Aug. 13, 2001
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Santa Clara volleyball team has been ranked 22nd according a preseason poll by USA Today and the American Volleyball Coaches Association, the organization announced today. The preseason listing marks the first-ever for the program.
The Broncos received 232 points in a vote by volleyball coaches across the country. Santa Clara finished the 2000 season ranked 17th by the AVCA after going 27-5, winning the West Coast Conference Championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The poll also marks the Broncos' 15th straight appearance in the rankings. Santa Clara's highest ranking came last November at No. 14. The only other season in which the Broncos were ranked nationally occurred in 1993 for seven consecutive weeks.
Defending NCAA Champion Nebraska was the overwhelming favorite, taking the top spot in the poll. The Cornhuskers, 34-0 last season, earned 63 of 65 first-place votes and outdistanced second-place USC by 151 points. Penn State was selected third while Wisconsin and Santa Clara opponent Hawaii round out the top five.
Santa Clara's 2001 schedule features eight opponents ranked by the AVCA, including two top-10 teams. In addition to two matches at Hawaii before league play begins on September 21 and 22, the Broncos will face No. 10 Stanford at home on October 2.
The Leavey Center, SCU's home court, will also host matches against No. 12 Pacific on October 16, No. 13 UC Santa Barbara as part of the SCU Invitational on September 8, and conference matches against No. 17 Pepperdine and No. 24 Loyola Marymount on November 9 and 10.
Four other road matches will be against ranked opposition. The Broncos travel to Minneapolis for a tournament hosted by 15th-ranked Minnesota and will also face No. 23 South Carolina in the season opener at the Phoenix Airport Hilton/Sun Devil Challenge in Tempe, Ariz., on August 31. Two more conference matches against the Waves and the Lions will round out the 11 matches--one third the team's schedule--against nationally-ranked teams.
The Broncos will begin the home schedule with the Santa Clara Invitational, hosting Creighton, UC Santa Barbara and North Carolina on September 8 and 9.
Tickets may be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the athletic ticket office at 408-554-4660.
For the complete poll, please visit the AVCA website and select Collegiate Game.