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12th-Ranked Toreros Prep for Busy Week

Aug. 27, 2007

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 12th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (1-0) will host Fairfield University on Tuesday in the Toreros' home opener at the Jenny Craig Pavilion at 5 p.m. USD will then head to Minnesota to compete in a very strong University of Minnesota Tournament. USD will open the tournament on Friday in a match against No. 2 Stanford University at 3 p.m. The Toreros will then play No. 23 Ohio University on Saturday in an 11 a.m. match and will conclude the tournament on Sunday with a 11:30 a.m. match against the host and ninth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers.

LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego opened its 2007 season in stylish fashion by sweeping No. 19 Long Beach State on the road by scores of 30-28, 30-27 and 30-14. This marked the third consecutive victory over the 49ers for USD. The Toreros got a balanced attack with Amy DeGroot recording a career-high 17 kills to go along with 10 digs for her first career double-double and Laurel Abrahamson was also a solid force picking up 14 kills on 21 attempts to post a match-best .571 attacking percentage. Freshman Ali Troost was impressive in her debut, as the Hemet, Calif. native recorded eight kills on 13 attempts to post a .538 attacking percentage. Both USD setters, junior Jessica Nyrop and freshman Kelsi Myers, were impressive as Nyrop picked up 22 assists and Myers added in 21 assists. Sophomore libero Andrea Csaszi was returning to her All-WCC Freshman team form from a year ago as she picked up a match-best 14 digs. As a team, the Toreros posted a .358 attacking percentage for the match.

SCOUTING THE STAGS: Fairfield University enters the match with an overall record of 0-3 after dropping matches to Long Island University, San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara in the opening weekend of play at the Aztec Invitational. The Toreros are 2-0 all-time against Fairfield in head-to-head competition. The Stags offensively are led by sophomore middle hitter Katie Mann. She has a team-leading 41 kills and is hitting at a .298 clip. The director of the Fairfield offense is freshman setter Barbie Thistle, who has a team-leading 113 assists through three matches. The Stags are under the direction of sixth-year head coach Jeff Werneke. During his tenure at Fairfield, Werneke has posted an overall record of 90-76 and has led the Stags to a share of three consecutive MAC regular-season championships.

SCOUTING THE CARDINAL: Stanford enters the week with an overall record of 1-0 after picking up a sweep over No. 19 Long Beach State to open the season this past weekend. Junior Cynthia Barboza leads the offensive attack for the Cardinal, as she recorded 18 kills and added 10 digs to post her first double-double of the season against Long Beach State this past weekend. Senior setter Bryn Keohoe directs the Stanford offense and in her first match of the season against LBSU, she racked up 45 assists, while leading the team to a .427 attack percentage. Stanford and USD have met on three occasions, with Stanford coming out on top all three times. The Cardinal are under the direction of seventh-year head coach John Dunning. During his time in Palo Alto, Dunning has posted an overall record of 177-30.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS: Ohio University enters the week with an overall record of 2-0 after claiming the championship in the Hampton Inn Volleyball Challenge, picking up wins over Rutgers and James Madison. The Bobcats are led offensively by sophomore outside hitter Emily Hermans, who was tabbed as the MAC East Division Player of the Week, averaging 4.17 kills per game and 2.83 digs per game in the opening weekend of play. The Bobcats are under the direction of fifth-year head coach Geoff Carlston. During his tenure with Ohio, Carlston has posted an overall record of 120-16.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GOPHERS: Minnesota enters the week with an overall record of 1-0 after defeating Notre Dame in their season-opener. Three players recorded double-digit kills in the season-opener in Jessy Jones (13), Kyla Roehrig (17) and Brook Dieter (18). The offense is ran through setter Rachel Hartman, who has a team-leading 50 assists. Minnesota and USD have met twice before, with USD coming out on top both times.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego jumped up three spots in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll to No. 12. This is the second highest ranking in program history, trailing only the No. 11 ranking USD received in the 2004 season. Stanford University is currently ranked No. 2, the University of Minnesota checks in at No. 9, Ohio is ranked No. 23 and Fairfield University is not ranked in the AVCA top-25 poll.

Amy DeGroot NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week after helping lead USD to a season-opening win over No. 19 Long Beach State. DeGroot racked up a career-high 17 kills on 36 attempts, while only committing three attack errors to post a .389 attack percentage. She also recorded her first career double-double as she picked up 10 digs in the victory over Long Beach State. DeGroot has quickly become one of USD's go-to players.

ABRAHAMSON RETURNS TO FORM: After her break-out season in 2006, senior Laurel Abrahamson has just picked up from where she left off a year ago, dominating at the net. The middle hitter from Bloomington, Minn. picked up 14 kills on 21 attempts to post a match-best .571 attack percentage in the Toreros' season-opening win over No. 19 Long Beach State.

SETTING THE DINNER TABLE: The Toreros got an outstanding performance from both of their setters in the season opener. Junior Jessica Nyrop, coming off a season in which she set the new single-season record for assists with 1,546, posted 22 assists in the opener while helping direct the USD offense to a .358 team attack percentage. Freshman Kelsi Myers was impressive in her debut for the Toreros, as when she stepped on the court, USD didn't skip a beat ,as she recorded 21 assists, while helping direct the USD offense to a .358 team attacking percentage.

PETRIE RETURNS TO THE SIDELINES: Ninth-Year head coach Jennifer Petrie took the fall semester of 2006 off to spend time with her new born son Charles, her three-year old daughter Jane, as well as time with her husband Mark, and let her top assistant for the previous five seasons, Brent Hilliard, take the reigns for the season. She has now returned to continue to lead the USD volleyball program. Petrie has done an outstanding job directing the fortunes of San Diego volleyball since taking over as the Toreros head coach in 1999. Honored as the 2004 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Petrie continues to establish the University of San Diego as one of the top volleyball programs in the nation. In seven complete seasons as head coach, Petrie has led San Diego to six appearances in the NCAA Tournament (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, & 2005).

TROOST LOOKS IMPRESSIVE IN DEBUT: Freshman Ali Troost looked impressive in her collegiate debut as well, as she racked up eight kills on 13 attempts, while only committing one attack error to post a .538 attack percentage. She also put down back-to-back kills to help propel USD to a game-one win over LBSU.

LIGHTS, CAMERA ACTION: All USD home matches, as well as select road matches, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page and follow the instructions. There is no cost for this service.

2007 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego volleyball home matches can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of Online College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action. Selected San Diego road matches are also available via Gametracker. To see if Gametracker is available for a game, go to San Diego Events at the top-right of the home page. If Gametracker is available there will be a Gametracker link.

TOREROS PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN WCC: Pepperdine University was selected as the favorite to capture the 2007 WCC women's volleyball regular season title, as selected by the conference coaches. The Waves garnered five first place votes and tallied 61 overall points to earn the top spot. USD, the defending WCC Champions, was tabbed second with 52 overall points and one first place vote. The Toreros edged Santa Clara University, which was selected third with 50 overall points and also received one first place vote. Loyola Marymount University was tabbed fourth with 37 overall points, followed by the University of San Francisco (30). Saint Mary's College was selected sixth with 27 overall points and picked up a first place vote. Gonzaga University (23) and the University of Portland (8) round out this year's poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.