Nov. 11, 2003
This Week: Broncos Return to Bay Area for Matches at SMC and USF
The Santa Clara University volleyball team returns to the Bay Area for its final two road games of the 2003 regular season. The Broncos will take on Saint Mary's College Friday night at 7 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion before heading to San Francisco on Saturday for a 7 p.m. match against USF in War Memorial Gymnasium.
Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's
The Broncos and Gaels have met 46 previous times entering this weekend's contest with SCU holding a 41-5 all-time record over SMC, which includes victories in each of their last 13 matchups. Earlier this season the Broncos handed the Gaels a 3-0 defeat on October 18 in the Leavey Center. Saint Mary's is currently 19-10 overall and 5-6 in West Coast Conference play. Jill Parmele leads the team with her 4.93 kills per game average with Kaui Salzman trails closely behind with her 3.54 mark. Mandy Bible is averaging 12.94 assists per game while Salzman leads the defense with her 3.54 digs per game. The Gaels are currently on a three match win streak having swept Portland and Gonzaga on the road last weekend following a home upset victory over No. 17 Loyola Marymount on November 1.
Santa Clara vs. San Francisco
The Broncos and Dons have met 51 previous times entering Saturday night's matchup with Santa Clara holding a commanding 47-4 advantage. Earlier this season the Broncos handed USF a 3-0 loss in the Leavey extending their current win streak over the Dons to 28, the longest active streak in the WCC. Brittanie Budinger leads the team with her 4.81 kills per game average and is followed closely by Teresa Russell's 3.84 kills per game mark. Budinger leads the team with her 3.50 digs per game while Russell leads the USF defense up front with her 1.19 blocks per game. April Scoggin directs the offense and is averaging 12.58 assists per game. San Francisco enters the weekend on a two match win streak, having defeated Gonzaga by a 3-0 score in Spokane, Wash. Friday night, and Portland by a 3-1 count Saturday night in Oregon.
Last Weekend: Broncos Defeat No. 18 San Diego, 3-1
The Santa Clara University women's volleyball team defeated the University of San Diego by a score of 3-1 Saturday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the USD campus. With the win the 14th-ranked Broncos improve to 17-8 overall and 8-2 in West Coast Conference play while dropping 18th-ranked San Diego to 17-8 overall, 6-4 in league play. Santa Clara's win is its third this season over a ranked opponent, two of which have been San Diego. The win also gives the Broncos their third straight season sweep of the Toreros, and seventh win in their last eight meetings dating back to 1999. The Broncos currently sit alone in second place in the WCC standings as Pepperdine defeated Loyola Marymount in five games at LMU, giving Pepperdine a two-game lead on Santa Clara in the league standings. Loyola Marymount is now three games back while USD is four games out of first place.
Potter Named WCC Player of the Week
For the third time in 2003, Santa Clara University middle blocker Becky Potter was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. She earned the honor on Monday following her performance at San Diego that led the 14th-ranked Broncos to a 3-1 win over the 18th-ranked Toreros. The senior from Clovis, Calif., posted a team-high 23 kills with only two hitting errors for a .457 hitting percentage to go along with 10 digs and five total blocks. With the win the Broncos improved to 17-8 overall and 8-2 in league play and moved up one spot in the AVCA Coaches Poll to No. 13. She earned her previous player of the week honors this year on September 8 and October 14. The award on November 10 marks the seventh time in her illustrious career that Potter has earned the award from the league office.
Muratore Benefits From Switch
Junior Toni Muratore has seemingly benefitted from her move from the right side to the left side two weeks ago. In the three matches since the move the sophomore from Merced, Calif., is averaging 3.82 kills per game, nearly half a kill more than her average before the switch.
In the Rankings
SCU jumped one spot in the AVCA/USA Today Top-25 Coaches' Poll, rising to No. 13 after spending last week at 14. 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 three weeks ago following victories over Saint Mary's and San Francisco.
Potter Closes in on Kills Record
Senior middle blocker Becky Potter added 23 kills over the weekend, taking her career total to 1,690. She trails only Ynez Carrasco by only 58 kills for the all-time kills mark in Bronco volleyball history. Her average of 4.28 kills per game ranks second in SCU history, trailing Carrasco by only 0.06 kills per game. Her .289 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 18 of the team's 25 matches with double-digit kills. With 1,323 assists this season, she now has 4,824 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 13.11 assists per game average is also the second highest in program history.
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 squarely 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: Final Regular Season Home Matches
Santa Clara returns to the Leavey Center for its final three home games of the 2003 regular season. The Broncos will conclude WCC play with matches at home on Friday and Saturday against No. 4 Pepperdine and No. 17 Loyola Marymount, respectively. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. as will the Tuesday, November 25th match against No. 7 Stanford, which will mark the final regular season home match of the year for both squads.