Oct. 5, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University volleyball team returns to West Coast Conference action tonight against Gonzaga and again on Saturday night against Portland. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center.
The Broncos, 8-5 on the season, split its first two conference games of the year on the road last weekend, falling to San Diego but topping Saint Mary's. The Bulldogs (3-9, 0-2) and Portland (3-7, 0-2) are both looking for their first league victories after falling to Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount in last week's action.
The Broncos lead the all-time series against Gonzaga 22-6, and have not lost to the Zags in the last 12 meetings, although tonight's visitors did take SCU to five games last season in Spokane, Wash. Santa Clara also has a successful record against the Pilots and lead the series 24-7.
Santa Clara, the defending league champions, leads the WCC in assists (14.95 per game) and digs (18.81 per game) while ranking second in kills (16.40 per game) and fifth in hitting percentage (.207). Individually, sophomore Kelli Sousa is averaging almost one assist more per game than other league setters to lead that category with a 13.37 mark. Three Broncos are ranked in kills, with freshman Toni Muratore leading the way with the fourth-best mark, a 3.80 average. Senior opposite hitter Jami Bari is right behind her, averaging 3.70 kills per game, and sophomore outside hitter Becky Potter is eighth, with a 3.24 kills per game average. In digs, Bari is fourth, averaging 3.37 per game, senior defensive specialist Merrin Thompson is fifth with a 3.26 per game stat and Potter enters the listing this week ninth with a 2.98 average.