August 29, 2002

No. 24 Volleyball Opens Season at UC Irvine Tournament

Aug. 29, 2002

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 24th-ranked Santa Clara University women's volleyball team will begin its 2002 season on the road at the UC Irvine/Marriott Sunset Showcase Tournament this weekend in Irvine, Calif.

The Broncos will open the tournament Friday afternoon against James Madison before taking on New Orleans and the host, UC Irvine, on Saturday.

Fourth-year head coach Jon Wallace is excited about his team's chances at this weekend's tournament, and is looking to find out exactly what his team is made of.

"It is always a fun time to go out there and play against somebody new," said Wallace. "We have been playing against the same people for three weeks now, and it will be good to see exactly where we stand early in the year."

Santa Clara and James Madison have met only one previous times in the two school's history, with the Broncos claiming a 3-0 victory in 1990. The Dukes finished the 2001 season with a 10-14 overall record after going 21-7 the year before. They are a veteran team that returns eight letterwinners, two of which were starters.

The Broncos and the Privateers of New Orleans have never met before on the court. UNO posted a 11-18 record in 2001, and return eight letterwinners and four starters. The two teams will meet for the first time at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

Santa Clara will conclude its play at the tournament Saturday evening when they take on the host school, the Anteaters of UC Irvine. The Broncos hold the all-time series advantage between the two schools with a 4-1 record. Their last meeting came in 1997 when the Broncos posted a 3-1 victory on September 19 in the Santa Clara Volleyball Challenge.

Following this weekend's tournament, the Broncos will continue on the road at the Northern Arizona Fiesta Bowl Tournament in Flagstaff, Ariz. They will face Eastern Illinois, Idaho and NAU during the two-day tourney.