No. 19 Women's Volleyball Opens Home Season Saturday Night
Sept. 25, 2002
This Week: Home Opener Against Cross-Town Rival
No. 19 Santa Clara will open its 2002 home season with a 7 p.m. match against cross-town rival San Jose State Saturday night in the Leavey Center. The Broncos just completed a season-long 12-match road trip in which they went 10-2, with their only losses coming to No. 4 Nebraska and No. 8 Minnesota. Saturday night's match against SJSU will be the first of three home matches over the next two weekends.
Santa Clara vs. San Jose State
Santa Clara and San Jose State will meet for the 31st time Saturday evening with the Spartans holding a 23-7 all-time series advantage over the Broncos. The two schools met for the first time in 1979 when they were each a member of the Nor-Cal Conference, squaring off twice that season with the Spartans capturing both matches. Despite the overall series advantage for SJSU, recent history favors the Broncos who have 6-4 record over the Spartans since 1992. Last year the two teams met twice, the first was a 3-0 Santa Clara win at home during the regular season, but the Spartans got the last laugh by winning a thrilling 3-2 match in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Maples Pavillion on the Stanford University campus.
Scouting the Spartans
SJSU enters the week with two-match losing streak and a 5-6 overall record. In their last match, the Spartans dropped their match at San Francisco by a score of 3-1. San Jose State is led by Stephanie Pascucci and Kimberly Noble who are averaging 3.79 and 3.78 kills per game, respectively. Lindsey Rule leads the team with her 10.88 assists per game while Liz Hudson tops the team list with her 2.79 digs per game. San Jose State and Santa Clara have had one common opponent thus far in 2002 with the Broncos defeating Northern Arizona by a 3-0 score while the Spartans handed the Lumberjacks a 3-1 defeat in their first match of the season.
Newly Created Rivalry Series Continues Saturday Night
Intercollegiate athletic teams from Santa Clara University and San Jose State University have increased incentive to win when they play each other with the creation of a rivalry series, Santa Clara Director of Athletics and Recreation Cheryl L. Levick and San Jose State Director of Athletics Chuck Bell announced in conjunction with Dean Munro, the executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority. The first game of the series took place last Thursday when the Spartan men's soccer team traveled to Buck Shaw Stadium to take on the Broncos in the annual adidas Classic. The Broncos came away with a 2-0 win to register the first points in the newly created series. The second match that will count in the series happens Saturday night when Santa Clara hosts San Jose State in Volleyball at the Leavey Center. The annual winner of the series, presented in association with the San Jose Sports Authority, will be determined by a points system based on head-to-head competition in the 13 sports in which the two schools compete. The head-to-head winner of each sport receives a predetermined number of points for that particular school. The winner of the series will be announced at the final scheduled competition between the two schools.
Next Week: WCC Season Begins
The Broncos remain in the friendly confines of the Leavey Center next weekend as they begin the 2002 West Coast Conference schedule against San Diego and Saint Mary's. Santa Clara will host the Toreros on Friday night at 7 p.m. before welcoming in Bay Area rival Saint Mary's for a 7 p.m. match Saturday night. The two WCC matches will be the first in a series of seven-straight conference matches during the month of October, six of which will be in the Leavey Center.
Last Week: Denver Invitational
The Broncos continued their early season success by going 2-1 at the University of Denver Invitational last weekend in Denver, Colo. The Broncos opened the tournament by defeating previously unbeated Maryland by a score of 3-0. The win improved the Broncos to 9-1 while dropping the Terrapins to 11-1. Santa Clara suffered only its second loss of the season when it dropped its Saturday morning match to No. 8 Minnesota by a 3-1 score. Both of the Broncos losses this season have come at the hands of teams ranked in the top-10. Santa Clara concluded its play at the tournament with a convincing 3-0 win over Denver in which every player saw time on the court for the Broncos.
Potter and Sousa Earn Fourth-Straight All-Tournament Team Selections
Juniors Becky Potter and Kelli Sousa each earned fourth third-straight all-tournament team honors following their performances in the Denver Invitational. Potter posted 45 kills, 23 digs and seven blocks over the weekend, while Sousa collected 150 more assists, 20 digs, one block and one ace in the three matches. Potter has 182 kills on the season, giving her 884 for her career which moves her into 7th place all-time in Santa Clara history. Sousa's 573 assists in 2002 give her 2,464 for her career which currently ranks her fourth all-time in total assists and second all-time in assists per game with her 12.44 average.
Lantz Sets Career-High Against No. 8 Minnesota
Alyssa Lantz helped the Broncos to a 2-1 record over the weekend at the Denver Invitational, registering wins over previously unbeaten Maryland and the host Denver. Their only loss came in four games to No. 8 Minnesota. Lantz recorded 37 kills on the weekend, including a career-high 16 against 8th-ranked Minnesota. The freshman was forced into the starting roll this past weekend after fellow freshman Kim McGiven was lost for the season with knee injury that was suffered against Michigan at the U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic in Nebraska. Lantz also posted nine digs, six service aces and two blocks on the weekend.
All 12 of Santa Clara's opponents have been plagued by some double-vision in 2002 as senior co-captains Chrissy and Cindy Hirsch have had huge impacts on the team's defensive success. The twins have combined for 247 digs on the season which averages out to 6.02 digs per game. Chrissy Hirsch has been the only Bronco to see time in the newly created Libero position and has made the most of her time on the court with her 3.29 digs per game average. Cindy has had an equally big impact for the Broncos, currently ranking third on the team with her 2.73 digs per game average and her 11 service aces.
Live on the Internet
All of Santa Clara's home 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 and selected road matches in 2001.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara Broncos remained in the same spot following their 2-1 record over the weeked at the University of Denver Invitational. 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 in the third poll of the year. A 2-1 record at the U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic hosted by Nebraska vaulted the Broncos up three spots to the No. 19 position for poll number four. The program's highest-ever ranking is 14th which came during the 2000 season.