Volleyball Opens WCC Road Season at USD

Volleyball Opens WCC Road Season at USD

Oct. 6, 2004

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This Week
Santa Clara will continue West Coast Conference action with one match this weekend. The Broncos will travel to San Diego to face the Toreros on Saturday, Oct. 9. USD is currently 9-4 on the season and, like the Broncos, 2-0 in league play. Although the Toreros lead the WCC in kills, assists and service aces, Santa Clara has won the past five meetings.

Building a Wall
Santa Clara is currently ranked third in the nation in blocks per game, boasting a 3.55 average. Freshman Annalisa Muratore leads the team with a 1.65 mark, which ranks 14th in the nation. Fellow newcomer Anna Cmaylo is right behind her with a 1.38 average. Junior Cassie Perret is third on the team, averaging 1.19 blocks per game.

In Other National Stats
Santa Clara is currently ranked third in the nation in blocks per game (3.55), 15th in assists per game (15.33) and 20th in kills per game (16.58). Individually, freshman Annalisa Muratore is ranked fourth nationally in hitting percentage, boasting a .449 clip.

Live Video Streaming Available on the Internet
Santa Clara and CollegeSports.com are combining to expand live coverage of Bronco sports this season with the addition of live streaming video feeds of most of the school's home athletic events, beginning with volleyball's match against Sacramento State. A part of College Sports Pass, a subscription-based service provided by RealNetworks, the live video feeds will be available on Santa Clara's official athletic website at SantaClaraBroncos.com, as well as collegesports.com and real.com. The school will also continue to provide live statistical coverage of at least six sports through the popular Gametracker feature.

Santa Clara remains on the cutting edge of technology, as it provides Bronco fans with some of the most comprehensive live web coverage of any school in the country for the past several years. By logging on, fans can now watch the games and view real-time statistics direct from the official scoring computer, all right from the convenience of a home computer.

The Schedule
Santa Clara's schedule once again invites the nation's best, as the Broncos' slate includes matches against four teams that finished last season ranked in the top 10 nationally by the AVCA. Santa Clara held its own against national powers Hawaii and UCLA last week, which will be strong preparation for when the West Coast Conference season begins October 1. The quest for the 2004 league crown will be challenging, as six of the eight conference schools advanced to the postseason last year, displaying the national strength of the WCC. Santa Clara will close the conference season with three road games, including visits to the Los Angeles league schools. The regular season finale will take place at perennial power Stanford November 23. Santa Clara will then break for Thanksgiving and await the NCAA Selection Show.

In the Rankings
Santa Clara moved up one spot in this week's USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, as selected by the AVCA. The Broncos opened the 2004 season ranked 22nd and received 271 points in the listing. Seven of Santa Clara's opponents are also ranked. The Broncos have already faced No. 3 UCLA, 11th-ranked Hawaii and No. 12 California. Also on the schedule are non-conference opponent No. 11 Stanford and WCC rival Saint Mary's. Santa Clara entered Volleyball Magazine's poll two weeks ago at No. 18 and moved up to 13th in last week's listing.

CSTV to Televise Pepperdine Match
College Sports Television, the first 24-hour college sports television network, will televise the Broncos' Sunday, October 24 match against Pepperdine at the Leavey Center. First serve for the live broadcast is set for 3 p.m. The CSTV Sunday Night Spikes telecasts, featuring teams from 12 different conferences, will showcase some of the top players in pursuit of a national title. Carter Blackburn will handle play-by-play on CSTV Sunday Night Spikes, while Heather Cox and Krista Blunk will rotate analyst duties. A feature story on the Muratore sisters will air during intermission.

College Sports TV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, is available to more than 20 million homes nationally on cable and satellite. The network is available on Comcast, Time Warner and Adelphia cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610). For information on CSTV availability in particular markets, consumers can log on to www.collegesports.com/getcstv or call their cable or satellite operator.

Broncos Tabbed Second in WCC Preseason Poll
Santa Clara has been picked to finish the West Coast Conference season in second place, according to a preseason poll selected by the league's coaches. The Broncos received two first-place votes in the poll. Pepperdine was predicted to claim the 2004 league crown, receiving five first-place votes. Santa Clara tied with Loyola Marymount with 50 points, while San Diego was tabbed to finish fourth. Rounding out the poll is Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Portland and Gonzaga.

In the WCC Statistics
Santa Clara leads the West Coast Conference in three categories: hitting percentage (.254), blocks (3.55 pg) and opponent hitting percentage (.146). The Broncos are second in kills (16.58 pg) and assists (15.33 pg), while ranking fourth in digs (16.73 pg) and fifth in service aces (1.44 pg). Individually, Annalisa Muratore leads the league in hitting percentage (.449) and is second in blocks (1.65 pg). Additionally, Caroline Walters is third in digs (4.62 pg).

Muratore Named WCC Player of the Week
Annalisa Muratore was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week Sept. 20 for her performances in three matches at the TCU adidas Invitational. Muratore dominated the tournament, in which she earned MVP honors. The Atwater native averaged 4.78 kills per game and posted a .667 hitting percentage. Defensively, she registered 2.00 blocks per game. Muratore opened the tournament with a career-high 15 kills against Appalachian State, committing only one error in 20 attempts for a .700 clip. She topped that personal best the following night at TCU, recording 19 kills. With 1 error in 22 attempts, her .818 hitting percentage was also a career best. Additionally, she added eight blocks (3 solo, 5 assist) against the host Horned Frogs. Earlier that morning, Muratore registered a 9-kill, 8-block effort against Arkansas-Little Rock.

Super Sisters
Middle blocker Annalisa Muratore is the first freshman to be named WCC Player of the Week since her sister, junior outside hitter Toni Muratore, earned the honor on October 15, 2001. As a tandem on the court, the Muratores have combined for 326 kills, almost 41 percent of Bronco totals. Defensively, the pair have tallied 121 blocks, or 40 almost 40 percent of SCU's production.

A Look Ahead: Broncos Remain in Conference Action
Santa Clara will continue West Coast Conference on the road, visiting nearby rivals San Francisco and Saint Mary's. Both matches have 7 p.m. scheduled start times at their respected venues.

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