Sept. 23, 2009
Proven road warriors, Santa Clara will continue its time away from the Leavey Center this weekend when it travels to the City of Brotherly Love to play in three matches in about 27 hours at the Holiday Inn HD Tournament at the Palestra. When the Broncos return home on Oct. 15 to play Portland they will have played 16 of their first 18 matches on the road.
At the tournament hosted by Penn, Santa Clara, 8-4, will play Albany at 9 am on Fri., Sept. 25 and then host Penn at 4 pm later Friday afternoon. On Sat., Sept. 26, Santa Clara will conclude play with a 9 am match vs. St. Francis of Penn.
SCU is 1-0 vs. Penn with the only match between the two schools, a 3-0 Bronco win, dating back to Oct. 13, 1990. Santa Clara will play Saint Francis and Albany for the first time in school history. For more information on this weekend's three opponents, see page 2.
Santa Clara, winners of five WCC titles, including the 2005 and '07 crowns, was picked fourth in the 2009 West Coast Conference coaches' preseason poll in early August. USD was picked as the preseason champion with Pepperdine and Saint Mary's picking up second and third place honors.
The Bronocs will open West Coast Conference play with their first three matches on the road. The Broncos will play at USF on Fri., Oct. 2 at 7 pm, then at Saint Mary's on Thurs., Oct. 8 at 7 pm and finally at preseason conference favorite San Diego on Sat., Oct. 10 at 7 pm.
Santa Clara, which was tabbed as No. 25 in the AVCA final poll, was fourth in the WCC last season. The Broncos were the only one of the five WCC teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament second round in 2008 with a 3-2 win over then-No. 14 Kansas State before falling at Washington 3-0. The Huskies advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals and finished the year with a No. 5 ranking.
Santa Clara collected a 3-1 record last week, falling 3-1 at Santa Barbara before posting a 3-0 record at the Cal Poly Tournament with a 3-1 win over Idaho, a 3-1 win over Cal Poly and a 3-0 win over Seattle. The Broncos were led by Dana Knudsen, who hit. 400 on the week with 2.2 kpg and .53 bpg. Knudsen hit .500 with 11 kills in the win over host-Cal Poly.
Santa Clara, which features 11 underclassmen, is led by senior Lindsy Davigeadono, who is hitting .217 with 2.4 kpg and 1.0 bpg; and junior Krista Kelley, who is hitting .251 with 3.6 kpg and 2.4 dpg. In addition, sophomore Tanya Schmidt is hitting .319 with 1.5 kpg and .9 bpg.
Santa Clara runs the 6-2 offense with junior transfer Emily Burke and freshman Alexandra Palmer splitting up playing time. Burke averages 7.2 apg and is hitting .308 with 1.6 dpg. Palmer collected 6.0 apg and has 1.5 dpg.
Knudsen, who is hitting .347 with 1.5 kpg, is one of eight freshmen contributing this season. Freshman Katherine Douglas is hitting .143, but collects 2.6 kpg and 2.4 dpg. Another first year player, Lexi Williamson, is hitting .278 with 1.9 kpg. Diaper dandies Sam Peters (.692 with 2.3 kpg in 9 games) and Kayla Lommori (.182 with 1.3 kpg and .5 bpg) also contribute.
On the season the Broncos have four losses, including three to top 25 teams: 3-0 to then-No. 9 UCLA, 3-1 at then-No. 7 Hawaii and 3-0 vs. then-No. 25 Arizona.
Santa Clara has been to 11 straight NCAA Tournaments, including the 2005 Final Four, when the Broncos finished with a No. 4 ranking nationally. Santa Clara has won five WCC titles, including the 2005 and '07 crowns.
Jon Wallace, with 221 careers wins and 87 All-WCC selections, is in his 11th year as the head coach of the Broncos and was the 2005 National Coah of the Year. Prior to his time on the Mission Campus, he was an assistant coach at Pepperdine for seven years. He was team captain of the UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball twice while in college, collecting All-American honors in 1989.
ALL TOURNAMENT BRONCOS
* Krista Kelley was named to the Hawaii Invitational All-Tournament team, the MVP of the Sac State Invitational and to the SCU Invitational All-Tournament team.
* Katherine Douglas was named to the Sac State Invitational All-Tournament team.
* Emily Burke was named to the Sac State Invitational All-Tournament team.
* Lindsy Davigeadono was named to the SCU Invitational All-Tournament team and to the Cal Poly Invitational All-Tournament team.
* Dana Knudsen was named to the Cal Poly Invitational All-Tournament team.
THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION
Penn is 8-2 this season and comes into its own tournament after losing 3-0 to George Washington on Sept. 19. Penn is hitting .187 this season and its competition is hitting .001 less at .186
Freshman Lauren Martin was named the Ivy League Freshman of the Week this week. Martin was a model of consistency for the Red and Blue, while helping the team to a 2-1 record at the Towson Invitational. The first year recorded double-digit kills in each of her three matches over the weekend, totaling 37 kills (3.08) while hitting a team-high .290. For her efforts, she was named to the all-tournament team. In a four-set win over Ball State, the freshman had 13 kills, three digs and two total blocks in Penn's four-set win.
Albany is 5-8 this season and if fresh off upsetting host-Virginia at the Marriott Cavalier Invitational last weekend. Casey Wright recorded a 11 kills in a 3-0 win over Virginia to close out the Marriot Cavalier Invitational. The Great Danes defeated the host Cavaliers with scores of 25-21, 25-20 and 25-16 in the final match of the tournament. Wright led UAlbany in the early match as well, with a career-high 14 kills in a 3-1 loss to Virginia Tech. The Hokies won with scores of 25-14, 20-25, 25-20 and 25-10.
Albany is led by Valerie Sourberr, who is hitting .229 with a team-leading 2.9 kpg. Hillary White is collects 2.8 kpg, hitting .244.
St. Francis enters the tournament at 2-10 this season. The Red Flash were thrown in the fire again last week, taking on the top-ranked and two-time reigning national champion Penn State, as well as the dangerous Temple Owls. The Red Flash fell 3-1 to Temple and though they battled against the Nittany Lions, a team that has not even given up a set in 2009, they fell 3-0 to the Lions.
The Red Flash have gotten off to a slow start. However, a look at their schedule may provide an explanation. The Red Flash non-conference opponents have a combined 110-80 record as of September 22, including one undefeated team (Penn State, the two-time reigning NCAA Champions and current #1) and seven other teams with at least eight wins. Coach Mullen is hoping the difficult schedule will pay dividends in Northeast Conference play.