Nov. 9, 2000
This Week The 16th-ranked Santa Clara volleyball (22-3) team travels to San Diego and Moraga for West Coast Conference matches this weekend in the hopes of remaining in first place in league standings. The Broncos are tied with Pepperdine with nine wins and one loss each. On Tuesday, the Broncos swept Pac-10 opponent California for its first of three matches this week. Santa Clara swept both San Diego and Saint Mary's earlier in the season.
Three Straight 20-Win Seasons Santa Clara's victory over California on Nov. 7 gave the team its 22nd of the season, surpassing last year's total and--with five matches left on the schedule--is four victories away from matching the program's best mark for wins in a season, set by the 1991 squad. It also marked the program's most wins since the 1993 squad posted 22 victories. The Broncos have subsequently put together three straight 20-win seasons for the first time since 1991-93. Additionally, Santa Clara the first team in WCC history to improve its season victory total in six consecutive seasons. This year's record also marks the seventh time in the program's history that a team has won at least 20 matches in a season. The Broncos' win over Saint Mary's on Oct. 20 guaranteed its fifth-straight regular season win record and 14th overall since 1975.
The Race for the WCC Crown With only four matches left in the conference season, Santa Clara and Pepperdine are tied for first place, each at 9-1 in the WCC. Loyola Marymount is still in striking distance at 7-3. In addition to league bragging rights, the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is at stake. Santa Clara and Pepperdine can each win the title outright by going undefeated in their last four matches. And the race could come down to the last match as both teams end their regular seasons against each other, Nov. 17 at Santa Clara. For LMU to win the title, the Lions have to win their last four matches, including one over the Broncos, and hope that Santa Clara and Pepperdine each lose three of their four. They can also tie if Santa Clara and Pepperdine each lose two. Saint Mary's can't win the title outright, but is still alive to tie for the title if they win their last three conference matchups, while SCU and the Waves lose three and LMU drops at least one. Santa Clara was picked by league coaches to finish third in a preseason poll.
Carrasco Named WCC's Player of the Month for October Senior outside hitter Ynez Carrasco posted 159 kills in October, and, with only 52 errors in 357 swings, averaged a .300 clip to earn the season's second Player of the Month honors. She recorded five straight double-doubles in kills and digs while leading the Broncos to seven sweeps. The only squad that took Santa Clara to five games was Pepperdine, a match which Carrasco registered 29 kills and 17 digs. Over the month's nine matches, she averaged 5.68 kills and 4.39 digs. Additionally, her numbers include a 0.32 service ace average and a 0.75 block average. Against San Diego on Oct. 14, she broke the school record for career kills with her 19th and final of the night. She was also named WCC Player of the Week consecutive weeks during the month.
Nationally Speaking Santa Clara continues to lead the nation in team kills, averaging 19.78 per game, and team assist average, with an 18.24 mark. The Broncos are also ranked 13th in the country in team digs, posting 19.01 per game. Individually, senior Roz Pelayo is second nationally in assist average, with a 14.78 mark. Senior Ynez Carrasco is ranked 16th in digs (4.17 pg) and 20th in kills (5.00 pg).
The Opponents San Diego is just under .500 on their season, at 11-12. They stand in fifth place in the WCC with a 5-6 mark. USD has defeated one ranked opponent, taking UC Santa Barbara in four games in its second match of the year. Last weekend, San Diego swept Portland with eight players posted double digits in digs. Santa Clara swept the Toreros earlier in the season. Santa Clara swept San Diego earlier this season and holds the series' edge 20-12. Saint Mary's is 11-12 overall, 7-4 in league matches, and will close its home season against Santa Clara on Saturday afternoon. Seven of the Gaels 12 losses were to top-25 programs. Additionally, for only the second time in conference history, the Gaels have clinched a .500 WCC record. Santa Clara swept the Gaels in a meeting earlier this season and holds the series edge 35-5.
In the Rankings Santa Clara remained ranked 16th for the second straight week. The team peaked at No. 15 three weeks ago, marking the program's highest ever national ranking. On Sept. 11, the Broncos entered the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll for the first time in seven years, ranked 21st in the poll's second edition. The Broncos haven't been ranked since the 1993 squad went 22-10 and reached the NCAA Tournament. Santa Clara was ranked for seven straight weeks that season, peaking at No. 19 for three weeks. The Broncos are also ranked 16th in Volleyball Magazine's Poll for the second consecutive poll.
