Volleyball

 
September 12, 2006

Broncos and Spartans Collide In First Rivalry Series Clash Of Year

Sept. 12, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The first salvos of the fifth edition of the Rivalry Series between Santa Clara University and San Jose State University will be fired tonight on the volleyball court as the No. 8 Broncos and the Spartans meet in a 7 p.m. match at Spartan Gym. Santa Clara will look to extend its winning streak against San Jose State to five matches with a win tonight.

Another subplot to tonight's match is that with an SCU victory, head coach Jon Wallace will earn his 163rd career win at the helm of the Bronco program, making him the all-time leader in victories by a volleyball coach in Santa Clara history. Entering tonight, Wallace is currently tied with Mary Ellen Murchison (1978-88) with 162 career wins.

The Broncos, having won the last four matches and five of the last six against the Spartans, dating back to the 2001 season, are coming off of a weekend which saw them split a pair of matches against two of the nation's top teams at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. After suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of then-No. 7 Texas, SCU bounced back the next day with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over then-No. 15 Missouri.

Kim McGiven was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 4.29 kills a game, including a 21-kill, 14-dig performance Friday against the Tigers. Brittany Lowe posted her first double-double of the season with a 17-kill, 17-dig effort while Annalisa Muratore put down a season-high 15 kills at a .429 clip.

The Spartans (7-2) enter this weekend on a four-match winning streak after capturing the New Hampshire Tournament title over the weekend with wins over Texas-San Antonio, Brown, and host New Hampshire. Middle blocker Miki Clement was named the tournament's MVP after hitting .444 for the weekend with 34 kills and 11 blocks, while fellow middle blocker Colleen Burke and libero Jessie Shull were named to the All-Tournament team for their performances.

On the season, the Spartans are led by Clement's 3.06 kills and 1.06 blocks a game, while Burke is right behind her with 3.00 kills and 0.82 blocks a game. Setter Kristina Conrad is averaging 11.26 assists a game while defensively, Shull paces the squad with 6.45 digs per game. Santa Clara carries a four-match winning streak against San Jose State into Spartan Gym Tuesday night.

Following tonight's contest, the Broncos will get a day of rest before swinging back into action at the Stanford Invitational Thursday and Saturday. Santa Clara leads things off with the highly-anticipated rematch of last season's second-round NCAA Tournament upset of Stanford, with first serve against the Cardinal set for 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. SCU will then cap off tournament play by pulling double-duty on Saturday, with a 12 p.m. match against UC Irvine and a 7 p.m. contest against Georgetown.