Volleyball

 

Santa Clara Closes out WCC Season at Pepperdine, LMU

Nov. 17, 2004

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This Week
Santa Clara will close out conference play on the road, visiting Southern California for two matches. The Broncos will play at Pepperdine on Friday and at Loyola Marymount on Saturday. First serves for both matches are set for 7 p.m. Santa Clara is currently in third place in the conference standings, and needs to wins this weekend to stay ahead of the fourth-place Lions and Waves.

McGiven Earns Academic Honors
Kim McGiven has been named to the CoSIDA District VIII All-Academic Second Team. She boasts a 3.873 grade-point average while working toward a degree in Finance. McGiven is one of only three sophomores to be named to the team. To be eligible for consideration, student-athletes must have reached at least sophomore status, be a starter or significant reserve, and have at least a 3.20 GPA. District VIII is composed of Division I schools in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Younger Muratore Out for Season
Annalisa Muratore will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on her left knee last Thursday, Nov. 11. Muratore, who is ranked fifth nationally in blocks per game (1.77), and 26th in hitting percentage (.384), did not play at Portland and Gonzaga three weeks ago, but came off the bench against San Diego on Nov. 6.

Building a Wall
Santa Clara is currently ranked seventh in the nation in blocks per game, boasting a 3.33 average. Freshman Annalisa Muratore leads the team with a 1.77 mark, which ranks fifth in the nation. Nora Miller is next with a 1.22 average. Anna Cmaylo is right behind her, averaging 1.20 blocks per game.

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 this weekend. 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 23rd 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, No. 12 Saint Mary's and No. 19 San Diego. Also on the schedule is non-conference opponent Stanford, currently listed ninth. Santa Clara entered Volleyball Magazine's poll five weeks ago and is No. 18 as of the Oct. 27 listing.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in blocks (3.33 pg). The Broncos are second in kills (16.20 pg), assists (14.93 pg) and opponent hitting percentage (.166), while ranking third in hitting percentage (.238), fifth in service aces (1.24 pg) and sixth in digs (16.33 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 (4.82 pg) and Anna Cmaylo is fifth in blocks (1.20 pg). Santa Clara has the most balance in its offense in conference listings, as Toni Muratore is eighth in the WCC with a 3.36 kills per game mark, and Kim McGiven follows at 3.22, making the Broncos one of only two league schools with three players ranked in the top 15 in this category. Additionally, Cassie Perret is ranked eighth in blocks per game (1.11), one of only two non-middle blockers listed in the top 10.

A Look Ahead: Broncos Close Regular Season
Santa Clara will play its final match of the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 23 against No. 9 Stanford. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Burnham Pavilion.