April 23, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team will aim for its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance Aug. 31 against South Carolina at the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge in Tempe, Ariz., the first of a 31-match schedule, head coach Jon Wallace announced today.
The schedule features 14 matches against teams that played in last year's NCAA Tournament, 10 of which are against seven squads that were ranked in the final 2000 AVCA/USA Today poll. Topping the list is a two-match trip to Hawaii before conference season begins. The Wahine advanced to last year's Final Four in the NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked third. Other top-10 opponents include home contests vs. No. 8 Pacific on Oct. 16 and ninth-ranked UC Santa Barbara in tournament play on Sept. 8.
The Broncos will also travel to Minneapolis for a tournament hosted by 11th-ranked Minnesota. Santa Clara will then look for its first win ever against Stanford when the No. 19 Cardinal visits the mission campus on Oct. 2. Once the West Coast Conference season begins, Santa Clara will face both No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 25 Loyola Marymount twice.
"This schedule starts out challenging," the WCC Coach of the Year added, "and doesn't stop throughout the season. Arizona State's tournament field is right around our level of play so we'll be in matches that we can really fight for and win."
The Broncos return to the Bay area and will renew a cross-town rivalry at San Jose State on Sept. 4. Wallace's debut as a head coach was against the Spartans two seasons ago. In addition to matches against Stanford and Pacific, the Broncos will host Sacramento State and visit Berkeley for a contest vs. California to round out play for the imaginary NorCal Cup.
"Last year we were 6-1 against teams in the Bay Area," Wallace stated. "It's one of our main goals this year to take it outright."
Renovations to the Leavey Center, the Broncos' home court, kept the squad on the road for the first 15 matches last season and moved their home contests to the Pat Malley Recreation & Fitness Center adjacent to Leavey. Now reopen for competition, the Broncos will begin the home schedule with the Santa Clara Invitational, hosting Creighton, UCSB and North Carolina on Sept 8 and 9.
"We're excited to host a tournament again," Wallace said. "After getting a few matches underneath our belt, I really like our chances to beat UC Santa Barbara at home and we beat North Carolina last year on their home court so we'll be trying to stop them from returning the favor."
Despite holding the 2000 WCC title, Wallace said the loss of five Bronco starters will make six-time champion Pepperdine the favorite entering league play.
"But we have a lot of faith in our young kids coming in," he added. "We just need to go out an prove ourselves again."
The Broncos return two starters from last year's team that finished the season ranked 17th with the program's best season record ever, 27-5. Leading the way will be WCC Freshman of the Year Becky Potter and All-WCC Performer Jami Bari.
Santa Clara Volleyball 2001 Schedule
Day Date Opponent Location Local Time
Phoenix Airport Hilton Sun Devil Challenge
Fri. Aug. 31 Hofstra Tempe, Ariz. 11 a.m.
Fri. Aug. 31 Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. 7 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 1 South Carolina Tempe, Ariz. 1 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 1 Nevada-Reno Tempe, Ariz. 5 p.m.
Tues. Sept. 4 San Jose State San Jose, Calif. 7 p.m.
Santa Clara Invitational
Sat. Sept. 8 UC Santa Barbara vs. North Carolina Santa Clara 10 a.m.
Sat. Sept. 8 Creighton Santa Clara 12:30 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 8 Creighton vs. North Carolina Santa Clara 5 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 8 UC Santa Barbara Santa Clara 7:30 p.m.
Sun. Sept. 9 Creighton vs. UC Santa Barbara Santa Clara 11 a.m.
Sun. Sept. 9 North Carolina Santa Clara 1:30 p.m.
Tues. Sept. 11 Sacramento State Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Diet Coke Classic
Fri. Sept. 14 Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 15 Oral Roberts Minneapolis, Minn. 10 a.m.
Sat. Sept. 15 Mississippi Minneapolis, Minn. 5 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 21 Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii 7 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 22 Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii 7 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 28 San Diego* San Diego, Calif. 7 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 29 Saint Mary's* Moraga, Calif. 7 p.m.
Tues. Oct. 2 Stanford Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 5 Gonzaga* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 6 Portland* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 12 Loyola Marymount* Los Angeles, Calif. 7 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 13 Pepperdine* Malibu, Calif. 7 p.m.
Tues. Oct. 16 Pacific Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 20 San Francisco* San Francisco, Calif. 7 p.m.
Tues. Oct. 23 California Berkeley, Calif. 7 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 26 Saint Mary's* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 27 San Diego* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 2 Portland* Portland, Ore. 7 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 3 Gonzaga* Spokane, Wash. 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 9 Pepperdine* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 10 Loyola Marymount* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 17 San Francisco* Santa Clara 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 23 Idaho Santa Clara 7 p.m.
* West Coast Conference match
Home matches in bold and played at the Leavey Center (5,000)