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USF Volleyball Hosts Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine in Important WCC Matches

Nov. 7, 2006

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DONS COLLECT 20TH VICTORY AGAINST THE GAELS: In perhaps its most pivotal match of the season, USF volleyball secured a crucial West Coast Conference victory Saturday night when it posted a convincing sweep of ancient Bay Area rival Saint Mary's. The win was the 20th of the season for the Dons. It marks just the second time in school history the Dons have collected 20 victories in a season, and the second since USF head coach Jeff Nelson arrived on the Hilltop for the 2003 season, when the Dons posted 23 victories en route to the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

UP NEXT FOR THE DONS: USF continues its three-game West Coast Conference homestand when it hosts Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine in week seven of the league slate at War Memorial Gym. The Dons take on the Lions Thursday November 9 in a 7:00 PM contest, before welcoming a surging Waves squad to the Hilltop Saturday at 1:00 PM. San Francisco secured a rare Southern California split during week three, when it dispatched LMU at Gersten Pavilion for the first time since 2001, after suffering a sweep at Pepperdine. USF's contest against the Waves is the 2006 regular season home finale for the Dons, who will honor its lone senior - setter Jamie Kartchner - in a special ceremony before Saturday's match.

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 seventh week of West Coast Conference play with 1,123 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). Since her arrival on the Hilltop, Hasselberg has notched double-figures in kills 61 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 4.57 kills on .224 hitting to go along with 2.24 digs during her junior campaign.

Haley Carroll SECOND ON SINGLE-SEASON DIGS CHART: Just 27 matches into her collegiate career, freshman libero Haley Carroll is already threatening the USF single-season digs record with 474, good for second place on the list. Carroll 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) en route to conference player of the week honors.

SOPHOMORE MIDDLES IMPRESSIVE: USF's middle blocker tandem of Alix Gombos and Carly Babin are enjoying outstanding sophomore seasons. Gombos ranks second on the team in kills (2.95) and blocks (1.13) and leads the club in attack percentage (.335), while Babin leads the team and ranks second among West Coast Conference blocks (1.38) leaders and is second on the team in attack percentage (.319); fifth in kills (2.03). Gombos tallied 13 kills on .417 hitting, while Babin turned in a career-high 14 kills on .522 attacking to go along with five blocks in a sweep against Saint Mary's (11/4).

KARTCHNER NEARS SECOND PLACE ON CAREER ASSISTS CHART: Senior setter Jamie Kartchner continues to climb the USF career assists chart and enters the seventh week of West Coast Conference play with 3,145. 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 55 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.

SCOUTING LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: The Lions (17-9, 5-6 WCC) suffered a pair of five-game setbacks last weekend against No. 15 San Diego and No. 20 Santa Clara. Junior opposite Heather Hughes does a little bit of everything for the Lions, averaging a team-best 4.29 kills, on .252 hitting to go along with 1.01 assists and 3.29 digs per game. Junior outside hitter Christianna Reneau adds 3.91 kills and 3.14 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Emily Day chips in with 3.14 kills and 2.83 digs. Junior setter Ashley Dutro runs the Lions offense, dishing 10.11 assists per game with 2.32 digs. The Lions average 16.58 kills per game on .233 hitting to go along with 18.42 digs and 1.82 blocks. Steve Stratos is in his 17th year on the sidelines for the Lions and owns a 341-162 record. LMU has made 10 NCAA Tournaments under the direction of Stratos.

2006 SEASON RESULTS: USF 3, at LMU 1 (10/14/06)

SERIES RECORD: LMU leads 36-7.

SERIES STREAK: USF won 1.

