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USF Volleyball Hosts Gonzaga and Portland in Big Weekend of WCC Volleyball

Oct. 17, 2007

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UP NEXT FOR THE DONS: USF closes the first half of the demanding West Coast Conference schedule this weekend when it hosts the Pacific Northwest schools, beginning Thursday night against Gonzaga with a 7:00 PM first serve at War Memorial Gym. The Dons then take on Portland Saturday in a 1:00 PM start. San Francisco looks to rebound after a rugged Southern California road swing. The Dons dropped a 3-1 decision at Loyola Marymount and then fell in a five-game battle at perennial WCC power Pepperdine on Saturday. War Memorial Gym has been good for USF and bad for opponents this season. San Francisco's only home losses have come to teams currently in the top-25 (Cal Poly, Oregon) or receiving votes (Sacramento State). The Dons split the season series with the Bulldogs last year, with each team winning at home and swept the Pilots in 2006.

QUOTING HEAD COACH GILAD DORON: "We are looking forward to the up coming home matches against Gonzaga and Portland. We feel good about our continued progress and over the past two weeks and I hope it will carry over to the court this weekend. Both matches are very important in our position in the West Coast Conference standings after the completion of the first half of the league schedule."

MAURER NEARS FOURTH PLACE ON WCC DIGS CHART: Senior outside hitter/libero Brynn Maurer enters Thursday's match against Gonzaga with 1,621 career digs and needs just 10 to move past Portland standout Laura Coyle (1,630) for sole possession of fourth place on the West Coast Conference career digs list. Playing primarily libero this season, the Dons all-time digs leader rates second on the club in digs (3.64) and is third in aces (0.28).

Sarah Mandala MAKING AN IMPACT: Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala has just started her USF career, but she is already making an impact. A two-time all-tournament selection, Mandala ranks second on the team in kills (3.19), while hitting at a .219 clip. Mandala earned WCC Player of the Week honors leading the Dons to victory against Saint Mary's (10/4) and Santa Clara (10/6), averaging 4.17 kills on .340 hitting to go along with 3.33 digs and 1.50 blocks. Mandala turned in a 15-kill night against No. 14 Cal Poly (9/15) and established a career-high with 18 kills in a sweep of Xavier (9/15). Mandala turned in her first double-double match with 14 kills and 12 digs against the Gaels.

HASSELBERG RESUMES ASSAULT ON KILLS CHART: Senior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg enters Thursday's match against Gonzaga ranked third in career kills with 1,419 and needs 50 to pass USF Legend of the Hilltop Melanie Kaiser (1988-91), who recorded 1,468. Brittanie Budinger (2000-03) is the career leader with 1,518 and Hasselberg needs 100 to overtake the top spot. The Carlsbad native averages a team-best 3.92 kills and 4.44 points this season, good for fifth and seventh place respectively among West Coast Conference leaders.

Carly Babin CRACKS CAREER BLOCKS LIST: Junior middle blocker Carly Babin enjoyed one of the most prolific blocking seasons in USF history as a sophomore in 2006, ranking second in single-season stuffs with 160. Babin ranked second among West Coast Conference blocks leaders averaging 1.30 per game and also averaged 2.01 kills on .313 hitting for the Dons. Babin enjoyed a strong weekend at the Husky Classic, averaging a team-high 3.64 kills per game on .325 hitting to go along with 1.09 blocks. Babin shattered her career-high with 20 kills on .429 hitting against Cal State Northridge (8/25) to go along with five blocks (three solo) and a pair of service aces. Babin averages 3.06 kills on .343 hitting to go along with 1.24 blocks on the year. With 249 career total blocks, Babin ranks 10th on the USF all-time list, averaging 1.10 per game and her 40 solo stuffs also rate 10th in the career annals.

