Sept. 5, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 19 Santa Clara volleyball team returns to the court this weekend at the 2007 Waikiki Beach Marriott Volleyball Challenge hosted by the University of Hawai'i. The Broncos begin tournament play against the Wichita State Shockers on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. PT. The following day, Santa Clara battles Eastern Washington at 8 p.m. PT, and concludes the tournament against host No. 16 Hawaii on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10 p.m. PT.
The Broncos enter the weekend with a 5-1 overall record. SCU opened the season with a five-match win streak including victories over Cal State Fullerton, Boise State and North Caroline State. The squad's lone loss came at the hands of No. 6 Florida in the last match of the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.
Leading Santa Clara on the attack is senior setter Crystal Matich. Over the course of the first six matches, she has compiled a .382 hitting percentage (17-4-34), while dishing out 246 assists and five service aces. Sophomore Lindsy Evans leads the Broncos with 79 kills, averaging 4.39 per game, while junior Brittany Lowe is second on the squad with 59 kills (3.47 per game). Sophomore Lauryn Dowd has registered a team-best eight service aces and is third on the team with six total blocks. Senior libero Caroline Walters is her usual digging machine, recording a team-best 84 digs (4.67 per game) and freshman Alex Scoffone is first on the Broncos lineup with 15 total blocks (2 solo, 13 assists).
In their last outing, the Broncos faced a hard-fought, 3-0 (30-18, 30-16, 30-24), loss to then-No. 7 Florida at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. Lowe and Nina Sevastopoulos posted a team-high eight kills, while Walters had 16 digs and matching had 31 assists.
Follow The Broncos Online
Santa Clara's final match of the weekend against No. 16 Hawaii will feature a live broadcast on Honolulu's ESPN Radio 1420 AM. Broncos fans can listen to the play-by-play by visiting the women's volleyball homepage and clicking on the live broadcast link on the right side of the page, or by visiting www.sportsradio1420.com.
Livestats will also be available through the UH Athletics website at HawaiiAthletics.com, on the women's volleyball home page. Meanwhile, all matches of the tournament will be aired live locally in Honolulu on KFVE (Channel 5). Matches are also available via the Internet at www.hawaiiantelmedia.com for a fee.
SCU Holds Steady At No. 19 In AVCA/CSTV Coaches Poll
The Broncos continued to hold on to a No. 19 ranking in the AVCA/CSTV Coaches Poll, announced Monday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. SCU went 2-1 in the second weekend of play, facing its first loss of the season to No. 6 Florida.
Evans And Matich Earn Second All-Tournament Honors Of The Season
For their efforts helping the Broncos to a 2-1 record at the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, opposite hitter Evans and setter Matich received all-tournament team accolades. For the weekend, Evans recorded a team-best 32 kills, while tallying four service aces and two total blocks. She posted match-high kills against both NC State and Georgia Southern. Meanwhile, Matich dished out 120 assists, along with 18 total digs, five service aces and a .357 hitting percentage (6-1-14). She was perfect on attack against Georgia Southern going 2-for-3 for a team-best .667 hitting percentage. She also registered a match-high five service aces.
Santa Clara In The WCC
After two weeks of action, SCU is tied for second in the West Coast Conference with San Francisco. Both teams own a .833 win-loss percentage (5-1). Saint Mary's continues to hold onto the No. 1 spot as the only team undefeated in the conference with a 5-0 record. As a team, the Broncos rank second in four categories - hitting percentage (.280), opponent hitting percentage (.135), kills (16.83 per game) and service aces (1.94 per game). Santa Clara is in third place in assists, averaging 15.50 per game, and checks in at No. 4 in digs with 16.17 per game.
Individually, Matich continues to lead the WCC in assists with 13.67 per game, while libero Walters claims the No. 3 spot in digs, averaging 4.67 per game. Redshirt freshman Kim Courtney ranks seventh in the league in hitting percentage (.375), while teammates Scoffone (.364), Sevastopoulos (.351) and Lowe (.347) hold the No. 9, No. 11 and No. 13 spots, respectively. In service aces, Dowd checks in at third place with 0.57 per game, while Lowe is ranked seventh with 0.41 per game. In kills per game, the Broncos have three players in the top 15. Evans is in fourth place with 4.39 kills per game, Lowe takes 10th place this week with 3.47 per game and Sevastopoulos claims the No. 12 spot with 3.33 per game.
Libero Walters Eyes Program Record
After playing an important role in last weekend's Boise State Invitational, senior libero Walters recorded 39 digs to bring her career total to 1,495. She is now 321 digs shy of eclipsing the current school record of 1,860 set by Lia Young (1990-93).