GAMETRACKER: Yes - USFDons.com

LIVE VIDEO/AUDIO: Yes - USFDons.com

SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: The Waves (12-10, 8-3 WCC) travel to the Bay Area as one of the league's hottest teams with four straight wins after completing back-to-back top-20 wins against No. 20 Santa Clara (3-0) and previous league unbeaten No. 15 San Diego (3-1). Senior middle blocker Sophia Milo does the heavy lifting for the Waves, averaging 3.30 kills on .356 hitting to go along with a team-high 1.18 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Rachel Lumsden leads the team with 3.51 kills, while sophomore outside hitter Julie Rubenstein adds 3.47. Freshman setter Kiah Fiers runs the Pepperdine offense - which averages 15.58 kills on .222 hitting - dishing out 11.99 assists per game. Nina Matthies is in her 24th year in Malibu and owns a 452-273 record. The Waves advanced to the 2005 NCAA Sweet-16.

2006 SEASON RESULTS: at Pepperdine 3, USF 0 (10/12/06)

SERIES RECORD: PEP leads 42-1.

SERIES STREAK: PEP won 26.

BEFORE USF: vs. Saint Mary's (11/9/06)

GAMETRACKER: Yes - USFDons.com

LIVE VIDEO/AUDIO: Yes - USFDons.com

HAMMERING HASSELBERG: Junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg enters the 2006 West Coast Conference season established as one of the most dominant outside hitters in program history. A 2005 All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention selection despite ranking third among league leaders in kills (4.51) and points (5.14), Hasselberg shattered the Dons underclassmen kills record, tallying 725 in her first two seasons on the Hilltop. A seven-time all-tournament selection and three-time MVP Hasselberg set a career-high with 33 kills in a 3-2 win against North Carolina (9/3/05) and posted the first 20-20 match of her career with 24 kills and 22 digs at UC Davis (11/22/05). Since her arrival on the Hilltop, Hasselberg has notched double-figures in kills 61 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 4.57 kills on .224 hitting to go along with 2.24 digs during her junior campaign.

MAURER ADDS TO DONS CAREER DIGS RECORD: Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded a team-high 10 digs in a sweep against Saint Mary's (11/4) and continued to build on the program's all-time digs record, finishing the sixth week of West Coast Conference play with 1,283. USF Hall-of-Famer Melanie Kaiser (1988-91) held the top spot with 1,236 for nearly 16 years. For her career, Maurer averages 4.45 digs per game, the top mark in program history. Since her arrival on the Hilltop, Maurer has surpassed 20 digs 24 times and has tallied double-digits 67 times in 79 career matches. After shifting to outside hitter for 2006, Maurer averages 2.21 kills and 3.29 digs per game, reaching double-digit digs 16 times with three 20-plus dig nights.

GOOD GOLLY GOMBOS: Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos continues to produce for the Dons this season. Gombos earned her fourth all-tournament selection of the season at the Long Island Blackbird Invitational, averaging 2.60 kills on .345 hitting to go along with 1.30 blocks per game. Gombos recorded 15 kills on .419 hitting to go along with a career-high 10 blocks against San Jose State (9/1). Gombos also collected all-tournament selection at the Arizona Invitational, averaging 3.10 kills on a team-best .481 hitting and recorded 12 kills on .474 hitting against No. 18 Arizona (8/26). Gombos hammered a career-high 16 kills in a win at Sacramento State (9/8) and matched it with 16 against Cornell (9/23) en route to winning West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors for the first time. The West Linn, Oregon native matched her career-high with 16 kills to go along with a career best 11 blocks against No. 25 San Diego (9/28). Gombos leads the team in hitting percentage (.327) and is second in kills (2.97).

Darcy Carroll CRACKS CAREER ASSISTS TOP-10 CHART: Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll enters the seventh week of West Coast Conference play with 1,006 assists, good for 10th place on the Dons career list. The Gilroy, CA native needs 48 to move past Christen Hamilton (1999-00), who dished out 1,053. Carroll leads San Francisco in assists (7.65) in the Dons new 6-2 alignment.

USF VOLLEYBALL DOWNS GONZAGA FOR PROGRAM VICTORY No. 300: USF swept Gonzaga (10/19) at home for program win No. 300. San Francisco collected its 250th decision with a 3-1 victory at Portland (11/8/03). Since arriving on campus for the 2003 season, Jeff Nelson has guided the Dons to 72 wins and counting..

