Volleyball

 

No. 16 Volleyball Opens Home Season Sunday on CSTV

Sept. 22, 2003

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This Week: Home Opener on College Sports TV
The 16th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team will open its 2003 home season with a match against No. 2 Hawaii that is being played as part of the AVCA Sunday Night Spike package on College Sports TV. The 24-hour all-college sports network will carry live coverage of the Broncos and Rainbow Wahine from the Leavey Center on Sunday, September 28. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday will mark the first time that the Bronco volleyball program has played live on National TV.

No. 16 Santa Clara vs. No. 2 Hawaii
Santa Clara and Hawaii have met four previous times entering this weekend's matchup. The Rainbow Wahine have taken all four contests, including the last time these two teams met in Hawaii. The Rainbow Wahine defeated the Broncos on back-to-back nights in Honolulu, winning the first match by a 3-1 score and taking the second match the next night by a score of 3-0. Hawaii enters the weekend with an 11-1 overall record and the No. 2 national ranking. Kim Willoughby leads the team and is among the leaders in the nation with her 6.97 kills per game average. The two-time All-American also averages 3.21 digs, 0.54 blocks and 0.54 service aces per game for Hawaii. The only loss for the Rainbow Wahine this year came on the first weekend to No. 1 and defending national champion, USC.

Last Weekend: Gamecock Invitational Champions
Santa Clara took part in the Gamecock Invitational hosted by the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The Broncos won all three of its matches, defeated South Carolina (3-2), Duke (3-1) and George Washington (3-0). The most impressive note of the tournament for the Broncos was the fact that due to the schedule, all three of their opponents were playing their first match of the tournament against Santa Clara. The Broncos were able to fight through travel fatigue to win the first match against USC and from there battled through fatigue from the previous matches to down Duke and GW.

All-Tournament Selection
Becky Potter was named the Gamecock Invitational MVP following her performance last week in Columbia, S.C. Kelli Sousa and Cassie Perret were also named to the All-Invitational team. Potter notched three double-doubles while averaging 3.83 kills and 2.76 digs per game in the three matches. Sousa tallied a team-high 130 assists and four service aces while Perret added 49 kills and 25 digs in the three victories. The tournament MVP honor is the second this year for Potter and fourth for her career, while the all-tournament selection for both Potter and Sousa is the third in as many weeks for the duo.

One More for 100
With the Broncos' 3-0 win over previously unbeaten George Washington on Friday evening, Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace picked up his 99th win, making him the second winningest coach in Santa Clara volleyball history. Wallace will attempt for his 100th-win against No. 2 Hawaii on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Tough Scheduling
Santa Clara has faced and will continue to face one of the toughest schedules in the nation during the 2003 season. Through the first 12 matches, the Broncos have faced four ranked teams, and eight 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-6 ranked teams.

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. 16 spending the previous week at No. 17. Additionally, the West Coast Conference has four teams ranked in the top-25 along with one other receiving votes.

Head Coach Jon Wallace
Jon Wallace enters his fifth season at the helm of the Santa Clara program. With the Broncos' 3-0 win over George Washington, Wallace became the second winningest coachin SCU history with his 99th victory. He trails only Mary Ellen Murchison who posted 162 wins against 182 losses in her 11 seasons at the helm. During his first 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 .728 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: Non-Conference Tuesday Night Match, Then the WCC Seasons Begins
Santa Clara will return to the road next week for three matches. Tuesday night's match at Sacramento State is scheduled fo 7 p.m. while the weekend marks the start of the West Coast Conference season. The Broncos will travel to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of matches against Gonzaga and Portland. Friday's match in Spokane, Wash., is slated for 7 p.m. as is Saturday night's match in Portland, Ore.