Santa Clara travels to San Francisco for its last volleyball match of the season vs. the Dons on Fri., Nov. 19 at 7 pm. Santa Clara will need some things to happen in the WCC, but with a win the Broncos will help themselves finish in fourth place.
Santa Clara is 14-13 and 5-8 in the WCC. USF is 4-22 and 2-11 in the WCC.
Bronco head coach Jon Wallace is looking for Santa Clara's 15th straight winning season with the win over the Dons. Wallace also said the Broncos have a chance to move up in the standings, with a win and a couple of losses from LMU, you know it's good to see that our girls are competitive in that arena, they want to finish as high as they can.
"I think this week is really important for us and I hope the team," said Wallace. "We had a meeting on Monday and the girls decided they wanted to end the year with a winning record, and that if they win on Friday night, that can happen. The team wants to finish as high as we can in the standings and they are working hard this week in practice to help us accomplish that. Their spirits have been high this week and they're excited to play on Friday. I know Tanya, Dana and Kaleigh will all have good matches against USF."
Santa Clara is led by junior Tanya Schmidt, who is hitting .335 with 2.24 kpg and .73 bpg. Senior Emily Burke leads the team with 9.16 apg and junior libero Bridget O'Hara is team leader with 4.53 dpg. O'Hara has been forced into playing left side attacker the last three matches due to the injury of Kayla Lommori. Sophomore Dana Knudsen is hitting .326 with 2.77 kpg and leads the team with .93 bpg. Sophomore Kaleigh Durket leads the team with 3.32 kpg and is fifth on the team with 1.74 dpg. Lommori, who has been out for two weeks with a bad ankle sprain, has 3.16 kpg and 1.98 dpg.
The Dons are led by Malina Terrell with 2.84 kpg, Joan Caloiaro with 2.23 kpg and Sarah Mandala with 2.20 kpg.
Wallace said that despite all the injuries this season and missed practice time due to injuries, the team is going to get the most out of it this week. "Obviously we're not in a good spot in terms of health. We have some girls who are sick, some girls coming back from an ankle injury, we don't know who's going to play, we don't know what lineup we're going to go, but the girls are committed to doing their best," said Wallace.
Wallace also pointed out this year's team isn't using injuries as an excuse or thinking forward to next year in the middle of this season and for that, he's proud of the team. "The story is at the end how tough this group is after all the injuries and missed practice time, this and that, they hung together and played hard all the way through the end," said Wallace. "I told the team that after the loss at San Diego because we haven't really told them that either. I said 'Hey you guys, take a step back and look at reality here, we've been through a lot of tough injuries, missed a lot of time, haven't had any continuity, we have no sense of who the girl is next to me. You can't play volleyball like that, you got to have trust, you know, at this point you can't change that.' We've told them this week to just play hard."