October 10, 2000

No. 19 Volleyball Takes on SE Missouri State, Fresno State

Sept. 19, 2000

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This Week No. 19 Santa Clara volleyball (9-1) heads to Fresno State this weekend looking for the program's 10th win of the season and its best start ever. The Broncos take on Southeast Missouri State at 10 a.m. on Friday and then match up against host Fresno State later that night at 7 p.m. The squad's current 9-1 mark ties the program's best season start, set in 1997.

The Opponents Friday's first match against Southeast Missouri State will mark the first meeting between the two programs. Against Fresno State, Santa Clara has only won four of 20 meetings against the Bulldogs. The teams' last meeting was a five-game victory for the opponents in 1996. Fresno State is currently 7-4 on the year.

On TV The Fresno State match will be show on local cable TV in Fresno. Details are not available.

In the Rankings With four wins last week, Santa Clara moved up two spots and is currently ranked 19th, tying the highest national ranking in Bronco history. Last week, the Broncos entered the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll for the first time in seven years, ranked 21st in the poll's second edition, released Sept. 11. The Broncos haven't been ranked since the 1993 squad went 22-10 and reached the NCAA Tournament. Santa Clara was ranked for seven straight weeks that season, peaking at No. 19 for three weeks. The Broncos earned the ranking by sweeping two top-25 opponents last week. Santa Clara defeated then-No. 11 Pacific in Stockton on Sept. 5, and defeated then-No. 19 Baylor in the opening match of the Starwoods Plaza Classic in Tucson, Ariz., on Sept. 8.

Santa Clara's schedule features seven ranked opponents over nine matches. Remaining on the schedule are WCC foes Pepperdine, ranked eighth, Loyola Marymount, ranked 22nd. The Broncos will also face No. 13 UC Santa Barbara in a non-conference match on Halloween, Oct. 31 ,and will close out the regular season at 11th-ranked Stanford on Nov. 21.

Last Week
Santa Clara Defeats CS Sacramento
Santa Clara defeated CS Sacramento 3-1 in non-conference action on Sept. 12.The match lasted two hours and 40 minutes before the 15-10, 16-14, 13-15, 15-13 score was finalized. Santa Clara broke team records for a four-game match in two categories: posting 281 total attempts, passing a 1998 mark of 228 and recording 94 assists, passing the old mark of 85, also set two years ago. Ynez Carrasco led all attackers with a season-high 29 kills while Amy Kohl added 26 kills and a .440 percentage. Defensively, six Bronco players posted double digits in digs with Carrasco and Jessie Mechem with 20 each. Santa Clara erased deficits of 9-7 in the first game and 14-12 in the second to jump to an early 2-0 lead. The Broncos saved three game points in the second frame before rattling off four points, including two kills by Kohl, to secure the win. In the final game, Sacramento State fell behind 11-4, before catching up to 11-10 and then tying it at 12. A Carrasco service ace and an attack error by the Hornets, gave the Broncos a 14-12 edge. Eventually, Carrasco ended the contest with her 29th kill of the night.

Santa Clara Wins Carolina/Nike Classic Santa Clara won its second tournament of the season, defeating host North Carolina in four games for the Carolina/Nike Classic title. Game scores were 15-11, 15-4, 10-15, 15-13. UNC led early in game one with the Broncos rallying back to tie the score 8-8. The Tar Heels answered with a 4-0 run but the Broncos were able to the score three more times before UNC's Nicole Reis scored on two consecutive kills. Games two and three saw multiple sideouts, but the Broncos were able to win both by 15-7 scores. Santa Clara controlled game four, jumping out to a 9-1 lead before cruising to the victory. Bronco senior Amy Kohl led all attackers with 28 kills and a .490 hitting percentage and was named tournament MVP, while teammate Ynez Carrasco posted her second double-double of the day with 16 kills and 24 digs. Senior setter Roz Pelayo added 69 assists and 13 digs to the winning effort. The Broncos posted six service aces, three by junior Jami Bari, as she and freshman Becky Potter were also named to the All-Tournament Team. Earlier in the day, Santa Clara defeated Louisville 15-11, 15-4, 10-15, 15-13. Carrasco posted 20 kills in the win, while Kohl recorded 16. Defensively for the Broncos, Kohl and Potter notched six blocks each while four players reached double digits in digs. The team began the the Classic with a 15-4, 15-13, 15-1 sweep of Delaware.

Kohl Named WCC Co-Player of the Week Senior Amy Kohl was named the West Coast Conference's Co-Player of the Week with LMU's Sarah McFarland for the week of Sept. 18. Kohl's performance in the North Carolina/Nike Classic, including 28 kills and a .490 attack percentage in the title game, earned her MVP honors as Santa Clara snapped host North Carolina's 13-match home win streak. For the week, Kohl collected 77 kills, 14 blocks and hit an impressive .420 to lead SCU to a 4-0 record.

Hot Start Heading into the Arizona match, Santa Clara's 5-0 mark was the best season-opening record for the program in 17 years, surpassing the 1983 squad's 4-0 start. In 1979, Santa Clara began its season with six straight wins, a program best, but was not able to match that all-time high with the loss to Arizona. Santa Clara began to make history after its third win of the season, as a Bronco team had only started the year with a 3-0 mark four previous times, last in 1993. Its current 9-1 matches the program's best start after 10 matches, set in 1997.

The Broncos' Streak Stampede While Santa Clara is extending its winning streak, it's ending others as it goes. With the sweep of then-11th-ranked Pacific on Sept. 5, the Broncos ended Pacific's 15-match home win streak and defeated the Tigers for the first time in 25 meetings, dating back to 1975. Three days later, on Sept. 8, Santa Clara upset its second straight ranked opponent by sweeping then-No. 19 Baylor to end the Bears' 15-match win streak. Last Saturday, Sept. 16, SCU defeated North Carolina in four games, handing the host Tar hells their first Nike Classic loss in over five years in addition to ending their 13-match home win streak.

