Sept. 10, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Although classes don't officially start for another week on the Mission Campus, the women of Santa Clara volleyball have already aced their first exam of the year. By convincingly defeating two nationally-ranked teams en route to capturing the Bronco Invitational title at the Leavey Center this weekend, the Broncos proved that they are well-deserving of a healthy climb in the rankings.
One night after blemishing No. 15 Arizona's then-perfect record, the 25th-ranked Broncos eliminated any notion of a let-down by sweeping the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara (3-3) 3-0 (30-21, 30-15, 30-19) at the Leavey Center on Saturday afternoon.
Santa Clara attacked the Gauchos right from the opening serve and never let up until after a Gaucho attack fell out-of-bounds on match point, giving the Broncos the sweep. Throughout the match red-and-white jerseys flew about the court chasing down every loose ball and challenging every attack.
"I hope it's the fact that we practiced really hard here for a good month and now we feel comfortable and don't want to lose at home," Head coach Jon Wallace said about his team's blazing start. "We're in a good spot right now, we're very confident and very smooth, and hopefully we can carry that out for the rest of the year."
Kim McGiven paced the Broncos with a double-double effort of 16 kills and 14 digs, while Anna Cmaylo posted eight blocks up front. Crystal Matich had another strong night at setter, notching 42 assists while also adding four kills.
Senior Cassie Perret was named tournament Most Valuable Player after notching 41 kills, 21 digs, 12 blocks and a hitting percentage of .415 over the three matches.
"Cassie played at a very high level and its amazing how her game has really risen," commented Wallace. "She's really ready for her senior year and is playing the way we thought she could."
Added Perret: "It was awesome, we all pulled together, focused and did what we were supposed to do. We were just aggressive on the court."
In addition to Perret's MVP honors, McGiven, Cmaylo, Matich, and libero Caroline Walters were named to the All-Tournament team. Joining them were outside hitters Kim Glass from Arizona and Janine Sandell from UC Santa Barbara.
The Broncos will travel to Utah next weekend to participate in the Utah Tournament in Salt Lake City. Santa Clara takes the court Friday evening at 6 p.m. PST against the Idaho Vandals.
Bronco Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP - OH Cassie Perret (SCU)
MB Anna Cmaylo (SCU)
OH Kim McGiven (SCU)
S Crystal Matich (SCU)
L Caroline Walters (SCU)
OH Kim Glass (Arizona)
OH Janine Sandell (UCSB)