Sept. 18, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After 11 matches on the road to start the season, the No. 9 Santa Clara volleyball finally gets the chance to strut its stuff on home turf, hosting the Sacramento State Hornets Tueesday night at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center in the 2006 home opener. For the Broncos it will be the first of their eight scheduled home matches this season.
Tickets are available for Tuesday night's contest by calling 408-554-4660 or by clicking here.
Following Tuesday's contest, the Broncos will begin defense of their WCC crown as they travel to the North Bay to battle the Saint Mary's Gaels (5-5) and San Francisco Dons (12-1).
Santa Clara (9-2) is coming off of a grueling stretch of four matches in five days, including two on Saturday at the Stanford Invitational. The Broncos captured three of those matches, the first a dramatic 3-2 win over San Jose State in the Rivalry Series opener which saw SCU come back from an 0-2 hole behind the career-high 26 kills of Anna Cmaylo and 67 assists and 10 kills from Crystal Matich. The victory also marked the 163rd win in the head coaching career of Jon Wallace, making him the all-time winningest SCU volleyball head coach.
"When I first got here I never thought I'd have a career mark. It's an honor and I'm happy to have that milestone, but we're not done here, we want to continue with more," Wallace said. "But it's good to be there, I'm proud of it. I think it shows good stability for the program and the winning tradition that we have here that my staff and I have created."
Thursday night, the team faced No. 7 Stanford in a highly-anticipated rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament upset, but the Broncos, despite starting strong in the first stanza, allowed their passing to break down and the Cardinal were able to capitalize to go on to the 3-0 sweep. But SCU bounced back with 3-0 sweeps of UC Irvine and Georgetown on Saturday which featured extended play for many of the younger Broncos such as Lindsy Evans, Lauryn Dowd, Taylor O'Brien and Nina Sevastopoulos.
"We as coaches were very encouraged for those girls," Wallace commented about SCU's first- and second-year players. "Nina is going to be a great player for us in the future, she is learning a lot from playing behind senior Kim McGiven. Lauryn is a great all-around player who is picking up the speed and power of the game and is a fast learner who I think, before the year is over, will make a big impact on this team. And it was good to see Taylor come in and step in for Caroline [Walters], who before Saturday had not missed a single match for us at libero. It was good to see Taylor be able to step up in there."
Tuesday's match will be the third meeting between the Broncos and Hornets (12-3) in the past two seasons, as the two squads met in the 2005 season opener for each team and again in the NCAA Tournament first round. The Broncos captured both matches, the first a 3-0 sweep and then a 3-1 victory in the NCAA Tournament contest.
"Sacramento State makes you have to beat them, they never beat themselves," Wallace noted about Tuesday night's opponent. "We need to come with good energy and good execution. They are a very good program and one that we gear up to play every year. These matches, when you know you'll face this team again down the road, are very important, and our girls know that and are very excited for the match."