Volleyball

 

No. 15 Broncos Travel to Ranked WCC Rivals Pepperdine, LMU

Oct. 17, 2000

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This Week Winners of 12 straight and 17 overall, the 16th-ranked Santa Clara volleyball (17-1) team travels to Los Angeles for two matches against ranked WCC opponents. On Friday, Santa Clara will visit No. 9 Pepperdine, with a Saturday match against league rival Loyola Marymount, ranked 23rd nationally.

Into the Recordbooks Senior outside hitter Ynez Carrasco's 19th and final kill in a sweep of San Diego on Saturday gave her 1,497 in three-plus seasons, surpassing Lia Young's career mark of 1,496 set in 1990-93.She is also one of the Broncos' all-time top defensive players, with 1,077 career digs, sixth on the charts. Passing the 1,000-dig mark last month, Carrasco is only the fourth Bronco to post 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. But she's not the only senior rewriting the school's recordbooks. Earlier in the season, setter Roz Pelayo became Santa Clara's all-time assist leader, breaking Kris Kosnoski's record of 4,421 (1990-93). She surpassed the 5,000 mark last weekend and currently has 5,154.She needs 210 assists to break Tracy Holman's WCC career record. Middle blocker Amy Kohl is fifth in career kills, becoming only the fifth player in Santa Clara history to pass 1,000 career kills. She currently has 1,097. Kohl and right side hitter Annika Dell are top six in hitting percentage. Dell also made the top-10 career block average, entering the season with a 0.78 mark.

Carrasco Named WCC Player of the Week For the second consecutive week, senior Ynez Carrasco was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week. Against Saint Mary's, she hit .457 with 23 kills and 11 digs, committing only two hitting errors. The next night against San Diego, Carrasco tallied 19 kills, 18 digs and four blocks, while hitting .324. Her 42nd and final kill of the weekend was No. 1,497 of her career, a new SCU record. For the week, she averaged 7.0 kills, 4.8 digs and 1.3 blocks per game, whil hitting .397. Two weekends ago, Carrasco set records for kills and attempts in a three-game match with 25 kills in 56 attempts at USF, hitting .304. She added 21 digs and three blocks as well. Not letting up during the Broncos' home opener the following night against George Mason, she recorded 18 kills and 12 digs while hitting .364. For the week, Carrasco averaged 7.2 kills and 5.5 digs per game, hitting .326.

The Opponents Ranked ninth nationally, Pepperdine will be Santa Clara's highest ranked opponent of the season when the two teams meet on Friday. The Waves are 15-3 overall, and like the Broncos, 5-0 in conference play. Pepperdine has won 24 straight conference matches, not losing since being swept at SCU on Halloween night in 1998. Of those 24 wins, only two matches went five games, both against Santa Clara last season. Furthermore, the Waves have not dropped a home league contest since 1997 and have not lost on their court for 12 straight matches, the fifth-longest active streak in the NCAA. Pepperdine will face No. 16 BYU on Wednesday before meeting the Broncos. Pepperdine leads the all-time series 24-12. Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace spent seven years as an assistant at Pepperdine before joining the Bronco staff. Loyola Marymount, ranked 23rd by the AVCA, is 14-5 on the season, 5-1 in the WCC. Four of the Lions losses were to nationally ranked teams, including Notre Dame, Colorado State, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine. Sarah McFarland leads the country in kills per game, averaging 7.82. She posted 30 in the team's last outing against Portland. LMU leads the all-time series 25-13.

In the Rankings With two wins last week, Santa Clara moved up one spot and is currently ranked 15th, the program's all-time best national ranking. On Sept. 11, the Broncos entered the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll for the first time in seven years, ranked 21st in the poll's second edition. 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. Last month, Santa Clara saw its debut in Volleyball Magazine's Poll, at No. 19, where it remained for two weeks. Last week, the Broncos moved up one spot, and it did again this week, to No. 17.

Santa Clara's schedule features seven ranked opponents over nine matches. Remaining on the schedule are two matches each against WCC foes Pepperdine, ranked ninth, and Loyola Marymount, ranked 23rd. The Broncos will also face No. 12 UC Santa Barbara in a non-conference match on Halloween, and will close out the regular season at 17th-ranked Stanford on Nov. 21.

12-match Win Streak Santa Clara has posted 12 straight victories, but with two victories this weekend, the Broncos will match the program's longest winning streak, established in 1993, when Santa Clara won 14 straight and finished the season 22-10.

Beating the Best With its defeat of San Diego, Santa Clara improved its record to 8-1 against last year's NCAA Tournament teams. The Broncos have also defeated Colorado, Baylor, 1999 NCAA semifinalist Pacific, CS Sacramento, Louisville, North Carolina and SE Missouri State. The loss came to 14th-ranked Arizona on Sept. 9. The next matches against last year's NCAA field are this weekend against Pepperdine and LMU. The Broncos will also face 1999 NCAA Tournament participants UC Santa Barbara and finalist Stanford later in the season.

