Oct. 29, 2007
(San Francisco) - Freshman opposite hitter Sarah Mandala turned in another strong performance powering USF to a 3-0 sweep of No. 12 San Diego - the highest ranked win in program history - and captured West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors in the process. Mandala continued to stake her claim as one of the most dynamic first year players on the West Coast, hammering a match-high 18 kills on .300 hitting to go along with five digs and four blocks against the Toreros.
It is the second league player of the week honor for Mandala, who leads the Dons offensively during WCC action, averaging 3.52 kills, 1.76 digs and 1.03 blocks per game. With six matches remaining in the regular season, Mandala needs just 13 kills to set the USF freshman kills record currently held by Theresa Hart (2003-05), who tallied 277 in 2003. The San Dimas, CA native enters Thursday's showdown at Santa Clara with 265 kills, 105 during league play.
Mandala earned her first WCC Player of the Week nod after leading USF to back-to-back victories 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 tied her career-high with 18 kills in a sweep of No. 12 San Diego (10/27).
San Francisco now shifts its focus to a difficult Bay Area road swing against ancient Bay Area rivals Santa Clara and Saint Mary's. USF swept the Broncos and Gaels in the last meetings between the two teams at War Memorial Gym. The win against Santa Clara was the first for the Dons since 1989 and snapped a 34-match losing streak to the Broncos. USF begins the trip Thursday, November 1 at the Leavey Center in a 7:00 PM first serve.