SCOUTING GONZAGA: The Bulldogs enter the fourth week of West Coast Conference play with a 14-7 overall record and have started league play with a 2-3 mark after posting a 3-0 win last Saturday at Portland. Gonzaga has won three straight matches and its 14 wins on the year is the most for the program since registering 17 victories in 1994. The Bulldogs average 14.10 kills per game on .230 attacking with 2.86 blocks per game. Junior middle blocker Elaina Renius leads the way for the Zags, averaging 3.41 kills per game, while senior outside hitter Becky Jones adds 3.18 kills and 3.46 digs per game. Senior setter Heather Dunn does a nice job running the GU offense, dishing out a team-high 12.32 assists to go along with 2.86 digs. Kip Yoshimura is in his sixth year guiding Gonzaga and is looking to post his first winning season in Spokane.

SCOUTING PORTLAND: The Pilots cruise into the fourth week of West Coast Conference play with a 7-12 overall record and fell to a 0-5 league start after suffering a sweep to Gonzaga Saturday. Portland is currently staggering on a eight-match losing skid. The Pilots average 13.64 kills on .174 hitting to go along with 1.89 blocks per game. Junior middle blocker Ashley Grayson leads the way for Portland, averaging 3.14 kills and 0.94 blocks, while freshman outside hitter Jessica Clemens adds 3.01 kills and 2.94 digs per game. Senior setter Kara Pein averages 10.18 assists and 2.29 digs per game. Doug Sparks is in his eighth year on the Bluff.

LAST TIME AGAINST THE PILOTS: USF volleyball collected its 22nd win of the season and third in its last four matches with a sweep at Portland. The Dons dispatched the Pilots for the eighth consecutive time. Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg led the way for the Dons offensively, with a match-high 16 kills, while sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos enjoyed another strong night, with 12 kills and three blocks. With her 13th assist of the night, senior setter Jamie Kartchner moved into second place in USF career assists, finishing with 3,209.

GILAD DORON ENTERS FIRST YEAR IN THE GREEN AND GOLD: Gilad Doron enters his first season on the Hilltop after being named USF's new head volleyball coach on March 14, 2007. Doron readies for his second Division I head coaching assignment after spending the last three years as the head coach at Villanova, guiding the Wildcats to back-to-back winning seasons in the Big East. Doron is assisted on the bench by former US National Team setter Dan Fisher, who enters his first season on the Hilltop after spending three seasons as the top assistant with the Pacific men's program and Sam Hastings, who enters her first year at USF after playing Doron at Villanova. Doron captured his first Dons win against Cal State Northridge (8/25).

HAMMERING HASSELBERG: Senior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg enters the seventh week of the 2007 regular season established as one of the most dominant outside hitters in program history. A 2006 All-West Coast Conference First Team selection, the All-American candidate ranked second among league leaders in kills (4.57) and points (5.13) as a junior. A 10-time all-tournament selection and a three-time MVP, Hasselberg set a career-high with 33 kills in a 3-2 win against North Carolina (9/3/05) and posted the first 20-20 match of her career with 24 kills and 22 digs at UC Davis (11/22/05). Since her arrival on the Hilltop, Hasselberg has notched double-figures in kills 76 times, including 17 matches with 20 or more and owns 21 double-doubles (kills/digs). Hasselberg is the Dons career leader in kills per game at 4.02 and shattered the Dons underclassmen kills record, tallying 725 in her first two seasons.

MAURER ADDS TO DONS CAREER DIGS RECORD: Senior outside hitter Brynn Maurer enjoyed a strong year at outside hitter in 2006 after spending her first two seasons on the Hilltop as the libero. The USF career digs leader enters the ninth week of the 2007 season with 1,621, good for fifth place on the West Coast Conference career chart. For her career, Maurer averages 4.25 digs per game, the top mark in program history. Since her arrival on the Hilltop, Maurer has surpassed 20 digs 28 times and has tallied double-digits 81 times in 105 career matches. Maurer shared the team double-double lead in 2006 with eight, averaging 2.22 kills and 3.36 digs per game. Maurer registered a season-high 28 digs against No. 14 Cal Poly (9/15).