Winning Seasons Santa Clara's victory over Saint Mary's last Friday gave the team its 16th win of the season. With 30 matches on the schedule, the Broncos' have guaranteed its fifth-straight regular season win record and 14th overall since 1975.

Last Week Santa Clara Sweeps Fifth Straight, Tops Saint Mary's, San Diego in WCC Play Ynez Carrasco posted 23 kills, hitting a season-high .457, to lead Santa Clara to a 16-14, 15-5, 15-7 sweep of Saint Mary's in West Coast Conference action Oct. 13.

It took nine game points and one of freshman Becky Potter's 12 kills of the night to end the first game after almost an hour of action. Both teams hit over .300 in the frame as three players reached double figures.

"Saint Mary's played well," head coach Jon Wallace said of the first game. "They did some things to us that we didn't adjust well to and got behind. But I liked our chances. Any time this team gets in any kind of deuce game, we're great because we have a senior-based group that's confident, smooth, and knows what to do. Nobody panicked. That was the difference in the game."

In game two, Santa Clara outhit Saint Mary's .447 to .217, with the Broncos only making three team attack errors. In the third frame, sophomore defensive specialist Cindy Hirsch saw her first action of the night when she was subbed in to serve on Santa Clara's third game point and then pounded the back-row kill for the match victory.

The following night, Carrasco broke Santa Clara's career kills record with her 19th on the night to lead the Broncos to a 15-3, 15-12, 15-6 victory over San Diego and remain undefeated in league action at 5-0.

Santa Clara opened game three with a 6-0 lead with Carrasco's record-setting kill giving the Broncos a 9-1 edge. The Broncos won the first game easily, hitting .594 to USD's .216. San Diego jumped to a 5-0 lead to begin game two and led 12-9 before consecutive kills by Brook Terhune and two by Carrasco evened the score. Carrasco's service ace then gave the Broncos the lead for good. A kill by Jami Bari set up the team's first game point, and a block solo a few plays later by Bari gave Santa Clara the 15-12 win.

Five Santa Clara attackers reached double digits. Behind Carrasco's 19 was Potter with a career-high 18, Bari with 13, Terhune with 11 and Amy Kohl with 10. Potter hit a career-high .533 on the night, committing only two errors. The Broncos were led defensively by Carrasco's 18 digs and four blocks.

Kohl Named WCC Co-Player of the Week On Sept. 18, senior Amy Kohl was named the West Coast Conference's Co-Player of the Week with LMU's Sarah McFarland. 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. For the week, Kohl collected 77 kills, 14 blocks and hit an impressive .420 to lead SCU to a 4-0 record.

Hot Start Santa Clara's sweep of San Diego improved the Broncos' record to 17-1 on the season, adding on to the best start ever for a Santa Clara squad. This year's squad won earned its 10th win in the 11th match of the season. The 1997 team held the previous mark, earning 10 victories 12 matches into the season. The 13-1 record Santa Clara achieved also tied the 1997 Pepperdine squad for the best record after 14 matches in WCC history. 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. The all-time record is held by the 1979 squad that began its season with six straight wins. 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.

In 3s Santa Clara has swept its last five opponents and 10 of 18 this season. Santa Clara has posted at least back-to-back-to-back sweeps of team this season twice, also achieving the feat twice in 1999: 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. The Broncos' biggest sweeps of this season came against then-ranked opponents Pacific and Baylor.

On the Road Santa Clara concluded a 15-match road trip Oct. 7 with a sweep of USF. The Broncos went an impressive 14-1 during the season-opening trek, upsetting two ranked teams, winning two of three tournaments, and reaching a No. 16 ranking in the national polls after beginning the season unranked. It marked the longest, and most successful, road trip in WCC history.

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. On Sept. 16, SCU defeated North Carolina in four games, handing the host Tar Heels their first Nike Classic loss in more than five years in addition to ending their 13-match home win streak.

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. It also marked the program's most wins since the 1993 squad posted 22 victories. Additionally, the 21 wins in 1999 also made Santa Clara the first team in WCC history to improve its season victory total in six consecutive seasons.

Conference Leaders Although selected by conference coaches to place third in the WCC, Santa Clara is at the top of the league standings for the third straight week. 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, San Diego, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Gonzaga and Portland.

