Aug. 30, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After sweeping their way to the Boise State Invitational title, No. 19 Santa Clara volleyball (3-0) returns to action this weekend at the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational hosted by the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.
The Broncos open the tournament against the Wolfpack of North Carolina State on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 a.m. PT. Later that day, SCU and Georgia Southern face off at 2 p.m. PT. Santa Clara closes out the tournament against No. 7 Florida on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 12:30 p.m. PT.
Follow The Broncos Online
Saturday's contest against the No. 7 Florida Gators will be broadcast live on www.gatorzone.com. Fans can listen in to the play-by-play by visiting the women's volleyball homepage and clicking on the web broadcast link on the right side of the page.
SCU Climbs To No. 19 In AVCA/CSTV Coaches Poll
After an excellent weekend on the road, limiting their opponents to 188 points in nine games, the Santa Clara Broncos jumped six spots to No. 19 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll.
In their first weekend on the court, the Broncos registered 150 kills, 139 assists, 15 service aces, 146 digs and 19 total blocks. SCU currently ranks third in hitting percentage (.325), assists and service aces in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos also checked in at No. 4 in the WCC in kills, blocks and digs.
Broncos Win Boise State Invitational Title
With a hard-fought, 3-0 (30-27, 30-26, 30-24), victory over Boise State Saturday night, Santa Clara posted a perfect 3-0 mark to bring home its first tournament title of the season.
SCU also blanked Cal State Fullerton and Texas-San Antonio to complete the unblemished overall record. In their last match of the tournament, the Broncos had three players reach double-digit kills and two players registered more than 10 digs.
Freshman Krista Kelley posted her first collegiate double-double with 17 kills and 13 digs, while junior Brittany Lowe and sophomore Lindsy Evans chipped in with 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Senior libero Caroline Walters rounded out the team leaders with 17 digs.
Evans Named Tournament MPV
Opposite hitter Lindsy Evans recorded an impressive start to her sophomore campaign, garnering Most Valuable Player accolades at the Boise State Invitational.
In three matches, Evans combined for 47 kills on 96 attacks with only 12 errors for a .365 hitting percentage. She also registered 10 digs, nine total blocks and two service aces to lead the Broncos to a 3-0 record.
Joining Evans on the all-tournament team was senior setter Crystal Matich. Matich played an instrumental role in Santa Clara's dominance last weekend. She tallied 126 assists, bringing her career assists total to 3,075. Matich also posted 11 kills, 17 digs and four total blocks.
Libero Walters Eyes Program Record
After playing an important role in last weekend's Boise State Invitational, senior libero Caroline Walters recorded 39 digs to bring her career total to 1,495. She is now 366 digs shy of eclipsing the current school record of 1,860 set by Lia Young (1990-93). Over the course of her three seasons at Santa Clara, Walters has earned two All-WCC honors as she controls the back row defense for the Broncos. Be sure to continue to check www.santaclarabroncos.com for updates as Walters closes in on making school history.
Consistency Is Key For Broncos Offense
With just three matches under their belt, the Broncos already have five athletes with hitting percentages well over .300.
Leading the way for SCU is Kim Courtney, who compiled a .444 hitting percentage at last weekend's Boise State Invitational. Brittany Lowe checks in at No. 2 with a .426 PCT and is followed by Crystal Matich (.400), Lindsy Evans (.365) and Alex Scoffone (.350).
Matich Keeps On Dishing Them Out
Senior setter Crystal Matich has held onto the quarterback position of the Broncos since stepping on the court in 2004. As the team's current assists leader and a 2005 All-American, Matich is riding a 54 match double-digit assists streak that dates back to Nov. 23, 2004.
In 75 total matches played, Matich has dished out double digit assists in all but two, and has compiled 11 double-doubles.
In the first two matches of the 2007 season, she duplicated her opening numbers from a year ago, registering 39 assists against CSU-Fullerton (the same number against Pacific in '06) and 48 assists against Texas-San Antonio (posting the same against Kansas State in '06).
Matich currently ranks fifth in all-time career assists with 2,949 and fifth in career assists average with 11.39 per game.
In their first on-court appearance in Broncos uniforms, Kelley registered eight kills, eight digs, two total blocks and one service ace, while Scoffone added three kills.
Scoffone stepped out on the court again the following morning against Texas-San Antonio to post a .556 hitting percentage with six kills on nine attempts, which was the second best in the match.
The duo reappeared in the final match of the tournament against Boise State to help Santa Clara to a 3-0 victory and the tournament title. Kelley recorded a match-high 17 kills to go with 13 digs for her first collegiate double-double, while Scoffone posted six total blocks.
Overall, Kelley currently ranks third on the team in kills and digs, while Scoffone is second on the team in total blocks and tied for fourth in kills.
Scouting North Carolina State
The Wolfpack enters Friday's match after posting a 3-1 record at the North Carolina Central Tournament. NC State defeated South Carolina State (3-0), Campbell (3-1) and Loyola College (Md.) (3-1), and faced its lone loss to host North Carolina Central in a hard-fought, 3-2, decision.
NC State is currently led by freshman Lauren Zaniboni, who compiled 67 kills, 11 digs and seven total blocks in the first weekend of play. Outside hitter Megan Rehmer is a serving force for the Wolfpack, tallying 10 aces thus far, while three standouts lead the back line with 40 digs each (Lindsay Benac, Nikki Sweet and Rehmer).
NC State had a tough 2006 season, going 2-29 overall and 0-22 in the ACC.
Friday's contest marks the first meeting between the Broncos and Wolfpack.
Scouting Georgia Southern
The Eagles open this weekend's tournament with an even 2-2 record. Last weekend at the GSU Invitational, Georgia Southern went 1-2 against North Florida (3-0), Stetson (1-3) and host Georgia (0-3), and registered its second win of the season against Kennesaw State on Aug. 28.
Georgia Southern is led by a young group of talent including freshmen Sarah Gildersleeve and Michelle Uzoh, who rank first and second, respectively, on the team in hitting percentage. Gildersleeve averages 2.23 kills per game with a .379 overall hitting percentage and Uzoh has tallied 2.14 kills per game thus far.
Last season, the Eagles posted a 14-14 overall record and a 7-11 Southern Conference mark.
Friday's match is the first meeting between Santa Clara and Georgia Southern.
The No. 7 Gators begin the weekend with a 2-0 record after defeating Illinois State (3-0) and Notre Dame (3-1).
Marcie Hampton, Angie McGinnis and Elyse Cusack are atop the Gators leaders so far this season. Outside hitter Hampton has recorded 35 kills, 27 digs and three total blocks, while setter McGinnis leads the team with 92 assists. Cusack has tallied team-bests in service aces and digs with five and 44, respectively.
Florida entered the 2007 season with a 30-3 overall record last year, going 19-1 in the SEC for their 16th consecutive conference title. The Gators advanced to the NCAA Championship Regional in 2006, falling to Minnesota, 3-1.
Saturday afternoon's contest is the first meeting of the two teams.
The Broncos are on the road once again next week for their farthest trip of the season. Santa Clara travels to Honolulu, Hawaii for the 2007 Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Challenge hosted by the University of Hawaii. USC will open the tournament against Wichita State on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. PT. On Friday, Santa Clara battles Eastern Washington at 8 p.m. PT, and then faces host Hawaii on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. PT.