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Volleyball to Host USD Invitational

Sept. 12, 2006

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TOREROS FINALLY COME HOME: The University of San Diego (7-3) will finally get to play inside of the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion this upcoming weekend, thus ending a 10-match road swing that opened the 2006 season. USD will open play in the USD Invitational this Thursday evening as they host the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara in a 7 p.m. match. USD will then continue play in the tournament on Friday as they will play No. 16 Ohio in a 7 p.m. match. The Toreros will then have two matches on Saturday, one in the morning at 10:00 a.m. against Brown, the other in the evening with a 7 p.m. match against No. 11 Wisconsin.

TOURNAMENT SCHDULE:Thursday, Sept. 14San Diego vs. UC Santa Barbara 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15Ohio vs. Brown 10 a.m.Wisconsin vs. UC Santa Barbara 12 p.m.UC Santa Barbara vs. Brown 4 p.m.San Diego vs. Ohio 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16San Diego vs. Brown 10 a.m.Brown vs. Wisconsin 12 p.m.Ohio vs. UC Santa Barbara 4 p.m.San Diego vs. Wisconsin 7 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: USD recorded a 2-1 record this past week at the Hilton Las Cruces Classic. USD opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over the University of Wyoming. In the match, Kristen Carlson recorded her fourth double-double of the season as she totaled a match-best 17 digs and match-best 20 kills. Christie Dawson had 19 kills on 32 attempts and only committed one attacking error for a match-high .562 attacking percentage. Laurel Abrahamson chipped in with 11 kills and Erin Wiskar added 10 more kills to help USD dominate the match. Jessica Nyrop had a match-best 59 assists to help lead the Toreros to a season-best .370 team attack percentage. New Mexico State then edged the Toreros 3-2 in Friday's late match. Carlson had a season-high 29 kills and added 11 digs for her second double-double of the day and Dawson added 19 kills. Erin Wiskar was the third Torero in double digit kills with 12 and had three solo blocks on the evening. On Saturday, USD rebounded with a 3-0 sweep over Idaho State. In the match, USD was led offensively by Dawson who had a match-best 14 kills followed by both Laura Murphy and Abrahamson who had 11 kills apiece. Jaimarie Sutherland had her best offensive output of the season as she had nine kills on the day.

SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters the week with a .500 record at 3-3 after splitting a pair of matches this past week. The Gauchos began the week with a 3-0 loss to UNLV and bounced back with a 3-0 win over Xavier. UCSB is led offensively by Rabecca Saraceno who has a team-best 76 kills (3.62 Kills per game) to go along with 22 digs and six service aces. Jamie Garbisch is not far behind Saraceno on the offensive attack for UCSB, as she has 72 kills (3.42 kills per game) to go along with 59 digs. Santa Barbara is 11-2 all-time against San Diego in head-to-head competition. The Gauchos are under the direction of 32nd-year head coach Kathy Gregory who has posted a 768-319 career record while at UCSB.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS: Ohio University enters the week with a 6-2 record after recording three wins this past week against Yale, Stonybrook and Maryland. Ohio is currently riding a six-match winning streak and ranked No. 16 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll. The Bobcats are led offensively by Ellen Herman who has 106 kills (3.93 Kills per game). Melissa Griffin is the second half of the offensive attack for the Bobcats as she has 101 kills (3.74 Kills per game) on the season and has an attack percentage of .343. The Bobcats are 0-1 all-time against San Diego in head-to-head competition. Ohio is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Geoff Carlston who has posted a 96-13 overall record during his tenure at Ohio.

SCOUTING THE BEARS: Brown University enters the week with a 1-2 overall record after posting a win against New Hampshire and back-to-back losses to San Jose State and the University of Texas-San Antonio this past week. The Bears are 0-2 all-time against San Diego in head-to-head competition. Brown is led offensively by senior outside hitter Rikki Baldwin who has a team-leading 42 kills (3.82 kills per game) on the season. The Bears are under the direction of 13th-year head coach Diane Short.

SCOUTING THE BADGERS: The University of Wisconsin enters the week with a 6-1 record after picking up a pair of wins this past week against Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With these wins the Badgers are riding a six-match winning streak. The Badgers enter the week ranked No. 11 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll. Wisconsin is led offensively by Maria Carlini who has a team-leading 80 kills (3.48 kills per game) coupled with 69 digs, good for second on the team. Wisconsin is 2-0 all-time against the Toreros in head-to-head competition. UW is under the direction of eighth-year head coach Pete Waite who has a career record of 182-56.

