Santa Clara University

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Santa Clara is among the nation's best, says Sports Illustrated
WCC Player of the Week: Women's soccer forward Meagan Snell was recognized with the award on Sept. 11.
WCC Player of the Week: Women's soccer forward Meagan Snell was recognized with the award on Sept. 11.
Photo: Don Jedlovec

Thanks in large part to having three fall sports ranked in the top 10 of their respective polls, Santa Clara Athletics was ranked fifth in the nation by Sports Illustrated in the magazine’s first set of all-sports rankings for the 2006-07 athletic year. SCU was also the highest-ranked non-football school on the list—an even more significant accomplishment, since SI calculates its rankings based on all fall sports, but gives additional weight to football.

So how did the Broncos rise to such heights? Santa Clara’s women’s soccer team led the way at No. 3 in the country, with men’s soccer at the No. 7 spot in the polls, and women’s volleyball, which reached the Final Four last season, kicked off the year ranked No. 8. “To have three teams in the Top 10 is a phenomenal accomplishment,” said Dan Coonan, director of athletics and recreation. “And we are happy to be recognized by Sports Illustrated for our efforts.”

The 2006-07 athletic season also got underway with Santa Clara student-athletes establishing themselves as some of the best in the West Coast Conference, capturing a bevy of player of the week awards in volleyball and women’s soccer.

...as for women’s soccer, make that the best

After the first weekend of the soccer season, Soccer Buzz released its poll of national rankings: coming off a pair of quality wins over Wake Forest and Utah, Santa Clara took over the top spot. “We put the schedule together so that we may play against the best teams in the country,” said head coach Jerry Smith. “We hope that we bring in great talent and highly-ranked teams, because it forces our team to deal with that pressure and to prepares us for the NCAA Tournament.” AJ


Cassie Perret ’06 named Athlete of the Year
Cassie Perret Athlete of the Year: Cassie Perret was honored by the San Jose Sports Authority.
Cassie Perret Athlete of the Year: Cassie Perret was honored by the San Jose Sports Authority.
Photo: Dovid Gonzales

After a stellar four-year volleyball career at Santa Clara University, including being a crucial part of the team’s magical run to the Final Four and becoming the program’s only first-team All-American last season, Cassie Perret ’06 was named the 2006 Female Amateur Athlete of the Year by the San Jose Sports Authority. Perret was honored at the 2006 Induction Ceremony and Dinner at the HP Pavilion on Nov. 1, along with the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2006 Inductees, which was announced earlier this year and includes former Santa Clara football and San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Bill McPherson.

As a senior in 2005, Perret turned in a career year, which included starting all 32 of the team’s matches and posting career-high totals of 370 kills (3.22 per game), a .368 hitting percentage, and 33 service aces (0.29 per game), as well as 249 digs (2.17 per game) and 92 total blocks (0.80 per game). She also was named Santa Clara’s first-ever AVCA National Player of the Week on Sept. 12, 2005, earned the West Coast Conference Player of the Year award, and she became the first SCU volleyball player to be named to the AVCA All-America First Team. AJ


The winningest coach in Bronco history
Jon Wallace SCU’s winningest coach: volleyball’s Jon Wallace.
Jon Wallace SCU’s winningest coach: volleyball’s Jon Wallace.
Photo: Don Jedlovec 

Santa Clara volleyball head coach Jon Wallace has been the main architect of the program’s rise to national prominence since taking over in 1999. Now in his eighth year on campus, Wallace, with the team’s 3-2 victory over San Jose State on Sept. 13, passed former coach Mary Ellen Murchison (1978-88) as the winningest head coach in Santa Clara history, with 163 career wins.

“Without a doubt this one’s going to be memorable,” Wallace said after the milestone victory. Wallace’s illustrious accomplishments in his Santa Clara coaching career already include guiding five AVCA All-Americans, capturing two West Coast Conference titles, and making the school’s first appearance in the Final Four in 2005. AJ

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