Women's Volleyball Primed For a Strong Start

Women's Volleyball Primed For a Strong Start

Aug. 11, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The intensity and the focus have been ratcheted up in the Leavey Center this week as the women's volleyball team has begun two-a-day practices in preparation for the 2005 season.

Season and single game tickets, group packages and family plans to watch the Broncos at home in the Leavey Center this season are available by calling 408/554-4660 or by visiting www.santaclarabroncos.com. For those who are unable to attend the games, Bronco Athletics will provide a live GameTracker feed via the Internet for every home game and selected away contests.

Santa Clara will begin the 2005 season on August 30 at Sacramento State before heading to the UC Irvine Tournament to square off against Southern Mississippi, UNLV, and host UC Irvine. After hosting three matches in the Bronco Invitational, Santa Clara will travel on consecutive weekends to take part in tournaments in Salt Lake City, Utah and Providence, R.I., respectively. Santa Clara will conclude the preseason schedule with a Rivalry Series match against San Jose State at the Leavey Center.

"We feel that we're going to be strong coming out of the chute," said Head Coach Jon Wallace. "We're looking to compete really well and move up in the rankings. We feel that as good as we think we will be in the preseason, we won't peak for a long time, just because of health reasons. But we're looking to have a lot of success and we'll have a couple of new kids getting into the mix so it will take some time to work out the kinks."

Wallace enters his seventh season as head coach, bringing a 129-53 career record into 2005. Under Wallace's tutelage the Broncos have reached the postseason in all six seasons of his tenure, including a 27-5 record and a WCC championship in 2000.

On the court, Santa Clara returns ten letterwinners and four starters from a 2004 squad that made its seventh-straight NCAA Tournament Appearance, going 18-9 overall and finishing third in the West Coast Conference with a 9-5 mark.

Co-captains Kim McGiven and Kristen Luxton are two returning starters who will look to lead Santa Clara to the postseason again in 2005. McGiven, a junior outside hitter, was second on the team with 258 kills in 2004, while senior setter Luxton led the Broncos in assists (828) and assists per game (7.96).

Also coming off of strong campaigns in 2004 are reigning WCC Freshman of the Year Annalisa Muratore and All-WCC first team selection Cassie Perret. Muratore finished fourth on the team last season in kills with 252 in only 19 matches, and led the WCC in hitting percentage (.384) and blocks per game (1.77). Perret led the squad in games played with 105 while being one of only two Broncos to start all 27 matches during the season. Her 256 kills, 108 blocks, and 299 digs from her outside hitter position were each good for third on the team.

Wallace will also look for contributions from sophomores Caroline Walters, Anna Cmaylo and Crystal Matich, who all respectively ranked among the team leaders in kills, assists and digs.

"We feel that we have an experienced group," Wallace added. "The major contributors on our team are a year or more into the program, so we feel that we'll be able to get off to a really good start. We know what we're going to get out of our kids at this point, and it's all positive."

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