Oct. 14, 2006
(Los Angeles) - USF volleyball collected perhaps its biggest victory of the season with a satisfying 3-1 (21-30, 30-27, 30-23, 30-21) West Coast Conference win against Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion. The Dons (17-5, 1-4 WCC) win just their second match on the Lions (15-6, 3-3 WCC) home floor since the Reagan administration and the first since taking a five game win in 2001.
Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg turned in her best match of the season, tallying a match-high 27 kills on .321 hitting to go along with 15 digs and a pair of aces. Sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin turned in a huge night at the net with 11 kills on 21 swings without an error to go along with six blocks (three solo). Freshman outside hitter Anna Berger also enjoyed a solid match with 12 kills and six digs. Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer added eight kills and 17 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos added eight kills and three blocks for the Dons.
San Francisco's setting tandem of senior Jamie Kartchner and sophomore Darcy Carroll turned strong efforts running the offense. Kartchner just missed a double-double with 23 assists and nine digs, while Carroll dished out 34 to go along with seven digs, three kills and an ace. Freshman libero Haley Carroll recorded a match-high 21 digs.
"This was a tremendous win for our program," USF head coach Jeff Nelson said. "It was a great team win. The team really stepped up and served tougher and made some big plays. I saw a nice rhythm developing. I thought we regained our confidence which has been missing for the last couple weeks."
USF hit at a .267 clip for the match and held the Lions to a .201 clip. The Dons held a commanding 72-57 kills advantage and a 76-66 digs edge in snapping a eight-match losing streak to LMU.
After a dismal opening game, the Dons evened the contest at one game apiece after playing strong in the second set. USF trailed 14-10 and the Lions looked to be in control, but with Hasselberg serving six straight points, the Dons seized a 22-17 lead it would not surrender. San Francisco hit at a .214 clip in the second with 20 kills. Hasselberg tallied six, while Berger added five for the Dons.
San Francisco came out of the intermission and played some inspired volleyball, connecting at a .300 clip in game three. Hasselberg took over, hammering nine kills, while Babin added four. USF led wire-to-wire in the third frame to take a two games to one advantage.
It was all Dons in game four as USF sprinted out to a 17-9 lead and never looked back, seizing its first league victory of the season. San Francisco hit at a .343 pace in the finale with just four errors in 35 attempts. The Dons defense held LMU to a .093 percentage in game four.
"Kristin had a huge match both offensively and defensively and Carly really stepped up blocking and attacking. Hopefully this will take a little pressure off us and allow us to play the way we are capable of doing. I'm very proud of all of the players on our team."
USF continues WCC play when it hosts Gonzaga Thursday, October 19. First serve against the Bulldogs is slated for 7:00 PM at War Memorial Gym.