Sept. 26, 2005
Santa Clara, Calif. - For Jon Wallace, the annual match-up between Santa Clara University and San Jose State University is an event that he never had a problem getting fired up about. In his very first match as Santa Clara's head coach back in 1999, his Broncos suffered a three-game sweep by the Spartans at home and it is a memory that has stayed with him over the years.
"The San Jose State match is very big to me," said Wallace. "[The loss] was a rude awakening for me in my first coaching job. Every time we play them, I get really excited and fired up."
Wallace has never forgotten the feeling of losing to the Spartans, sporting a 4-1 record since that initial meeting. And if rankings are any indication, his 15th-ranked Broncos should add another tally in the victory column. After capturing the Brown Invitational title this past weekend, Santa Clara currently sports a 10-1 record heading into Tuesday's 7 p.m. match-up. Sophomore middle blocker Anna Cmaylo earned Tournament MVP honors after averaging 3.00 kills per game at a .327 hitting percentage in three victories over Manhattan College, Brown University, and Stony Brook University. Senior Cassie Perret and freshman Brittany Lowe were also honored at the conclusion of the weekend, earning a spot on the all-tournament team. Sophomore Jennifer Senftleben leads the unranked Spartans with 3.81 kills per game, followed closely by junior Kristina Conrad's 3.72 kills per game.
The outcome of the Santa Clara-San Jose State affair has further implications than just improving the overall record of the victor. The Rivalry Series, an annual competition between the two university's 13 intercollegiate sports, kicks off with the volleyball match tomorrow night and will continue later this week with women's soccer on Wednesday and men's soccer on Thursday. Santa Clara has captured every single Rivalry Series cup since its inception in 2002. For tickets, contact each school's athletic ticket office. Santa Clara's can be reached by calling (408) 554-4660. In addition, Santa Clara will admit San Jose State students for its $2 price. Members of SCU's Ruff Riders spirit organization are encouraged to wear their official club t-shirt to the game.