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Second Half of WCC Play Begins in San Francisco

Oct. 22, 2007

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 12th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (16-5, 6-1 WCC) will begin the second half of West Coast Conference action this week with a trip to San Francisco for a 1 p.m. showdown with the University of San Francisco.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego posted back-to-back wins this past week by sweeping the University of Portland and defeating Gonzaga University 3-2 this past Saturday in the "Dig for the Cure" match. In Thursday's sweep over Portland, Amy DeGroot helped to pace the Toreros offense as she had a match-best 12 kills on 29 attempts to post a .241 attack percentage. Laurel Abrahamson, the defending WCC Player of the Week, was the second player in double-digit kills as she had 10 on 19 attempts to post a .368 attack percentage. Andrea Csaszi tied for a match-best 13 digs for USD, and as a team the Toreros hit for a .283 clip. In Saturday's thrilling 3-2 win over Gonzaga, Laurel Abrahamson tied a career-high with 25 kills on 43 attempts to post a .372 attack percentage. Amy DeGroot was the second Torero in double-digit kills as she had 16 and added in 12 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Andrea Csaszi recorded a match-best 27 digs and as a team, USD had a .236 attack percentage.

A LOOK AHEAD: Next week, the Toreros will again be out on the road as they head back to Northern California to take on Saint Mary's College and Santa Clara University. On Thursday No.v 1, USD will head to Moraga to take on SMC in a 7 p.m. match, then USD will travel to Santa Clara for a rematch with the only team to defeat the Toreros in conference action in at 1 p.m. on Nov. 3. The SCU match could turn out to be a battle for first place in the WCC, should both teams remain at one loss.

SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the week with an overall record of 14-9 and a 3-4 mark in the WCC after splitting a pair this past week, sweeping Portland and falling to Gonzaga, 3-2. The Toreros captured the first meeting with the Dons earlier this season to move their record to 34-13 all-time against USF. The San Francisco offense is led by freshman right side Sarah Mandala, who has a team-leading 247 kills (3.25 kpg) and is hitting at a .228 clip. The floor leader for the Dons is junior setter Darcy Carroll. Carroll has a team-best 811 assists, while directing the team to a .227 attack percentage. San Francisco is under the direction of first-year head coach Gilad Doran.

THE POLLS: San Diego moved up four spots in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll to No. 12 after posting a 2-0 record this past week. This marks the 10th consecutive week the Toreros have appeared in the top-25 this season and matches the highest ranking of the season for USD. San Francisco is not ranked in the latest polls.

GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a five match winning streak after picking up wins over Portland and Gonzaga this past week. The Toreros will look to increase that streak as they head to the Bay Area this Saturday to begin the second half of conference play against San Francisco in a 1 p.m. match. USD's last loss came against Santa Clara on Oct. 4.

CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Senior Laurel Abrahamson is closing in on the 1,000 kill mark. The Bloomington, Minn. native now has 927 career kills, and with her averaging just about 14 kills per match, she should reach this goal before the end of the season. On the season, Abrahamson has 307 kills and is hitting for a team-leading .392 clip.

OPPONENT WOES: Opponents have had a difficult time getting much going offensively against San Diego, a fact shown not only by the Toreros' 16-5 record, but by the list of opponents' hitting percentages. Thirteen of San Diego's 21 opponents have hit below .200, with three not even able to hit .100. Stanford (.371), Oklahoma (.261) and Santa Clara (.276) are the only three clubs to hit more than .250 against the Toreros this year. By contrast, San Diego has hit above .300 five times, and have been held below .250 only eight times this season. San Diego's season-high was a .395 clip against Fairfield on August 28. The Toreros' season hitting percentage (.257) currently ranks second in the WCC.

DIG IT UP: Sophomore Andrea Csaszi has been quite the defensive spark so far for the Toreros. Should the Oceanside, Calif. native keep her current pace (4.89 dpg), she will land second on the program's single-season digs chart. With 391 digs in her first 21 matches, Csaszi has already broken into the single-season digs top-10 list at No. 6. Former Torero great Jackie Bernardin (2003-05) holds the single-season dig record, with 576 set in the 2005 season.

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.

2007 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.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All San Diego 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 free service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams.