November 21, 2013

Volleyball Hosts Final Two Matches This Weekend, Senior Day on Saturday

The Broncos close out the 2013 season this weekend with a 6 pm match vs. LMU on Thurs., Nov. 21 and then their final match of the year, a 1 pm match-up with Pepperdine on Sat., Nov. 23 at 1 pm. Pepperdine head coach Nina Matthies is retiring from Pepperdine after 31 years at the helm so it will be a special day for the Waves as well.

Santa Clara is 10-15 this season, including 5-11 in the WCC.  The Broncos are led by seniors Haley Cameron (.311, 2.27 kpg) and Megan Anders (.309, 2.92 kpg).  Senior Alyssa Anderson heads up the offense and collects 10.22 apg and  2.56 dpg.  Junior Taylor Milton has played very well this year and scores 2.77 kpg and 2.49 dpg.  One of the top servers in the conference, she is second on the team with .31 sapg.  Freshmen Nikki Hess (2.77 kpg, 2.88 dpg) and Sabrina Clayton (2.80 kpg, .33 sapg) continue to play well as they gain experience in league play.

Bronco head coach Jon Wallace said the team has been practicing hard the last two weeks.  "The team seems to be really enjoying it and embracing the competition and because of that, we had some line-up changes going into last Saturday's match," said Wallace. "We'll see how competitions go this week for line-ups going into Thursday. Katy Schatzman had a great week of practice last week and earned a spot in the starting line-up as our starting libero against UOP and she did a nice job. We're looking forward to getting back into the gym and letting the girls compete and have fun."

The team is in a great spot right now and Wallace said the chemistry has never been better.  "We've really grown up a lot in the last month and it really shows in how we interact and play with each other on the court. I think we're playing the best volleyball we've played all year and I know that the girls are not happy about their overall record, but I know they are excited about these two matches coming up being against conference opponents and being the last two matches of the year. I expect great things this Thursday and Saturday."

Wallace paused for a moment this week to also praise Pepperdine head coach Nina Matthies who is retiring on Saturday from the indoor game.  "Nina gave me my first shot at DI coaching back in 1992 and I am extremely grateful for that," said Wallace.  "It's led me to have a career in this sport that I love and I am extremely grateful for that opportunity as well as the lessons I learned under her guidance for seven years and it has propelled me to my career. She has done an amazing job at carrying the torch for women and coaches in the sport of volleyball. She is a great ambassador and will always be a big part of this game. Her game is what it is today because of her dedication and work and success."

Playing their final game of their Bronco careers on Saturday, Wallace was also a bit sentimental when talking about Anderson, Anders, Cameron and Katherine Douglas

"First of all, all four seniors have done a great job in their career here at Santa Clara, especially their senior years," said Wallace.  "I'm really proud of all four of them and excited for their next journey in life." 

Wallace called Anders a warrior in terms of her production on the court. "What stands Megan apart is her drive in life to be a leader and to be a leader in so many different ways and she has a very bright future ahead of her," said Wallace. 

Wallace praised the job Anderson has done on the court this year running the 5-1. 
"Our relationship has grown and she has grown as a person and an athlete with all of the responsibility that has been put on her shoulders," said Wallace. "I've seen great maturation and growth out of her this year." 

A transfer from the University of Texas last season, Cameron is looked at by Wallace as someone who has really given the team a shot in the arm when they needed it in the middle.   "Haley has been awesome to have these past two years," said Wallace.  "Haley attacks every day to get better and improve and to lead. We will definitely miss Haley and her hard work everyday that she has been giving us." 

Wallace smiled when he talked about Douglas, who has been with the Broncos for five years after redshirting in 2010 due to injury.  " She has been the backbone of our program for the last 4 and a half years," said Wallace. "Her excitement to play this game will be missed."