Oct. 23, 2006
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (17-4, 7-0 WCC) will look to extend its seven-match winning streak this week as they host a pair of Northern California WCC opponents in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. First, USD will host Saint Mary's College in a 7 p.m. clash on Thursday. The Toreros will then conclude the week with a Saturday showdown against the University of San Francisco in a 1 p.m. match.
LAST TIME OUT: For the seventh consecutive match, the big three help lead the 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team to victory as Kristen Carlson, Laurel Abrahamson and Christie Dawson all record double-digit kills in a 3-0 West Coast Conference win over No. 15 Santa Clara University Saturday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. With the 30-25, 30-28, 30-27 win, the Toreros move to 17-4 overall, 7-0 in the WCC and have now reeled off seven consecutive victories. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 14-5 overall and 4-3 in the WCC. Carlson led all players with 16 kills to go along with a match-best 13 digs to record her team-leading 14th double-double of the season. Dawson recorded 12 kills on 24 attempts for a .250 attacking percentage and Abrahamson recorded 10 kills on 21 attempts while only committing two attacking errors to post a .381 attacking percentage. Erin Wiskar also had a solid game for the Toreros recording nine kills on 19 attempts for a .421 clip. Jessica Nyrop recorded 40 assists to help lead the San Diego offense to a .303 team hitting percentage. For the Broncos, Anna Cmaylo led the team in kills with 11 on 19 attempts to post a .316 attacking percentage. Lindsay Evans recorded 35 assists to help direct the SCU offense to a .207 team attacking percentage.
SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary's enters the week with a 9-9 overall record and is one of four teams in a logjam for second place in the WCC with a 4-3 record in conference action. This past week the Gaels recorded a split, first picking up a win over Portland then dropping a 3-2 decision to Gonzaga on Saturday. The Toreros hold the all-time series record against the Gaels at 35-5. SMC is led offensively by senior middle blocker Christina Kirk, who has 234 kills (3.60 kills per game). The floor leader for the Gaels is senior setter Mandy Bible, who has a team-leading 776 assists (11.58 assists per game). Saint Mary's is under the direction of second-year head coach Rob Browning. During his tenure in Moraga, Browning has recorded a 28-19 overall record.
SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the week with a 18-5 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the WCC after recording back-to-back sweeps over Portland and Gonzaga this past week. USD holds the all-time series edge at 32-13. The Dons are led by junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg, who has a team-leading 360 kills (4.68 kills per game). The Dons have been rotating between Jamie Kartchner and Darcy Carroll at the setter position. Carroll leads Kartchner by one assist for the team-lead with 566. Between the two, the Dons offense is posting a team-attack percentage of .231. San Francisco is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Jeff Nelson. During his tenure in San Francisco, Nelson has posted a record of 71-46.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Many Toreros, as well as the combined team itself, hold lofty spots in the West Coast Conference statistics. In team standings, the Toreros are second in hitting percentage (.252), are leading the WCC in assists (15.55 per game), while sitting second in kills (16.91 per game). Individually, Kristen Carlson leads the conference in kills with her 5.13 kills per game average, Jessica Nyrop is second in assists per game (13.48 per game) and Laurel Abrahamson is fourth in the conference in attacking percentage at .321.
BREAKING OUT: Freshman Andrea Csaszi has had a break out season for the Toreros as she had earned her way into the starting lineup as the starting Libero. Csaszi came on strong for the Toreros right at the start of conference play and has been a constant force ever since. Since the start of WCC play, Csaszi is averaging 3.71 (89 total) digs per game to place second on the team in the category.
ABRAHAMSON, ANOTHER SOLID PERFORMANCE: Junior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson had yet another solid performance this past Saturday as she helped lead USD to a upset win over No. 15 Santa Clara. In the match, Abrahamson recorded 10 kills on 21 attempts, while only committing two attacking errors to post a .381 clip. This was her seventh consecutive match that she has recorded at least 10 kills. On the season, Abrahamson has 223 kills, good for third on the team, and leads the team in blocks with 62.
DOUBLE THE FUN: Senior outside hitter Kristen Carlson has been continuing her stellar career in 2006, racking up a team-leading 14 double-double's this season to place second in the conference in this category. Her 16 kill, 13 dig performance against Santa Clara this past Saturday, was a huge help in the Toreros pulling off the sweep and remaining unblemished in WCC action.
TOWER OF POWER: On the defensive side of things for San Diego, the formidable front three of Laurel Abrahamson, Christie Dawson and Kristen Carlson, provide the Toreros with a dependable wall to make life easier for the back row players. Abrahamson is currently leading the team in blocks with 62, Dawson is second on the team in blocks with 44 and Carlson is third with 38.
DAWSON CONTINUES TO HIT THE BALL WELL: Senior middle hitter Christie Dawson has continued to show why she is the all-time career leader in hitting percentage at USD. This past week, she posted solid numbers yet again as she had 12 kills on 24 attempts for a .250 attacking percentage. The week prior she posted her highest hitting percentage of the season as she recorded 28 kills (4.67 per game) and had a .531 attacking percentage. In the sweep over Gonzaga, Dawson posted a season-high .727 attacking percentage as she registered 17 kills on 22 attempts while only committing one attacking error.
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. 18 after posting a 3-0 sweep over, then-No. 15, Santa Clara this past Saturday in West Coast Conference action. This marks the fifth consecutive week the Toreros have been ranked in the top-25 and is the highest ranking of the season for San Diego.
GOING STREAKING: The University of San Diego women's volleyball team is in the midst of a season-high seven-match winning streak. The Toreros will look to extend on this streak this week as they host Saint Mary's and San Francisco at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
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.
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.
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.
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.