Bronco Volleyball Battles Toreros In WCC Action On ESPNU

Bronco Volleyball Battles Toreros In WCC Action On ESPNU

Oct. 3, 2007

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    SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara volleyball team continues West Coast Conference play on the road this week. The Broncos travel to San Diego to face the No. 14 Toreros on National television. The match is schedule for 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, on ESPNU. Then on Saturday, Oct. 6, Santa Clara returns to the Bay Area to take on San Francisco at the War Memorial Gym at 1 p.m.

    Last Week for the Broncos
    Santa Clara rallied back from last weekend's hard-fought loss to UNLV to post back-to-back victories in the opening weekend of WCC action. The Broncos battled to a 3-1 triumph over the Portland Pilots on Thursday and then SCU blanked Gonzaga 3-0 on Saturday. With the wins, Santa Clara improved its overall record to 10-7, while going 2-0 in league play. Leading the match for the Broncos against the Pilots was sophomore Lindsy Evans, who tied her career-high 21 kills and handed out five service aces. Against the Bulldogs, junior Brittany Lowe registered yet another double-double with a match-high 19 kills and 17 digs.

    Only one kill separates SCU's kill leaders as Evans holds a small edge over Lowe with 207 kills. Evans also leads the team in service aces, tallying 21, as Lowe is also second on the squad with a .255 hitting percentage (206-74-517) and 20 service aces. Senior setter Crystal Matich continues to lead the Broncos in both assists and hitting percentage. She has dished out 12.90 assists per game, while compiling a .326 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, libero Caroline Walters collected 21 kills in both matches this weekend to bring her season total to 278.

    Broncos On The National Level
    As a team, Santa Clara is one of the nation's top teams in assists and kills per game. The Broncos check in at No. 19 in assists per game, while claiming the No. 26 spot in kills per game. SCU also ranks in the top 100 in aces per game (No. 83), digs per game (No. 97) and hitting percentage (No. 99). Individually, Matich is 17th in the nation in assists per game, while Walters is No. 93 in digs per game.

    127 To Go For Walters And Program History
    Senior libero Walters has continuously controlled the back row for Santa Clara. This year, she began the season within striking distance of setting a new program career digs record. The Los Gatos, Calif., native was 405 digs away from eclipsing the current school record of 1,860 set by Lia Young (1990-93). Now Walters has 127 to go and has 13 more matches to do so in. If she registers at least 10 digs in each of the remaining contests, the program record is in her hands.

    Over the course of her three seasons at Santa Clara, Walters has compiled a career total of 1,692 digs and earned two All-WCC honors. Be sure to continue to check for updates as Walters closes in on making school history.

    Broncos Make Appearances In Record Books
    Junior Lowe has been the lone Bronco to enter the volleyball record books this season. The outside hitter averages 3.27 career kills, which ties for seventh place on the all-time list. Lowe has also compiled a 2.95 career digs average that gives her the No. 7 spot on that all-time list. Senior libero Walters continues to own the top spot in digs average with 4.67 per game. Matich entered new categories this season, as she ranks third in all-time hitting percentage (.326) and eight in career service aces with 109. She also holds steady at No. 5 in career assists with 3,697 and climbs one spot to No. 3 in all-time assists average, dishing out 11.66 per game.

    In single season records, Matich assists average of 12.90 gives her the No. 10 spot in that category. Meanwhile, Walters has captured the top two spots in digs average. In her first season with the Broncos she set a new digs per game mark with 4.93. Thus far this season, she has averaged 4.79, which is good for second place in the same category.

    Santa Clara In The WCC
    After the first weekend of West Coast Conference play already complete, Santa Clara moves up to second place with a 2-0 WCC record and a 10-7 overall mark. Saint Mary's also owns a 2-0 conference record. In overall action, SCU ranks third in assists, service aces and digs, and also checks in at No. 4 in kills.

