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Grace under pressure: Kim Daniel was one of three seniors on the women’s tennis team to earn All-WCC honors. Also honored were Erika Barnes and Casey Knutson. Photo by Mike Burns.

Broncos bring home the Cup

A two-out, RBI double to right-center off of the bat of Carl Bacon in the bottom of the ninth inning clinched a 6-5 Bronco win over the No. 6 University of San Diego Toreros on May 13. It also won Santa Clara its second West Coast Conference (WCC) Commissioner’s Cup title in three years.

The Cup recognizes performance in more than a dozen sports in which the WCC sponsors a championship. The winner is determined by a points system based on each team’s finish in WCC regular season standings. The top finisher is awarded eight points with each place receiving one fewer in descending order. And Santa Clara’s victory came down to the wire.

Make it a double: Carl Bacon Photo by Don Jedlovec 

Bronco teams turned in 10 top-four finishes among those 13 sports, including a pair of WCC titles. With Bacon’s winning hit, Santa Clara took a 65.0 to 63.5 lead over Pepperdine to win the cup.

In 2006-07, the Broncos got off to a hot start in the fall season, placing all four fall teams in the conference’s top half. Men’s and women’s soccer swept the WCC titles for the first time since 2003, volleyball and men’s cross country each took home third place, while women’s cross country finished fourth.

In the winter, Santa Clara’s men’s basketball team gave the Mission campus a lift with a second-place finish in the WCC regular-season to further pad SCU’s lead. The women’s basketball team finished sixth in the conference.

The extra points came in handy, as Santa Clara weathered a furious Pepperdine rally in the spring. The Waves won four titles, sweeping the golf and tennis championships, to cut the Santa Clara lead down significantly. The Broncos got a boost when women’s crew finished in a tie for second place at the WCC Championships. Women’s golf and men’s tennis both finished fourth, while men’s golf and women’s tennis tied for fifth.

Santa Clara has never finished lower than second in the six-year history of the Commissioner’s Cup, accumulating four runner-up finishes in addition to its titles in 2004-05 and 2006-07. JM

Academic honors by the score

Santa Clara student-athletes won academic accolades this year, as 14 Broncos earned WCC All-Academic honors and nine Broncos were named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District teams.

Matt Hatzke and Matt Marquess from men’s soccer, as well as volleyball’s Anna Cmaylo and Kim McGiven, were honored by CoSIDA for their academic and athletic excellence in the fall, while men’s basketball’s Mitch Henke and women’s basketball’s Ashley Graham were honored in the winter.

In the spring, Kim Daniel of women’s tennis, softball’s Sara Overmier, and baseball’s Carl Bacon all earned spots on CoSIDA’s Academic All-District team in their respective sports. JM

Introducing Bronco 3.0

It’s no secret that Santa Clara athletes play smart. And now they’ve hit a high mark when it comes to grades: cumulative GPAs above 3.0 for student athletes from all 19 varsity sports.

The Broncos have set their sights on 3.0 for the past several years. “It is a great feeling to see the student-athletes reach that goal,” says Director of Athletics and Recreation
Dan Coonan, who credits in particular work by athletics staff members Steve O’Brien and Matt Pinheiro.

Leading the way in GPA? That would be the women’s golf team, which tops all other sports with a team cumulative GPA of 3.525. Better news still: After crossing the three-point threshold in winter quarter, student-athletes topped themselves in the spring, racking up an overall GPA of 3.095—the highest ever. JM

Game, set—and a few for the record book

Bronco men’s tennis reached new heights in 2007 with a memorable year for the team and a number of individuals. Led by Head Coach George Husack, SCU posted a program-best 20-8 record and earned the No. 2 seed for the WCC Championships for the first time ever.

Jay Wong
Photo by David Gonzales

The team spent a program-record 14-straight weeks in the national polls, reaching as high as No. 59 in the country. The 2007 Broncos became the first team in program history to win on the road against UC Irvine and Cal Poly and the first team to win against a Pac-10 opponent on the road. SCU defeated Arizona 4-3 on Feb. 10.

SCU won 16 of its final 18 regular season matches and had a nine-match winning streak midseason that places second all time in school history for consecutive wins.

Individually, the Broncos had a dominant year as well with a league high six players earning All-WCC recognition. Seniors and doubles partners Jan Macek and Bobby Rasmussen made All-WCC Second Team in doubles and singles, while freshman Jay Wong also earned second-team honors in singles. Junior Blane Shields and sophomore Brian Brogan were honorable mention selections in singles and doubles, and junior Robert Gallman and Wong picked up doubles honorable mention accolades.

Wong led the way in singles victories for the Broncos, equaling the school-record with 30. Shields also topped the 20-win barrier. Macek and Rasmussen closed their Bronco careers in style; in doubles, the pair had a 17-6 mark to finish with 35 doubles wins together for their career, moving them into second place in school history.

On the singles side, Rasmussen had the best season of his career with an 18-11 record. Going against tough competition, Macek put together a strong senior season at 13-17. He faced six ranked players and played all but one match at No. 1 singles. JM

Shannon rows her way to the Badger State

Freshman rower Charlotte Shannon was named to U.S. Rowing’s Women’s National Team Freshman Camp, joining 21 other college freshman rowers from around the nation. Shannon is one of only two WCC rowers selected to the camp, which ran from June 18-24 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Charlotte’s passion for rowing and her work ethic have been contagious amongst the novices,” said Santa Clara Women’s Crew Coach Carlo Facchino.

The camp was established to identify first-year rowers at the collegiate level who have the potential to compete at the National Team level. JM

Rowers match their best

From left: rowers Ashley Tomberlin, Kristin Williams, and Katie Fahrer
Photo by John Medina

The Santa Clara women’s rowing team started the WCC Rowing Championships on a strong note and carried that momentum to finish in a three-way tie for second place at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova on April 27. This matched their highest-ever finish, a second-place effort in 1999.

SCU started the day with a third-place performance in the Varsity Four race, then solidified their hold on second with a runner-up finish in the second Varsity Eight race. The Broncos then held onto second place following the day’s final race, the I-Eight.

Following the championship, Santa Clara rowers Katie Fahrer and Ashley Tomberlin were named to the All-WCC team, as voted by the conference coaches. JM

All-WWPA honors in the pool

The Santa Clara women’s water polo team finished its 2007 season with a fourth-place finish at the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships and a No. 16 national ranking. SCU, with a 22-14 overall record and 16-5 mark against WWPA opponents, had its hopes for the conference championship and the NCAA Championship dashed by a heart-breaking 5-4 loss to No. 7 Loyola Marymount in a semifinal contest.

Following the tournament, the Broncos saw three of their own honored on the All-WWPA teams, with goalie Kristin Barnes and driver Katie Radvanyi being named to the first team, the second time that each player had earned All-WWPA honors; driver Andrea Evans earned second-team honors.

Head Coach Keith Wilbur was also recognized as the WWPA Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. JM

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