November 21, 2000

WCC VB Champions Close Regular Season Play at Stanford

Nov. 21, 2000

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This Week The 14th-ranked Santa Clara volleyball (26-3) team closes out the regular season at 21st-ranked, and 1999 NCAA finalist, Stanford. The match will begin at 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. A win tonight would give the Broncos a school record for most wins in a season.

WCC Champions Santa Clara's five-game victory over Pepperdine this weekend gave the Broncos the program's third conference title, and the first since they won back-to-back titles in 1992 and '93. The race for the conference crown came down to the wire as both teams entered the Saturday match with identical 12-1 league records. Santa Clara was picked by league coaches to finish third in a preseason poll.

Broncos Sweep Conference Honors Santa Clara swept the WCC's top four awards this afternoon. Jon Wallace was named the league's Coach of the Year, while senior Ynez Carrasco earned Player of the Year and Defender of the Year honors. Newcomer Becky Potter was named the WCC's Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Carrasco, Roz Pelayo and Amy Kohl received first-team honors, Brook Terhune was named a second-team member, and Jami Bari and Potter earned honorable mention selection.

A Look Ahead to the NCAA Championships By winning the league crown this weekend, Santa Clara earned the West Coast Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The NCAA selection show will air Sunday, Nov. 26, announcing the 64-team field at 5 p.m. PST. It will mark the Broncos third straight berth into the Championship and fifth overall.

Nationally Speaking Santa Clara continues to lead the nation in team kills, averaging 19.49 per game, and team assist average, with an 18.02 mark. Individually, senior Roz Pelayo is third nationally in assist average, with a 14.68 mark, while senior Ynez Carrasco is ranked tied for 15th in digs (4.18 pg).

Carrasco Named WCC Player of the Week Ynez Carrasco was named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Week for the third time this season. Her dominating performances against LMU and Pepperdine led the Broncos to their first WCC title in seven years. She tallied 25 kills and 12 digs and matched a career-high with five blocks against LMU, while hitting .429 on 49 attempts. In the next night's winner-take-all match with the Waves, Carrasco registered 23 kills and 22 digs while hitting .327. She averaged 5.3 kills per game while hitting .376 for the weekend. She earned similar honors earlier in the season, in consecutive weeks, Oct. 9 and 16. 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. 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 Opponent At 17-11, perennial power Stanford is ranked 20th by the AVCA entering the week. The Cardinal played without its star outside hitter, Logan Tom, for the first half of the season as Tom was competing with the U.S. Olympic Team. Since her return, Tom is averaging 5.68 kills for Stanford. The Cardinal finished 10-8 in Pac-10 matches. In 14 tries, Santa Clara has yet to defeat the Cardinal.

Three Straight 20-Win Seasons Santa Clara's victory over Pepperdine on Nov. 18 gave the team its 26th of the season, tying a program best, set by the 1991 squad. The Broncos have subsequently put together three straight 20-win seasons for the first time since 1991-93. Additionally, Santa Clara is the first team in WCC history to improve its season victory total in six consecutive seasons. This year's record 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.

In the Rankings Santa Clara moved up one spot to 14th, marking 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 also ranked 16th in Volleyball Magazine's Poll for the second consecutive week.

Santa Clara's schedule features seven ranked opponents over nine matches. Remaining on the schedule is tonight's non-conference match at 21st-ranked to close out the regular season The Broncos are 5-3 this season in matches against ranked opposition.

Head Coach Jon Wallace In only his second season as Santa Clara's head coach, Jon Wallace (UC Santa Barbara '89) was named the West Coast Conference's 2000 Coach of the Year. His career mark currently stands at 47-14 (.770). On Oct. 7, Wallace earned his 35th career win against USF, becoming the fastest coach in WCC 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.