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USF Volleyball Hosts Bay Area Rival Saint Mary's in Crucial WCC Match Saturday

Nov. 2, 2006

UP NEXT FOR THE DONS: USF continues West Coast Conference play when it hosts ancient Bay Area rival Saint Mary's, Saturday night in a crucial contest for both teams at War Memorial Gym. The Dons look to snap a two-match losing streak, while the Gaels enter the contest on a three-game skid. First serve against Saint Mary's is set for 6:00 PM, the first of an unconventional volleyball/women's exhibition basketball doubleheader. Dons basketball hosts Sonoma State in an 8:00 PM game.

SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S: The Gaels (9-11, 4-5 WCC) enter the sixth week of West Coast Conference action after suffering a sweep at league-unbeaten No. 18 San Diego Thursday before dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker at No. 21 Santa Clara Saturday. Senior setter Mandy Bible leads the Gaels attack, averaging 11.47 assists 2.23 digs and 1.09 blocks for the Gaels. Senior middle blocker Christina Kirk leads SMC offensively with 3.55 kills on .305 hitting to go along with 1.07 blocks. Junior outside hitter Missie Stidham adds 3.48 kills and 2.72 digs. The Gaels average 14.16 kills per game and hit at a .232 clip with 14.35 digs and 3.21 blocks. Rob Browning is in his second season as head coach and owns a career record of 28-21 and guided the Gaels into the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

2006 SEASON RESULTS: at Saint Mary's 3, USF 0 (9/7)

SERIES RECORD: SMC leads 27-20.

SERIES STREAK: SMC won five.

GAMETRACKER: Yes - USFDons.com

LIVE VIDEO: Yes - USFDons.com.

HAMMERING HASSELBERG CLIMBS DONS CAREER KILLS LIST: Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg moved into sole possession of fifth place on the USF career kills chart with 1,085 after recording 33 in back-to-back sweeps against Gonzaga (10/19) and Portland (10/21). Hasselberg enters the sixth week of West Coast Conference play with 1,112 kills and is chasing Dons standout Teresa Russell (1999-03), who tallied 1,244. Earlier this season, Hasselberg became only the second player in program history to surpass 1,000 career kills as a junior after recording 13 kills against No. 9 Santa Clara (9/30). For her career, Hasselberg has notched double-figures in kills 60 times, including 14 matches with 20 or more and owns 19 double-doubles (kills/digs) with a team-high eight already in 2006. Hasselberg is the Dons career leader in kills per game at 4.00 and averages 4.61 kills on .224 hitting to go along with 2.21 digs during her junior campaign.

Haley Carroll SECOND ON SINGLE-SEASON DIGS CHART: Just 26 matches into her collegiate career, freshman libero Haley Carroll has already cracked the USF single-season digs record chart with 469, good for fifth place on the list. With her 12th dig against Gonzaga (10/19) Carroll passed USF Legend of the Hilltop Brittanie Budinger (2000-03), who recorded 411 in 2003. Caroll leads the Dons and the West Coast Conference with 5.15 digs per game and is chasing current teammate junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer, who set the single-season standard with 544 last year. Carroll averaged an amazing 8.33 digs (50 total) in back-to-back WCC sweeps of the Bulldogs and Portland (10/21).

MAURER ADDS TO DONS CAREER DIGS RECORD: Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded 17 digs during USF's fifth week of West Coast Conference play and continued to build on the program's all-time digs record, finishing the weekend with 1,273. USF Hall-of-Famer Melanie Kaiser (1988-91) held the top spot with 1,236 for nearly 16 years. For her career, Maurer averages 4.47 digs per game, the top mark in program history. This season the Newport Beach native has reached double-digits in digs in 15 matches and has surpassed 20 three times. After shifting to outside hitter for 2006, Maurer averages 2.22 kills and 3.29 digs per game.

KARTCHNER NEARS SECOND PLACE ON CAREER ASSISTS CHART: Senior setter Jamie Kartchner continues to climb the USF career assists chart and enters the sixth week of West Coast Conference play with 3,120. Kartchner became just the third setter in program history to surpass 3,000 career assists at Pepperdine (10/12) and currently ranks third on the USF career list and needs 80 to pass April Scoggin (2000-03), who sits in second place with 3,199. Denise MacDougal (1989-92) is the all-time leader with 3,464.

Darcy Carroll CRACKS CAREER ASSISTS TOP-10 CHART: Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll enters the sixth week of West Coast Conference play with 979 assists, good for 10th place on the Dons career list. Carroll needs 75 to move past Christen Hamilton (1999-00), who dished out 1,053. Carroll leads the San Francisco in assists (7.59) in the Dons new 6-2 alignment.

BABIN ON THE BRINK OF SINGLE-SEASON BLOCKS TOP-10: Sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin continues to make her presence felt at the net for USF and enters the sixth week of West Coast Conference play with 118 total blocks on the season and needs just three more to crack the Dons single-season top-10 list. With seven home matches in the regular season remaining, Babin has a chance to climb the leader board in her second year in the Green and Gold. Babin needs 19 stuffs to crack the top five and needs 23 to move past Chiara Lawrence (1993-96), who tallied 139 in 1995. Tracy Harrison (1982-85) is the WCC and Dons single-season leader with 186 in 1985.

USF CHASING 20th WIN OF THE SEASON: San Francisco enters the sixth week of West Coast Conference play looking to record 20 victories for just the second time in program history, second under head coach Jeff Nelson. The 2003 NCAA Tournament squad tallied 23 victories in Nelson's first campaign with the Green and Gold. The 19 victories so far this season are the second most in program history. The Dons registered program win No. 300 in a sweep of Gonzaga (10/21/06) and have 72 victories since Nelson took over the reigns of the program.

Jeff Nelson IN FOURTH YEAR ON THE HILLTOP: When the Jeff Nelson era began at USF February 13, 2003, few could have anticipated the radical changes he would make on a team coming off just six victories in 2002. Nelson transformed the Dons into one of the greatest stories in volleyball during the 2003 campaign, guiding San Francisco to the best start (15-0) and the greatest record turnaround (+17) in the history of volleyball in the West Coast Conference. The Dons magical "Season of Firsts" was capped by the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. After three highly successful recruiting classes, Nelson looks to lead the Dons back to the postseason in 2006. Nelson is assisted on the bench by Steve Hendricks, in his second season on the Hilltop after spending eight seasons as the top assistant at Notre Dame and Jackie Bernardin, who enters her first year on the Hilltop after a standout playing career at San Diego.