Sept. 21, 2004
Santa Clara returns to the Bay Area this week and will close a seven-match road trip at nearby San Jose State. The Friday match will be the second installment of this year's Rivalry Series, as the men's soccer teams squared off last weekend. The winner of head-to-head matchups in each sport receives three points for each win. Results are tallied each spring at the conclusion of all competitions. The Series was created in the fall of 2002, with Santa Clara coming away with victories the past two seasons. The Spartans are currently 8-3 on the year.
Building a Wall
Santa Clara is currently ranked fifth in the nation in blocks per game, boasting a 3.52 average. Freshman Annalisa Muratore leads the team with a 1.62 mark, while fellow newcomer Anna Cmaylo is right behind her with a 1.38 average. Junior Cassie Perret is third on the team, averaging 1.16 blocks per game.
Muratore Named WCC Player of the Week
Freshman middle blocker Annalisa Muratore was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for her performances in three matches this past weekend at the TCU adidas Invitational. Muratore dominated the tournament, in which she earned MVP honors. The Atwater native averaged 4.78 kills per game and posted a .667 hitting percentage. Defensively, she registered 2.00 blocks per game.
Muratore opened the tournament with a career-high 15 kills against Appalachian State, committing only one error in 20 attempts for a .700 clip. She topped that personal best the following night at TCU, recording 19 kills. With 1 error in 22 attempts, her .818 hitting percentage was also a career best. Additionally, she added eight blocks (3 solo, 5 assist) against the host Horned Frogs. Earlier that morning, Muratore registered a 9-kill, 8-block effort against Arkansas-Little Rock.
Live Video Streaming Available on the Internet
Santa Clara and CollegeSports.com are combining to expand live coverage of Bronco sports this season with the addition of live streaming video feeds of most of the school's home athletic events, beginning with volleyball's match against Sacramento State. A part of College Sports Pass, a subscription-based service provided by RealNetworks, the live video feeds will be available on Santa Clara's official athletic website at SantaClaraBroncos.com, as well as collegesports.com and real.com. The school will also continue to provide live statistical coverage of at least six sports through the popular Gametracker feature.
Santa Clara remains on the cutting edge of technology, as it provides Bronco fans with some of the most comprehensive live web coverage of any school in the country for the past several years. By logging on, fans can now watch the games and view real-time statistics direct from the official scoring computer, all right from the convenience of a home computer.
Santa Clara's schedule once again invites the nation's best, as the Broncos' slate includes matches against four teams that finished last season ranked in the top 10 nationally by the AVCA. Santa Clara held its own against national powers Hawaii and UCLA last week, which will be strong preparation for when the West Coast Conference season begins October 1. The quest for the 2004 league crown will be challenging, as six of the eight conference schools advanced to the postseason last year, displaying the national strength of the WCC. Santa Clara will close the conference season with three road games, including visits to the Los Angeles league schools. 18th-ranked Pepperdine was a Sweet 16 team in 2003 and Loyola Marymount is currently ranked 20th. The regular season finale will take place at perennial power Stanford November 23. Santa Clara will then break for Thanksgiving and await the NCAA Selection Show.
Fab Freshman Class
Santa Clara has recruited the ninth-best class in the country, according to PrepVolleyball.com in its annual rankings released in May. Nebraska received the website's top nod, followed by Florida, USC, Ohio State and Washington in the top five. Michigan, Wisconsin and Hawaii were listed ahead of the Broncos, while Kansas rounded out the top 10. West Coast Conference opponents Pepperdine and San Diego were ranked Nos. 24 and 25, respectively.
Four newcomers have made an immediate impact on the program. Middle blocker Annalisa Muratore and Libero Caroline Walters are starters, while Anna Cmaylo sees significant action in the middle, and Crystal Matich splits time at setter.
In the Rankings
Santa Clara moved up two spots in this week's USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, as selected by the AVCA. The Broncos opened the 2004 season ranked 22nd and received 271 points in the listing. Seven of Santa Clara's opponents are also ranked. The Broncos have already faced No. 3 UCLA and 11th-ranked Hawaii. Also on the schedule are non-conference opponents No. 13 Stanford and No. 14 California. Santa Clara entered Volleyball Magazine's poll this week at No. 18.
CSTV to Televise Pepperdine Match
College Sports Television, the first 24-hour college sports television network, will televise the Broncos' Sunday, October 24 match against Pepperdine at the Leavey Center. First serve for the live broadcast is set for 3 p.m. The CSTV Sunday Night Spikes telecasts, featuring teams from 12 different conferences, will showcase some of the top players in pursuit of a national title. Carter Blackburn will handle play-by-play on CSTV Sunday Night Spikes, while Heather Cox and Krista Blunk will rotate analyst duties. The match will provide some drama, as Pepperdine has not lost a WCC match since the 2000 WCC finale against Santa Clara.
College Sports TV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, is available to more than 20 million homes nationally on cable and satellite. The network is available on Comcast, Time Warner and Adelphia cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610). For information on CSTV availability in particular markets, consumers can log on to www.collegesports.com/getcstv or call their cable or satellite operator.
A Look Ahead: Conference Season to Begin
Santa Clara remains at home for three contests. SCU will host 14th-ranked California on Tuesday before opening the West Coast Conference season. The Broncos will host Gonzaga and Portland on Friday on Saturday, respectively.
Season/Match Tickets on Sale
Season and individual match tickets for Santa Clara University's nationally-recognized volleyball team are on sale through the Department of Athletics' official website SantaClaraBroncos.com, and the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660, between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In conjunction with its exclusive Internet partner, College Sports Online, the athletic department has developed an online ticket application that provides fans with the ability to purchase season tickets, family plans, individual matches or an all-sports pass via the official athletic website. A volleyball season ticket package that includes the remaining eight home matches is available for the adult price of $65 each in the reserved section, $45 for general admission, while a family plan provides a family of five admission to each match for the low price of $100. Youth (12 and under) and senior (over 65-years-old) season tickets are also available for $25. Single matches are priced at $7 for adult reserved, $5 for adult general admission, $3 for youths and seniors and $2 for SCU students as well Bronco Kidz members. Single match team passes are also available for $30.