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USF Volleyball Hosts No. 16 San Diego in "Dig For The Cure" Day on the Hilltop

Oct. 25, 2007

UP NEXT FOR THE DONS: USF opens the second half of the demanding West Coast Conference schedule this weekend when it hosts defending league champion No. 16 San Diego Saturday, October 27 at War Memorial Gym. The Dons concluded the first half of the WCC slate with a 3-4 record after earning a home split last weekend against the Pacific Northwest schools. The Dons dropped a tough 3-2 decision against Gonzaga before bouncing back to sweep Portland for their 10th straight win against the Pilots. USF suffered a hard-fought sweep to open conference against the Toreros September 28 in San Diego. War Memorial Gym has been good for USF and bad for opponents this season. Three of San Francisco's four home losses have come to teams currently in the top-25 (Cal Poly, Oregon) or receiving votes (Sacramento State). The Dons own a 9-4 record at home this season.

MAURER FOURTH PLACE ON WCC CAREER DIGS CHART: USF senior outside hitter Brynn Maurer continued her climb up the WCC career digs list and with her sixth and final dig of the match against Portland (10/20) moved past Pilot standout Laura Coyle (1,630) for sole possession of fourth place on the career list with 1,631. Playing primarily libero this season, the Dons all-time digs leader rates second on the club in digs (3.55) and is third in aces (0.26).

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 (3.25), while hitting at a .228 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 Saturday's match against No. 16 San Diego ranked third in career kills with 1,445 and needs 24 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 74 to pass her. The Carlsbad native averages a team-best 3.83 kills and 4.35 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 3.04 kills on .340 hitting to go along with 1.24 blocks on the year. With 256 career total blocks, Babin ranks 10th on the USF all-time list, averaging 1.10 per game and her 41 solo stuffs also rate 10th in the career annals.

USF'S MATCH AGAINST SAN DIEGO TO BENEFIT "DIG FOR THE CURE": USF returns to action Saturday, October 27 when it hosts defending league champion No. 16 San Diego. First serve against the Toreros is set for 1:00 PM. The San Diego match will benefit "Dig For the Cure". Each USF student-athlete has raised pledges for each dig recorded during the contest with the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, dedicated to breast cancer research.

SCOUTING SAN DIEGO: The Toreros (16-5, 6-1 WCC) enter San Francisco on a hot streak, winners of nine of 10. San Diego's lone West Coast Conference setback came against Santa Clara (3-1) on October 4. Since then the Toreros have ripped off five straight wins. Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot leads the way for the Toreros with a 4.19 kills and 2.66 digs per game, while senior middle hitter Laurel Abrahamson adds 3.84 kills and 1.08 blocks per game. USD hits a whopping .257 as a team, while averaging 16.83 kills per game. Jennifer Petrie is in her eighth year guiding San Diego and returns after taking a year off to be with her family. Petrie has directed the Toreros to six NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet-16 berth in 2004.

JOIN USF FOR THE GREEN AND GOLD SCRIMMAGE AFTER VOLLEYBALL: Stick around after the match and join USF athletics and the Green and Gold Club as it presents the 23rd annual George O'Brien "Green and Gold" scrimmage game. The women's scrimmage kicks off at 4:00 PM with the men's immediately following. A post-event reception will close out the festivities, featuring comments from Evans and women's head coach Tanya Haave. For more information on the Green and Gold Scrimmage, please contact Julie Congi at (415) 422-2875 or congi@usfca.edu.

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).