Santa Clara opens the spring volleyball season on Sat., April 9 at Pacific in a nine-team tournament in Stockton. This spring will feature a twist on competition due to new NCAA rules, but it's one rule that won't effect the Broncos much due to such strong volleyball competition in the Bay Area.
The NCAA has mandated that no team drive more than 300 miles or fly to out-of-season competition. This is something Bronco head coach Jon Wallace sees as a positive. "The new rule won't really effect us because there are so many good teams in Northern California, especially the Bay Area," said Wallace. "It's great for us because there is really good competition in the area. It will give us a good chance to see where we are. This spring we will play Stanford, Cal, UOP, Sac State, USF – a number of strong teams."
"The team has been back working in the gym for the last two weeks and going into this weekend, we have worked a lot on our defense. We are looking to see how our team reacts to the four teams we play over the weekend," said Wallace.
Santa Clara will play Sac State at 9 am; Fresno State at 10:05 am; UOP at 1 pm and finish with 2010 NCAA runner-up Cal at 2:05 pm.
Wallace has liked the effort and energy during spring practice thus far. "The first two weeks the practices have been long and hard, but they have a really positive attitude. We are covering a lot of details right now and they are responding really well. We are trying to solidify our foundation and get them to understand why they are going to be good."
So far the spring has been so much about training and improvement, but has seen Bridget O'Hara, Tanya Schmidt and Alexandra Palmer step up. "So far everyone has really been working hard to do their job," added Wallace. "We need a lot of work, a lot of reps and we are working to get everyone back healthy and in the rotation. Katherine Douglas will play in the back row this weekend and Megan Anders will also be with us this weekend."
Wallace is excited about the weekend. "Our goal is be a lot better and ready on May 7. Each day we are learning something new. I am not sure we are ready for wins and losses this weekend, but we are ready for some good competition."
Wallace said the men's basketball team's CIT title run has actually given the team an added boost of spirit. "Any win from any of our programs on this campus gives everyone a boost. We know we need to chip in and do our part to create the buzz about Santa Clara that we all need."