Sept. 1, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's volleyball team will be making the first of their three Southern California trips this weekend as they visit Orange County for the Holiday Inn-Costa Mesa Sunset Classic at UC Irvine.
The Broncos will pull double-duty on Saturday, taking on the UNLV Rebels at 11 a.m. before closing out tournament action in a 7:30 p.m. match against the host UC Irvine Anteaters. Santa Clara's Friday night match against Southern Mississippi was cancelled Wednesday, as the Golden Eagles were unable to make the trip to Irvine due to the damage and inclement weather brought on by Hurricane Katrina.
The cancellation of Friday's match gives the Broncos an extra day of preparation for the Rebels (1-2) and Anteaters (2-1). Coming off of a season-opening 3-0 sweep of Sacramento State on Tuesday night, Santa Clara is looking to build off of that impressive performance and end the week with a pair of wins.
Junior Kim McGiven led the Broncos Tuesday night with 18 kills and 14 digs from her outside hitter position, while freshman Brittany Lowe, who earned the start in her collegiate debut, notched nine kills and 10 digs. Setter Crystal Matich's crisp passing led her to 43 assists and a per-game average of 14.33.
"Hopefully we'll be able to continue passing well, which gets our offense going," said Head coach Jon Wallace. "This week we've spent a lot of time on defense so we're looking to really clean up the defensive side and create a lot of opportunities for ourselves."
UNLV is coming off of a 3-0 sweep of Arizona State in their final match of the Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational in Northridge, Calif. The Rebels opened the Invitational with a pair of losses, a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Saint Mary's and a 3-2 defeat by host Cal State Northridge. Junior outside hitter Michelle Banks put up a pair of double-doubles in the final two matches, notching 20 kills and 11 digs against Cal State Northridge before posting 13 kills and 19 digs in the sweep of the Sun Devils.
UC Irvine finished last weekend strong with a couple of 3-2 wins against Hofstra and Long Island after a season-opening 3-0 loss to No. 18 San Diego. Senior middle blocker Amanda Vazquez led the Anteaters over the weekend with 49 kills, a .438 hitting percentage, and 21 blocks, numbers that were enough to earn her Big West Player of the Week honors. Trisha White, a junior outside hitter, also had a strong weekend, posting 40 kills, 17 digs, and 11 blocks over the three games.
"We're on the road again, we expect two tough matches in one day, so it will be a little bit of an early-season gut and mental check to play in the morning and come back and play well in the evening," commented Wallace. "We put that challenge in front of the girls so hopefully they'll rise to the occasion."
Santa Clara returns home Sept. 8 to host the Fresno State Bulldogs in their first match of the Bronco Invitational at the Leavey Center. Tickets for the three-day event are available by calling 408/554-4660 or by clicking here.