Santa Clara travels to Austin, Texas this weekend to compete in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational Sept. 16-17. Santa Clara will play host Texas, ranked No. 8 nationally this week, at 4:30 pm (Pacific) on Fri., Sept. 16. The Broncos will then play University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) at 7 am (Pacific) on Sat., Sept. 17 before finishing the tournament with a 2:30 pm (Pacific) match vs. SMU later that afternoon. The Texas match will be shown on Longhorn TV. Click here for more information on the televised match.
Santa Clara returns home next weekend to host its 2011 WCC opener on Sat., Sept. 24 when it hosts defending league champion San Diego at 1 pm. San Diego once again sits on top of the WCC leader board, ranked No. 17 nationally, with a 10-0 record entering the weekend – its best start in school history. The Broncos will then travel to Portland (Sept. 29), Gonzaga (Oct. 1), BYU (Oct. 6) and USF (Oct. 8) before returning home to host four of the next five matches with Pepperdine starting the streak at 6 pm on Thurs., Oct. 13. Pepperdine is currently ranked No. 21 nationally.
Santa Clara (3-5) is coming off two losses last weekend, both 3-1, to UC Santa Barbara and North Dakota in the its home opener. The Broncos are 1-1 in away matches this year and 2-2 in neutral matches. Santa Clara is 2-0 in 3-set matches and 1-5 in 4-set matches. It has not gone five sets yet this season.
Santa Clara was 14-14 in 2010 and 17-12 in 2009. The Broncos are searching for their 12th NCAA tournament appearance this season under head coach Jon Wallace, in his 13th season with the Broncos.
Katherine Douglas leads the Broncos with 3.50 kills per game, hitting .221 and collecting 2.13 dpg and a team-leading eight service aces. Kaleigh Durket is second on the team with 2.76 kpg. Durket is tied for second-best with 2.17 digs per game. Kayla Lommori is third with 2.60 kpg and is tied for second on the team with 2.17 digs per game. Team captain Tanya Schmidt knocks down 2.23 kpg, collecting a team-leading .70 blocks per game. Dana Knudsen, the WCC Player of the Week after the first weekend, scores 2.03 kpg, hitting .314 with .67 bpg.
Running a 6-2, Santa Clara's setters are Alexandra Palmer (7.28 apg and 2.17 dpg) and Villanova transfer Alyssa Anderson (4.63 apg and 1.63 dpg). Anderson is second on the team with six aces. Libero Bridget O'Hara is the team leader in digs with 3.80 per set.
As a team, the Broncos are first in the WCC in kills/set with 14.43 (433 total), fourth in the WCC in hitting percentage at .223 and second in the WCC in assists/set at 13.53 (406 total). Individually, Schmidt is No. 3 in the WCC in hitting percentage at .336, Douglas is No. 5 in the WCC in kills/set with 3.64 (105 total) and Bridget O'Hara is No. 6 in the WCC in digs with 3.80/set (114 total).
Schmidt's performance at Utah Valley is second in WCC at .727 for hitting percentage season bests this year (17 kills, 1 error, 22 total att). Douglas' 23 kills vs. North Dakota (23-11-53) are second-most in the WCC this year.
Santa Clara is 0-1 all-time vs. Texas. The last time they played, in Austin, Texas won 3-0. Texas is 3-3 on the season, ranked No. 10. They're coming off dramatic 5-set win over then-No. 2 ranked Penn State (25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 14-25, 15-10). Haley Eckerman headlined the Texas attack in the win, recording 13 kills, while sophomore opposite hitter Bailey Webster shined with 10 kills on .500 hitting and three blocks. Hannah Allison notched her first assist/dig double-double of the season with her 18-assist, 11-dig effort. Eckerman received All-Tournament Honors.
For the Longhorns, Rachael Adams is second with 60 kills, first with .411 pct and is the team-leader in blocks with 42 (1.75/set). Eckerman, the No. 5 recruit nationally by PrepVolleyball.com (2011), is having a stellar freshman year, leading the Longhorns in kills (71) and kill ratio (3.05). Hannah Allison is first with 149 assists (6.21/set) and fourth in digs (34, 1.42/set) while Michelle Kocher is second with 85 assists (4.47/set). Sydney Yogi is first on team with 74 digs (3.08/set) and Khat Bell is second with 66 (2.75/game).
Santa Clara is 3-1 vs. UTSA with its last match vs. the Roadrunners on Sept. 11, 1999, a 3-1 win at the Huskie Invitational. UTSA is 5-6 in 2011. They are coming off a 3-0 win against 3-7 Drake (25-19, 25-21, 25-13). Dempsey led the offensive attack with 12 kills and was second hitting .367. Huskey was second with nine kills, first with .368 pct, third with 12 digs and first with three blocks. Schwirlich led with 33 assists. Jewasko also led with 14 digs.
Whitney Walls leads the Roadrunners with 123 kills and 3.08 kill/set ratio and is second with a .311 percentage. Dempsey Thornton is second on UTSA with 118 kills (2.88 kill/set ratio), third with 72 digs (1/76/set) and third with seven service aces. Allie Bettinger is first with a .409 hitting percentage. Kelsey Schwirlich leads Roadrunners 403 assists and 9.83 assists/set. Elise Huskey has a team-leading 13 service aces and is second with 140 digs (3.41 dig/s). Kelsey Jewasko is first on UTSA with 237 digs (5.78 dig/s). McKenzie Adams is averaging 1.42 blocks/set which leads UTSA.
Santa Clara is meeting SMU for the first time. The Mustangs are 4-5 overall on the year and are coming off a 3-1 (25-21, 25-13, 23-25, 28-26) victory over Utah State in Baden Classic in Long Beach, Calif. SMU led by as many as five points in the fourth set, but lost two match points, fought off a set point for Utah State, before finally closing out the match with a 28-26 victory. They lost to Oregon State (2-3) and Long Beach State (0-3) previous day. Oliver led with 19 kills (.325 pct), Manning scored 11 (.333 pct) and Powell had 10 (.073 pct). Becerra led 47 assists and 10 digs and had a team-leading fifth double-double. Stewart had 30 digs, Powell with 15, Becerra added 10 and Savannah Myklebust finished with 10. Manning also added 5 blocks.
Dana Powell leads Mustangs with a 3.36 kill ratio and she is also second with 134 digs (4.06 ratio). Jessica Oliver has 102 kills and 3.09 ratio, good for second on the team. Courtney Manning is third on SMU with a 2.36 kill/set ratio and team-best .331 hitting pct. Kelli Becerra leads the Mustangs with 348 assists and a 10.55 assists/set ratio. She is also first with seven service aces and five double-doubles. Sidney Stewart leads team with 201 digs and a 6.09 dig/set ratio. Caroline Daly leads at the net, racking up 41 blocks and a 1.24 block/set ratio.