October 31, 2000

Volleyball Travels to Santa Barbara, Hosts San Francisco in WCC Action

Oct. 31, 2000

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This Week The 16th-ranked Santa Clara volleyball (20-2) team travels to Santa Barbara for a non-conference Halloween match against the 15th-ranked Gauchos. The Broncos then return home for a West Coast Conference match against San Francisco on Friday night.

Three Straight 20-Win Seasons Santa Clara's victory over Gonzaga on Oct. 28 gave the team its 20th win of the season, marking the third straight year the Broncos have reached the milestone. 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. This year's squad also marks the seventh time in the program's history that a team has won at least 20 matches in a season. The Broncos' win over Saint Mary's on Oct. 20 guaranteed its fifth-straight regular season win record and 14th overall since 1975.

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.

The Opponents UC Santa Barbara is currently ranked 15th with a 17-6 overall record. Five of those losses came to ranked opponents. The sixth was to San Diego, a team the Broncos swept two weeks ago. The Gauchos are led by Danielle Bauer, an outside hitter that averages 4.44 kills per game and a .303 clip. San Francisco is 11-9 this season, 3-6 in the WCC. Last month, the Broncos defeated the Lady Dons on the road in straight games, with senior Ynez Carrasco posting 25 kills, while three other attackers also reached double digits.

Nationally Speaking As of Oct. 22, Santa Clara was leading the nation in team kills, averaging 19.69 per game, and team assist average, with a 18.32 mark. The Broncos are also ranked 13th in the country in team digs, posting 19.04 per game. Individually, senior Roz Pelayo ranks third nationally in assist average, with a 14.87 mark. Senior Ynez Carrasco is ranked 17th in kills (5.09 pg).

In the Rankings Despite two wins last week, Santa Clara dropped one spot, to 16th. Last week's No. 15 ranking marked the program's highest ever 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. The Broncos are ranked 17th in Volleyball Magazine's Poll for the second straight week.

Santa Clara's schedule features seven ranked opponents over nine matches. Remaining on the schedule are matches against WCC foes Pepperdine, ranked ninth, and Loyola Marymount, ranked 25th. The Broncos will also face No. 15 UC Santa Barbara in a non-conference match this evening, and will close out the regular season at 17th-ranked Stanford on Nov. 21.

12-match Win Streak The loss to Pepperdine ended Santa Clara's 12-match win streak, two short of the program's best, set in 1993. That team won 14 straight and finished the season 22-10.

Beating the Best With its defeat of Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara improved its record to 9-2 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 losses came to 14th-ranked Arizona on Sept. 9 and No. 9 Pepperdine on Oct. 20. The next match against last year's NCAA field is this evening at UC Santa Barbara. The Broncos will also face 1999 NCAA finalist Stanford and host rematches against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine later in the season.

Last Week
Santa Clara Sweeps Portland and Gonzaga at Home
Santa Clara defeated Portland in straight games Oct. 27 at the Pat Malley Center. The win marked the seventh sweep for the Broncos in their last eight matches. Game scores were 15-8, 15-9, 15-4. Freshman Becky Potter posted a team-high 18 kills on the night to lead all attackers, hitting .481. Freshman Jessie Mechem added a career-high 15 kills. The Broncos were led defensively by sophomore Chrissy Hirsch's 12 digs, while senior Ynez Carrasco added 10. Potter added three blocks. As a team, Santa Clara outhit Portland .378 to .190.

Santa Clara won its 20th match of the season, sweeping Gonzaga 15-3, 15-11, 15-6 the following night. The Broncos opened game one with a 5-0 run and ended with one of Potter's match-leading 14 kills of the night. The Broncos outblocked the Bulldogs 5-0 in the frame, with senior Brook Terhune having a hand in each of them. SCU also outhit Gonzaga .696 to .147, on 18 kills and two errors. The Broncos jumped out to a 5-1 lead to open the second frame, but the Zags were able to tie the match at seven and even take an 8-7 lead on a kill from senior middle blocker Heather Osberg. Santa Clara responded with five straight scores and finished the game with a kill from senior middle blocker Amy Kohl. Statistics reversed, as Gonzaga outblocked Santa Clara 4-1 in the frame, and outhit the Broncos .308 to .277. Six of Santa Clara's 10 service errors came in this game. Freshman Amy Grabill ended the match in three games with her only kill of the night. Gonzaga was led by Natasha Kozen's 12 kills, while three other Broncos reached double figures in kills: Mechem (10), Carrasco (10) and senior opposite hitter Annika Dell (11). Freshman setter Kelli Sousa posted 36 assists on the night. Potter added four blocks to the Bronco defensive effort.

