Nov. 3, 2003
This Week: Broncos Travel to San Diego for Top-20 Matchup with USD
The Santa Clara University volleyball team begins a three match road trip this weekend at San Diego. The Broncos and Toreros will square off in a top-20 matchup Saturday evening at 7 p.m. in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Santa Clara vs. San Diego
The Broncos and Toreros have met 31 previous times entering this weekend's match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Santa Clara has won 27 of those meeting, including a 3-0 sweep earlier this year at the Leavey Center that increased SCU's win streak over USD to four straight. The last time that San Diego came away with a victory was in San Diego on September 28, 2001. The Toreros are currently 17-6 overall and have a 6-3 mark in West Coast Conference play. They are in fourth place, one game behind Santa Clara and LMU, three games behind Pepperdine. Devon Forster leads the team with her 5.14 kills per game average while Lindsey Sherburne lads the WCC with her 14.41 assists per game average.
Last Weekend: Broncos Drop First Two WCC Matches
The Broncos came away from last weekend's matchups unscathed, defeating Portland by a 3-0 score on Friday night before handing Gonzaga a 3-1 loss Saturday evening. Both matches were played in the Leavey Center. Becky Potter posted 29 kills and 29 digs in the two matches while Cassie Perret posted 21 kills and 21 digs. Toni Muratore chipped in with 24 kills in the two matches while Kelli Sousa handled the offense like a point guard, dishing out 92 assists while leading the team to a .266 hitting percentage. SCU has now won 18-straight over Portland and 19-straight over Gonzaga, steaks that both date back to the 1994 season.
WCC Race Heats Up
With only five matches remaining in West Coast Conference play this season, the race for the league crown is heating up. No. 4 Pepperdine holds a two game lead over No. 14 Santa Clara and No. 17 Loyola Marymount. No. 18 San Diego is just three games back. San Francisco and Saint Mary's are each six games back while Portland is eight and Gonzaga is nine behind. In addition to the SCU-USD match, Pepperdine and LMU will square off at Gersten Pavilion on the LMU campus this week, while Gonzaga and Portland will host USF and Saint Mary's on Friday and Saturday.
In the Rankings
SCU jumped one spot in the AVCA/USA Today Top-25 Coaches' Poll, rising to No. 14 after spending last week at 15. Santa Clara entered the season with its highest ever preseason national ranking of No. 14. The Broncos moved up to a season-high ranking No. 12 two weeks ago following victories over Saint Mary's and San Diego.
Potter Closes in on Kills Record
Senior middle blocker Becky Potter added 29 kills over the weekend, taking her career total to 1,684. She trails only Ynez Carrasco by only 64 kills for the all-time kills mark in Bronco volleyball history. Her average of 4.31 kills per game ranks second in SCU history, trailing Carrasco by only 0.03 kills per game. Her .292 hitting percentage ranks third in Santa Clara history, trailing only Brooke Terhune and Amy Kohl.
Sousa Setting the Standard
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. Thus far this season Sousa has spread the ball around enough that three players ended 17 of the team's 24 matches with double-digit kills. With 1,266 assists this season, she now has 4,767 for her career, the second highest total in program history. She trails only Roz Pelayo for the all-time record, who recorded 5,732 assists in her four year career at SCU. Sousa served as Pelayo's backup during the 2000 season. Her 13.10 assists per game average is also the second highest in program history.
Perret Has Big Weekend
Cassie Perret had a big weekend for the Broncos playing on the right side for the first time in her collegiate career. Usually on the left side, the sophomore from Menlo Park posted a .422 hitting percentage for the weekend, notching 21 kills with only two errors on 45 attempts. She had 11 of those kills on only 17 attempts with no errors in the sweep of Portland for a career-high .647 hitting percentage. She followed that match up with a 10 kill, 17 dig performance in the team's 3-1 win over Gonzaga. Her 17 digs tied a career-high that was set earlier this season at Loyola Marymount.
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. With the Broncos' 3-2 victory over Sacramento State on September 30, 2003, 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. Thus far in his career Wallace has an overall record of 107-41 (.723 win percentage), while his record in league play is an even more impressive 53-12 (.815 win percentage). His three 20-win seasons already in his first four years are more than any other previous coach in SCU history, as Laurie Corbelli and Annie Feller each posted 20-wins only twice in their careers.
Up Next: Bay Area Rivalries
Santa Clara will continue its three-match road trip next weekend despite remaining in the Bay Area. The Broncos will take on Saint Mary's Friday night, November 14 at 7 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion on the SMC campus in Moraga, Calif. SCU will then make the bus trip to San Francisco, Calif., to take on USF Saturday night at 7 p.m. in War Memorial Gymnasium. Both matches will be vital in the Broncos' quest for the WCC crown.