Sept. 10, 2002
This Week: U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic
No. 22 Santa Clara will travel to Lincoln, Neb. to participate in the U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic hosted by fourth-ranked Nebraska. The Broncos will play three games in the tournament, beginning with Nebraska Friday evening at 5 p.m. They will then take on Michigan at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and conclude their play in the tournament with a 7 p.m. match against Alabama. All times listed are Pacific Standard Time.
Scouting No. 4 Nebraska
Santa Clara and Nebraska will meet for the fourth time in the two schools' history Friday evening, with the Cornhuskers holding the all-time series advantage 3-0. Nebraska has swept all three previous meetings, including the 1995 season opener at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif. The Broncos have never played in Lincoln, having faced the Huskers only in tournaments. They first met in 1998 at the Titan/Mizuno Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. The second meeting was their only time squaring off outside the state of California, playing in 1993 at the Golden Dome Classic in South Bend, Ind. The 2002 Cornhuskers are currently 4-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to then third-ranked Southern California. Nebraska is led by Laura Pilakowski who is averaging 3.44 kills per game, and Greichaly Ceparo who is averaging 11.38 assists per game.
Santa Clara and Michigan will meet for only the second time Saturday morning. The two programs met for the first time on the court in 1992 with the Wolverines coming away with a 3-1 win at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. Michigan enters the U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic with a 3-1 record, having lost to then No. 8 Pepperdine by a 3-1 score on August 31st in Malibu, Calif. In their last match, Michigan defeated Cincinnatti by a score of 3-1behind Erin Moore's 21 kills. Moore is averaging 4.00 kills per game, followed closely by teammate Jennifer Gandolph who is picking up 3.93 kills per game in addition to her team-leading 3.47 digs per game. Lisa Gamalski is averaging a whopping 14.13 assists per game while ranking second on the team with 3.00 digs per game.
Santa Clara and Alabama will conclude the U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic Saturday evening when they meet for the first time in the two schools' history. Alabama enters the weekend with a 6-1 record. Their only loss came against Missouri last Saturday, dropping the match to the Tigers by a 3-1 score, ending their six-match win streak to open the season. Jennifer Bibber leads the Crimson Tide with her 4.28 kills per game average, with Erin Heffner trailing closely behind with her 4.16 kills per game average. Kenna Milner runs the show for Alabama, averaging 12.12 assists per game, while adding 2.21 digs per game.
Next Week: Denver Invitational, Denver, Colo.
The Broncos will conclude their season-long 12-match road trip next weekend at the Denver Invitational in Denver, Colo.. The Denver University Pioneers welcome No. 22 Santa Clara, No. 13 Minnesota and Maryland to the Denver Invitational next weekend. The Broncos will take on Maryland in the first match of the tournament Friday night, September 20th at 4 p.m. The Broncos will face 13th-ranked Minnesota at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and the host Denver at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Last Week: NAU Fiesta Bowl Tournament
The Broncos continued their early season success with three-straight wins at the Northern Arizona University Fiesta Bowl Tournament. The Broncos captured the tournament title by defeating the host Northern Arizona University in three-straight games Saturday night, by scores of 30-25, 30-27 and 30-22. The Broncos opened the tournament with a four-game win over Eastern Illinois. Scores were 30-17, 30-15, 28-30 and 30-27. Santa Clara made quick work of Idaho Saturday morning, dispatching the Vandals by scores of 30-17, 30-15 and 30-27. The tournament win for the Broncos is their second in as many weeks. They now join Purdue, San Diego State and 10-time champion, Northern Arizona, as the only champions in the 13-year history of the Fiest Bowl Tournament in Flagstaff, Ariz. The six-straight wins to open the season ties the best start in program history, joining the 1979 squad.
Potter Earns Fiest Bowl Tournament MVP Honors
Junior Becky Potter was named the NAU Fiesta Bowl Tourament MVP following her team's 3-0 win over Northern Arizona to claim the tournament championship. Potter recorded 42 kills, 33 digs and 16 total blocks over the weekend, including 18 kills and 14 digs in the championship match. The double-double in the championship match was her second of the season and second in as many games, posting 15 kills and 10 digs in the morning match against Idaho.
Sousa Earns All-Tournament Honors for Second Straight Week
Kelli Sousa earned NAU Fiesta Bowl All-Tournament honors following her 11 kill, 136 assist, 26 dig performance over the weekend. She nearly recorded her first triple-double Friday evening, posting seven kills, 45 assists and 12 digs in the four-game win over Eastern Illinois. She currently has 2,158 assists in only 63 matches and is averaging 12.84 assists per game over her career. She ranks second all-time in Bronco history with her assists per game average, and is currently fourth all-time in total assists, trailing only Roz Pelayo (5,732), Kris Kosnoski (4,421) and Julie Jamile (3,875) on the career assists list.
McGiven and Perret Make Immediate Impacts
Freshman Kim McGiven and Cassie Perret each stepped up over the weekend tournament to help the Broncos earn their second straight tournament title. Perret recorded 15 kills and a .375 hitting percentage in the Broncos' 3-0 win against Idaho, while McGiven's 15 kill performance came with only two errors and a .500 hitting percentage in the sweep of Northern Arizona. The 15 kills set career highs for both players.
Biniek Sets Career High in Kills
Junior Becky Biniek set a new career-high in kills Friday night against Eastern Illinois, registering 16 kill on 28 attacks with only five errors for a .393 hitting percentage. Her previous career high was five kills on 15 attempts against Saint Mary's in 2001.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara Broncos moved up two spots following its weekend success at the Northern Arizona Fiesta Bowl Tournament. The Broncos spent the first two weeks of the season at the No. 24 spot on the poll, but a six-match win streak has pushed them up to No. 22. The program's highest-ever ranking is 14th and it came during the 2000 season.