Nov. 25, 2002
This Week: Regular Season Finale at No. 4 Stanford
The Santa Clara University women's volleyball squad will conclude its 2002 regular season with a match Tuesday night at fourth-ranked Stanford. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavillion on the Stanford campus. Following that match, the Broncos will await their postseason fate as the 64-team bracket will be announced on Sunday, December 1.
Santa Clara vs. Stanford
Santa Clara and Stanford have met 17 previous times entering Tuesday night's match, with the Cardinal holding the all-time series advantage at 17-0. Under Jon Wallace the Broncos have played Stanford four times, the last three of which the Broncos have won one game in the match.
Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford enters the week with a 26-4 overall record and the nation's No. 4 national ranking. They finished Pac-10 play in second place with their 15-3 conference mark, trailing only No. 1 USC who finished with a 17-1 record in league play. All-American Logan Tom leads the Cardinal offense with her 4.90 kills per game average, followed by Ogonna Nnamani's 3.94 average and Sara McGee's 3.09 average. Anna Robinson has an 11.76 assists per game average while Jennifer Harvey's 1.50 digs per game leads the team. Tom's 3.16 digs pr game leads the team while Ashley Tvy's 2.61 digs per game is second.
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.
Last Week: Broncos Split Matches
Santa Clara closed out its 2002 home season last Tuesday with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to California. The Broncos jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but watched as Cal rallied to win the next three games, including game five by a 16-14 score, to win the match. SCU came back from that loss to post a decisive 3-1 win over San Francisco Saturday night in San Francisco. The win pushed the Broncos' WCC record to 12-2, giving them their second-straight second place finish, two games behind No. 8 Pepperdine but two games ahead of No. 25 San Diego.
Many Broncos At or Near Top of WCC Stats
Becky Potter continues to have a tremendous year for the Broncos, posting a 5.30 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 1.03 per game in all matches, and 1.13 in league play. Kelli Sousa also leads the conference in overall assists per game with her 14.46 average and in conference only matches with her 14.69 per game average. Becky Biniek ranks fifth in the conference for hitting percentage with her .353 percentage in WCC only matches and fifth in all matches with her .331 percentage. Potter is fourth in overall hitting percentage at .335 but sixth in WCC only matches with the same percentage. Chrissy and Cindy Hirsch are currently fifth and ninth, respectively, in overall digs per game with their 3.43 and 3.21 per game averages. In conference matches only Cindy is fourth while Chrissy is sixth with their 3.49 and 3.43 digs per game averages.
Potter on Record Setting Pace
Becky Potter currently has 530 kills on the season, which ranks third all-time in Santa Clara single-season history while her 5.30 kills per game average ranks her first all-time. The all-time single season record is 559, set by Lia Young in the 1991 season. She currently has 1,232 carrer kills which ranks fifth all-time in Bronco history while her 4.25 kills per game career average ranks her second in the SCU record books. Also, she currently has 722 career digs and a 2.49 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 14.46 assists per game average heading into this week's play. She has tallied 1,518 assists to date this year, giving her 3,409 for her career, which ranks fourth all-time in Santa Clara history. Her 2002 season already ranks third in SCU single-season history, trailing only Kris Kosnoski'a 1,760 and Roz Pelayo's 1,678. Her current career average of 12.96 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.
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 698 digs this season. The duo is currently averaging 6.58 digs per game between them and an even better 6.92 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 3.48 digs per game average. Cindy has had an equally big impact for the Broncos, currently ranking second on the team with her 3.10 digs per game average, while her 27 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.
In the Rankings - Broncos Drop Two Spots
The Broncos dropped two spots in the current AVCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, falling to No. 13 after splitting its two matches last week. They established a new program-high on October 28th when they moved into the No. 12 spot, besting their program-high of No. 14 from the 2000 season. Just one week later the Broncos made school history again when they moved up to the No. 11 spot in the poll. They remained there for three weeks before falling back to No. 13.