Leading the WCC, Statistically Speaking Santa Clara leads the WCC in three categories, ranking first in team assist average, at 18.30 per game, dig average, at 19.30 per game, and kills average, at 19.76 per game. The Broncos are second in service ace average (1.52 per game) and third in team hitting percentage (.256) while ranking fourth in blocks (2.60 per game). Individually, Ynez Carrasco is one of four players ranked in the top 10 in conference digs. She's first, averaging 4.14, while Roz Pelayo is fourth (3.04), Jami Bari is fifth (2.98) and Merrin Thompson is 10th (2.67). Carrasco is also second in kills per game, averaging 5.02, while Pelayo is also ranked first in the WCC in assists, with a 15,20 mark, and ninth in service aces, averaging 0.28. Brook Terhune is fourth in blocks per game, averaging 1.27, and 10th in hitting percentage, with a .288 clip. Amy Kohl is ranked in three categories: fourth in kills per game, posting a 4.36 average, seventh in hitting percentage, boasting a .32 and eighth in blocks, at 1.02 per game.

Nationally Speaking As of Oct. 8, Santa Clara was leading the nation in team kills, averaging 19.09 per game, and team assist average, with a 17.70 mark. The Broncos are also ranked eighth in the country in team digs, posting 19.21 per game. Individually, senior Roz Pelayo is second nationally in assist average, with a 14.56 mark.

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 Fitness & Recreation Center. The Broncos play 21 of 30 matches on the road, and completed a 15-match road swing before returning for the home opener Oct. 8, a 3-0 defeat of George Mason.

Making WCC History The Broncos are just the third team in WCC history to open a season 11-1 or better, joining Pepperdine, who accomplished the feat in 1997 and '99. If Santa Clara wins both of this weekend's matches, it will tie the 1997 Pepperdine squad for the best record after 14 matches in WCC history.

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 and junior Merrin Thompson play key roles off the bench.

Senior Outside Hitter Ynez Carrasco Carrasco became the school's all-time career kills leader with her 19th and final kill on the night in an Oct. 14 win against San Diego. With 1,497 total, she surpassed Lia Young's career mark set in 1990-93.With 1,077 digs, sixth best in Santa Clara history, Carrasco is only the fourth Bronco to reach the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig mark in a career. A prime candidate for 2000 All-America honors, she leads her team and the WCC in digs per game, posting a 4.14 per game average. She also leads the team in kills, with 286 and kills per game, with a 5.02 average. Against league opponents, she is averaging 6.36 kills per game and 4.57 digs each contest. She was named to the All-Tournament Teams of both the Colorado PowerBar Invitational and the Starwoods Plaza Classic and was named the WCC's Player of the Week for Oct. 9.

"Going into the year, we talked about Ynez being our best player and an All-American candidate, and the last two weeks, she's been playing like it," head coach Jon Wallace said. "She's in her zone. She's getting kills off of bad sets, when before she wasn't able to. Her game is there and she's having a blast and should feel extremely confident."

Senior Setter Roz Pelayo In her third year as the Broncos' starting setter, Pelayo became Santa Clara's all-time assist leader against Colorado, breaking Kris Kosnoski's record of 4,421 (1990-93). She currently has 5,154. She is also averaging 14.04 assists per game for her career, which will be an NCAA record when she graduates. The current mark stands at 13.26 assists per game. 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 and finds herself back up there in 2000, fourth in the country with a 15.20 mark. 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 210 assists to break Tracy Holman's WCC career record.

Senior Middle Blocker Brook Terhune A second-team All-WCC selection last season, Terhune is one of the top returning players on the team. This season, she leads the team in blocks, with 70, and her 1.27 average is fourth-best in the WCC, while her .288 clip is ranked 10th. She is fourth on the team in kills, with 166, averaging 3.02 per game. Last season, 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.

Senior Middle Blocker Amy Kohl One of the top athletes in the nation at the middle position, Kohl is became only the fifth Bronco to post 1,000 kills in a career, reaching the mark two weeks ago. She currently has 1,097 and is fifth on SCU's all-time lists. Her marks rank her in three WCC categories: fourth in kills per game, posting a 4.36 mark, seventh in hitting percentage, boasting a .328, and eighth in blocks, at 1.02 per game. She earned Tournament MVP honors at the North Carolina/Nike Classic after recording 77 kills, a .420 hitting percentage and 14 blocks. 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. She was the WCC's co-Player of the Week for Sept. 18.

Freshman Faces Becky Biniek, Amy Grabill, 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. In 28 games this season, she has recorded 227 assists. A highly recruited athlete from Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif., Potter has been starting in place of the injured Annika Dell on the right side. She is second on the team in hitting percentage, with a .324 mark. 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 and is averaging 3.19 kills per game. Biniek, a middle blocker who hails from St. Francis High School in Los Altos, Calif., is backing up in the middle, seeing action in seven games. Grabill, 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 38-12 (.760). On Oct. 7, he earned his 35th win against USF, becoming the fastest coach in West Coast Conference history, needing only 47 matches to reach that mark. 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.