Oct. 22, 2002
This Week: Bay Area Rival San Francisco at Home
No. 14 Santa Clara will host its Bay Area rival San Francisco Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the Leavey Center on the Mission Campus. The match is being played as part of the Santa Clara Mother/Daughter night where all daughters will be admitted to the match for free when their mother buys a ticket.
Santa Clara vs. San Francisco
Santa Clara and USF have met 48 previous times entering Friday nigth's contest with the Broncos holding a dominating 44-4 all-time record in the series. Santa Clara currently has a 24-match win streak over the Dons which is not only the longest current streak over one team in the West Coast Conference, it is also a WCC record for most consecutive wins against one squad. The last time that San Francisco defeated the Broncos was 3-0 victory in Santa Clara on November 9, 1989. The other three wins for the Dons came in 1985, 1987 and 1988. Last season the Broncos swept both matches, including the Nov. 17 match at San Francisco that took just one hour and 22 minutes to complete.
Scouting the Dons
San Francisco enters the Leavey Center on Friday with a 4-16 overall record and a 0-6 mark in the WCC. They are currently on a 10-match losing streak. Their last win came against San Jose State on September 18 in San Francisco. Brittanie Budinger leads the USF offensive charge with her 4.47 kills per game average, while Liz MaCausland is second on the team at 2.00 kills per game. Budinger also leads the team in digs per game with her 3.10 average while Kristine Bognar and April Scoggin split time at setter, averaging 8.27 and 7.31 assists per game, respectively. Head coach David Noble is in his fifth year at the helm of the USF program and has posted a 39-93 overall record.
Next Week: Sac State at Home then back out on the WCC Trail
The Broncos will conclude their season-long four-match homestand Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against Sacramento State. Following that match, Santa Clara will head back out on the road for two WCC matches against Saint Mary's and San Diego. Friday night's game in Moraga, Calif. and Saturday night's game in San Diego will both start at 7 p.m.
Last Week: Broncos Split WCC Home Matches
The Broncos extended their WCC win streak to five with their 3-1 victory over Loyola Marymount Friday evening in the Leavey Center. Becky Potter posted 28 kills, 26 of which came in the first three games, while Kelli Sousa set a new career-high with 72 assists in the four-game match. Saturday night's match turned out a little different for the Broncos as they suffered not only their first conference loss, but their first home loss as well to No. 12 Pepperdine. The loss was the only the Broncos' third on the season, all of which have come to teams ranked in the top-12.
New Career-Highs Set Against Loyola Marymount
Kelli Sousa and Cindy Hirsch each set new career-highs in the match against Loyola Marymount Friday night, October 18. Sousa, the junior setter, posted 72 assists in the four game win over the Lions, eclipsing her previous mark of 71 that was set earlier this season in the five-game win over San Jose State on September 28. Hirsch, the senior defensive specialist set a new career-high for digs in a game with 24 against the Lions Friday evening. Her previous high of 18 was set just two weeks earlier in the four-game win over Saint Mary's on October 5.
Freshmen Making Marks
Cassie Perret and Alyssa Lantz are each having very good rookie seasons at the collegiate level. Perret, the freshman from Woodside Priory High School in Menlo Park is currently second on the team in kills with 232 and has started every match and played in each game for the Broncos. At her current pace of 3.46 kills per game, Perret will finish with more kills than Becky Potter did during her WCC Freshman of the Year season in 2000. Lantz, the freshman from Centennial High School in Bakersfield is currently third on the team in kills per game with her 2.60 average in 53 games. She is tied for the team lead with her 15 aces and is second on the team in solo blocks with six, trailing only Becky Potter.
All 19 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 435 digs on the season, including their 58 this past weekend in the Leavey Center. The duo is currently averaging 6.49 digs per game between them. Chrissy Hirsch has been the only Bronco to see time in the newly adopted Libero position and has made the most of her time on the court with her 3.36 digs per game average. Cindy has had an equally big impact for the Broncos, currently ranking second on the team with her 3.13 digs per game average, and is also tied for first on the team in service aces with 15.
Potter on Record Setting Pace
At her current kills per game pace Potter would post 534 kills which would rank third all-time in Santa Clara history while her 5.20 per game average would rank her first all-time. She currently has 1,040 kills which ranks sixth all-time in Bronco history while her 4.08 kills per game career average ranks her second in the SCU record books.
Sousa Leads Nation in Assists Per Game
Junior setter Kelli Sousa ranks first in the nation with her 14.70 assists per game average heading into this week's play. She has tallied 970 assists to date this year, giving her 2,861 for her career, which ranks fourth all-time in Santa Clara history. Her current career average of 12.77 assists per game ranks second all-time, trailing only Roz Pelayo who set the career mark at 14.01 when she played from 1997-2000. Sousa was Pelayo's backup as a freshman in 2000.
In the Rankings
The Santa Clara Broncos remained constant in the AVCA/Coaches Poll following their weekend split with LMU and Pepperdine. The No. 14 national ranking matches the program's highest-ever ranking by the AVCA, which was first attained during the 2000 season in which the Broncos finished the year 27-5. The Broncos are also currently ranked No. 13 by Volleyball Magazine, which is their highest-ever ranking in volleyball by any national poll.