Experience Counts Santa Clara is hoping the combined experience of five seniors and six returning starters from a squad that went 21-11 last season--advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament--will pave the way for the program to keep moving forward. Last season marked the program's most wins 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.

Beating the Best With its defeat of CS Sacramento, Louisville and North Carolina, Santa Clara improved its record to 6-1 against last year's NCAA Tournament teams. The Broncos defeated Colorado in five games to win the PowerBar Invitational and swept Baylor and 1999 NCAA semifinalist Pacific two weeks ago. The loss came to 14th-ranked Arizona on Sept. 9. The next match against last year's NCAA field is Friday against Southeast Missouri State. The Broncos will also face 1999 NCAA Tournament participants San Diego, Pepperdine, LMU, UC Santa Barbara and finalist Stanford later in the season.

Broncos on the Rise Santa Clara won 21 matches last year, the first time the Broncos put together back-to-back 20-win seasons since 1992-93. The 21 wins in 1999 also made Santa Clara the first team in West Coast Conference history to improve its season victory total in six consecutive seasons.

In 3s Santa Clara's trio of consecutive sweeps against Pacific, Baylor and New Mexico State two weeks ago marked the third year in a row the Broncos have posted back-to-back-to-back sweeps of teams. In 1999, Santa Clara did it twice: against Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northern Illinois and Florida State and over Georgia, Iowa and Nevada-Las Vegas. In 1998 the team consecutively swept Pepperdine, California and Saint Mary's.

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.

A Change of Scenery 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 Malley Center has a capacity of 500.

Into the Recordbooks Santa Clara seniors are rewriting the school's recordbooks. In kills, Ynez Carrasco is currently second all-time in Santa Clara recordbooks, needing only 134 kills to surpass Lia Young's career mark of 1,496 set in 1990-93. Amy Kohl is fifth, with 997 kills. Both are also top five in career kill average. Kohl and Annika Dell are top six in hitting percentage while Carrasco enters the charts defensively as well, seventh on the list with 967 digs and sixth in dig averge. Dell also made the top 10 career block average, entering the season with a 0.78 mark. Roz Pelayo became Santa Clara's all-time assist leader, break Kris Kosnoski's record of 4,421 (1990-93). She currently has 4,796. She also 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. She needs 567 assists to break Tracy Holman's WCC career record.

The Starting Lineup Santa Clara returns a full starting lineup from the 1999 season, with four of the six starters entering their senior seasons. They are seniors Ynez Carrasco, Roz Pelayo, Annika Dell and Brook Terhune, as well as junior Jami Bari and sophomore Chrissy Hirsch. Senior Amy Kohl plays a key role off the bench.

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. She is currently second on the team in kills and kills per game with 152 and 4.61, respectively. She leads the team defensively, averaging 3.82 digs per game. She has been named to the All-Tournament Teams of both the Colorado PowerBar Invitational and the Starwoods Plaza Classic. Currently second all-time in Santa Clara recordbooks, Carrasco needs 134 kills to surpass Lia Young's career mark set in 1990-93.

Senior Setter Roz Pelayo In her third year as the Broncos' starting setter, Pelayo became Santa Clara's all-time assist leader, breaking Kris Kosnoski's record of 4,421 (1990-93). She currently has 4,796. 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. She needs 567 assists to break Tracy Holman's WCC career record.

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 is a mainstay on the right side and carries the load offensively for the Broncos. Dell has averaged 3.53 kills per game and one block per game. 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. So far this season, she leads the team in blocks, with 39.

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. Her performance this past weekend (20 kills, 25 digs, 5 service aces) earned her All-Tournament Team honors at the Carolina/Nike Classic.

Sophomore Defensive Specialist Chrissy Hirsch Hirsch is a versatile athlete, who enjoyed an outstanding freshman campaign. She is going to be looked upon to play a more integral role on defense this season. Hirsch is the only starter to see time in all 36 games this season. Her twin sister Cindy is also a member of the team.

Senior Middle Blocker Amy Kohl One of the top athletes in the nation at the middle position, Kohl is only three kills away from 1,000 in her career. Currently at 997, Kohl is fifth on SCU's all-time lists. This past weekend, she earned Tournament MVP honors at the Carolina/Nike Classic after recording 77 kills and a .420 hitting percentage. Defensively, she added 14 blocks on the week. She has been named to each of the All-Tournament teams for the three tournaments Santa Clara has participated in, and has been named MVP in two. At the beginning of the season, she was named MVP of the Colorado PowerBar Invitational, posting 39 kills, a .329 hitting percentage and 9 blocks. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the Starwoods Plaza Classic.

Freshman Faces Becky Biniek, Amy Graybill, Jessie Mechem, Becky Potter and Kelli Sousa make the quintet of new faces that join the team this season. A Junior Olympic All-America selection in 1999, Sousa has been tabbed the setter of the future for Santa Clara. 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 led the Toros to the 1999 State Championship. She already has seen a significant amount of playing time behind Carrasco and Bari at outside hitter. Biniek, a middle blocker who hails from St. Francis High School in Los Altos, Calif., will play backup in the middle. Graybill, an outside hitter who played high school volleyball at Los Gatos, will also give the Broncos added depth at that position. She helped lead Los Gatos to the section finals all four years and earned 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, currently 30-12 (.714). In 1999, he led his team to its best record in six seasons and its first trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Prior to Santa Clara, Wallace spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Pepperdine. A three-year starting setter at UC Santa Barbara, he directed the Gauchos to the NCAA Tournament title match in 1988. He is assisted by David Hollaway, now in his fourth season at Santa Clara.