Jeff Nelson IN FOURTH YEAR: 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. In his 12th season as a head coach, Nelson needs three West Coast Conference wins for the all-time league wins record currently held by Laurie Corbelli (1986-89). 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.

Carly Babin CLOGGING THE MIDDLE: Sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin had big shoes to fill in replacing three-year starter KeLicia Shorts and so far has done a solid job for the Dons. Babin enters the 12th week of 2006 ranking second among West Coast Conference leaders in blocks (1.38), ranks second on the team in hitting percentage (.306) and ranks fourth in kills (2.32) during league matches. The Las Vegas native recorded a career-high 11 blocks against UC Santa Barbara (9/3), tied for fifth place among USF single-match leaders and recorded a career-high 14 kills in a WCC sweep against Saint Mary's (10/4). Babin enjoyed a strong match at Loyola Marymount as the Dons dispatched the Lions, tallying 11 kills, 0 errors on 21 swings (.524) to go along with six blocks (three solo). Babin averages 2.03 kills per game on .319 hitting this year.

KARTCHNER CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior setter Jamie Kartchner enters her final season of collegiate volleyball focused on leading USF to the second NCAA appearance in program history. A two-year starter after transferring from Weber State, Kartchner became just the fourth setter in school history to record 1,000 assists in back-to-back seasons. Kartchner dished out 1,040 assists in 2005 after setting the single-season record with 1,479 in 2004 for a two-year total of 2,519. The 2006 Marquette Challenge MVP continues to climb the USF career assists chart and enters the seventh week of West Coast Conference play with 3,145. 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, needing 55 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. This season, Kartchner averages 7.36 assists and 1.87 digs per game in the Dons new 6-2 alignment.

Darcy Carroll COMING ON STRONG: Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll turned in a solid freshman season running the offense. During West Coast Conference play, Carroll averaged 8.61 assists and 1.70 digs per game and earned 2005 West Coast Conference Freshman Team honors. Carroll earned the first all-tournament honors of her career at Long Island, after leading the Dons to their fourth straight title. Carroll dished out 24 assists to go along with a career-high 19 digs against the host Blackbirds (9/22). Entering the 12th week of the 2006 season, Carroll leads the team averaging 7.65 assists per game in the Dons new 6-2 alignment, including a career-high 70 against San Jose State (9/1) to go along with 1.74 digs.

TAKING THE FIFTH: San Francisco posted its ninth straight five-game match victory with a thriller at Long Island (9/22) at the 2006 LIU Blackbird Invitational, improving to 3-0 on the season in five games. The Dons turned in an impressive 6-0 record in five-game matches in 2005 after going 0-4 during the 2004 campaign. Since head coach Jeff Nelson took over the reigns in 2003, the Dons are 14-6 in matches going the distance. USF was 5-2 in five sets during its "Season of Firsts", with its only two setbacks coming against No. 13 Loyola Marymount and No. 5 Pepperdine.

Haley Carroll ENJOYS STRONG FRESHMAN SEASON: Freshman libero Haley Carroll enjoyed a strong start to the 2006 season, leading the team with 26 digs against San Jose State (9/1) and followed it up with 24 digs and four aces against UC Santa Barbara (9/3) in the 2006 USF Powerade/Asics Classic. Carroll recorded a career-high 34 digs at Sacramento State (9/8), the fourth best single-match tally in program history. Carroll earned all-tournament honors at the 2006 Marquette Challenge averaging a ridiculous 7.40 digs per game and twice tallied 30 digs - against Marquette (9/15) and Manitoba (9/16). Carroll has recorded 23 double-digit dig matches, including 11 with 20 or more and with 474 digs so far this season, owns second place on the single-season chart. The West Coast Conference digs leader (5.15) also leads the team in service aces (34), good for 10th place among league leaders (0.37).

