Volleyball Gears Up for Road ... Again

Volleyball Gears Up for Road ... Again

Oct. 7, 2009

Playing the first 15 of its 16 matches on the road, Santa Clara, 10-6 and 0-1 in the WCC, will finish up its road trip this week when it plays at Saint Mary's Thurs., Oct. 8 at 7 pm and then at No. 24 San Diego on Sat., Oct. 10 at 1 pm. Santa Clara finally returns home on Thurs., Oct. 15 vs. Portland at 7pm and then vs. Gonzaga on Sat., Oct. 17 at 1 pm when it hosts DIG PINK - to raise money and awareness during Breast Cancer Month.

Santa Clara fell at USF 3-0 on Oct. 2. Santa Clara is hitting .225 and opponents are hitting .203. Santa Clara averages 13.1 kpg and 12.9 dpg, with 2.2 bpg and 1.2 apg.

After falling at USF last Friday, Bronco head coach Jon Wallace delivered a Mike Singletary-like message to his team this week: `Play Hard, Fight, Compete on Every Point'. "That is what we are asking the girls to do this week," said Wallace. "We play very tough opponents this week. Saint Mary's is good and they are playing pretty smooth. This will be a difficult match for us, but we are trying to get our team to just play as hard as they can and if they are going to worry about anything, it should be competing as hard as they can."

Wallace echoed the speech Singletary message last week to the Bronco women's soccer team when he said the team needed to compete hard for every point, every ball.

"This week we started games at 20-20 and played until one scored 25," said Wallace. "We talked to the team about the five point stretch between 20 and 25 and that's where we need to make the plays, be aggressive and stay aggressive. It did pay off yesterday in practice. We played about five or six of those and we got better at each one. It's about being comfortable from 20-25 and staying aggressive. Our team has to learn that lesson. And hopefully that kind of play in practice will carry over into matches."

Individually, Dana Knudsen, who is hitting .369 with 2.38 kpg and .91 bpg, leads Santa Clara. Freshmen Katherine Douglas has a team-high 146 kills on the year. Setter Emily Burke scores 7.44 apg. Playing a number of freshmen and sophomores, Santa Clara has 11 underclassmen on the team.

Wallace said he can see the Broncos are going to be a good team because they have really good kids, who are dedicated to getting better, care and certainly want to get better every day.

"Our kids were really down after losing last Friday," said Wallace. "They came in on Monday and really wanted to work hard this week and get better. That's really good. They have good work ethic and they are going to improve."

Saint Mary's enters the match on Thursday with a 10-3 record, having gone 2-0 on the road last weekend when it defeated Pepperdine 3-0 on Oct. 1 and LMU 3-0 on Oct. 3.

"Saint Mary's has the best chance of winning the WCC now after going on the road and getting two wins. They are playing good volleyball," said Wallace. "Looking at Pepperdine, USD and even us - there is a lot of volleyball left so anyone can win. No one is that much better than someone else. I would say two-six, they are going to have to play well to beat Saint Mary's and those teams will probably beat up on each other home and away."

Sophomore Chanteal Satele was named WCC Player of the week last week. Satele's line for the weekend was a team-high 22 kills, four errors on 45 total attempts for a .400 attack percentage, she averaged 3.67 kills per game, she also notched two total blocks and one dig.

San Diego, who plays USF on Thurs., Oct. 8, is 9-4 and 1-1 in the WCC. USD won 3-2 at LMU Oct. 1 before falling 3-0 at Pepperdine on Oct. 3. Carrie Baird paced the Torero offense as she tied a career-high with 13 kills on 28 attempts, while only committing two errors to hit for a .393 clip at LMU. Baird also recorded 10 digs to post her second double-double of the season. In Saturday's loss, Torey Ellick and Carrie Baird led the team with 10 kills apiece, with Ellick hitting at a .500 clip and Baird hitting at a .400 clip.

"Each week is about us learning how to control the things we can control and play the best volleyball we can," said Wallace. "We also need better execution. We will get better - we know that."

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