September 3, 2002
Santa Clara will travel to Flagstaff, Ariz. to participate in the Northern Arizona University Fiesta Bowl Classic. The Broncos will play three games in the tournament, beginning with Eastern Illinois on Friday evening at 5 p.m. They will then take on Idaho at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning and conclude their play in the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. game against the host, Northern Arizona University.
Scouting Eastern Illinois
Santa Clara and Eastern Illinois will meet for the first time in the twoschool's history Friday night at the NAU Fiesta Bowl Classic. The Panthers enter the Fiesta Bowl Classic fresh off hosting their own tournament last weekend, the Pepsi/Super 8 Invitational. They managed a 2-1 record and second place in their own tournament, defeating UT-Chattanooga and DePaul by 3-2 scores, but lost to Toledo by a 3-1 score. Erica Gerth leads the Panthers in kills on the year with 56, averaging out to 4.0 kills per game. Karen Liss follows closely behind with her 3.57 kills per game average while Lindsay Perkins is averaging 12.35 assists per game. The Panthers lost six letterwinners from last year's squad that finished the season with a 21-9 record.
Santa Clara and Idaho have met two previous times entering the 2002 NAU Fiesta Bowl Classic. The first meeting saw Santa Clara come away with a 3-1 victory on September 9, 1983 at the Loyola Marymount Tournament. In the final regular season game of the 2001 season however, the Vandals of Idaho shocked then No. 18 Santa Clara by sweeping the Broncos on their home court. Idaho enters this weekend's tournament with a 1-2 record after dropping matches to Oregon State and Missouri at the OSU Tournament. The Vandals did take a 3-1 victory from rivals Idaho State in the final game of the tournament. Idaho is led by Brooke Haeberle who posted a career-high 24 kills in their win over Idaho State. The Vandals finished the 2001 season with an 11-19 record and lost six letterwinners.
Scouting Northern Arizona
The Lumberjacks enter their own tournament after opening the season with three-straight losses at the Golden Bears Invitational hosted by California. NAU dropped its season opener to San Jose State by a 3-1 score, before losing to California and Tennessee-Martin by 3-0 scores. Corrie Machesky leads the Lumberjacks with her 2.30 kills per game average, while Claire Robertson is averaging just over seven assists per game to lead the team. NAU lost six letterwinners from the 2001 squad thta finished the year 16-7.
Next Week: U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic in Lincoln, Neb.
The Broncos will continue their season-long 12-match road trip next weekend at the U.S. Bank/Arby's Classic hosted by the University of Nebraska. The second-ranked Cornhuskers welcome Santa Clara, Michigan and Alabama to Lincoln for the two-day tournament. The Broncos will take on the host in the second game on day one before taking on Michigan and Alabama at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.
Last Week: UC Irvine/Marriott Sunset Showcase
The Broncos opened their 2002 season with three-straight wins at the Marriott Sunset Showcase hosted by UC Irvine last weekend. The Broncos captured the tournament title by defeating James Madison, New Orleans and UC Irvine, all in three games. The final game of the tournament was the hardest for the Broncos, defeating UC Irvine by scores of 30-25, 31-29 and 30-28. The three-straight wins to open the season is the second time the Broncos have done that in Jon Wallace's four-year span, but only the fifth time in the program's 39-year history. The best start that the program has even gotten off to was a 6-0 start during the 1979 season.
Potter Earns Marriott Sunset Showcase MVP
Junior Becky Potter was named the UC Irvine/Marriott Sunset Showcase MVP following her team's 3-0 win over UC Irvine to claim the tournament championship. Potter recorded 40 kills, 13 digs and eight blocks over the weekend, including 17 kills and eight digs in the championship match.
Sousa Passes 2,000 Career Assists Mark
With her 131 assists over the weekend at the Marriott Sunset Showcase hosted by UC Irvine, junior setter Kelli Sousa moved past the 2,000 career assists mark. She currently has 2,022 assists in only 60 matches and is averaging 12.11 assists per game over her career. She ranks second all-time in Bronco history with her assists per game average, and is currently fifth all-time in total assists, just 19 behind Kari Wehner for fourth place.
Perret Earns All-Tournament in First Weekend
Freshman Cassie Perret earned All-Tournament honors at the Marriott Sunset Showcase over the weekend following her 30 kills in the three matches. She led the team against New Orleans with 12 kills Saturday morning.
NCAA Adopts Libero Rule for 2002
The NCAA adopted several new rules for the 2002 season, the most notable being the libero (pronounced LEE-bah-ro) position. The libero is a designated back-row player intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero, wearing a contrasting uniform from her teammates, is allowed to replace any player in the back row without counting as one of 12 team substitutions. The libero may not serve, attempt a block or attack a ball that is completely above the net. The libero also has restrictions on setting the ball to a teammate for an attack.. There is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed. The libero and the player on the court exchange places between the attack line and the end line with no referee action is required. However, this replacement can only take place at the end of a rally before the whistle for the next service. When the libero is replaced, she must remain on the bench for one rally before re-entering for a back-row player. A different libero can be designated for each game of the match.