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Toreros Hit the Road for a Pair of Southern California WCC Foes

Oct. 8, 2007

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 17th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (12-5, 2-1 WCC) will hit the road for the first time since Sept. 2 as they continue West Coast Conference play with a trip to the Los Angeles area for matches against Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University. On Thursday, the Toreros will head to Malibu for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Waves of Pepperdine, then on Saturday, USD will conclude the two-game road swing with a 1 p.m. match against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego split a pair of home matches this past week, as Santa Clara stunned the Toreros, 3-1 on Thursday, before USD bounced back with a 3-2 win over Saint Mary's College on Saturday. In Thursday's match, Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot was the lone Torero in double-digit kills as she tied for a match-best 16 kills. Laurel Abrahamson recorded nine kills, while hitting at a .263 clip. Andrea Csaszi recorded 11 digs and as a team, USD hit for a .156 attack percentage. In Saturday's 3-2 win over SMC, DeGroot led all players with her 24 kills and she also recorded 13 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double of the season. Laurel Abrahamson was the second Torero in double digit kills as she had 15, while Ali Troost recorded 12 kills and Torey Ellick was the fourth USD player in double digit kills as she had 11. Jessica Nyrop recorded a match and season-best 57 assists and Andrea Csaszi had a team-best 24 digs.

A LOOK AHEAD: After spending a little over a month inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion, USD will hit the road this week, but will return home next week as they host both Portland and Gonzaga on Oct. 18th and 20th.

SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the week with an 11-4 overall record and is the league's lone undefeated team in conference action at 3-0. This past week, the Waves picked up wins over Portland and Gonzaga. Pepperdine owns a 33-13 advantage all-time against the Toreros. The Waves are led offensively by Julie Rubenstein, who has a team-best 239 kills (4.39 kpg) and is hitting at a .268 clip. Setter Kiah Fiers helps direct the Waves' offense as she has a team-leading 713 assists to direct the team to a .286 attack percentage. The Waves are under the direction of 25th-year head coach Nina Matthies. During her tenure in Malibu, Matthies has posted an overall record of 467-279.

SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount enters the week with an overall record of 9-7 and a 1-2 mark in the WCC after they swept Portland, then fell to Gonzaga this past week. The Lions and Toreros have met on 53 prior occasions with the Lions holding a 36-17 edge over USD. The team is led offensively by outside hitter Emily Day. Day has a team-leading 216 kills, but is only hitting at a .177 clip. The floor leader for the Lions is freshman setter Renee Horton, who has a team-best 768 assists, while directing the LMU offense to a .239 team attack percentage. The Lions are under the direction of 18th-year head coach Steve Stratos. During his tenure in Los Angeles, Stratos has posted an overall record of 352-172.

THE POLLS: San Diego dropped three spots in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 polls to No. 17 after posting a 1-1 record this past week. This marks the eighth consecutive week the Toreros have appeared in the top-25 this season.

MISS CONSISTENT: Senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson continues to be one of the most consistent forces, not only on the team, but in the WCC as well. Abrahamson leads the team and conference in attacking percentage at .387, is second on the team in kills with 239 (3.68 kills per game) and also leads the team in blocks with 69.

DOUBLE THE FUN: Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot continues her dominance in her breakout season as she recorded her ninth double-double of the season in Saturday's win over Saint Mary's. DeGroot not only leads the team in kills with 273 (4.20 kpg), but also is second on the team in digs per game with an average of 2.69.

CAN YA "DIG" IT?: Proving that not all of the team's defensive gems come from the middle blockers, sophomore libero Andrea Csaszi has been a constant force for the Toreros defense through the 2007 season. On the season, she has recorded a team-leading 310 digs for a conference-leading average of 4.77 digs per game.

THE GREAT WALL OF ELLICK: Sophomore middle hitter Torey Ellick has been a huge help for the Toreros this season up front. She is second on the team in total blocks with 57, 12 of which are solo blocks. On the offensive side of things she has also been a big presence for the Toreros. She has recorded 132 kills on 268 attempts for a attack percentage of .347. This past week, Ellick led the team with nine blocks, while also recording 19 kills and hitting at a .389 clip.

SUDDEN IMPACT: San Diego freshman right side Ali Troost has wasted no time making an impact at the collegiate level. Not only has she moved into the starting lineup, but she has emerged as one of the go-to players for USD. Thus far through her rookie campaign, Troost has recorded double-digit kills in six matches, including 12 in Saturday's 3-2 win over Saint Mary's on the season, Troost is third on the team in kills with 132 and third on the team in blocks with 32.

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.