Sept. 3, 2006
(San Francisco) - USF Volleyball played its best match of the young season when it dispatched visiting UC Santa Barbara 3-1 (30-28, 23-20, 30-26, 30-26) in the final game of the 2006 Powerade/Asics Classic Sunday afternoon at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (4-1) collect their first ever win against the Gauchos (2-2) en route to their second straight USF Powerade/Asics Classic title.
Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg enjoyed another strong night with a match-high 22 kills on .325 hitting to go along with 10 digs and a pair of blocks on the way to winning tournament MVP honors for the second straight season. Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos added 11 kills and four blocks, while junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer tallied a career-high 16 kills on .243 hitting to go along with 11 digs for her first career double-double. Gombos and Maurer joined Hasselberg on the all-tournament team.
"I was extremely proud of the way our team played today," USF head coach Jeff Nelson said. "Everyone was tough and on it. Every time we gave up a few points, we came right back and got it done. Our setters did a great job. It's the first time we've had the lineup out there we've wanted based on having everyone healthy and ready to go. I really liked the way it came together."
San Francisco's offense hit at a .221 clip for the match including a .359 percentage in game one and .308 in game three. Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll dished out a team-high 31 assists, while senior setter Jamie Kartchner added 25 for the Dons.
USF held a 15-10.5 block advantage, keyed by sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin's career-high 11 to go along with six kills, while junior opposite hitter Linzy Kearney added seven. Freshman libero Haley Carroll turned in another strong day with a team-high 24 digs to go along with a career-high four aces.
In game one, the Dons dug an early hole, trailing 17-11 before making a memorable 9-5 run to close to within two and 22-20. The Gauchos responded by seizing a 27-24 lead and looked to be in control before a kills by freshman outside hitter Anna Berger and a pair of UCSB errors tied the score at 28-28. USF took its first lead and then won game on consecutive attack errors,
Santa Barbara broke out of a 10-10 tie in game two and pushed to a 20-14 advantage. The Dons rallied late closing to four points at 27-23, but would get no closer as the Gauchos reeled off three unanswered points.
USF responded after the intermission with a strong showing in game three to take a 2-1 advantage. The Dons broke out of a 7-7 tie with a 10-4 run to take a 17-11 lead. UCSB closed to within three at 24-21, but three kills from Hasselberg and one from Maurer sealed the game for the Dons.
Game four featured 16 ties and four lead changes. USF broke out a 16-16 tie to take a 17-16 lead on a Hasselberg kill and never trailed, although the Gauchos fought back to tie it five times the rest of the way, the last coming at a 24 deadlock. It was all Hasselberg from there as the Carlsbad native tallied four kills to seal the Dons second straight victory.
Lauren McLaughlin, Rebecca Sarceno and Brett Quirarte each tallied 15 kills for UCSB, while Olivia Waldowski added 11 kills and four blocks. Waldowski and libero Emily Hendrickson, who recorded a team-high 20 digs earned all-tournament honors.
USF returns to action when it travels to Sacramento to compete in thee 2006 Hornet Invitational. The Dons take on Syracuse in opening round action Friday September 8. First serve against the Orangewomen is set for 9:30 AM.