No. 19 Santa Clara Visits Northwest to Start Second Half of Conference Play

No. 19 Santa Clara Visits Northwest to Start Second Half of Conference Play

Oct. 28, 2004

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This Week
Santa Clara will open the second half of conference play on the road, visiting the Northwest schools. The Broncos will face Portland on Friday and Gonzaga on Saturday. Both matches have 7 p.m. starts at their respective venues. The Pilots are 10-10 overall, 1-6 in league play, while the Bulldogs are 4-17, 0-7. Santa Clara has won 19 straight against Portland and 20 consecutive contests against Gonzaga.

Building a Wall
Santa Clara is currently ranked second in the nation in blocks per game, boasting a 3.52 average. Freshman Annalisa Muratore leads the team with a 1.86 mark, which ranks tops in the nation. Junior Cassie Perret is next with a 1.23 average. Fellow newcomer Anna Cmaylo is right behind her, averaging 1.22 blocks per game.

In Other National Stats
Santa Clara is currently ranked second in the nation in blocks per game (3.52) and 28th in assists per game (14.86). Individually, freshman Annalisa Muratore is also ranked 20th nationally in hitting percentage, boasting a .391 clip.

Muratore Adds Second WCC Player of the Week Honor
Annalisa Muratore was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday for her performances in two conference matches this past weekend. It marked her second league honor of the season. The Atwater, Calif. native notched 15 kills and eight blocks on Friday night as the Broncos defeated Loyola Marymount. On Sunday, she matched a career high in block assists with 14 and set a new career mark with 23 kills to lead the Broncos to victory in a five-game battle with Pepperdine.

Muratore was also named WCC Player of the Week on Sept. 20 for her performances in three matches 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 then-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.

In the Rankings
Santa Clara stayed at No. 19 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, 11th-ranked Hawaii and No. 12 California. Also on the schedule are non-conference opponent No. 11 Stanford and WCC rivals Saint Mary's and San Diego. Santa Clara entered Volleyball Magazine's poll four weeks ago and is No. 18 as of last week's listing.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in two categories: blocks (3.52 pg) and opponent hitting percentage (.163). The Broncos are second in kills (16.09 pg) and assists (14.86 pg), while ranking third in hitting percentage (.239), and fifth in digs (16.16 pg) and service aces (1.34 pg). Individually, Annalisa Muratore leads the league in hitting percentage (.391) and blocks (1.86 pg), and is ninth in kills (3.46 pg). Additionally, Caroline Walters is second in digs (4.86 pg) and Cassie Perret is fifth in blocks (1.23 pg). Santa Clara has the most balance in its offense in conference listings, as Toni Muratore is 11th in the WCC with a 3.16 kills per game mark, and Kim McGiven is right behind her at 3.10, making the Broncos the only league school with three players ranked in the top 15 in this category.

Super Sisters
Middle blocker Annalisa Muratore is the first freshman to be named WCC Player of the Week since her sister, junior outside hitter Toni Muratore, earned the honor on October 15, 2001. As a tandem on the court, the Muratores have combined for 463 kills, 41 percent of Bronco totals. Defensively, the pair have tallied 192 blocks, or 43 percent of SCU's production.

A Look Ahead: Broncos Remain in Conference Action
Santa Clara will return home for the final three home matches of the regular season. League leader San Diego will visit on Nov. 6, and Saint Mary's and San Francisco will follow the next weekend. Santa Clara is a perfect 8-0 on its home court this season.

Match Tickets on Sale
Individual match tickets for Santa Clara University's nationally-recognized volleyball team are on sale through the Department of Athletics' official website, and the 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 family plans, individual matches or an all-sports pass via the website. 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.

Broncos on National TV in Victory over Pepperdine
College Sports Television, the first 24-hour college sports television network, televised the Broncos' October 24 match against Pepperdine at the Leavey Center. 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 handled play-by-play, while Heather Cox took on analyst duties. A feature story on the Muratore sisters aired during intermission.

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