    Freshman Krista Kelley makes her debut in the league standings this week as she ranks six with 3.88 kills per game. Evans and Lowe are No. 8 and No. 9, respectively, while Nina Sevastopoulos grabs 12th place with 3.36 per game. Matich holds on to the No. 2 spot in assists per game, as does Walters in digs per game. Meanwhile, in service aces Evans and Lowe once again own the No. 8 and No. 9 spots.

    In conference games only, the Broncos are first in the WCC in assists (16.57), service aces (3.57) and digs per game (18.14). Santa Clara also checks in at No. 2 in opponent hitting percentage (.145) and kills (17.29), while taking fourth place in hitting percentage (.224).

    Individually, Lauryn Dowd enters the standings at the No. 8 spot in hitting percentage (.357), while Evans ranks 11th in that same category (.316), first in service aces per game (1.29) and fifth in kills per game (4.29). Junior Lowe checks in at No. 4 in kills per game (4.71) and is seventh in digs per game. (4.00). Meanwhile, Kelley claims the No. 6 spot in aces per game (0.57).

    Follow The Broncos Online
    Every Santa Clara home game and most road games are covered live on the Internet via All home games will also feature a live video broadcast as well.

    Bronco Blogging
    All year long, Bronco fans can receive an inside look at the volleyball team by checking in with Walters' blog on

    The senior from Los Gatos, Calif., will be posting a new entry each week to let fans know what is going on with the team and its players both on and off the field.

    To read Walters' blog along with other Bronco sports blogs, click on the link on the right side of the homepage.

    Scouting San Diego
    The Toreros enter Thursday's contest with an 11-4 overall record and a 1-0 WCC mark. In its first conference match of the season, San Diego served up a 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-12) sweep of San Francisco at home. Leading the way for the Toreros was Laurel Abrahamson, who registered 12 kills and four total blocks in the match. Amy DeGroot chipped in with 10 kills and three service aces. The Toreros are currently riding a four-match winning streak and have climbed to a No. 14 national ranking in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/CSTV Top 25 poll.

    San Diego is lead in kills and service aces by DeGroot, who has compiled 233 and 15, respectively. Abrahamson is second on the squad with 215 total kills and has a team-best .401 hitting percentage. She also leads the squad in total blocks with 65 (16 solo, 49 assists). In the WCC, San Diego ranks second in overall team hitting percentage (.262) and first in assists per game and kills per game. Individually, Abrahmson is first in the league in hitting percentage, fifth in blocks and seventh in kills. Libero Andrea Csaszi leads the conference in digs per game, averaging 4.91.

    Last season, the Broncos went 0-2 against the Toreros. Both matches were 3-0 sweeps. In the overall series, Santa Clara leads 29-19.

    Scouting San Francisco
    The Dons enter the weekend with an 11-6 overall record and 0-1 WCC mark, and will face Gaels of Saint Mary's College before hosting the Broncos on Saturday. In its last contest, USF lost to San Diego 3-0. Leading the Dons was Alix Gombos, who compiled a team-best .643 hitting percentage (9-0-14). Meanwhile, Carly Babin tied the match-high four total blocks.

    Overall, Babin leads USF with 187 kills and 77 total blocks (14 solo, 63 assists). First on the team in service aces is Haley Carroll. She's handed out 22 aces thus far and is also tied for first on the team with 234 digs. In the conference, USF is first in team digs with 17.50 per game and ranks four in overall hitting percentage, total blocks and service aces. Individually, Babin is third in the league in total blocks and four in hitting percentage, while Kristin Hasselberg checks in at No. 5 in kills per game.

    In 2006, the Broncos went 2-0 against the Dons. In their last meeting, Santa Clara blanked San Francisco 3-0 at the Leavey Center on Oct. 26. Previous to that match-up, SCU topped USF 3-1 on the road. Santa Clara has been undefeated against San Francisco since 1990 and owns a 54-4 all-time series record.

    On Deck
    The Broncos take a break from WCC action on Tuesday, Oct. 9 as they take on the Hornets of Sacramento State. First serve is schedule for 7 p.m., at the Hornets Nest in Sacramento, Calif. Santa Clara then returns to the Leavey Center to host Saint Mary's on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.

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