November 10, 2004

Volleyball Closes Out Home Season vs. Saint Mary's, San Francisco

Nov. 10, 2004

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This Week
Santa Clara will close out the home season this weekend, beginning with a match against Saint Mary's on Friday night. The Gaels are ranked 12th nationally and hold a 21-2, 10-1 record. The Broncos will follow with a Saturday night contest against San Francisco. The Dons are 11-6, 4-7. Prior to the start of the match, the program will honor Christina Vick and Toni Muratore. Vick played with the Broncos for two seasons before an injury ended her career. She continued with the program as an office assistant. Muratore, who is a red-shirt junior, has decided to forego her final year of eligibility.

Building a Wall
Santa Clara is currently ranked sixth in the nation in blocks per game, boasting a 3.35 average. Freshman Annalisa Muratore leads the team with a 1.77 mark, which ranks third in the nation. Fellow newcomer Anna Cmaylo is next with a 1.18 average. Junior Cassie Perret is right behind her, averaging 1.15 blocks per game.

In Other National Stats
Santa Clara is also ranked 29th nationally in assists per game (14.96). Individually, freshman Annalisa Muratore is also ranked 28th nationally in hitting percentage, boasting a .384 clip.

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. 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.

The Schedule
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, which has been strong preparation for when the West Coast Conference season began 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. 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.

In the Rankings
Santa Clara is ranked 20th in this week's USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, as selected by the AVCA. The Broncos opened the 2004 season ranked 22nd. Seven of Santa Clara's opponents are also ranked. The Broncos have already faced No. 3 UCLA, 11th-ranked Hawaii, No. 12 California and No. 21 San Diego. Also on the schedule are non-conference opponent Stanford and WCC rival Saint Mary's. Santa Clara entered Volleyball Magazine's poll five weeks ago and is No. 18 as of last week's listing.

Broncos Tabbed Second in WCC Preseason Poll
Santa Clara has been picked to finish the West Coast Conference season in second place, according to a preseason poll selected by the league's coaches. The Broncos received two first-place votes in the poll. Pepperdine was predicted to claim the 2004 league crown, receiving five first-place votes. Santa Clara tied with Loyola Marymount with 50 points, while San Diego was tabbed to finish fourth. Rounding out the poll is Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Portland and Gonzaga.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in blocks (3.35 pg). The Broncos are second in kills (16.26 pg), assists (14.96 pg), hitting percentage (.244) and opponent hitting percentage (.168), while ranking fifth in service aces (1.27 pg) and sixth in digs (16.22 pg). Individually, Annalisa Muratore leads the league in hitting percentage (.384) and blocks (1.77 pg), and is seventh in kills (3.41 pg). Additionally, Caroline Walters is third in digs (4.88 pg) and Anna Cmaylo is seventh in blocks (1.18 pg). Santa Clara has the most balance in its offense in conference listings, as Kim McGiven is 10th in the WCC with a 3.27 kills per game mark, and Toni Muratore is right behind her at 3.23, making the Broncos one of only two league schools with three players ranked in the top 15 in this category.

A Look Ahead: Broncos Close WCC Season
Santa Clara will close out conference play with road matches in Southern California. The Broncos will take on Pepperdine on Friday in Malibu and then face Loyola Marymount on Saturday in Los Angeles.

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 SantaClaraBroncos.com, 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.