Volleyball

 

Potter Kills Opposition

Oct. 22, 2002

by Bruce Martinez, staff writer
The Santa Clara

Resume-building is an important skill to have at any institution, especially one as rigorous and challenging as Santa Clara. This applies both to athletes and students of academia. So how would it look on a resume to be the very first to do something? To be the first to translate a dead language or the first to figure out a difficult equation or maybe to be the first All-American in our school's volleyball history.

Junior middle blocker Becky Potter is putting up the numbers and showing the on-court savvy to maybe take that giant leap to All-American status.

"Her numbers are on an All-American level, and her physical talents are among the top in the country. She really brings a lot of firepower," said head coach Jon Wallace.

Her credentials start with her numbers. She averages 5.22 kills and 2.97 digs per game on the season. Potter has also broken Santa Clara's record for kills in a match numerous times, most recently posting 27 in three games in a sweep of the University of Portland. These are overwhelming volleyball numbers that only begin to hint at what Potter has meant to the 14th-ranked Broncos.

"She plays the best every game," says junior setter Kelli Sousa. "She hasn't had an off game all season or really a game off. She plays front and back row for us and is unbelievable."

Potter's talents have long been recognized. She was a four-year starter in high school at Buchanan High in Clovis, Calif. She was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and, as a sophomore, made the All-WCC team. This year has seen the accolades continue to roll down. Potter was named the WCC player of the month for September and has been named the player of the week three times.

The modest Potter quickly downplays any talk of her making All-American, saying instead that she is focused on her leadership role on the team.

"I'm trying to be a good leader for the team both on and off the court. The seniors have really shown me the ropes and now it is my time to help take up that role," Potter said.

A sport like volleyball requires team success for an individual player's greatness to be validated. In order for Potter to not be seen as the Alex Rodriguez of Santa Clara, the team has had to be successful. Success this year is seen in a 15-2 record, with the only losses coming on the road to Nebraska and Minnesota.

"This year we want to win our conference and get past the second round of the NCAA tournament," Potter said. "We would like to reach the Elite Eight."

The first big step towards this goal will be this weekend's matches with conference foes Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine, both to be played at home. Pepperdine is the biggest obstacle that the Broncos must overcome on their way to a conference title. This hasn't kept the team from being confident, however.

"I think we can beat them both. We have to focus on LMU first, then wake up on Saturday and be ready to play Pepperdine. We have to play as team the whole weekend," Sousa said.

Whether or not the team reaches all of its goals, it won't be for a lack of effort on Potter's part. She is already a potential All-American and now just has to bring it home to Santa Clara. One thing for sure is she won't let the pressure get to her, neither this weekend or as the season continues.

"It can be hard to balance the pressure but I want to be the best. I like pressure, I thrive on it," Potter said.