Breaking NCAA Records Santa Clara is on pace to break two NCAA season records. The Broncos are averaging 19.79 kills per game to lead the nation, and will top Colorado's mark of 19.01 set in 1998. Additionally, that same Buffalo team posted 17.45 assists per game, a statistic Santa Clara will claim if it can keep up its 18.35 per game mark. Individually, senior setter Roz Pelayo is averaging 14.01 assists per game for her career, which will be an NCAA record when she graduates.

Into the Recordbooks Senior outside hitter Ynez Carrasco's 19th and final kill in a sweep of San Diego on Oct. 14 gave her 1,497 in three-plus seasons, surpassing Lia Young's career mark of 1,496 set in 1990-93. She currently has 1,558. She is also one of the Broncos' all-time top defensive players, with 1,115 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 5,273. She needs 124 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 1,145. 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.

Hot Start Santa Clara's sweep of Gonzaga improved the Broncos' record to 20-2 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 eight of its last nine opponents and 13 of 22 this season. The Broncos have posted at least two sets of back-to-back-to-back sweeps of teams this season, 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, Baylor and LMU. The Broncos' sweep of the Lions was their first since 1993.

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.

Conference Leaders Although selected by conference coaches to place third in the WCC, Santa Clara is in second place in the league standings after remaining at the top for three straight weeks. 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 four categories, ranking first in team assist average, at 18.35 per game, dig average, at 18.79 per game, kills average, at 19.79 per game, and service ace average, at 1.52 per game. The Broncos are ranked second in team hitting percentage (.264) while ranking fifth in blocks (2.50 per game). Individually, Ynez Carrasco is one of four players ranked in the top 10 in conference digs. She's first, averaging 3.97, while Jami Bari is sixth (2.96), Roz Pelayo is ninth (2.84) and Merrin Thompson is 10th (2.62). Carrasco is also second in kills per game, averaging 5.03, while Pelayo is also ranked first in the WCC in assists, with a 14.92 mark. Thompson is also ranked ninth in service ace averaged, with a 0.26 stat. Brook Terhune is fourth in blocks per game, averaging 1.32, and 10th in hitting percentage, at .288. Amy Kohl is ranked fourth in kills per game, posting a 4.30 average, and in hitting percentage, with a .338 clip. Freshman Becky Potter debuted in the WCC rankings last week and is seen in two categories: seventh in blocks (0.96) and eighth in hitting percentage (.321).

Carrasco Named WCC Player of the Week For two consecutive weeks, Oct. 9 and 16, 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, while hitting .397. The previous week, 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.

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.

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. She currently has 1,558. With 1,115 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 4.02 per game average. She also leads the team in kills, with 347 and kills per game, with a 5.03 average. Against league opponents, she is averaging 5.77 kills per game and 3.92 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 and 16.

"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 5,273. She is also averaging 14.02 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, third in the country with a 14.92 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 124 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 86, and her 1.32 average is fourth-best in the WCC. She is third on the team in kills, with 196, 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 last month. She currently has 1,145 and is fifth on SCU's all-time lists. Her marks rank her in three WCC categories: fourth in kills per game, posting a 4.32 mark, sixth in hitting percentage, boasting a .326. 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 debuted in the WCC rankings this week and is seen in two categories: ninth in hitting percentage (.301) and 10th in blocks (0.94). 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 41-13 (.759). On Oct. 7, Wallace earned his 35th career win against USF, becoming the fastest coach in West Coast Conference history to reach that mark, needing only 47 matches. In 1999, Wallace 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, 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.