Santa Clara's schedule features seven ranked opponents over nine matches. Remaining on the schedule are matches against WCC foes Pepperdine, ranked 12th, and Loyola Marymount, ranked 22nd. The Broncos will also face 20th-ranked Stanford in a non-conference match Nov. 21 to close out the regular season.
Earlier This Week
Santa Clara Sweeps California Santa Clara swept Bay Area rival California in non-conference Tuesday night at the Pat Malley Center. Santa Clara only allowed 13 points to the Bears in its 15-10, 15-1, 15-2 victory, marking the least points given to any team this season. Down 3-4 in the first frame, Santa Clara saw four of Brook Terhune's six blocks on the night right in a row to give the Broncos a 7-4 lead. Santa Clara held on for a 15-10 win and then dominated games two and three, hitting .583 and .417 to .036 and .086 for the Bears. Amy Kohl led Santa Clara with 11 kills, followed by Becky Potter with 10. California's Gabrielle Abernathy led the Bears with 11 kills. Defensively for the Broncos, Ynez Carrasco posted 12 digs and Jami Bari added 11.
Breaking NCAA Records Santa Clara is on pace to break two NCAA season records. The Broncos are averaging 19.78 kills per game to lead the nation, and will top Colorado's mark of 19.01 set in 1998. Additionally, that same Buffalo team posted 17.45 assists per game, a statistic Santa Clara will claim if it can keep up its 18.24 per game mark. Individually, senior setter Roz Pelayo is averaging 14.01 assists per game for her career, which will be an NCAA record when she graduates.
Into the Recordbooks Senior outside hitter Ynez Carrasco's 19th and final kill in a sweep of San Diego on Oct. 14 gave her 1,497 in three-plus seasons, surpassing Lia Young's career mark of 1,496 set in 1990-93. She currently has 1,605. She is also one of the Broncos' all-time top defensive players, and with 1,174 career digs, she is now fifth on the charts, surpassing Kris Kosnoski's 1990-93 mark of 1,143. Passing the 1,000-dig mark last month, Carrasco is only the fourth Bronco to post 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. But she's not the only senior rewriting the school's recordbooks. Earlier in the season, setter Roz Pelayo became Santa Clara's all-time assist leader, breaking Kris Kosnoski's record of 4,421 (1990-93). She surpassed the 5,000 mark and currently has 5,323. She needs 74 assists to break Tracy Holman's WCC career record. Middle blocker Amy Kohl is fifth in career kills, becoming only the fifth player in Santa Clara history to pass 1,000 career kills. She currently has 1,186. Kohl and right side hitter Annika Dell are top six in hitting percentage. Dell also made the top-10 career block average, entering the season with a 0.78 mark.
Leading the WCC, Statistically Speaking Santa Clara leads the WCC in four categories, ranking first in team assist average (18.24 pg), dig average (19.01 pg), kills average (19.78 pg) and service ace average (1.49 pg). The Broncos are ranked second in team hitting percentage (.259) while ranking fifth in blocks (2.46 pg). Individually, Ynez Carrasco is one of three players ranked in the top 10 in conference digs. She's first, averaging 4.17, while Jami Bari and Roz Pelayo are tied for eighth (2.85). Carrasco is also second in kills per game, averaging 5.00, while Pelayo is also ranked first in the WCC in assists, with a 14.78 mark. Amy Kohl is ranked fourth in kills per game, posting a 4.25 average, and in hitting percentage, with a .335 clip. Brook Terhune is third in blocks per game, averaging 1.29, and ninth in hitting percentage, at .289. Merrin Thompson is tied for seventh in service ace average, with a 0.29 stat.
Head Coach Jon Wallace Jon Wallace (UC Santa Barbara '89) is in his second season as Santa Clara's head coach, currently 43-14 (.754). On Oct. 7, Wallace earned his 35th career win against USF, becoming the fastest coach in West Coast Conference history to reach that mark, needing only 47 matches. In 1999, Wallace led his team to its best record in six seasons and its first trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Prior to Santa Clara, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Pepperdine. A three-year starting setter at UC Santa Barbara, Wallace directed the Gauchos to the NCAA Tournament title match in 1988.