Santa Clara Closes Regular Season at No. 7 Stanford Tonight
Nov. 23, 2004
No. 25 Santa Clara will close out the regular season at seventh-ranked Stanford tonight. The Cardinals is 21-6 on the season and is coming off a five-game victory over previously undefeated and top-ranked Washington. Stanford is led by Ogonna Nnamani's 5.89 kills per game average.
A Look Ahead: NCAA Selection Show
Santa Clara will await its fate when the NCAA committee announces the 2004 postseason field on Sunday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. The bracket will be announced on ESPNews.
Building a Wall
Santa Clara is currently ranked 10th in the nation in blocks per game, boasting a 3.24 average. Despite missing six of the last seven matches, freshman Annalisa Muratore leads the team with a 1.77 mark, which ranks third in the nation. Nora Miller is next with a 1.19 average. Anna Cmaylo is right behind her, averaging 1.18 blocks per game.
In Other National Stats
Santa Clara is currently ranked 30th in assists (14.97) and Annalist Muratore is ranked 25th in hitting percentage (.384).
Santa Clara's schedule once again has invited the nation's best, as the Broncos' slate included 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 was strong preparation for the West Coast Conference season. The quest for the 2004 league crown was challenging, as six of the eight conference schools advanced to the postseason last year, displaying the national strength of the WCC.
In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara is second in the West Coast Conference in blocks (3.24 pg), assists (14.97 pg), kills (16.18 pg) and opponent hitting percentage (.171). The Broncos are third in hitting percentage (.234), and sixth in service aces (1.16 pg) and digs (16.62 pg). Individually, Annalisa Muratore leads the league in hitting percentage (.384) and blocks (1.77 pg), and is eighth in kills (3.41 pg). Additionally, Caroline Walters is second in digs (4.91 pg) and Anna Cmaylo is fifth in blocks (1.18 pg). Santa Clara has the most balance in its offense in conference listings, as Toni Muratore is sixth in the WCC with a 3.45 kills per game mark, and Kim McGiven follows at 3.14 for 12th, 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 ninth in blocks per game (1.06), one of only two non-middle blockers listed in the top 10.
In the Rankings
Santa Clara is ranked 25th 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 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 seventh.
Younger Muratore Out for Season
Annalisa Muratore will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on her left knee on Thursday, Nov. 11. Muratore, who is ranked third nationally in blocks per game (1.77), and 25th 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 before calling it a season.
Bronco Bits: Caroline Walters
Has started 22 matches at Libero and has seen action in all 25 contests... posted a match-high 26 digs in season opener against Sacramento State in collegiate debut... added 27 digs against Arkansas... notched 21 digs against UCLA... earned All-Tournament Team honors at the TCU adidas Invitational... recorded 20 digs at Hawaii... posted 21 digs at San Jose State... added 21 digs at San Francisco... registered 33 digs against Loyola Marymount to tie for the third best individual performance in program history... added 28 digs against Pepperdine... contributed 24 digs against San Diego... posted 20 digs against San Francisco... added 32 digs at Pepperdine...
Bronco Bits: Kristen Luxton
Has started 16 matches and has seen action in all 25 contests... split time at setter, recording 38 assists and 10 digs in season opener against Sacramento State... added three service aces... added 34 assists against Arkansas... notched two kills and 25 assists against Pacific... recorded 25 assists and 12 digs at Hawaii... recorded a 35-assist, 10-dig effort at San Jose State... notched 27 assists against Pepperdine... matched personal best of 38 assists against Saint Mary's... added first two block assists of the season against the Gaels... outdid herself the next night with a career-high 57 assists and three block assists... surpassed that personal best with 69 assists in next outing at Pepperdine...
Bronco Bits: Anna Cmaylo
Has started 14 matches and has seen action in all 25 contests... notched four kills in collegiate debut against Sacramento State... added seven kills, a .357 hitting percentage and six blocks against Arkansas... posted eight kills against Pacific... recorded zero errors for an .800 hitting percentage... added five blocks... posted six blocks against UCLA... earned first start against Hawaii... followed with a team-leading 12 kills against Southwest Missouri State for a .562 clip... added seven blocks against the Bears... added six kills and six blocks against Appalachian State... followed with 10 kills and a .467 clip the next morning against Arkansas-Little Rock... added 10 kills and six blocks at San Jose State... notched 11 kills and a career-high nine blocks against Gonzaga... added 10 kills and six blocks at San Francisco... added 11 kills and four blocks against Pepperdine... recorded 10 kills and five blocks at Gonzaga... added nine kills and six blocks off the bench against Saint Mary's... posted 12 kills and five blocks against San Francisco... netted a career-high 17 kills at Pepperdine... hit .500 and added five blocks...
Bronco Bits: Nora Miller
Has six starts and has seen action in 12 matches... has been battling a foot injury all season... recorded two block assists against UCLA... notched four kills and zero errors against Southwest Missouri State... added four kills against Appalachian State... earned start at Portland, posting 10 kills and no errors in 15 attempts for a .667 hitting percentage... added a career-high four blocks... bested those marks one night later, with 15 kills and five blocks at Gonzaga... added six kills against Saint Mary's... posted a career-high 10 blocks against San Francisco, and had a hand in three of the team's first seven points with her defensive efforts... added nine kills and five blocks at Pepperdine... notched six blocks at Loyola Marymount...
Bronco Bits: Lexie Bothman
Has one start and has seen action in six contests... recorded one service ace against Southwest Missouri State... added two aces and six digs against Appalachian State... posted six digs in first start of the season at San Francisco... added five digs each against Saint Mary's and San Francisco... registered 10 digs and two assists at Pepperdine... added 11 digs at LMU the following night...