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WCC Champs Close Conference-Schedule on the Road Against SCU

Nov. 14, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 17th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (22-5, 12-1 WCC) will conclude the conference portion of their schedule on Saturday as they travel to Northern California to take on the Broncos of Santa Clara University in a 1 p.m. game.

LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's volleyball team captured the 2006 West Coast Conference championship with a pair of wins against Gonzaga University and the University of Portland this past week. In Thursday's win, Christie Dawson led all players with 22 kills on 33 attempts, while only committing two attacking errors to post a match-best .606 attacking percentage. Laura Murphy was the second Torero in double-digit kills as she recorded a career-best 12 kills, while also picking up 10 digs for a double-double. Laurel Abrahamson was the third Torero in double-digit kills as she registered 16, the second most in the match. Kristen Carlson was the final Torero in double-digit kills as she recorded 10 kills and also recorded 11 digs for her 19th double-double of the season. Jessica Nyrop also recorded a double-double this evening as she racked up 65 assists and also recorded 12 digs. On Saturday, Kristen Carlson recorded a match-best 10 kills in the win as she posted a .381 attacking percentage. Christie Dawson recorded nine kills and Laurel Abrahamson tallied eight kills. Dawson posted a .692 attacking percentage as she committed no attacking errors. Jessica Nyrop posted 33 assists in the win as she helped direct the San Diego offense to a .278 team attacking percentage.

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara enters the week with a 20-6 overall record and a 9-4 mark in the WCC. SCU is ranked No. 20 in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll. The Toreros are 17-28 all-time against the Broncos and claimed the earlier match-up between the two in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Broncos are led offensively by senior outside hitter Kim McGiven, who has a team-leading 4.27 kills per game. The floor leader for the Broncos is junior setter Crystal Matich, who is second in the WCC in assists per game at 13.34. The Broncos are under the direction of eighth-year head coach Jon Wallace. During his tenure in Santa Clara, Wallace has posted an overall record of 176-64.

DAWSON NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior middle hitter Christie Dawson of the University of San Diego's women's volleyball team was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Dawson helped lead USD to the 2006 West Coast Conference championship this past week as the Toreros posted a 2-0 record with wins against Gonzaga and Portland. Dawson averaged 4.43 kills per game with only two attacking errors on the weekend to post a .630 hitting percentage. On the season, Dawson averages 4.02 kills per game and has an attacking percentage of .300.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Some of the Toreros individually, as well as the team itself, hold lofty positions inside the West Coast Conference statistics. Kristen Carlson leads the WCC in kills per game with her 5.15 kills per game average and she also ranks sixth in the conference in digs per game at an average of 3.52. Laurel Abrahamson ranks third in the WCC in hitting percentage at .345. Christie Dawson ranks first in the WCC in hitting percentage during conference games only at .389 and overall she ranks fifth in kills per game with her 4.02 average. Jessica Nyrop continues to lead the conference in assists per game at 13.73. The team ranks not only first place in the standings, but first in kills at 17.23 and assists at 15.79. USD is also ranked second in hitting percentage at .254.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego women's volleyball team is up one spot in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll to No. 17 after posting a 3-1 win over Gonzaga University this past Thursday and a 3-0 win over the University of Portland this past Saturday in West Coast Conference action. This marks the eighth consecutive week the Toreros have been ranked in the top-25.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior left-handed outside hitter Kristen Carlson continues her dominance in her final collegiate season as she recorded her 19th double-double of the season in the 3-1 win against Gonzaga. During the match with the Bulldogs, Carlson recorded 10 kills and 11 digs despite only playing in two games.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE TOREROS: Senior middle hitter Christie Dawson continues to show what she was selected as an All-American in 2005 as she has become one of the hottest players in the WCC over the past two weeks. For the last four matches, Dawson has averaged 4.12 kills per game, only committed 10 errors to post a .471 attacking percentage.

MORE ON CARLSON: Senior outside hitter Kristen Carlson is one of USD's most dependable performers night-in and night-out. As USD's go-to attacker, Carlson has came up big for the Toreros over the course of the season, in particular during USD's 10-match winning streak to open conference play. She not only leads the conference in kills per game, but is also a help to the San Diego defense as she leads the team in digs per game at 3.57, and is also ranked fourth on the team in blocks with 48.

THREE-HEADED MONSTER: For 12 matches, the big three of Laurel Abrahamson, Kristen Carlson and Christie Dawson all recorded double-digit kills in the same match. These three make it difficult on opposing defenses to focus on one specific attacker, because there are two more who can hurt them. Carlson leads the three with her conference-leading 5.15 kills per game, followed by Dawson who is averaging 4.12 kills per game and Abrahamson is averaging 3.14 kills per game.

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.

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.

VOLLEYBALL NOW A TICKETED SPORT: All USD volleyball home matches are now a ticketed event, effective at the start of the 2006 season. General Admission tickets will available to the general public on the day of each match. USD faculty, staff, and student tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. General admission tickets are $5 per person.

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.

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.