COACHING CHANGE: The Toreros are under the direction of a new but familiar face. Brent Hilliard, USD's top assistant for the past five seasons, has been moved to interim head coach. Head coach Jennifer Petrie will be taking the semester off to spend time with her new born son Charles, her two-year old daughter Jane, as well as time with her husband Mark. Petrie, who just completed her seventh year, will return to her head coaching position for the 2007 season. Hilliard brings a wealth of volleyball experience to the head coaching position as he has won at the highest levels of volleyball. During his tenure at USD, the Toreros have advanced to the NCAA Tournament all five seasons with a program-best Sweet 16 appearance in 2004. Hilliard was a catalyst for the 1991 Long Beach State men's volleyball national championship team en route to earning the NCAA Player of the Year award. In 1992, Hilliard was a member of the bronze medal winning U.S. Olympic team, and one year later, he helped the U.S. earn a silver medal at the Pan American Games. Hilliard continued his volleyball career as a professional in Europe from 1995-1998, playing two seasons in Belgium and one season in the Netherlands. In 1996, Hilliard and the Maasiek Volleyball club from Belgium won the country's championship and competed in the European Champions League.

CARLSON AND DAWSON EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: The University of San Diego's Christie Dawson and Kristen Carlson were both named to the All-Tournament team at the Hilton Las Cruces Classic this past weekend after helping lead the Toreros to a 2-1 record at the Tournament. Dawson earned the honor after putting together another strong performance as she recorded a team-leading 52 kills (4.33 kills per game) and had eight blocks, three solo blocks, and registered three service aces for the Toreros. Dawson posted an attack percentage of .376 over 12 total games played. Carlson also turned in a solid performance in Las Cruces as she had 49 kills (5.44 kills per game) with seven service aces in nine games played. Carlson had an attack percentage of .298 and racked up 28 digs. Carlson posted back-to-back double-doubles against the University of Wyoming and New Mexico State University in the opening two matches of the Tournament.

LIGHTS, CAMERA ACTION: This Thursday's home volleyball match will be the streamed live on the university's web site. 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. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95. All of USD's home volleyball matches can be seen live on usdtoreros.com.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior outside left-handed hitter Kristen Carlson has started off her senior season strong for San Diego. Carlson finished the Hilton Las Cruces Classic with 49 kills, 28 digs, three service aces, back-to-back double-doubles and earned all-tournament honors. At the UCI Nike Invitational, she collected 46 kills, 29 digs, six blocks, four solo, along with two double-double's to give her a team-leading five double-doubles on the season. Carlson is currently second on the team in kills (144) and is second in digs (85).

CAN YA "DIG" IT?: Proving that not all of the team's defensive gems come from the middle blockers, freshman libero Kayleen Webster has been a constant force for the Toreros defense through the first part of the 2006 season. On the season, she has recorded a team-leading 124 digs for an average of 4.00 digs per game.

A STEADY SETTER: Sophomore Jessica Nyrop has begun her first season as the starting setter for the Toreros in 2006. She has dished out 30 or more assists in six matches this season. Nyrop recorded a career-high 61 assists against Iowa State University, then followed that performance up with a 59 assist performance against Wyoming, a 55 assist performance against New Mexico State and a 45 assist performance against Idaho State this past week. Nyrop is currently averaging 12.00 assists per game which is good for second best among all setters in the West Coast Conference.

2006 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: The University of San Diego was tabbed to finish third in the WCC, according to a preseason poll conducted by the conference head coaches. Santa Clara University was picked as the unanimous favorite to repeat as West Coast Conference champions in 2006. The Broncos racked up 64 points, receiving all eight first place votes to sweep the poll. Pepperdine University was picked to finish second with 55 points. San Diego was tapped for third place with 45 points, while Saint Mary's College (36) nudged past Loyola Marymount University (35) for fourth. The University of San Francisco (27), Gonzaga University (17) and the University of Portland (9) took the sixth through eighth spots, respectively.

VOLLEYBALL NOW A TICKETED SPORT: All USD volleyball home matches are now a ticketed event, effective at the start of the 2006 season. General Admission tickets will available to the general public on the day of each match. USD faculty, staff, and student tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. General admission tickets are $5 per person.