WAC Tournament Berth on the Line as Tech Hosts UTEP


 

 
Posted Nov 12, 2003 16:01:05


WAC Tournament Berth on the Line as Tech Hosts UTEP

RUSTON, La. - They were part of the same signee class in 2000 and will leave Louisiana Tech as two of the most decorated volleyball players in school history.

Cristine Sant'Anna and Tanya Jarvis will take the Thomas Assembly Center court one final time on Thursday night when Tech (15-14, 3-9 WAC) plays its regular season finale against UTEP (8-20, 2-9 WAC) at 7:00 p.m.

“This would be a great way to send Cris and Tanya out, to win our final home match and go to the WAC Tournament as the seventh seed,” Tech head coach Heather Mazeitis said.

Sant'Anna is the emotional leader of the Lady Techsters while Jarvis leads by example. Together along with redshirt junior Lia Mora they have seen the Tech volleyball program’s fortunes change completely from an 8-26 record their freshman season to a chance to end their careers with back-to-back winning seasons.

“Both of them have left their legacy on this volleyball program,” said Mazeitis. “They have been a huge part of turning this program around and their names will be in the history books for a long time.”

The stakes are high for the final home match for Tech's two seniors. At stake is the No. 7 seed at the Western Athletic conference, which begins Nov. 21st in Reno, Nev.

“We control our own destiny, if we win we are in the tournament and the seventh seed,” Mazeitis said. “That would be an improvement over last season and better than we were picked in the preseason.”

Tech can secure the seventh seed with a win over the Miners. If UTEP were to win it would mean Tech would at best be the No. 8 seed but could miss the tournament completely depending on the outcomes of other matches as the regular season concludes.

“It is going to be a tough match. UTEP is playing well and so are we,” Mazeitis said. “A win would be big for our program to improve our seeding from a year ago and it would also lock up a winning season.”

Sant'Anna was a second-team All-WAC selection a year ago and will leave Tech as arguable the best Lady Techsters volleyball standout ever. Her name is among the career leaders in numerous categories despite playing much tougher competition than her predecessors.

The Sao Paulo, Brazil native became just the fourth Tech volleyball player ever with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career and has 1,410 kills and 1,037 digs in her Tech career.

Her 3.42 kills per game put her second all-time at Tech while her 1,410 kills place Sant'Anna third in the record books at Tech.

As a junior, Sant'Anna was Tech's first ever WAC volleyball player of the week and also was featured in the Faces in the Crowd section of Sports Illustrated as she set a school record with 56 aces.

Jarvis has been one of the most consistent players over the last four years at Tech at the middle blocker position.

The Neepawa, Manitoba Canada native will end her career in second place on the career blocks list at Tech as she enters the UTEP match with 334 career blocks.

Jarvis recorded the second most blocks in a single match in Tech history when she came up with 10 against Arkansas State earlier this season. Jarvis has also earned numerous academic honors while at Tech being named to the WAC Academic Honor Roll and the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s list.

For her career, Jarvis has posted 610 kills and 440 digs to go with the 334 blocks at Tech.

“It is going to be hard to replace Tanya and Cris but we really want to send our two seniors out in style and we have that opportunity,” Mazeitis said.