Sept. 10, 2007
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (5-3) will host their second consecutive tournament this weekend. On Friday, the Toreros will open the Tournament with a 7 p.m. match against the University of Pittsburgh. On Saturday, USD will play in two matches, the first against Cal State Northridge at 10 a.m. and the second against the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins at 7 p.m. inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT: San Diego snapped its three-match losing streak this past week as they went 3-0 at the USD Invitational, claiming 3-1 wins over UC Santa Barbara, Virginia and Oklahoma. On Friday, five different Toreros recorded double-digit kills, paced by sophomore Amy DeGroot's career-high 20. Laurel Abrahamson poured in 17 kills on 32 attempts, while only committing three errors to post a team-best .438 attack percentage. Jaimarie Sutherland recorded 14 kills, marking it her third consecutive double-digit kill performance. Torey Ellick added in 11 kills and freshman Ali Troost also had a career-high in kills with 10. Junior setter Jessica Nyrop recorded a match-best 49 assists to help direct the USD offense to a .254 attack percentage. In Saturday's win over Virginia, DeGroot recorded a match-best 19 kills, Abrahamson poured in 16 kills on 36 attacks to post a .333 attack percentage. Jaimarie Sutherland recorded 13 kills and Torey Ellick recorded 11 kills. Sophomore libero Andrea Csaszi recorded a career-high 27 digs in the win. In Saturday's finale against Oklahoma, Abrahamson led all players with her career-high 25 kills, DeGroot was the second Torero in double-digit kills as she recorded 16 and sophomore Torey Ellick recorded a career-high 16 kills. Kelsi Myers had a team-best 36 assists in helping direct the USD offense to a .244 attack percentage.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS: Pittsburgh enters the week with a 5-5 overall record and are winners of four straight matches. The offensive leaders for the Panthers are Kelly Campbell and Diana Andreyko as each had a team-leading 152 kills (4.22 kpg). Emily Burke is the floor leader for Pittsburgh, as she has a team-best 419 assists to help lead the Panthers offense to a .265 attack percentage. This will be the first meeting in program history between the two schools in the sport of volleyball. The Panthers are under the direction of eighth-year head coach Chris Beerman. During his tenure at Pittsburgh, Beerman has posted an overall record of 122-70.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with an overall record of 3-6 after defeating Manhattan, 3-2 and dropping 3-1 matches to both Oregon State and Sacramento State this past week. The offensive leader for the Matadors is Alex Johnson, as she has a team-best 90 kills (2.65 kpg). The floor leader for Northridge is Angela Hupp, who has a team-leading 216 assists, while directing the team to a .192 attack percentage. The Toreros and Matadors have met on 19 occasions in program history, with USD leading the series 11-8. The Matadors are under the direction of sixth-year head coach Jeff Stork. During his time in Northridge, Stork has posted an overall record of 67-81.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA enters the week with an overall record of 7-1 with their only loss of the season coming to the defending national champion and top-ranked Nebraska. The Bruins offense is led by Ali Daley, who has a team-leading 90 kills (3.75 kpg). The floor leader for the Bruins is Nellie Spicer, who has a team-best 296 assists in helping direct the team to a .250 attack percentage. This will be the fifth meeting between the two in program history, with UCLA holding a 4-0 edge. The Bruins are under the direction of 41st-year head coach Andy Banachowski. During his tenure at UCLA, Banachowski has posted an overall record of 1,044-271.
HOW'S THIS FOR BALANCE?: For the past five matches, the Toreros have had at least three players record double-digit kills, with a season-high five players recording double-digit kills in Saturday's win over Virginia. Of these five matches, three different players took a turn as the kills leader for a match. During this five-match streak, Amy DeGroot leads the charge with 86 kills, Laurel Abrahamson is a close second with 83 kills, followed by Sutherland with 68 and Ali Troost has recorded 42 kills.
ABRAHAMSON NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson of the University of San Diego women's volleyball team was tabbed as the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Abrahamson helped guide the Toreros to a perfect 3-0 record and the USD Invitational championship this past week. Abrahamson had a team-leading 58 kills on 114 attempts and only committed 13 attack errors to post a .395 attack percentage. Abrahamson was also a solid defensive presence for the Toreros as she tallied 15 blocks, six solo. In Saturday's finale against Oklahoma, the senior from Bloomington, Minn., posted a career-high 25 kills in helping lead USD to victory. On the season, Abrahamson is second on the team in kills with 123, has a team-best .410 attack percentage and leads the team with 32 blocks, nine solo.
ELLICK RECORDS A CAREER-HIGH: Sophomore middle hitter Torey Ellick recorded a career-high 16 kills on 27 attempts, while posting a career-high .407 attack percentage in Sunday's thrilling win over Oklahoma. Ellick was also in double-digit kills in all three matches this past week, for a grad total of 38 kills (3.17 kpg) and hit for an impressive .405 clip. On the season, Ellick has 58 kills, and is hitting at a .315 clip.
THE POLLS: The University of San Diego held steady at No. 18 in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll. This marks the fourth consecutive week the Toreros have appeared in the top-25 with their highest ranking of the young season at No. 12, two weeks ago. UCLA checks in at No. 5 in the latest polls and neither Cal State Northridge or the University of Pittsburgh are ranked.
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).
TWO TOREROS EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Laurel Abrahamson and sophomore libero Andrea Csaszi were both selected to the All-Tournament team of the USD Invitational this past weekend. Abrahamson had an impressive performance as she led the team with 58 kills and hit for a .395 clip. Csaszi was outstanding on the defensive side of things as she recorded 72 digs, including a carer-high 27 in the win against Virginia. On the season, Csaszi leads the team with 158 digs.
SUTHERLAND COMING ON STRONG: Junior outside hitter Jaimarie Sutherland has been coming on strong as of late for the Toreros. Four of the last five matches, Sutherland has recorded double-digit kills. During these past five matches, Sutherland has been averaging 3.40 kills per game and has been a huge offensive help for the Toreros. On the season, Sutherland is third on the team in kills with 70 and is hitting for a .256 clip.
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.