Aug. 26, 2006
(Tucson) - USF volleyball battled mightily, but fell 3-1 (32-30, 30-25, 24-30, 30-25) at No. 18 Arizona in the Four Points Sheraton Arizona Invitational Saturday night at the McKale Center. The Dons (2-1) got monster nights from its outside hitters and middle blockers, but the Wildcats (3-0), who made it to the Elite Eight last season would not be denied.
Freshman outside hitter Anna Berger capped her first week in the Green and Gold with her first career double with 17 kills, 16 digs, three aces and a pair of blocks and collected all-tournament honors. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos also earned all-tournament selection with a career-high 12 kills on .474 hitting and added four blocks.
Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg recorded 17 kills to go along with nine digs en route to all-tournament honors. Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll dished out 33 assists to go along with 10 digs, while freshman libero Haley Carroll tallied a team-high 17 digs.
USF held a .219-.200 hitting advantage and both teams recorded 41 kills. Both teams struggled in the service game, with the two teams combining for 30 and the Dons suffered six in game one.
San Francisco jumped out to an early lead in game one as Darcy Carroll served the first seven points of the match staking the Dons to a 9-1 lead. USF extended it to 10-3 before Arizona reeled off nine unanswered points, going on a 12-3 run to take a 14-11 advantage. The Dons fought back, taking a 25-21 lead on a block by Darcy Carroll and Babin. The Wildcats responded and seized the first frame behind back-to-back kills from tournament MVP Brooke Buringrud.
Arizona jumped out to an early lead 12-5 lead in game two and opened it up to a 20-12 advantage. The Dons roared back with a 12-7 run to close to within three at 27-24, but once again Buringrud closed out the set with a kill and an ace.
After the intermission, San Francisco emerged and took control early in game three and never trailed. Berger led the way for the Dons with seven kills and a pair of aces in the frame. The Dons hit at a .257 clip and tallied six blocks and four aces.
San Francisco battled mightily in game four, but could not get over the top. USF led briefly at 9-8, but the Wildcats pulled away on a 7-2 run to lead 16-12. The Dons would tie at 20-20 on a kill by Hasselberg but could not seize the lead.
USF returns to action when it hosts the 2006 Powerade/Asics Classic beginning Friday night at War Memorial Gym. The Dons take on San Jose State at 7:00 PM in the three team, three match field. UC Santa Barbara takes on the Spartans Saturday at 4:00 PM, while USF hosts the Gauchos in the finale Sunday with a first serve set for 2:00 PM.