Nov. 18, 2002
This Week: Final Home Match, Final WCC Match on Road
The Santa Clara University women's volleyball squad will conclude two portions of its season this week. The Broncos will conclude their home season with a midweek match against Bay Area rival California Tuesday night at 7 p.m. They will then conclude their West Coast Conference season with a road match at the University of San Francisco Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Tuesday night's home match marks Fan Appreciation Night and Young Spikers Night. All youth wearing a jersey get in the doors for only $2.
Santa Clara vs. California
Santa Clara and Cal have met 27 previous times entering Tuesday night's match, with the Golden Bears holding the all-time series advantage with a 20-7 record. The home team has won each of the last four games in the series including last season when the Bears defeated the Broncos by a score of 3-2 in Berkeley. The last two times that California has made the trip to the South Bay, the Broncos have won the matches in three games.
Scouting the Golden Bears
Cal enters the week with a 17-10 overall record. They are 10-0 in non-conference matches, but 7-10 in Pac-10 play. They began the season on a nine-match win streak but have only managed to go 8-9 in their last 17. During that time span they have played only one non-conference match, defeating Saint Mary's by a 3-2 score in Moraga. Mia Jerkov leads the team and is among the nation's leaders in kills per game with her 5.78 kills per game average. She posted 34 kills and 24 digs in the Golden Bears' 3-2 win over Washington last Saturday. Caity Noonan runs the Cal offense and is averaging 11.93 assists per game to go along with her 2.50 digs per game average. Jerkov is the team leader in digs per game with her 3.40 average while Camile Leffall paces the team with her 0.96 blocks per game average.
Santa Clara vs. San Francisco
Santa Clara and San Francisco will meet for the 50th time when the two schools meet in San Francisco Saturday evening.. The Broncos hold the all-time series advantage between the two schools with a 45-4 record and have beaten the Dons in each of their last 25 meetings, which is an all-time record in the WCC. Their 25th straight win over USF came earlier this year in the Leavey Center when the Broncos swept the Dons on October 25. Becky Potter and Alyssa Lantz each had 16 kills in that game, with Kelli Sousa posting 44 assists and 17 digs in the win.
Scouting the Dons
San Francisco enters the week with a 6-23 overall record and a 2-11 mark in league play. They are currently tied for seventh place in the eight team conference, with only one game remaining on the WCC schedule. The Dons have dropped 15 of their last 17 matches with the only two wins coming two weekends ago at home against Gonzaga and Portland. Brittanie Budinger leads the USF attack, averaging 4.55 kills per game while her 3.00 digs per game average ranks second on the team. Francesca Pomilia's 3.03 digs per game average is tops on the team while teammate Kristina Bognar's 8.82 assists per game average leads the Dons.
NCAA Selection Show Approaches
As the season draws to an end the focus shifts to postseason play. With the winner of the West Coast Conference receiving an automatic big to the tourney, all other conference teams must wait to see if they receive an at-large bid to the tournament. With their current record and ranking, the Broncos are in good shape to make the NCAA Tournament regardless if they can claim a share of the WCC title. This year the field of 64 will be announced on the ESPNEWS network Sunday, December 1st at approximately 6 p.m.
Next Week: Final Regular Season Match at No. 4 Stanford
The Broncos will conclude the 2002 regular season with its annual match with Stanford. This year's match will be played on Tuesday, November 26 at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavillion. The Cardinal are currently ranked fourth in the lastest AVCA/USA Today Coaches Poll with their 25-4 overall record and an impressive 14-3 mark in the Pac-10.
Last Week: Broncos Split Road Matches at Pepperdine and LMU
Santa Clara traveled to No. 9 Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount last weekend for two big matches with even bigger conference standing implications. Friday night's match was the marquis match in the nation as the 11th-ranked Broncos battled for five games but eventually lost to No. 9 Pepperdine by a score of 3-2. Game scores were 25-30, 30-20, 30-21, 26-30 and 15-13. Santa Clara came back the very next night and won a hard fought 3-2 victory over Loyola Marymount. Game scores were 29-31, 30-21, 32-34, 30-27 and 15-12. The win mark the seventh-straight time Santa Clara has beaten LMU, and the third year in a row that the Broncos have swept the season series.
