also led the team with 1.8 steals per game. Nici Gilday showed a well-rounded game all year by averaging 7.5 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per games and 1.2 steals per game as the first option off the bench to start the year and as a starter midway through the year. Ruta Zurauskyte was tops on the team with a 48.6 percent mark shooting while scoring 10.5 points per game and led the team with 7.2 rebounds per game. She averaged 1.0 blocks per game as well.
The Broncos open the season in Las Vegas, Nev. at UNLV on Nov. 8. Santa Clara then comes home for its home opener on Nov. 12 vs. San Jose State in a doubleheader with men's basketball.
West Coast Conference play begins on Dec. 30 vs. San Francisco.
The WCC Tournament will be March 6-11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev. at the Orleans Arena.