Aug. 5, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In his first three years on the Mission Campus, head coach Jon Wallace has built a championship college volleyball program. He has compiled a resume that consists of .728 winning percentage, a West Coast Conference Championship and Coach of the Year selection, 13 all-WCC performers and more importantly, three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. All in all, not too bad for someone in their first-ever head coaching job on the collegiate level.
Wallace's squad will begin practice on the Mission Campus next week in preparation for the upcoming season which begins at the UC Irvine Tournament on August 30-31. Prior to the start of practice, Wallace sat down and shared his thoughts on the upcoming season. For a complete look at the upcoming season, check out the 2002 Season Outlook.
On the upcoming season
"I like to think that we gotten better each and every year. I expect this year to be no different. We want to be considered among the elite teams in the nation. We won the WCC title two years ago and would like to have a chance to get that championship back on a regular basis. That is our goal here, and with the girls we are getting now, we seem to have the right look for a team of that caliber. Now it is just a matter of playing at that level, which we have the talent to do."
On his returning senior captains, Cindy and Chrissy Hirsch
"Chrissy and Cindy have been with me here every step of the way. I have seen them grow into leaders and valuable contributors not only on the court, but in the classroom and in society as well. Their leadership and presence on the court day in and day out makes my job that much easier, particularly in relaying our playing philosophy to the younger players."
On his returning first team All-WCC selections, middle blockers Becky Potter and Toni Muratore
"Potter and Muratore are definitely two of the best middles in the college game right now. Their continued development and leadership will be vital for us to continue to grow. At the same time, their success has opened up other recruiting avenues for us to be able to land the better players that we have had our sights on. The new players this year will also add to the team's success by opening up the middle with their play on the outside."
On recruiting and his incoming class of 2002
"We had to go and get bigger, faster, stronger and deeper in order to look the top programs in the country eye-to-eye. The players we have recruited for this year will have an immediate impact on our squad, pushing us further along towards our goal."
On his returning setter, Kelli Sousa
"With Kelli's experience from last season and the steps taken by her in the off-season, I expect her to be among the top setters in the country. I have full confidence in Kelli's ability to take our team to the next level."
On three of his newcomers, Alyssa Lantz, Cassie Perret and Kristen Luxton
"Alyssa brings some attitude to our club. She brings a lot of experience and a great knowledge of the game, along with a fiery attitude. She will be a valuable member of this program for the next four years."
"Cassie's explosiveness and power reminds me of Ynez Carrasco who was the league MVP in 2000. I think that she has a great chance to have a similar impact on our team that Ynez did during her time here."
"Kristen will add a lot to the team this year. She is gifted with one of the best sets of hands in the country and she will be there to help push Kelli to the next level as well as run the team effectively when she is asked to do so."