Many Broncos At or Near Top of WCC Stats
Becky Potter continues to have a tremendous year for the Broncos, posting a 5.33 kills per game average in all contests and a 5.87 kills per game in conference matches only, both of which lead the West Coast Conference. Potter also leads the WCC in points per game, averaging 6.11 ppg in all matches and 6.74 ppg in WCC only matches. She is also sixth in blocks per game, averaging 1.05 per game in all matches, and 1.13 in league play. Kelli Sousa also leads the conference in overall assists per game with her 14.52 average and in conference only matches with her 14.57 per game average. Becky Biniek ranks sixth in the conference for hitting percentage with her .348 percentage in WCC only matches and fifth in all matches with her .327 percentage. Potter is third in overall hitting percentage at .334 but seventh in WCC only matches with her .335 percentage. Chrissy and Cindy Hirsch are currently sixth and ninth, respectively, in overall digs per game with their 3.39 and 3.21 per game averages. In conference matches only Cindy is third while Chrissy is sixth with their 3.51 and 3.36 digs per game averages.
Potter on Record Setting Pace
At her current kills per game pace Potter would post 562 kills this season which would rank first all-time in Santa Clara single-season history while her 5.33 kills per game average would rank her first all-time. She currently has 1,208 carrer kills which ranks sixth all-time in Bronco history while her 4.24 kills per game career average ranks her second in the SCU record books. Also, she currently has 703 career digs and a 2.47 digs per game average. On that current pace Potter would join the 1,000 kill/1,000 dig club at Santa Clara sometime near the middle of next season. The 1,000 kill/1,000 dig club currently has only five members in Bronco Volleyball history.
Sousa Leads Nation in Assists Per Game
Junior setter Kelli Sousa ranks first in the nation with her 14.52 assists per game average heading into this week's play. She has tallied 1,394 assists to date this year, giving her 3,285 for her career, which ranks fourth all-time in Santa Clara history. Her season total already matches her season total from 2001, which ranks sixth in SCU single-season history. She needs only six more assists to have the fourth most prolific year in assists at Santa Clara. Her current career average of 12.93 assists per game for her career 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.
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 324 and has started every match and played in each game for the Broncos. She is averaging 3.34 kills per game and has already posted more kills this season 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 3.01 average in 82 games. Lantz is also second on the team with her 23 service aces. In WCC play alone, the two freshman have combined to average 6.69 kills per game and a .246 hitting percentage.
All 27 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 640 digs this season. The duo is currently averaging 6.60 digs per game between them and an even better 6.87 digs per game during league play. 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 3.39 digs per game average. Cindy has had an equally big impact for the Broncos, currently ranking second on the team with her 3.21 digs per game average, while her 25 aces leads the team. Both have set new career-highs this year for digs in a match, with Cindy setting her new record at 29 against LMU and Chrissy setting her new record of 24 against Michigan.
New Career-Highs Set at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount
Cindy Hirsch, Kelli Sousa, Becky Potter and Becky Biniek each set new career-highs this past weekend at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. Biniek posted new career-highs in both kills and attempts in Friday night's heartbreaking 3-2 loss at No. 9 Pepperdine. Biniek registered 19 kills on 30 attempts with only three errors for a remarkable .533 hitting percentage. The following night against LMU, Hirsch set a new career-high as well as moving into the top-10 single game list for digs in a game with 29. Sousa also set a new career-high for digs with 19 to go along with her 70 assists on the night. Potter's 34 kills breaks her previous mark by four kills and is the third highest single-game total in Bronco Volleyball history. Only Ynez Carrasco has posted more kills in a single game, notching 36 kills against Long Beach State in 2000 and 35 kills against San Diego in 1999.
Potter Sets New Santa Clara Three-Game Kill Record Against Portland
Santa Clara University junior middle blocker Becky Potter continued her assualt on the Santa Clara record book when she posted a new three-game kill record with her 27 against Portland Saturday night. The new record was set on 47 attempts with only four errors for a .489 hitting percentage that was posted along with 13 digs and seven blocks in the 3-0 win.