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USF Opens Critical WCC Southern California Week Thursday at Pepperdine

Oct. 10, 2006

DONS TRAVEL SOUTH FOR A CRITICAL WCC WEEKEND: San Francisco heads to Southern California for a pair of crucial West Coast Conference matches, beginning Thursday night in Malibu with a showdown at Pepperdine. The Dons seek their first WCC victory of the season and must do it at a pair of the league's toughest venues. The Waves (6-9, 2-2 WCC) dropped their third straight road decision at UC Santa Barbara (3-0) Tuesday night and suffered a sweep last week on the road at No. 22 San Diego (3-1) and No. 12 Santa Clara (3-0). San Francisco takes on Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions (15-4, 3-1 WCC) earned a split last weekend shocking No. 12 Santa Clara (3-0) before falling to No. 22 San Diego (3-1) in a televised thriller. USF has not taken a match against LMU since 2001 - a 3-2 upset at Gersten.

HASSELBERG SEVENTH IN DONS CAREER KILLS: Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg tallied 26 kills in the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play and became only the second player in program history to surpass 1,000 career kills with 13 against No. 9 Santa Clara (9/30). Her fifth kill at Saint Mary's (10/7) moved Hasselberg into sole possession of seventh place on the USF career kills chart, passing Chiara Lawrence (1993-96) who tallied 1,011 in the Green and Gold and finished the night with 1,019. Hasselberg needs 32 kills to pass Dons Hall-of-Famer Kathy Schindler (1982-85), who tallied 1,052. USF Hall-of-Famer For her career, Hasselberg averages 3.92 kills per game, the top mark in program history. On the season, Hasselberg averages 4.47 kills on .214 hitting with 2.06 digs per game.

MAURER EYES DONS CAREER DIGS LIST: Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded 11 digs at Saint Mary's (10/7), finishing the second week of West Coast Conference play with 1,197 in her standout career. Maurer needs 29 to become the Dons all-time leader, held by USF Hall-of-Famer Melanie Kaiser (1988-91) with 1,236. For her career, Maurer averages 4.58 digs per game, the top mark in program history. After moving to outside hitter for 2006, Maurer averages 2.39 kills and 3.31 digs.

SOPHOMORE MIDDLES IMPRESSIVE: USF's middle blocker tandem of Alix Gombos and Carly Babin are enjoying outstanding sophomore seasons. Gombos leads the team in kills (3.64), attack percentage (.311) and blocks (1.64) during West Coast Conference play, while Babin ranks fourth in league kills (2.18), second in attack percentage (.268) and blocks (1.09). Gombos turned in her second career double-double matching a career-high with 16 kills to go along with a career best 11 blocks against No. 25 San Diego (9/28) and tallied 10 kills at Saint Mary's (10/1). Babin enjoyed a strong outing against No. 9 Santa Clara (9/30) with 11 kills on .391 hitting with six blocks (two solo).

KARTCHNER TIED FOR THIRD PLACE IN DONS CAREER ASSISTS: Senior setter Jamie Kartchner continues to climb the USF career assists chart and enters the third week of West Coast Conference play with 2,989, good for a share of third place on the career list with Sarah McCandless (1992-95). Kartchner stands to become just the third Dons setter to reach 3,000 helpers and the first since April Scoggin (2000-03), who sits in second place with 3,199. Denise MacDougal (1989-92) is the all-time leader with 3,464.

HEAD COACH Jeff Nelson ENTERS FOURTH YEAR AT THE HELM: USF head coach Jeff Nelson enters his fourth season on the Hilltop focused on guiding the Dons back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time during his tenure on the Hilltop. Nelson propelled San Francisco to the first NCAA berth in program history in 2003. With a 3-2 victory against North Carolina (9/3) at the 2005 Powerade/Asics Classic, Nelson became the program's all-time wins leader (42) and ended the season with 53. Nelson captured his 200th career victory with a sweep of Portland November 6, 2004. In his 12th season as a head coach, Nelson needs seven West Coast Conference wins for the all-time league wins record currently held by Laurie Corbelli (1986-89).