Santa Clara's volleyball team has a single match this week and it's important. The Broncos will host DIG PINK! vs. rival San Francisco on Fri., Oct. 22 at 6 pm in the Leavey Center. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and donate money for Breast Cancer research at the Leavey Center table.
"This match is important to our team as our DIG PINK! match this year. We will play hard and look for a win as the team wants to thank the Bronco fans for donating," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. The Bronco volleyball team has already pledged to collect $250 each prior to the match and donations can be made at the door.
Santa Clara is 11-9 and 2-4 in the WCC this season. USF, who fell 3-2 to UC Davis on Oct. 19, enters the match at 3-16 and 1-5 in the WCC. Its lone win in the WCC was a 3-0 beating of Gonzaga in Spokane.
Santa Clara is led by sophomore Dana Knudsen and junior Tanya Schmidt. Knudsen is third in the league in hitting at .338 and Schmidt is fourth in the league at .315. Knudsen is 10th in the league with 2.93 kpg and eighth with .86 bpg. Kaleigh Durket is fourth in the league with 3.45 kpg and Kayla Lommori is sixth with 3.33 kpg. Setter Emily Burke is No. 3 in the league with 10.33 apg and libero Bridget O'Hara is second in the league with 4.59 dpg.
The Broncos are searching for their first WCC win at home this year, having played the top four league teams closely this year, including a 3-1 loss last Thursday to second-place Saint Mary's. Wallace likes what he sees in practice this week thus far. "We played much better last weekend. I liked the way we competed against the best team's in our conference and we saw improvement from the week before in our play," said Wallace. "We are working hard to improve our defense. We worked a lot earlier in the week on technique and bettering our play by making the next contact with the ball easier by making better passes or sets to start."
Wallace said he would like to get Alexandra Palmer and Megan Anders, who both missed a large part of the season due to injury, more involved in the offense. "Megan and Alexandra are both working hard in practice to get their timing down after missing so much time with injuries," said Wallace. "Megan is going to be a good player for us and she has been working on her blocking to improve every day."
Wallace said Katie Borden has been working really hard in practice this week to help the team and Kaleigh Durket continues to work to improve and learn the system. "Katie has had a really good week of practice," said Wallace. "Kaleigh Durket has been a dominant hitter for us and she is working to improve in the backcourt now as well. We have worked on Kaleigh's swing this week and we believe she will have a really good match on Friday."