No. 15 Volleyball Opens WCC Season at Home
Oct. 1, 2002
This Week: West Coast Conference Season Begins
No. 15 Santa Clara will open its 2002 WCC Season this weekend with two home matches against San Diego and Saint Mary's. The Broncos will face the Toreros on Friday evening in the conference opener before concluding their weekend play with a match against the Gaels. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts in the Leavey Center.
Santa Clara vs. San Diego
Santa Clara and San Diego have met 38 previous times entering Friday's conference opener with the Broncos holding a 24-14 all-time series advantage. The two teams split their two meetings in 2001 with the home team winning each time, the last of which was in late October when the Broncos defeated the Toreros by a 3-1 score. Over the last 10 years the two teams have met 20 times with each team winning 10.
Scouting the Toreros
USD enters this weekend with an impressive 14-3 record and a six-match win streak. The Toreros completed a perfect 4-0 week last week with their 3-1 win over Colorado State in the final match of the 2002 USD Invitational. Noel Frohman leads San Deigo with her 4.92 kills per game and 3.55 digs per game while Devon Forster trails closely behind with her 4.42 kills per game. Lindsey Sherburne tops the Toreros with her 13.28 assists per game. As a team San Diego is hitting at a .241 clip while limiting their opponents to a .171 hitting percentage. They are currently averaging just over three more digs per game than their opponents while averaging less than half a block less than their opponents. USD has posted a combined 12-1 record at home and on neutral court sites but are 2-2 on the road.
Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's
Santa Clara and Saint Mary's have met 43 previous times entering Saturday night's showdown with the Broncos holding a commanding all-time series advantage with their 38-5 record against the Gaels. The last time the Broncos lost to SMC was the final match of the 1996 season when the Gaels defeated Santa Clara in three straight games in Moraga, Calif. Saint Mary's will play San Francisco in their WCC opener Friday evening before traveling to Santa Clara for the 7 p.m. match Saturday night.
Scouting the Gaels
Saint Mary's enters the week with a 4-6 record having defeated San Jose State by a 3-1 score in their last match. Lindsey Bogason leads the Gaels with 3.47 kills per game while Jill Parmele trails closely behind with her 3.21 kills per game average. Brooke Lowry leads the team with her 10.56 assists per game average with Kaui Salzman leading the defensive charge, averaging a team-best 3.18 assists per contest. As a team the Gaels are hitting .168 while their opponents are posting a .204 hitting percentage. The Gaels trail their opponents in nearly every statistical category except for service aces, in which they have posted 10 more that their opponents.
Next Week: WCC Road Season Begins
The Broncos will head back out on the road for two WCC road matches at Gonzaga and Portland. Santa Clara will take on Gonzaga Friday evening, October 11th at 7 p.m., before traveling to Portland to take on the Pilots at 7 p.m. on the 12th. The two matches will be the first conference road matches of the year for the Broncos.
Last Week: Rivalry Series Matchup
The Broncos played only one match last week, but it was a big one as they opened up their home season with a match against cross-town rival San Jose State. Santa Clara came away with a hard fought 3-2 win in front of a crowd of 1,009 at the Leavey Center. The win gave the Broncos not only some revenge after last year's first-round loss to the Spartans in the NCAA Tournament, but three more points in the newly created rivalry series between the two schools. Santa Clara now has a 6-0 lead over SJSU in the series after wins in volleyball and men's soccer. The two schools will meet 11 more times this year with the overall winner to be announced following the sping sports seasons.
Record Setting Paces
Through the first 13 matches of the season, juniors Becky Potter and Kelli Sousa are putting up some incredible numbers that, if continued, will challenge the Santa Clara record books for tops in their respective categories. Potter's 210 kills averages out to 16.15 kills per match, which if multiplied by the number of regular season games would give her 485 kills on the season which would rank fifth all-time for single season kills. Her current average of 4.67 kills per game would rank second all-time for single season kills average. Sousa is on pace for 1,486 assists this season which would rank fourth all-time for single-season assists. Her current average of 14.31 assists per game would rank fourth all-time in single-season average, surpassing her own current mark of 13.67 that she posted as a sophomore.
Four Career-Highs Set Against San Jose State
In Saturday night's home opener against San Jose State, the Broncos had four players set new career-highs in the 3-2 win over the Spartans. Junior Becky Potter had a new career-high in kills with 28, as did freshmen Cassie Perret and Alyssa Lantz who posted 20 and 19 kills, respectively. Junior setter Kelli Sousa registered a new career-high in assists with 71 to go along with her seven kills and 10 digs in the match. Potter has 210 kills on the season, giving her 912 for her career which places her seventh all-time in Santa Clara history. Sousa's 644 assists in 2002 give her 2,535 for her career which currently ranks her fourth all-time in total assists and second all-time in assists per game with her 12.49 average.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara Broncos moved up four spots in the AVCA/Coaches Poll following their 3-2 victory over San Jose State. The Broncos spent the first two weeks of the season at the No. 24 spot on the poll, but a six-match win streak 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, while another 2-1 record at the Denver Invitational kept them at No. 19 in poll number five. The program's highest-ever ranking is 14th which came during the 2000 season.