Santa Clara returns home for an important match this weekend as it hosts the 2011 West Coast Conference home opener vs. No. 16 San Diego on Sat., Sept. 23 at 1 pm. The Toreros, the defending WCC champions, came to the Bay Area flying high with unblemished 13-0 record, a first in school history, but were swept by USF on Thursday night 3-0. USD now travels to the Mission Campus for its match with the Broncos (click here for USF-USD game story).
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.
The Broncos (5-6) are fresh off two five-set wins Sept. 17 at the University of Texas last weekend, falling to No. 8 Texas on Sept. 16 (click here for match story). The Broncos defeated Texas-San Antonio 3-2, shutting the Roadrunners down twice wen serving match point and falling behind 14-10 in the fifth set before winning 16-14 (click here for match story). A few hours later the Broncos defeated SMU 3-2 (click here for match story).
For their efforts, Katherine Douglas and Kaleigh Durket were named to the Texas Invitational All-Tournament team. Douglas scored 3.38 kills per set, hitting .265 with 2.23 digs per set. Durket hit .321, scoring 3.08 kills per set and 2.23 digs per set.
Head coach Jon Wallace reflected earlier this week on winning the two five set matches in Texas last weekend. "I think it will help us a lot. The crowds were great in Texas. The two five set matches prepared us well in terms of finding out how to win being in critical situations and turning out successful," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Going into the San Diego match and the WCC, we have our confidence and the women are excited to play."
Prior to falling at USF Thursday night, San Diego was coming off a USD Invitational Championship, where they dropped UCSB, George Washington and Indiana in straight sets. Sophomore setter Rachel Alvey was the USD Invitational tournament MVP and teammates Katie Hoekman and Chloe Ferrari were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Ferrari was then named the WCC Player of the Week earlier this week. Ferrari helped USD sweep all three teams last weekend as she paced the team with 28 kills, while only committing two errors on 54 swings to post an impressive .481 attack percentage. Ferrari also posted six blocks and five digs on the weekend.
This week Santa Clara is fifth in the WCC in hitting percentage at .225. Santa Clara leads the WCC in assists with 13.60 avg/s and 585 total assists. In addition, Santa Clara leads the WCC in kills with 14.33/s and 616 total kills.
Individually, Dana Knudsen is fifth in the WCC with a .315 hitting percentage, while Tanya Schmidt is sixth with a .301 percentage. Katherine Douglas is fourth in the WCC in kills with 3.47/set and 149 total. Bridget O'Hara is fifth in the WCC with 3.77/set and 147 total.
In the WCC, Santa Clara has the most kills by a team in an individual match this season with 79 when they faced SMU in a 5 set match on Sept. 17. In their match against SMU the Broncos also set a WCC team season highs with 205 total attempts, 77 assists and 90 digs.
Associate head coach Brent Hilliard is leading the Toreros squad this season as head coach Jennifer Petrie is taking the year off to spend time with her newborn daughter, Caroline. The team doesn't seem to have missed a beat. They lead the WCC in hitting percentage (.254) and opponent hitting pct (.112). They are second only to Santa Clara in assists (13.58/s and 584 total) and kills (14.26/s and 613 total). They are also second in blocks to BYU (2.69/s and 115 total) and are second to Pepperdine in digs (15.70/s and 675 total).
Individually, Hoekman and Ferrari lead the WCC in attack percentage (.386 and .368, respectively). Alvey leads the conference in assists with 11.76/s (482 total). Amber Tatsch is also a key player for the Toreros. She leads the WCC in service aces with 0.52/s and is fifth in the league in kills with 3.45/s.