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TOREROS TO BATTLE NATIONALLY RANKED WCC FOE SANTA CLARA

Oct. 16, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (16-4, 6-0 WCC) will look to extend its six-match winning streak this week as they host No. 15 Santa Clara University in a West Coast Conference showdown. On Saturday, these two national powers will engage in a 1 p.m. battle at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

TOREROS RECORD THIRD 2-0 WEEK IN A ROW: The Toreros turned in yet another dominating performance this past week as they swept both the University of Portland and Gonzaga University in WCC action. With the two wins, the Toreros remain unblemished in conference action at 6-0. On Thursday, the Toreros went to battle with the Pilots and Kristen Carlson led all players with 19 kills on 38 attempts, while only committing two attacking errors to post a.447 attacking percentage. Carlson also recorded her 12th double-double of the season as she recorded 17 digs on the night. Laurel Abrahamson posted a match-best .529 attacking percentage as she recorded 11 kills on 17 attacks, while only committing two errors. Christie Dawson also had 11 kills, committed only one attacking error on 27 attempts to post a .370 attacking percentage. Jessica Nyrop recorded 46 assists in the win to help direct the Toreros offense to a .326 team attacking percentage. On Saturday, Dawson led all players with 17 kills on 22 attempts while only committing one attacking error to post a season-high .727 attacking percentage. Carlson also had a solid day for the Toreros as she recorded 14 kills and 11 digs to post her team-best 13th double-double of the season while also posting a .312 attacking percentage. Abrahamson recorded 11 kills, on 18 attempts and only committed one attacking error to post a .556 attacking percentage. Nyrop recorded 51 assists to help direct the San Diego offense to a season-best .421 team attacking percentage.

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara enters the week with a 14-4 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the WCC after recording a 3-2 win over Gonzaga and a 3-0 win over Portland this past week. The Broncos are ranked No. 15 in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 rankings. SCU holds the all-time series lead with the Toreros at 28-16. The Broncos are led by Kim McGiven who has a team-leading 260 kills (4.48 kills per game) and also chips in with 2.7 digs per game. Crystal Matice is the floor leader for the Broncos with her team-best 547 assists (13.68 assists per game). Matice leads the conference in assists per game, just ahead of USD's Jessica Nyrop. Santa Clara is under the direction of eighth-year head coach Jon Wallace. During his tenure with the Broncos, Wallace has posted a record of 170-62.

THE BIG THREE: A common occurrence for the USD offense is the fact that Kristen Carlson, Christie Dawson and Laurel Abrahamson all record double-digit kills in the same game. Of the Toreros 20 games this season, this trio have all tallied double-digit kills in 13 of them. During these 13 games, USD has posted a 12-1 record, including the current six-match winning streak the Toreros are on to open WCC play. These three have now accounted for 66 percent (827) of the teams 1,247 kills.

DAWSON'S SOLID WEEK: Senior middle hitter Christie Dawson had a solid week for the Toreros as she posted some big numbers. For the week, Dawson recorded 28 kills (4.67 per game) had a .531 attacking percentage and had five blocks, one solo. In Saturday's sweep over Gonzaga, Carlson posted a season-high .727 attacking percentage as she registered 17 kills on 22 attempts while only committing one attacking error. For the season, Dawson is second on the team in kills with 286 (3.97 kills per game) and blocks with 43, 12 solo.

ABRAHAMSON CONTINUES TO IMPRESS: Junior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson has continued to impress just about everyone with her outstanding play. Abrahamson has now recorded double-digit kills in 12 of her last 14 matches, including seven matches in a row. Abrahamson is third on the team in kills with 213 (2.92 kills per game) and also leads the team in blocks with 59, 12 solo. Abrahamson's 213 kills almost doubles her career total of 257 she had prior to the start of the season. Abrahamson's .318 hitting percentage on the season is good for fifth best in the conference.

CARLSON DOUBLING IT UP: Senior outside hitter Kristen Carlson has now recorded 13 double-doubles on the season after recording back-to-back double-doubles this past week. Carlson is currently leading the conference in kills per game with her 5.12 kills per game average. On the season, Carlson leads the team in kills with 328 and is second in digs with 219.

ALL SET UP: Sophomore setter Jessica Nyrop continues to show why she is one of best setters in the country. She is leading the West Coast Conference with 944 total assists, and is second in the conference in assists per game at 13.49. The junior from Harrison, Idaho has helped direct the San Diego offense to a WCC-leading .288 team attack percentage.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego women's volleyball team jumped up two spots in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll to No. 20 after posting a 2-0 record this past week to remain unblemished in West Coast Conference action. This marks the fourth consecutive week the Toreros have been ranked in the top-25 and tied USD for the highest ranking of the season, as USD opened their 2006 campaign with a No. 20 preseason ranking. Santa Clara University also moved up two spots in the polls to No. 15 after registering a 2-0 record this past week.

GOING STREAKING: The University of San Diego women's volleyball team is in the midst of a season-high six-match winning streak. The Toreros will look to extend on this streak this week as they host No. 15 Santa Clara University this Saturday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

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.

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. 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.

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.