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Cross-Town Rival San Diego State and UC Irvine up Next for Toreros

Sept. 17, 2007

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 15th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (7-4) will host cross-town rival San Diego State University on Tuesday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in a 7 p.m. non-conference match. The Toreros will then play host to UC Irvine in a 7 p.m. match on Friday evening at the Jenny Craig Pavilion to close out the final full week of non-conference action.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego had another productive week as they posted a 2-1 record. The Toreros cruised to back-to-back sweeps over Pittsburgh and Cal State Northridge, then fell in the championship match of the USD Tournament to No. 5 UCLA, 3-2. On Friday against Pittsburgh, Amy DeGroot led all players with her 19 kills on 40 attempts, while only committing one attack error to post a match-best .450 attack percentage. Both Jaimarie Sutherland and Ali Troost had nine kills a piece to help balance out the offensive attack. Jessica Nyrop recorded a match-best 49 assists to help direct the USD offense to a .271 attack percentage. On Saturday against Northridge, Laurel Abrahamson led all players with her 16 kills on 26 attempts to post a team-leading .423 attack percentage. DeGroot poured in 15 kills on 34 attempts to post a .294 attack percentage. DeGroot also recorded a double-double as she added in 11 digs. Jessica Nyrop recorded 28 assists and Kelsi Myers added in 21 assists to help lead the USD offense to a .358 attack percentage. Then on Saturday night, the Toreros went the distance with the Bruins, but fell short, 3-2 in a heartbreaker. In the match, DeGroot finished with her career-high and match-best 26 kills and also added in 18 digs, while posting a .285 attack percentage. Abrahamson racked up 16 kills on 40 attempts and posted a .300 attack percentage. Troost added in 13 kills on 28 attempts to post a .321 attack percentage. Kelsi Myers recorded 33 assists and Jessica Nyrop added in 30 more assists to help direct USD to a .258 team attack percentage.

SCOUTING THE AZTECS: San Diego State enters the match with an overall record of 9-3 after picking up wins over Utah and Cal State Fullerton and dropping a match to BYU this past week. San Diego State holds a 25-19 edge over the Toreros, but USD has won the past seven contests. The Aztecs are led offensively by Stephanie Darnall, who has a team-best 170 kills (3.54 kpg). Setters Leah Lathrop and Kristen Castillo run the offense for SDSU and have helped direct the team to a .226 team attack percentage. The Aztecs are under the direction of 13th-year head coach Mark Warner. During his tenure in San Diego, Warner has posted an overall record of 198-182.

SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the week with an overall record of 10-3 after picking up wins over Cal State Bakersfield and Davidson and dropping a match to Arizona this past weekend. The Anteaters and Toreros have met on 34 occasions with UCI holding a 22-12 edge over USD. The Anteaters are led offensively by Lauren Kellerman, who has a team-leading 162 kills (3.60 kpg). Taryn Robertson is the floor leader for Irvine as she has a team-best 516 assists, while directing the team's offense to a .266 attack percentage. The Anteaters are under the direction of eighth-year head coach Charlie Brande.

SOLID & RELIABLE: Naturally teams will look to their captains for that extra motivation and to push themselves the extra mile, and senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson fits the bill perfectly for San Diego. Through the first 11 matches of the season, Abrahamson leads the team with a .384 attack percentage, is second on the team in kills with 162 and leads the team in blocks with 45. Abrahamson's .384 attack percentage also ranks among the leaders in the WCC, as she is second overall.

BREAKING OUT: Freshman right side Ali Troost has become a nice addition to the Toreros, and this past week she had a solid week for San Diego. The Hemet, Calif. native recorded 23 kills (2.56 kpg) and hit for a .333 clip. On the season, Troost has 80 kills and is hitting at a .181 clip.

AMY GOES OFF: Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot went off this past week both offensively and defensively. DeGroot recorded a team-leading 60 kills (5.45 kpg) on 130 attempts to post a .338 attack percentage. DeGroot also tied for a team-best 34 digs, as the Frenchtown, Mont. native recorded two double-doubles to run her season-total to seven double-doubles. On the season, DeGroot leads the Toreros' offense as she has a team-leading 184 kills (4.49 kpg) and is posting a .257 attack percentage. DeGroot also has 121 digs, second best on the team behind sophomore libero Andrea Csaszi's 192.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego jumped up three spots to No. 15 in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll. This marks the fifth consecutive week the Toreros have appeared in the top-25 with their highest ranking of the season at No. 12, three weeks ago. Neither San Diego State or UC Irvine are ranked in the top-25.

TWO TOREROS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Both Laurel Abrahamson and Amy DeGroot were named to the All-Tournament team of the USD Tournament this past weekend. DeGroot posted 60 kills and registered 34 digs en route to her selection. Abrahamson racked up 39 kills and hit for a .313 clip in helping USD post a 2-1 record.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Many Toreros, as well as the combined team itself, hold lofty spots in the West Coast Conference statistics. In team standings, the Toreros are second in hitting percentage (.257), are leading the WCC in assists (15.85 per game), as well as leading in kills (15.85 per game). Individually, Laurel Abrahamson is second in attack percentage (.384), Andrea Csaszi is second in digs per game 4.68) and Amy DeGroot is third in kills per game (4.49).

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).

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.