DOUBLE-DOUBLE BERGER: Redshirt freshman outside hitter Anna Berger wasted no time in making her presence felt, recording her first career double-double with 16 kills on .333 hitting and tallied 16 digs at No. 18 Arizona. Berger earned all-tournament honors, averaging 3.67 kills on .234 hitting to go along with 3.33 digs and four aces. Berger hammered a career-high 18 kills to go along with 14 digs in a 3-2 win at Sacramento State (9/8) for her second double-double and turned in a strong 12-kill, six-dig effort in a win at Loyola Marymount (10/14). Berger recorded her second double dip against a top-25 opponent with 15 kills and 11 digs at No. 18 San Diego (10/28). On the year Berger ranks third on the team in kills (2.64) and is fourth in digs (2.06).

KEARNEY COMES ON FOR THE DONS: Junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Linzy Kearney enters 2006 ready to build upon a strong sophomore campaign. Kearney, who was named a team co-captain, erupted for 15 kills on .700 hitting to go along with two blocks against William and Mary (9/2) and then set a career-high with 16 kills in a win against San Jose State (9/6). Kearney established career-highs in virtually every statistical category last season, averaging 1.65 kills to go along with 0.97 blocks per game. Kearney tied a three-game match record with 11 blocks against Cal Poly (9/13). So far in 2006, the Colorado native averages 1.17 kills and 0.85 blocks per game.

LOTTA BLOCKS: USF is getting solid production out of sophomore middle blockers Carly Babin and Alix Gombos. In the 2006 USF Powerade/Asics Classic Gombos recorded a career-high 10 blocks against San Jose State (9/1). Not to be outdone, Babin responded with 11 in the title match against UC Santa Barbara (9/3), good for a share of fifth place in the Dons single-match record books. Babin reached double-digit blocks for the second time in less than a week with 10 at Sacramento State (9/8). San Francisco averages 2.72 blocks per game this season.

USF 6-2 AGAINST DEFENDING CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: San Francisco owns a 6-1 record against 2005 league champions, with wins against - Cornell (Ivy), Long Island (NEC), Sacramento State (Big Sky), Siena (MAAC), UC Santa Barbara (Big West) and Western Kentucky (Sun Belt). The Dons only setbacks came against Santa Clara.

DONS AMONG WCC TEAM LEADERS: USF ranks in the top four among West Coast Conference statistical leaders in the following overall categories (As of 11/6):Kills: 4th (15.71); Assists: 4th (14.46); Opponent hitting percentage: 1st (.169); Service Aces: 3rd (1.78) Blocks: 3rd (2.72) and Digs: 2nd (16.68).

DONS AMONG WCC INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: USF has several players ranked in the top-10 among West Coast Conference leaders in the following categories (As of 11/6):Carly Babin - Blocks: 2nd (1.39); Attack Percentage: 6th (.314);Darcy Carroll - Assists: 8th (7.65);Haley Carroll - Digs: 1st (4.99); Aces: 8th (0.38);Alix Gombos - Attack Percentage: 4th (.335); Blocks: 6th (1.14);Kristin Hasselberg - Kills: 2nd (4.56); Points: 3rd (5.21);Jamie Kartchner - Assists: 9th (7.10);Brynn Maurer - Digs: 10th (3.28)

DONS WIN 14 STRAIGHT: With its second straight 4-0 week to close out the non-conference schedule, San Francisco improved to 16-1 on the season and increased its winning streak to 14 games, the second longest in program history. The Dons opened the 2003 season at 15-0, the longest opening streak in West Coast Conference history. Since his arrival on the Hilltop, USF head coach Jeff Nelson has guided the Dons to the three longest winning streaks in program history - including eight straight last season.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE WEEK EIGHT ON TAP FOR THE DONS: San Francisco wraps up West Coast Conference play in the Pacific Northwest beginning Thursday, November 16 at Portland. First serve against the Pilots is set for 7:00 PM in the Chiles Center. The Dons then travel to Spokane for a Saturday matinee against Gonzaga, set for a 1:00 PM first serve at the Martin Centre.