Sept. 15, 2003
This Week: Gamecock Tournament
The 17th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team will conclude its season-opening 12-match roadtrip this week with three matches at the Gamecock Tournament hosted by the University of South Carolina. The Broncos will take on South Carolina in the night match of the first day on Thursday. SCU will then take on Duke and George Washington on Friday, which will conclude their participation in the tournament. All time listed in the box above are Pacific time.
No. 17 Santa Clara vs. South Carolina
Santa Clara and South Carolina have met only one previous time in the two schools' history. The Gamecocks came away with a 3-0 win in Tempe, Ariz., on September 1 of 2001. That match was played as part of the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge. Both teams were also ranked in the top-25 at the time. Currently, the Gamecocks have a 4-5 overall record in 2003 with three of those losses coming to teams ranked in the top-25. USC does have two wins against top-25 teams, those coming against then No. 17 North Carolina on September 7, and a victory over then No. 15 Notre Dame on September 14.
No. 17 Santa Clara vs. Duke
Santa Clara and Duke will meet for the first time on the volleyball court will then square off on day two of the Gamecock Tournament. The Blue Devils enter the weekend with a 4-5 overall record, having lost their last two matches. Duke has played only one ranked team in 2003, a 1-3 loss at No. 25 Wisconsin on September 13.
No. 17 Santa Clara vs. George Washington
The Broncos and Colonials will meet for the first time in program history on day two of the Gamecock Tournament. SCU and GW will play the first match of the night session on Friday. George Washington enters the tournament with a perfect 9-0 record, including five matches in which they won by 3-0 scores. Last weekend the Colonials defeated St. Peter's, Delaware and Rutgers in a tournament hosted by Rutgers.
Previously: Tough Weekend
Santa Clara was one of four ranked teams to play in the U.S. Bank/Arby's Invitational hosted by Nebraska last weekend in Lincoln, Neb. After getting only four hours of sleep prior to its match with No. 5 Nebraska due to travel difficulties, the Broncos were able to take only one game from the Cornhuskers in the 3-1 loss. On day two SCU was swept by No. 10 Georgia Tech, who would later claim the tournament title with a 3-2 victory over Nebraska. The final match of the tournament was a five-game thriller that saw the Broncos come out on the short end to No. 17 Michigan State.
Just one week removed from her MVP honors at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., Becky Potter added another honor to her already impressive resume. The senior from Clovis, Calif., was named to the U.S. Bank/Arby's Invitational All-Tournament team for her play over the weekend.
Setting the Tone
Kelli Sousa has become one of the best setters in the nation. As a junior she led the country in assists per game. She has picked up in 2003 right where she left off in 2002. Thus far this season Sousa is averaging 13.38 assists per game, nearly one less per game than she averaged as a junior. In the team's first nine matches, Sousa has spread the ball around enough that three players ended six of those nine matches with double-digit kills. With 495 assists this season, she now has 3,996 for her career, the third highest total in program history. She trails only Kris Kosnoski who posted 4,421 in her career and Roz Pelayo who recorded 5,732 assists in her four year span.
After the first nine matches of the year, senior Becky Potter has moved from fifth place all-time, to third place all-time in career kills at Santa Clara. Her 147 kills thus far in 2003 give her 1,420 for her career. She trails only Lia Young (1,496) and Ynez Carrasco (1,748) for the all-time mark. Additionally, in digs Potter has 855 for her career, leaving her only145 shy of the 1,000 dig plateau. When she reaches the milestone, Potter will become only the sixth player in program history to accomplish such a feat.
In the Rankings
SCU began the season with its highest-ever preseason national ranking, coming out of the blocks at No. 14 n the AVCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll. Currently the Broncos are ranked No. 17 spending the previous week at No. 13. Additionally, the West Coast Conference has four teams ranked in the top-25 along with two others receiving votes.
Santa Clara has faced and will continue to face one of the toughest schedules in the nation during the 2003 season. Through the first nine matches, the Broncos have faced four ranked teams, and six teams that appeared in the 2002 NCAA Touranemnt. Still to come nine matches against teams currently ranked in the top-25, including four against top-7 ranked teams.
Head Coach Jon Wallace
Jon Wallace enters his fifth season at the helm of the Santa Clara program. During his four years on the Mission Campus, Wallace has guided the Broncos to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and two season records that rank among the top three in school history. His .734 win overall win percentage and his .821 mark in WCC play give him the best winning percentage in school history with each being more than 100 points better than the next closest coach. During his tenure the Broncos have had 20 all-WCC selections, six all-WCC academic selections, two AVCA All-Pacific Region players, one WCC Player of the Year, one WCC Defender of the Year, one WCC Freshman of the Year and one AVCA All-American. Wallace himself was named the WCC Coach of the Year in 2000 when he led the Broncos to the WCC title.
Up Next: No. 2 Hawaii
Santa Clara will return home for its first match in the Leavey Center in 2003 with a high-profile match against No. 2 Hawaii on Sunday, September 28. The match will begin at 1 p.m. and will be televised live on College Sports TV. CSTV is available only to Direct TV customers and is located on channel 610. The match is being played as part of the AVCA/CSTV Sunday Night Spike package. The Broncos will appear again on the Sunday Night Spike when they play at Pepperdine on October 26.