Darcy Carroll SIXTH IN USF CAREER ASSISTS: Junior setter Darcy Carroll enters the ninth week of the 2007 season with 1,883 assists, good for sixth place on the Dons career list. Carroll passed Margaret Hillhouse (1986-88), who recorded 1,791 in a in the Dons sweep against Santa Clara (10/06). Carroll led San Francisco in assists (7.47) in the Dons 6-2 alignment last season. A 2005 West Coast Conference Freshman Team selection, Carroll dished out a career-high 70 assists in USF's 3-2 victory against Bay Area rival San Jose State (9/1/06) and turned in her third double-double of the season at Pepperdine (10/13) 59 assists and 11 digs.

GOOD GOLLY GOMBOS: Junior middle blocker Alix Gombos turned in one of the top offensive seasons by a USF middle in program history last season. The 2006 All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention selection ranked second among league leaders in attack percentage (.345) and was seventh in blocks (1.15). Gombos registered double-digit kills 21 times as a sophomore, hit .400 or better in 12 matches, .500 or better six times and recorded three matches of .600 or better. Gombos averages 2.04 kills on .319 hitting with 1.10 blocks per game so far in her junior campaign.

Addie Webster VERSATILE FOR USF: Junior outside hitter Addie Webster shook off a slow start to enjoy a strong first tournament for USF. A transfer from Eastern Washington, Webster captured Big Sky Newcomer of the Year honors in 2005 and turned in back-to-back double-double matches for the Dons. Webster recorded 13 kills on .306 hitting to go along with 16 digs against Fresno State (8/25) and turned in 12 kills and 17 digs against Cal State Northridge (8/25). Webster tallied nine kills and nine digs against Oregon (9/4) and turned in her third double-double of the year with 11 kills and 11 digs against No. 14 Cal Poly (9/15). Entering the ninth week of 2007, Webster averages 2.43 kills and 2.46 digs per game.

Haley Carroll DIGS DEFENSE: Sophomore libero Haley Carroll enjoyed an outstanding freshman season, ranking third among league leaders in digs (4.79) and was fourth in service aces (0.38). A West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team pick in 2006, Carroll became just the second player in program history to surpass 500 in a season, finishing with 522, good for second place on the Dons single-season chart. With 40 digs at San Jose State (9/12), Carroll turned in the second highest single-match tally in school history behind Denise Pardoen who recorded 46 against Oklahoma (9/19/87). As a sophomore, Carroll leads the team in digs (4.36) and service aces (0.40).

Carly Babin CLOGGING THE MIDDLE: Junior middle blocker Carly Babin had a big sophomore season for the Dons in the middle. Babin ranked second among West Coast Conference leaders in blocks (1.30), rated second on the team in hitting percentage (.313) and was fourth in kills (2.15) during league matches. The Las Vegas native recorded a career-high 11 blocks in a win against UC Santa Barbara (9/3) - tied for fifth place among USF single-match leaders and hammered a career-high 14 kills in a WCC sweep of Saint Mary's (10/4).Babin's 143 total blocks were the second best tally in school history behind only Tracy Harrison (1982-85), who set a WCC record 186 as a senior. Babin ranks 10th in USF career solo (36) and total (237) blocks.

Linzy Kearney NINTH IN USF CAREER BLOCKS: Senior opposite Linzy Kearney continued to produce for the Dons and enters the seventh week of the 2007 regular season ranked ninth in USF career total blocks with 269. Next up is Jeanette Sargenti (1994-97), who recorded 296. A team co-captain for the second straight season, Kearney hammered a season-high 10 kills in a sweep of Xavier (9/15). So far in 2007, Kearney averages 1.05 kills and 0.53 blocks per game.

Kristin Hasselberg THIRD IN USF CAREER KILLS: Senior honors candidate Kristin Hasselberg continued to cement her reputation as one of the top outside hitters on the West Coast and ranked second among West Coast Conference kills (4.57) and points (5.13) leaders. For her efforts, Hasselberg earned All-WCC First Team honors. Hasselberg enters Thursday's match against Gonzaga ranked third in USF career kills with 1,419. Since her arrival on the Hilltop, Hasselberg has notched double-figures in kills 76 times, including 17 matches with 20 or more, owns 21 double-doubles (kills/digs) with a team-high eight in 2006. Hasselberg is the Dons career leader in kills per game at 4.02.