Aug. 18, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team was picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference in a preseason coaches poll. The Broncos earned a share of the WCC Championship last season after finishing in third place in 2006. Santa Clara received 53 points in the poll, behind Pepperdine's 55 points and San Diego's 56 points.
The Broncos return nine players from the 2007 team that posted a 19-12 overall record and an 11-3 mark in the WCC. Santa Clara takes to the court in 2008 with another challenging schedule, seeking their sixth West Coast Conference crown and 11th consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Senior All-American Anna Cmaylo returns to the court for her final season on the mission campus after redshirting last year as she recovered from a shoulder injury. Joining Cmaylo are fellow seniors Brittany Lowe, Nichole Clark and Taylor O'Brien. Lowe received her third honor from the WCC last season as she received first team all-conference accolades. She led the Broncos with 452 kills and was second with 36 aces and 309 digs. Clark finished her junior campaign ranked third with 54 total blocks, while O'Brien dished out 35 assists and recorded career highs in kills, hitting percentage, assists, digs and total blocks.
Juniors Lauryn Dowd, Lindsy Davigeadono and Nina Sevastopoulos also return, along with sophomores Kim Courtney, Alex Scoffone and the 2007 WCC Co-Freshman of the Year Krista Kelley. Head coach Jon Wallace enters his 10th season at Santa Clara with a 195-78 all-time record. He will again be joined by Dustin Moore, Will Yuen and Matt Lyles.
Santa Clara opens the season with an eight-match road swing that begins on Aug. 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Utes Invitational hosted the University of Utah. The Broncos open the season against Wolverines of Utah Valley and then face tournament host Utah on Aug. 31. Both matches are scheduled for 3 p.m.
WCC Volleyball 2008 Preseason Poll
1. San Diego - 56 (3)
2. Pepperdine - 55 (3)
3. Santa Clara - 53 (1)
4. Saint Mary's - 34 (1)
San Francisco - 34
6. Loyola Marymount - 29
7. Gonzaga - 18
8. Portland - 9
(First place votes)