Sept. 23, 2007
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 15th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (9-4) will host the University of New Mexico Lobos on Monday in its final West Coast Conference tune-up at the Jenny Craig Pavilion at 7 p.m. The Toreros will then start the defense of their WCC crown on Saturday with a 7 p.m. match against the University of San Francisco.
LAST TIME OUT: San Diego had yet another productive week as in the final full week of non-conference action the Toreros posted 3-1 wins over both cross-town rival San Diego State University and UC Irvine. In Tuesday's win over the Aztecs, USD recorded its eighth consecutive win over SDSU and Amy DeGroot led all players with her 21 kills, and also recorded her eighth double-double of the season as she recorded 16 digs. Ali Troost recorded a career-high 17 kills on 31 attempts to post a match-best .387 attack percentage. Laurel Abrahamson recorded 14 kills on 37 attempts to post a .297 attack percentage. Andrea Csaszi picked up a team-best 22 digs. On Friday, the Toreros again had a solid outing as six different players recorded doube-digit kills. Jaimarie Sutherland led all players with 15 kills. Laurel Abrahamson and Torey Ellick both had 14 kills and Amy DeGroot, Jessica Andersen and Ali Troost all added in 10 kills apiece. Sutherland recorded 11 digs to post her first double-double as a Torero and Ellick posted a .636 attack percentage to go along with her 14 kills. Andrea Csaszi tied a career-high with 27 digs and Kelsi Meyers had a career-high 35 assists in helping direct the San Diego offense to a .267 attack percentage.
SCOUTING THE LOBOS: New Mexico enters the contest with an 11-3 overall record after posting back-to-back sweeps over the University of Wyoming and Air Force this past week. The Lobos and Toreros have met once in program history with USD coming out on top. New Mexico is led offensively by junior outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild. Fairchild leads the team with 237 kills (4.74 kpg). The Lobos rotate between two setters with freshman Jade Michaelsen leading the team with 338 assists. New Mexico is under the direction on first-year head coach Jeff Nelson. Also on the New Mexico coaching staff is former Torero great Jackie Bernardin.
SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the week with the WCC's second-best overall record at 11-5 after recording wins over Cal State Bakersfield and Cornell this past week. The Toreros own a 33-13 all-time record against the Dons. USF's offense is led by junior middle blocker Carly Babin, who has a team-leading 184 kills (3.41 kpg). The floor leader for the Dons is junior setter Darcy Carroll, who has a team-leading 520 assists in helping lead the Dons' offense to a team attack percentage of .238. The Dons are under the direction of first-year head coach Gilad Doran.
HERE COMES THE BOOM: Senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson continues to pick up from where she finished her first-team All-WCC 2006 season, dominating the net. Abrahamson has registered 190 kills (3.88 kills per game) leads the team in attack percentage at .378 and also leads the team in blocks with 55, 15 solo. Abrahamson also had a solid performance this past week as she helped lead USD to a 2-0 record with 28 kills, hit for a team-best .353 clip and had a team-best 10 blocks.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: The Toreros have had the opportunity to see several new faces on the court during the non-conferene portion of the season. Freshman Ali Troost has worked her way into the starting line-up as of late as she has recorded double-digit kills in her past three outings. She recorded 13 kills against UCLA, then had a career-high 17 kills in Tuesday's win over San Diego State and followed that up with a 10 kill performance against UC Irvine. On the season, Troost has recorded 108 kills and 27 total blocks. Another new face seeing time on the court is freshman setter Kelsi Myers. Myers has been splitting time with Jessica Nyrop at the setter position and has made the most of her opportunities as she has recorded 306 assists in helping direct the Toreros offense to a .254 attack percentage.
THE POLLS: The University of San Diego enters the week with a No. 15 national ranking, which marks the sixth consecutive week the Toreros have appeared in the top-25. Neither New Mexico or San Francisco are ranked in the top-25.
WHO'S HOT FOR THE TOREROS: Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot has been hot for the Toreros since the start of the season. This past week, DeGroot helped lead USD to a 2-0 record with a team-leading 31 kills (3.88 kpg) and 20 digs. She posted her team-leading eighth double-double in Tuesday's win over San Diego state with 21 kills and 16 digs. On the season, DeGroot has a team-best 215 kills (2.39 kpg) and team-leading 141 digs.
HOW'S THIS FOR BALANCE?: In Friday's 3-1 win over UC Irvine, the Toreros had a season-high six different players record double-digit kills. Jaimarie Sutherland led all players with 15 kills. Laurel Abrahamson and Torey Ellick both had 14 kills and Amy DeGroot, Jessica Andersen and Ali Troost all added in 10 kills apiece.
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.
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.