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West Coast Countdown: The Broncos look to Mountain to Take Them to the Top

Nov. 10, 2008

After coming off a season in which they went 20-11 overall and 8-6 in the conference, for a second place finish in the WCC, the Santa Clara Broncos were selected to finish fifth this season, as voted on by the head coaches within the conference. The Broncos narrowly missed a berth into the conference tournament finallast season, losing to eventual champion San Diego, 66-72, in the semi-final game. The Broncos will return two starters and six letterwinners from that team. Santa Clara also brings in a brand new crop of players with seven incoming freshmen and one transfer.

Along with bringing in new players, Santa Clara looked for change at the top when it hired Jennifer Mountain in April of 2008 to be the eighth head coach in the program's history. Mountain is very familiar with the conference as she spent the previous seven seasons as the top assistant at conference rival, Gonzaga, where she helped the Zags to four straight WCC regular season championships as well as a WCC Tournament title. During her time in Spokane, she helped the Zags turnaround a 2-12 WCC record her first year as an assistant at Gonzaga to a conference powerhouse, and will be looking to achieve the same with the Broncos.

PEPPERDINE'S TOP RETURNING PLAYERS
NAME YEAR
POSITION
2007-08 KEY STATS
Elizabeth Doran Senior
guard
9.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 56 3FG
Sara Majors Senior
Guard
8.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg

SANTA CLARA BACKCOURT

Sara Majors led the team in assists last season and was second in rebounding


Santa Clara returns an experienced backcourt in senior guards Sarah Majors and Elizabeth Doran. Majors, 5-9, has been a model of improvement as she has increased her scoring in each of her first three seasons, averaging 1.4 as a freshman, 2.9 as a sophomore, and 8.7 as a junior. Majors had a good all-around campaign last year, finishing as the team leader in assists, second on the team in rebounding, and fifth in scoring. Doran, 6-0, returns as the team's leading scorer, (9.9 ppg), and three-point shooter, ranking fourth in the conference last year in made three-pointers per game (1.81). Majors and Doran combined to start 28 out of 31 games last season and give the Broncos one of the more experienced backcourts in the league.

Rounding out the rotation will be redshirt freshmen Kelli Parker and Rhianna Faithfull, who both played limited games last year, before suffering season-ending injuries. Parker, 5-11, played in three games last season, starting one, averaged 18.7 minutes per game before suffering a broken wrist. Faithfull, 5-4, was only able to play in one game, playing 16 minutes before suffering a stress fracture in her foot.

The Broncos added depth to the backcourt with the addition of three incoming freshmen. Alyssa Shoji, 5-6, averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.0 steals per game for Issaquah HS in Bellevue, WA earning first team all-state tournament honors in 2006-07. Kendall Keith, 5-7, averaged 14.0 points and 5.1 assists per game for Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, CA, earning Monterey County MVP as a senior. Closing out the freshmen is Lauren Orlando, 5-3, from Fresno, CA, who played for San Joaquin Memorial HS, and led the team to the semifinals of the state tournament in 2005-06.

SANTA CLARA FRONTCOURT

Maggie Goldenberger enters the year as the most experienced player in the frontcourt


Santa Clara returns Claire Goins, a 6-2 senior, and Maggie Goldenberger, a 6-0 junior, to a frontcourt that lost two of the conference's best rebounders from last season. Goldenberger returns as the most experienced player in the frontcourt as she started 12 of 27 games last year, averaging 3.4 points per game in 17.3 minutes of action. Goins played in 30 out of 31 games last season, and averaged 2.9 points per game in only 9.8 minutes per game and should see increased playing time this year.

The Broncos return two players fresh off redshirt seasons in freshman Becky Goll and junior Kimee Goeggel. Goll, 6-1, played in eight games last season before missing the remainder of the year due to a knee injury. Goeggel, 6-0, played in seven games last year before taking the rest of the season off and should round out the rotation.

Santa Clara brought in two newcomers to the team, with one being a junior college transfer in sophomore Lena Gipson, and the other an incoming freshman in Victoria Lokhorst. Gipson, 6-0, comes in after playing for Fresno City College and earned NorCal State MVP after leading the Rams to a school-best 35-3 record and leading the team in scoring (18.0), rebounds (11.0), and blocks (1.9) and should make immediate contributions. Lokhorst, 6-2, comes from Edison HS in Huntington Beach, CA, where she averaged 10.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, leading her team to a league championship her senior year en route to being inducted into the Edison HS Hall of Fame.