November 28, 2001

No. 22 Volleyball Opens 2001 NCAA Tournament vs. SJSU

Nov. 28, 2001

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This Week
Santa Clara will travel to Stanford for the first and second rounds of the 2001 NCAA Championships, marking the fourth straight postseason appearance for the Bronco program. Santa Clara will open the tournament against San Jose State on Friday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m., while the third-seeded Cardinal (27-2) and Nevada (17-7) will play after the conclusion of the first match, around 7 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 1, the winners of both Friday contests will face each other at 7 p.m. All three matches will take place at Stanford's Maples Pavilion.

Live on the Internet
Santa Clara's NCAA Tournament matches can be followed online with a live statistical tracker at the department's official athletic website, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. By logging on, fans can receive real-time updated statistics direct from the official scoring computer. The feature was introduced this season and was enjoyed for the team's entire home schedule.

On the Opponents
San Jose State is 24-7 on the season and earned an at-large bid after placing second in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. The Spartans hosted SCU earlier in the season, falling to the Broncos in three games. Host Stanford is the tournament's third seed and carries a 27-2 overall mark. The Broncos fell to the Cardinal at home in four games in early October. Nevada (17-7) fell to the Broncos in five games at the season-opening Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge.

Bronco NCAA Tournament History
The Broncos, 19-9 overall, earned one of 33 at-large berths after placing second in the West Coast Conference standings. Santa Clara, 2-5 all-time in the NCAA Championships, will be making the program's sixth appearance in the postseason. The Broncos advanced to the second round in 1999 and 2000.

The Rest of the Field
Of the 64 teams selected, 13 are from the West Coast with Santa Clara, Stanford and San Jose State as the three Bay Area teams selected. Additionally, West Coast Conference opponents Pepperdine and San Diego were placed in the draw. The top eight seeds are Long Beach State, Nebraska, Stanford, USC, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pepperdine and UCLA. In fact, Santa Clara has faced 13 of the 64 teams selected by the NCAA and went 6-7 in those matches, although five of those losses went to the top nine teams in the tournament.

Advancing Through the Championship
The winner of the regional will advance to the regional semifinal to face one of four teams, with date, location and time to be determined: Utah State (18-11), Brigham Young (20-8), Texas Tech (18-13) or Utah (23-6). Regional semifinals and finals will be held December 6-9. The 2001 Final Four will be held December 13 and 15 at Cox Arena and Aztec Bowl, hosted by San Diego State University.

In the Rankings
The Broncos fell four spots and are ranked 22nd 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' 28th 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 2-6 against ranked opposition, with wins against 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara and 15th-ranked Pacific.

The Broncos debuted at No. 16 in Volleyball Magazine poll midway through the season and are currently 19th.

Bari Reaches Career Milestone
With her sixth kill in game one against Idaho on Friday night, senior outside hitter Jami Bari reached a milestone that only four other Broncos have scaled in the history of SCU volleyball: the 1,000 kill-1,000 dig club. She reached the defensive marker two weeks ago against Pepperdine. Her current totals are 1,008 kills and 1,043 digs.

Head Coach Jon Wallace
After leading his team to the program's best season record (27-5), highest national ranking (No. 14) and the second round of the NCAA Tournament, second-year head coach Jon Wallace (UC Santa Barbara '89) was named the WCC's 2000 Coach of the Year. Now in his third season, he has a career mark of 67-25 (.728). On Oct. 7, 2000, Wallace earned his 35th career win against USF, becoming the fastest coach in WCC history to reach that plateau. 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.

Bronco Bios: Becky Potter
As a Sophomore in 2001: Named to the All-WCC First Team... as 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)... posted 20 kills and six blocks vs. Loyola Marymount... 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 4.36 per game... has posted double digits in kills in 22 of the team's 28 matches... has 11 double-doubles on the season... notched a season-high 21 kills against California... averaged 5.33 kills pg and a .491 hitting percentage at Portland and Gonzaga...

Bronco Bios: Jami Bari
As a Senior in 2001: Named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention Team... 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... notched 1,000th career dig in the second game against Pepperdine and currently has 1,043... notched 1,000th career kill in the first game against Idaho and currently has 1,008... becomes only the fifth Bronco all-time to reach the milestone in both categories... is third on the team with a 3.07 kills per game mark and leads the team in digs with a 3.64 per-game average.. both marks are also in the top seven in the WCC... additionally, her .30 service aces per game average is seventh best in the league... has registered a team-leading 13 double-doubles, including five against ranked opposition... posted more than 10 kills in the team's first nine matches of the season and has 15 overall... posted a career-high 20 kills against Creighton... has also posted double-digit performances in digs in 20 of the team's 28 matches... saw limited action last month and did not play against Portland and Gonzaga after straining an abdominal muscle...

Bronco Bios: Kelli Sousa
As a Sophomore in 2001: Named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention Team... 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 11th in the NCAA in assists, with a 13.68 per-game average... is also second in the league with that mark... has dug more than 10 balls in three other matches...

Bronco Bios: Toni Muratore
As a Freshman in 2001: Named to the All-WCC First Team... 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 4.23 average... has posted double-digit kill performances in 18 of the team's 28 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... had another error free night, this time at Portland, with 11 kills in 14 attempts for a .786 mark...

Bronco Bios: Chrissy Hirsch
As a Junior in 2001: Named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention Team... 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... is a mainstay in the back, averaging 2.57 digs per game.