October 31, 2001

No. 20 Volleyball Takes Last Regular-Season Road Trip

Oct. 30, 2001

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

This Week
Santa Clara hops on a plane for the last time in the regular season when it travels to the Northwest to visit Portland and Gonzaga. The Broncos swept both opponents at home earlier this month. The Pilots are 4-14 on the season and 1-8 in the WCC. The Bulldogs are currently 7-13 overall with a 3-6 league mark.

Nationally Speaking
Santa Clara ranks ninth in the country in digs, averaging 18.42 per game. Individually, sophomore setter Kelli Sousa ranks 10th in the NCAA in assists, with a 13.57 per-game average.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the conference in digs (18.42 per game) while ranking second in kills (16.53 pg) and assists (15.01 pg) and fourth in hitting percentage (.212). Individually, sophomore Kelli Sousa leads league setters with a 13.57 mark. Toni Muratore is ranked fourth in kills (3.97) while Becky Potter is fifth (3.80 pg). In digs, Jami Bari is second (3.54 pg) and Merrin Thompson is third (3.42 pg). Bari is also ranked eighth in service aces (0.33 pg). Counting only league matches, Santa Clara is first in service aces with 2.14 pg, behind Bari's league-leading .48 average. Chrissy Hirsch is third in that category with a 0.41 mark. Muratore is second in hitting percentage (.356) while Bari is second in digs (3.85) and Sousa is second in aces (14.17). In kills, Muratore is fourth (4.31) and Potter is fifth (4.19).

In the Rankings
The Broncos fell one spot and are ranked 20th in this week's USA Today/AVCA poll. The Broncos began the season ranked 22nd, marking the first-ever preseason listing for the program. This week's poll also marks the Broncos' 24th straight appearance in the rankings. Santa Clara's highest ranking came last November at No. 14. The only other season in which the Broncos were ranked nationally occurred in 1993 for seven consecutive weeks.

Santa Clara is 2-5 against ranked opposition, with wins against 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara and 15th-ranked Pacific.

The Broncos debuted at No. 16 in last week's Volleyball Magazine poll and are currently 19th.

Up Next: Senior Weekend
Santa Clara brings in 13th-ranked Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount to close out the home conference season next week. The first 400 fans attending the Pepperdine match will receive giveaways from Asics. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Broncos will honor its two seniors, outside hitters Jami Bari and Merrin Thompson, prior to the start of the LMU contest.

Bronco Bios: Jami Bari
As a Senior in 2001: a co-captain... earned SCU Invitational MVP and WCC Player of the Week honors for strong play Sept. 8-9... that week included three double-doubles and a career-high 20 kills in the Broncos' victory over UC Santa Barbara... is third on the team with a 2.97 kills per game mark and leads the team in digs with a 3.54 per-game average.. both marks are also in the top seven in the WCC... additionally, her .33 service aces per game average is seventh best in the league... has registered 10 double-doubles, including four against ranked opposition... posted more than 10 kills in the team's first nine matches of the season and has 12 overall... posted a career-high 20 kills against Creighton... has also posted double-digit performances in digs in 16 of the team's 22 matches... saw limited action in the last week after straining an abdominal muscle...

Bronco Bios: Kelli Sousa
As a Sophomore in 2001: Is one of three players that has seen action in every game this season... has posted two double-doubles, including a 52-assist, 12-dig performance in the season opener against Hofstra... ranks eighth in the NCAA in assists, with a 13.57 per-game average... leads league setters with that mark... has dug more than 10 balls in three other matches...

Bronco Bios: Becky Potter
As a Sophomore in 2001: Has moved from left side into the middle... named to the All-Tournament Teams for performances at the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge and the SCU Invitational... was also named the WCC's Player of the Week for performance against No. 4 Stanford, Gonzaga and Portland... recorded 45 kills (5 pg), hit .323, served up five aces, and had 24 digs (2.67 pg)... against Gonzaga, notched 17 kills and 12 digs... against Stanford, led the SCU attack with 18 kills... is sixth in the WCC in kills, averaging 3.80 per game... has posted double digits in kills in 19 of the team's 22 matches... has a team-leading 10 double-doubles on the season... notched a season-high 21 kills against California...

Bronco Bios: Merrin Thompson
As a Senior in 2001: Is one of three players that has seen action in every game this season... is ranked fourth in the league in digs with a 3.42 per-game mark... has posted double digits in digs in 16 of the team's 22 matches... posted a career 23 in that category against North Carolina... began the season as a defensive specialist, but moved to an outside hitter in October...

Bronco Bios: Toni Muratore
As a Freshman in 2001: Named WCC Co-Volleyball Player of the Week for her play against league rivals Loyola Marymount and 15th-ranked Pepperdine in mid-October... downed 33 kills in two matches, hitting an impressive .507... had only four errors in 58 attempts... is ranked fourth in the WCC in kills with a 3.97 average... has posted double-digit kill performances in 16 of the team's 22 matches, including a career-high 21 against California... had an error-free night at Saint Mary's, posting 11 kills in 18 attempts for a .611 hitting percentage... posted five blocks against Nevada...

Bronco Bios: Cindy Hirsch
As a Junior in 2001: Moved from defensive specialist to outside hitter this season... has notched five double-doubles... has notched 10 occasions with more than 10 digs.. hit .357 with only two errors and a career-high 12 kills against 15th-ranked Pacific... recorded a career-high 17 digs at Pepperdine...

Bronco Bios: Chrissy Hirsch
As a Junior in 2001: Is one of three players that has seen action in every game this season... Registered a career-high four services aces during a sweep of San Francisco...

Bronco Bios: Jessie Mechem
As a Sophomore in 2001: Recorded a career-high 16 kills at 12th-ranked Hawaii... added 12 digs for only double-double performance this weekend... has reached double digits in kills on nine occasions... has started 13 matches, but has been limited due to knee injuries... did not suit up against California and Saint Mary's...

Bronco Bios: Megan Johnston
As a Freshman in 2001: Has seen action in 15 matches and 40 games... posted 10 kills against Saint Mary's... added five digs in that outing...

Bronco Bios: Christina Vick
As a Freshman in 2001: Has seen action in 17 matches and 36 games... posted nine kills at Arizona State... leads the team in hitting percentage with a .275 mark...

Bronco Bios: Becky Biniek
As a Sophomore in 2001: Has seen action in 11 matches and 15 games... posted a career-high five kills and three blocks, all in game three against Saint Mary's... added four kills at No. 12 Hawaii and in the final frame against San Diego...

Bronco Bios: Jennifer Ryan
As a Freshman in 2001: Has seen action in 11 matches and 30 games... registered 11 kills vs. Nevada and against Creighton... hit .321 against the Blue Jays with only two errors... added two blocks in that outing...