April 2, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Volleyball head coach Jon Wallace announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent in November. Joining the Bronco Class of 2005 are Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 players Toni Muratore and Jennifer Ryan as well as Megan Johnston and Christina Vick.
"This recruiting group is ranked in the top 15 nationally," Wallace said. "All four of them will be asked to contribute a lot as soon as they arrive on campus, and their growth will allow us to be a top program by their sophomore year."
Muratore is the tallest of the recruits at 6-2 and will play in the middle for the Broncos. A Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 honoree, Muratore was named the Central California Conference MVP last season after leading Atwater (Calif.) High School to a second straight playoff experience.
Like Muratore, Ryan was also a Fab 50 selection. From La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., 6-0 newcomer will see time at both middle blocker and outside hitter. She became the first player at La Reina to reach 1,000 career kills and finished with 1,249 in four years, earning All-State honors while being named the CIF MVP this past season. Her Sport Shack Club team won the National Championships in 1999 and finished as runners-up last season.
Johnston is a 5-9 outside hitter that can also play on the right side. Her Bullard High School team was the Valley Champions last season while her Fresno Club team placed fifth at the Junior Nationals the last two seasons.
The final 2001 recruit is Vick, another multi-positional player who will fit into the Bronco lineup as either a middle blocker or an outside hitter. She led San Clemente (Calif.) High School to four straight CIF appearances, including the finals as a senior. Academically, she is a member of her school's National Honor Society, is the vice president of her senior class and will graduate as valedictorian.
Santa Clara finished the 2000 season ranked 17th nationally and won the West Coast Conference championship. The Broncos hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history and advanced to the second round for the second consecutive year, finishing the season with a 27-5 record.
For the nine letterwinners that return from that team and today's announced newcomers, the 2001 season begins Friday, Aug. 31, as the Broncos play two matches to open the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge in Tempe, Ariz. The Broncos will play Hofstra at 11 a.m. and Arizona State at 7 p.m.
Bronco Class of 2005
|Name||Position||Ht.||Hometown/Last School||Club Team|
|Megan Johnston||OH/OPP||5-9||Fresno, Calif./Bullard High School||Fresno|
|Toni Muratore||MB||6-2||Merced, Calif./Atwater High School||Delta Valley|
|Jennifer Ryan||MB/OPP||6-0||Thousand Oaks, Calif./La Reina High School||Sport Shack|
|Christina Vick||MB/OH||6-1||San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente High School||Saddleback|
5-9 o Outside Hitter/Opposite
Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS
Johnston, a 5-9 outside hitter that can also play on the right side. Her Bullard High School team was the Valley Champions last season and were the North Yosemite League Champions three straight seasons. Her club team placed fifth at the Junior Nationals the last two seasons. Johnston was the NYL player of the year last fall, and earned second team All-Valley honors. Also a varsity letterwinner in soccer, she has volunteered for various causes throughout her pre career and was last fall's homecoming queen. Johnston has five sisters, one of which ran track and cross country for Southern California.
Wallace on Johnston: Megan will play a huge roll on this team. She's probably the most athletic kid that we're bringing into our program from the 2001 class. She's a smaller kid at 5-9, but we're expecting her to be a ball-controller, game-tempo, possession-type of player. She'll do and give what senior Jami Bari gives to us right now in our program. I can also foresee her as being a future captain of this team, this program. She has great leadership qualities. She'll be the glue, the backbone of our team in the future.
6-2 o Middle Blocker
Merced, Calif./Atwater HS
Muratore is the tallest of the recruits at 6-2 and is one of three middle blockers. She prepped at Atwater (Calif.) High School and led her team to the playoffs for two straight seasons. She was named a Fab-50 by Volleyball Magazine while earning three consecutive All-District and All-Scholar honors. Additionally, she was named to the best offensive first team in Central California Conference in 1998 and '99 and was named the MVP of the CCC in 2000. Muratore was also a member of Atwater's basketball and track teams.
Wallace on Muratore: We expect big things from Toni. We're looking for her to be a candidate for the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and also be considered as an All-WCC performer. I think she'll be one of the most dominant middle blockers in our conference from day one. She gives us size, quickness and athleticism that the best teams in the country have.
6-0 o Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter
Thousand Oaks, Calif./La Reina HS
Ryan is a 6-0 middle blocker out of La Reina High School, where she led her prep team to a 28-1 record and the CIF Championship, while finishing third at state. She became the first player at La Reina to reach 1,000 career kills and finished with 1,249 in four years, earning All-State honors while being named the CIF MVP this past season. Additionally, Ryan was named a Fab-50 by Volleyball Magazine and was the Daily News Player of the Year in 2000. Her club team won the National Championship in 1999 and finished as runners-up in 2000.
Wallace on Ryan: Jennifer is a two-position player. She's going to be a middle or a right side for us, but I definitely see her on the court. She will probably be our fastest player, our most skilled player and at the same time, one of our most explosive players athletically. Jennifer will contribute in all facets of the game and I think she'll be one of our best all-around players. She too has the capabilities to be the WCC's Freshman of the Year and an All-WCC player.
6-1 o Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter
San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente HS
Vick is a 6-1 middle blocker who offensively hit .520 as a senior while averaging 9.2 digs per game defensively. She began her career at San Clemente High School as the first freshman to earn a starting role and led San Clemente to four straight CIF appearances, including the finals as a senior, where she posted a record-high 35 digs against Long Beach Poly. In all, San Clemente has won the last two league championships as an undefeated squad and Vick has earned first team All-League honors four straight years. Additionally, Vick played with the Saddleback Volleyball Club for five years. Academically, she is a member of her school's National Honor Society, is the vice president of her senior class and will graduate as valedictorian, with a 4.3 grade point average. She has been named to the "Who's Who Among American High School Students" the last two years.
Wallace on Vick: Christina will be competing for a middle blocking spot opposite Toni in her freshman year. At 6-1 I think she'll be able to contribute. Her future is untapped. She's a little raw right now, but with the proper training and the right atmosphere, she'll improve daily.