Volleyball

 

No. 14 Women's Volleyball Plays Twice in Bay Area This Week

Oct. 6, 2003

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This Week: Two Matches in Bay Area Against Ranked Opponents
The Santa Clara University volleyball team will play twice this week in the Bay Area against ranked opponents. Wednesday night's match is at 7 p.m. against No. 9 California at the Haas Pavilion on the UC campus in Berkeley. The Broncos will then return for the second time this season, taking on No. 18 San Diego Saturday night at 7 p.m.

No. 14 Santa Clara at No. 9 California
The Broncos and Golden Bears have met 29 previous times entering this week's matchup with Cal holding a 22-7 all-time series advantage. Santa Clara has won only two of the last six meetings between the two schools in the last five years, taking the matches in 1998 and 2000. Last year the two teams met twice with the Golden Bears taking a five game thriller in the Leavey Center during the regular season and a 3-1 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif. Cal enters the matchup with a perfect 14-0 record and the nation's No. 9 ranking according to the AVCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll. Mia Jerkov is among the national leaders with her 6.00 kills per game average while Camille Leffall leads the team with her dominating 1.48 blocks per game average.

No. 14 Santa Clara vs. No. 18 San Diego
The Broncos and Toreros have met 40 previous times entering Saturday night's matchup with SCU holding a 26-14 all-time series edge. Since 1998 the Broncos have won seven of the 10 meetings between the two schools including both last season. At home the Broncos have won the last five meetings as the last time that USD came to Santa Clara and got a victory was on November 15, 1997. San Diego enters the weekend with a 13-3 overall record and a perfect 2-0 mark in league play. Devon Forster leads the team with her 4.95 kills per game average while Devon Forster leads the WCC with her 14.31 assists per game mark. The Toreros are currently on a five-match win streak with their last loss coming in four games on September 20 to No. 15 Michigan State.

Last Weekend: Three Matches... Three Wins
Santa Clara played three road matches last week and came away with victories in all three. The week started with a Tuesday night match at Sacramento State where the Broncos survived the upset bid by the Hornets, coming away with a 3-2 victory. SCU posted a 3-1 victory over Gonzaga on Friday evening to open up league action in Spokane, Wash. Saturday night's match was the easiest of the week for the Broncos as they notched a 3-0 sweep of Portland in the Chiles Center on the UP campus.

Welcome to the 20-20 Club
In the Broncos victory over Sacramento State, senior Becky Potter became one of only 10 players in SCU Volleyball history to post at least 20 kills and 20 digs in the same match. Her 23 kills and 20 digs led the Broncos to a 3-2 victory and marked only the 30th time in program history that the feat had been attained. Ironically, of the 30 times the mark has been attained, five of them have come against the Hornets.

Sousa Closes in on Second Place in All-Time Assists at SCU
Kelli Sousa has become one of the best setters in the nation during her career on the Mission Campus. As a junior she led the country in assists per game with her 14.38 average. She has picked up in 2003 right where she left off in 2002. In the team's first 16 matches, Sousa has spread the ball around enough that three players ended 10 of those 16 matches with double-digit kills. With 831 assists this season, she now has 4,332 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.

Potter Moves into Second Place for Career Kills
After the first 16 matches of the year, senior Becky Potter has moved from fifth place all-time, to second place all-time in career kills at Santa Clara. Her 260 kills thus far in 2003 give her 1,533 for her career. She trails only Ynez Carrasco (1,748) for the all-time mark after passing Lia Young's mark of 1,496 against Sacramento State on September 30. Additionally, Potter has 937 digs in her career, leaving her only 63 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.

Muratore Makes Presence Felt
Redshirt sophomore Toni Muratore returned to the practice floor for the first time in weeks during the Broncos three match win streak last week. The extra work appeared to have helped as she posted 20 kills against Sacramento State, 17 against Gonzaga and a team-leading 14 in the sweep of Portland.

Wallace Gets 100th Victory
With the Broncos' 3-2 victory over Sacramento State on September 30, Santa Clara head coach Jon Wallace became only the second coach in Bronco Volleyball history to reach the 100-win plateau, joining Mary Ellen Murchison. Wallace attains the feat in only his fifth year on the Mission Campus and has the all-time win mark for a coach set squarly in his sights as Murchison's mark of 162 wins was posted in 11 seasons.

Eight of Final 14 Matches Against Ranked Opponents
Santa Clara has faced and will continue to face one of the toughest schedules in the nation during the 2003 season. Through the first 16 matches, the Broncos have faced five ranked teams, and 10 teams that appeared in the 2002 NCAA Touranemnt. Still to come are eight matches against teams currently ranked in the top-25, including four against top-10 ranked squads.

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. 14 after spending the previous two weeks ranked at No. 16. SCU got as high as No. 13 in the Sept. 8 poll following four wins at the Wildcat Invitational, including one over then No. 10 Arizona. Additionally, the West Coast Conference has four teams ranked in the top-25 along with one other receiving votes.

Head Coach Jon Wallace
Wallace enters his fifth season at the helm of the Santa Clara program. In 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. 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: San Francisco and Saint Mary's
Santa Clara continues its season-long three match homestand with a pair of West Coast Confernce matches against Bay Area rivals, San Francisco and Saint Mary's. The Broncos will host USF on Friday, October 17 before welcoming in SMC on Saturday, October 18. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. first serves in the Leavey Center.