Aug. 30, 2000
This Week Santa Clara's volleyball team opens the 2000 season at the Colorado PowerBar Invitational. The Broncos will take on Louisiana State this Friday at 5 p.m. CST, and will play host Colorado or Central Florida in the Consolation/Championship match on Sun., Sept. 3 at 11 a.m./1 p.m. All matches will take place at Coors Event Center
The Opponents Santa Clara has never faced LSU, Colorado or Central Florida in the program's 25-year history. Colorado is coming off an 18-12 season, returning eight letterwinners and three starters. Central Florida is the Trans Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason favorite, returning two starters. The Broncos' first opponent, LSU, went 17-15 last year and returns 10 letterwinners and three starters from 1999.
In the Rankings Although Santa Clara is not ranked entering the season, the Broncos will face seven ranked opponents over nine matches during the regular season. That's one-third of the team's schedule according to the AVCA/USA Today Preseason Poll. They include at Sept. 5 meeting at No. 12 Pacific, No. 10 Arizona and No. 21 Baylor at the Wildcat Classic Sept. 8-9 in Tucson, Ariz., as well as conference matches against WCC foes Pepperdine, ranked eighth and Loyola Marymount, ranked 23rd. The Broncos will also face No. 14 UC Santa Barbara in a non-conference match on Halloween, Oct. 31 and will close out the regular season at third-ranked Stanford.
In the WCC Santa Clara was selected by conference coaches to place third in the West Coast Conference. Receiving one first-place vote, the Broncos garnered 39 points from league coaches. Pepperdine was picked to defend its 1999 WCC title with 48 points, followed by Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, San Diego, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Gonzaga and Portland.
On Santa Clara Santa Clara returns all six starters for a squad that went 21-11 last season, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the program's most wins in a season since the 1993 squad posted 22 victories. It was also the program's second straight 20-win season, a feat that hadn't been repeated since 1991-93. Among the returners are All-WCC first team selection Ynez Carrasco and second team honorees Roz Pelayo and Brook Terhune.
The Broncos at Pat Malley Center Due to reconstruction of the Leavey Event Center, Santa Clara volleyball will play its home season in the newly-built Pat Malley Recreation Center. The Broncos play 21 of 30 matches on the road, with the home opener Oct. 8 vs. George Mason.
The Starting Lineup Santa Clara returns a full starting lineup from the 1999 season, with five of the six starters entering their senior seasons. They are seniors Ynez Carrasco, Roz Pelayo, Annika Dell, Amy Kohl and Brook Terhune, as well as junior Jami Bari.
Senior Outside Hitter Ynez Carrasco As the leading offensive threat last season, Carrasco returns to the Bronco lineup as an outside hitter for her final stint at Santa Clara. A fearsome front-line player, she can control a match with her athletic ability. The 1999 first-team All-WCC selection will be a prime candidate for 2000 All-America honors. Carrasco led the team in kills and swings with 524 and 1,272, respectively, averaging a team-high 4.60 kills per game. She established herself as a tough all-around player, ranking second in digs with 349 and 56 total blocks, including a team-high 17 block solos.
Senior Setter Roz Pelayo In her third year as the Broncos' starting setter, Pelayo should become Santa Clara's all-time leading assist candidate, needing 89 more to break Kris Kosnoski's record of 4,421 (1990-93). Pelayo has established herself as one of the best setters in the country, as she ranked second in the nation in assists with a 14.59 per-game average last season. The second-team All-WCC selection owns five of the top single-match assist totals in school history, including a school-record 91-assist performance against Pepperdine last season. Her 1,678 assists she charted last season ranks her third on the WCC single-season record list.
Senior Middle Blocker Amy Kohl One of the top athletes in the nation at the middle position, Kohl possesses tremendous confidence while on the court. As a junior, she combined with former standout Laura Echolds to give Santa Clara one of the most talented blocking tandems in the nation. She finished third on the team in kills with 301 and hit .242. The team leader in blocks, Kohl combined for 55 block assists and stuffed nine of her own.
Senior Right Side Hitter Annika Dell Dell eagerly returns to the Santa Clara lineup after a knee injury limited her playing time last season. A solid front row player, she will be a mainstay on the right side and will be looked upon to carry the load offensively for the Broncos. She registered 108 kills and hit .266 for the Broncos last season in only the 37 games she was able to play.
Senior Middle Blocker Brook Terhune A second-team All-WCC selection last season, Terhune is expected to post big numbers. One of the top returning players on the team, she hit a team-high .317 after registering 234 kills on 517 swings. She also made huge strides defensively, totaling 27 digs and 54 blocks.
Junior Outside Hitter Jami Bari Bari brings experience to the Santa Clara squad as one of last year's starters on the outside. She averaged 2.44 kills and 2.38 digs per game.
Freshman Faces Fresh faces and new enthusiasm will be plentiful among the Bronco squad this season. Becky Biniek, Amy Graybill, Jessie Mechem, Becky Potter and Kelli Sousa will join the returning cast of players. Tabbed the setter of the future for Santa Clara, Sousa is one of the top preps in the country. A Junior Olympic All-America selection in 1999, Sousa gained tremendous playing experience during her high school and club years. A highly recruited athlete from Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif., Potter will be competing for a starting position in the middle from the start. Mechem makes her way to the Santa Clara campus via Mountain View High School in Mesa, Ariz., where she helped lead the Toros to the state championship her senior year. The outside hitter will see a significant amount of playing time behind Carrasco and Bari at the leftside position. Biniek, a middle blocker who hails from St. Francis High School in Los Altos, Calif., will play backup to the talented group of underclassmen playing in the middle position. Graybill, an outside hitter who played high school volleyball at Los Gatos High School, will also give the Broncos added depth at that position. She helped lead Los Gatos to the section finals all four years and earned first team and then all-league honors as a junior and senior.
Head Coach Jon Wallace Jon Wallace (UC Santa Barbara '89) is in his second season as Santa Clara's head coach, leading his team to its best record in six seasons and it's first trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Prior to Santa Clara, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Pepperdine. A three-year starting setter at UC Santa Barbara, Wallace directed the Gauchos to the NCAA Tournament title match in 1988.