Over the course of her three seasons at Santa Clara, Walters has earned two All-WCC honors as she controls the back row defense for the Broncos. Be sure to continue to check www.santaclarabroncos.com for updates as Walters closes in on making school history.
Consistency Is Key For Broncos Offense
With just three matches under their belt, the Broncos already have six athletes with hitting percentages well over .300.
Leading the way for SCU is Matich, who has compiled a .382 hitting percentage in the first two weeks of play. Courtney is second on the team with a .375 PCT and is followed by Scoffone (.364), Sevastopoulos (.351), Lowe (.347) and Nichole Clark (.325).
Matich Keeps On Dishing Them Out
Senior setter Matich has held onto the quarterback position of the Broncos since stepping on the court in 2004. As the team's current assists leader and a 2005 All-American, Matich is riding a 57 match double-digit assists streak that dates back to Nov. 23, 2004.
In 78 total matches played, Matich has dished out double digit assists in all but two, and has compiled 11 double-doubles.
In the first two matches of the 2007 season, she duplicated her opening numbers from a year ago, registering 39 assists against CSU-Fullerton (the same number against Pacific in '06) and 48 assists against Texas-San Antonio (posting the same against Kansas State in '06).
Matich currently ranks fifth in all-time career assists with 3,075 and fifth in career assists average with 11.47 per game.
Scouting Wichita State
The Shockers enter the weekend with a 4-2 overall record. Last weekend, WSU posted a 3-0 record with victories over DePaul, Auburn and host Denver to win the 2007 Denver Invitational Title. Three Shockers - Abby Harsh, Emily Stockman and Kelly Broussard - received all-tournament team honors, with Harsh picking up MVP accolades and a Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week award.
WSU is currently led by Stockman who has recorded 94 kills and a.278 hitting percentage this season. She also leads the squad with nine service aces. Stockman checks in at No. 2 in digs with 72 overall and No. 4 in total blocks with 10 (two solo, eight assists). Leading the Shockers back row is Broussard, who has collected 101 digs this season, while Harsh is third in digs (55) and service aces (5), and leads the team with 238 assists.
The Shockers finished second in the MVC in 2006 with a 15-3 league record and a 25-7 overall mark.
Thursday's contest marks the third meeting between SCU and WSU. The overall series is tied 1-1. The team's last met on Aug. 29, 1997 at the Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash. The Broncos topped the Shockers, 3-1.
Scouting Eastern Washington
EWU begins tournament play this weekend with a 1-5 overall record. Last weekend, the Eagles participated in the PowerAde/Asics Classic hosted by the University of San Francisco. Eastern Washington went 1-2 in the two-day tournament, recording its first win of the season against Colgate in a 3-2 decision. Sophomore Hayley Hills was named to the all-tournament team after registering 22 kills and a.362 hitting percentage (22-5-47).
Hills currently leads the Eagles with 81 total kills and a .195 overall hitting percentage. She is also second on the team in service aces (6) and digs (54), and is ranked third on the team in total blocks with 12. Setter Amanda Yausie has handed out 223 assists this season, while leading the team in aces with 12.
Last season, the Eagles finished with a 20-9 overall record and posted a 10-6 mark in Big Sky action. EWU advanced to the conference championship match, falling 3-1 to Sacramento State.
Friday's match is the fifth meeting between Santa Clara and Eastern Washington. The overall series is currently tied 2-2. The two teams last met on Sept. 14, 1995 at the Wyoming Invitational in Laramie, Wyo., when the Broncos blanked the Eagles, 3-0.
The No. 16 Rainbow Wahine enters its third home tournament of the season with a 3-3 overall record. In its last outing, UH fell 3-0 to UCLA in the final match of the 20th Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic.
Leading the way for the `Bows is Juliana Sanders who has compiled a .301 hitting percentage (54-17-123) and is second on the team with 24 total blocks (two solo, 22 assists). Jamie Houston is first on the squad in kills, averaging 4.71 per game, while posting 16 total blocks (six solo, 10 assists).
Hawai'i ended the 2006 season with a 3-0 loss to UCLA in the NCAA Honolulu Regional final match. The Rainbow Wahine compiled a 29-6 overall record and won their 12th-straight conference regular season title with a 15-1 Western Athletic Conference mark.
The Broncos will look to return to their winning ways and post their first-ever victory of the Rainbow Wahine on Saturday, Sept. 8. Hawai'i currently leads the series against Santa Clara, 6-0. The two teams last met on Sept. 10, 2004 at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Challenge in Honolulu, Hawaii, when UH topped SCU, 3-1.
SCU return to action on Thursday, Sept. 13 in their home opener against UC Davis. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center. The Broncos continue at home play with the 2007 Santa Clara Tournament on Sept. 14 -16. Over the three days, Santa Clara will host California on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., and Notre Dame on Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.