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Toreros Prep for USD Invitational

Sept. 4, 2007

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (2-3) will host the first of two home tournaments this weekend at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. On Friday, the Toreros will open play against UC Santa Barbara in a 7 p.m. match. On Saturday, the Toreros will first square off against the University of Virginia at 10 a.m. and will conclude the tournament with a 7 p.m. match against the University of Oklahoma.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego posted a 1-3 record this past week. The Toreros opened the week in stylish fashion as they swept Fairfield in their home-opener behind a career night from senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson. For the match, Abrahamson led all players with 17 kills on 21 attempts to post a career-high .810 attack percentage. The .810 attack percentage is the second highest single-match attack percentage in program history. On Friday, USD was defeated by No. 2 Stanford 3-0. In the match, Amy DeGroot led the team with 13 kills. On Saturday, the Toreros lost a heartbreaker, 3-2, to No. 23 Ohio. In the match, three Toreros were in double-digit kills. DeGroot recorded a career-high 18 kills, Jaimarie Sutherland poured in 16 kills and Abrahamson added in 15, but it wasn't enough to hold off the Bobcats who snuck away with a win. On Sunday, the Toreros closed out play in the Tournament against the host and ninth-ranked University of Minnesota. The Toreros captured game one, but the Golden Gophers came back to win three straight to claim a 3-1 win. In the match, Sutherland had a career-high 20 kills to tie for a match-best with a Minnesota player. DeGroot came through with 13 kills and Abrahamson was the final Torero in double-digit kills as the senior from Bloomington, Minn. added in 10 kills. Jessica Nyrop had 33 assists and Andrea Csaszi had a match-best 20 digs in the loss.

SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: The Gauchos are entering the week with a 2-4 overall record after dropping three consecutive matches this past week to UNLV, Loyola Marymount and Northwestern. Junior outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin leads the Gauchos' offense as she has a team-leading 129 kills (5.38 kpg). Freshman setter Dana Vargas directs the offense for Santa Barbara, as she has a team-best 288 assists, while steering the UCSB offense to a .227 attack percentage. The Gauchos are under the direction of 33rd-year head coach Kathy Gregory. During her tenure at Santa Barbara, Gregory has posted an overall record of 786-332.

SCOUTING THE SOONERS: The Sooners enter the week with an overall record of 5-1 after posting a 2-1 record this past week, picking up wins against Idaho and Oregon State and dropping a match to Middle Tennessee. Senior outside hitter Sarah Weiland leads the OU offense as she has posted a team-best 76 kills (4.00 kpg). The offense for Oklahoma is run through senior setter Julie Chester. Chester has posted a team-leading 267 assists, while directing the offense to a team attack percentage of .257. The Sooners are under the direction of fourth-year head coach Santiago Restrepo. During his time with the Sooners, Restrepo has posted an overall record of 52-46.

SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS: Virginia enters the week with an overall record of 4-2 after picking up wins against Temple and Norfolk State and dropping a match to Arkansas. Senior outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood leads the offensive charge for the Cavaliers as she has a team-leading 102 kills (4.64 kpg). The offense is run through junior setter Marlow Bruneau, who has a team-best 185 assists. The Cavaliers are under the direction of 12th-year head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton. During her tenure at Virginia, Shelton has posted an overall record of 221-168.

HOME SWEET HOME: Since the Jenny Craig Pavilion opened its doors in October of 2000, the Torero volleyball team has enjoyed a winning tradition on their home court. Since October of 2000, the Toreros have posted an impressive 74-15 overall record, winning 83 percent of their matches. The Toreros will now be inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion for 12 consecutive matches over the next five straight weeks. This weekend, the Toreros will host the annual USD Invitational and will look to improve not only their overall record, but their all-time home winning percentage.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego dropped six spots in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll to No. 18. Oklahoma, UC Santa Barbara and Virgina are not ranked.

SUTHERLAND RECORDS CAREER-HIGH: Junior outside hitter Jaimarie Sutherland recorded a career-high not once but twice this past week in kills. On Saturday against Ohio, Sutherland recorded a career-high 16 kills, then on Sunday against Minnesota, she broke that record with a 20-kill performance. For the week, Sutherland recorded 38 kills (3.17 kpg) on 86 attempts to post an impressive .360 attack percentage.

ABRAHAMSON ATTACKS HER WAY INTO RECORD BOOKS: Senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson attacked her way into the single-match record books at USD with her performance against Fairfield this past Tuesday. Abrahamson, posted a match-best 17 kills on 21 attempts, while committing no attack errors to post a .810 attack percentage. The .810 attack percentage ranks her second in the single-match attack percentage, only trailing former Torero great Christie Dawson's .993 she recorded on 9-13-03 against Maryland. For the week, Abrahamson recorded 51 kills and had an attack percentage of .391. On the season. Abrahamson has 65 kills and is posting a team-best .425 attack percentage.

DeGROOT HAS ANOTHER SOLID WEEK: Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot has made the transition from middle to outside hitter with no trouble and her numbers are proof. This past week, DeGroot posted a team-leading 52 kills (3.47 kpg). On the season, DeGroot leads the team with 69 kills, has posted two double-doubles and has an attack percentage of .228.

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).

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 SECOND 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.