August 16, 2007

Santa Clara Volleyball Picked To Finish Third In WCC

Aug. 16, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University volleyball team was picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference in a preseason coaches poll. The Broncos earned third place last season after winning the title in 2005. The Broncos were one of four teams to earn a first-place vote in the poll. Santa Clara received 50 points in the poll, behind San Diego's 52 and Pepperdine's 61.

SCU has 11 players back from the team that posted a 20-8 record overall and a 9-5 mark in the WCC in 2006. The Broncos also will open the season with a No. 24 ranking in the AVCA poll and are aiming for a 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Returning for Santa Clara will be a trio of experienced seniors, Anna Cmaylo, Crystal Matich and Caroline Walters, along with a strong crop of underclassmen. Both Cmaylo and Matich have earned All-American status during their careers, while Walters is an All-WCC honoree. Cmaylo is coming off a shoulder injury that could affect her status for the 2007 season.

Juniors Nichole Clark, Brittany Lowe, Michelle Luxton and Taylor O'Brien also return, along with sophomores Lauryn Dowd, Lindsy Evans and Nina Sevastopoulos. Kim Courtney will be a redshirt freshman after missing 2006 with a knee injury. Two talented freshmen, Krista Kelley and Alex Scoffone will be counted on to make an impact as well.

Head coach Jon Wallace enters his ninth season at Santa Clara with a 176-66 all-time record, which places him first all-time in wins at Santa Clara. He will again be joined by Dustin Moore, Will Yuen and Matt Lyles.

SCU opens the season at the Boise State Tournament on Aug. 24 and 25 in Boise, Idaho. The Broncos face Cal State Fullerton, Texas-San Antonio and Boise State in the opening tournament. The team's first home match is Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. against UC Davis at the Leavey Center. For individual or season tickets, call 408-554-4660 or click here.

Women's Volleyball 2007 Preseason Poll
1. Pepperdine - 61 (5)
2. San Diego - 52 (1)
3. Santa Clara - 50 (1)
4. Loyola Marymount - 37
5. San Francisco - 30
6. Saint Mary's - 27 (1)
7. Gonzaga - 23
8. Portland - 8
(First place votes)