Nov. 19, 2006
USF volleyball captured its second straight West Coast Conference split, this time on the road in the Pacific Northwest. The Dons swept Portland (11/16) capturing the eighth straight win against the Pilots, before suffering a sweep at Gonzaga (11/18) in the 2006 WCC finale on Saturday. It was a solid weekend for junior outside hitter Kristin Hasselberg, who averaged a team-high 4.83 kills on .236 hitting, while sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos added 4.00 kills on .321 attacking to go along with a team-high 1.17 blocks per game.
UP NEXT FOR THE DONS: USF concludes the 2006 regular season when it competes in the 2006 Banker's Classic, hosted by Pacific, November 24-25 in Stockton. The Dons open tournament play Friday against Houston (19-15) of Conference USA. First serve against the Cougars is set for 5:00 PM in the Spanos Center. The host Tigers and Portland State round out the tournament field. Saturday features the consolation match at 5:00 PM and the title match following at 7:00 PM.
SAN FRANCISCO POSTS FIFTH WCC UPPER ECHELON FINISH: With a 3-2 Saint Mary's loss at Portland, USF and the Gaels finished with identical 6-8 league records and share fourth place in the final 2006 West Coast Conference standings behind No. 17 San Diego (13-1), No. 25 Pepperdine (11-3) and No. 22 Santa Clara (9-5). It marks the first upper echelon conference finish for the Dons since 2003 and only the fifth overall. The upper division finish is the second posted in Nelson's four seasons on the Hilltop.
BALANCED OFFENSE KEYS USF'S SUCCESS: Sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin's first kill at Gonzaga (11/18) gave USF another program first. Five Dons - Kristin Hasselberg (461), Alix Gombos (298), Anna Berger (248), Brynn Maurer (215) and Babin (203) - have tallied 200 or more kills on the season, the most in school history. The previous best was four, accomplished seven times, with the last coming in 2005.
DONS BLOCKS RECORD TEETERING... AGAIN: With two matches remaining in the regular season, USF's team blocks record should fall for the second consecutive year. The Dons have amassed 292.0 blocks and are two team blocks shy of surpassing the 2005 squad (293.0). Five USF players - Carly Babin (135), Alix Gombos (111), Linzy Kearney (83), Kristin Hasselberg (56) and Brynn Maurer (42) - have recorded at least 40 this season.
USF CLIMBING THE TEAM RECORD BOOKS: With two matches remaining in the 2006 regular season, USF is once again climbing the team record books. The Dons currently have accumulated 1,719 kills this season, good for fourth place on the single-season charts and need just 75 to vault into second place on the list. The all-time record of 1,826 was set by San Francisco's 2003 NCAA team. The current edition of the Green and Gold ranks second in team attack percentage (.231) with the high water mark set in 2003 (.240).
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 after recording 33 in back-to-back sweeps against Gonzaga (10/19) and Portland (10/21). Hasselberg enters the final week of the 2006 regular season with 1,186 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 65 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 4.03 and averages 4.61 kills on .230 hitting to go along with 2.20 digs during her junior campaign.
GOMBOS KEEPS GOING: Sophomore middle blocker Alix Gombos continues to enjoy a breakthrough season for the Dons, leading the team in attack percentage (.343) and is second in kills (3.07) and blocks (1.11). Gombos needs just two more kills to reach 300 for the season, just one year removed from recording 40 kills on .268 hitting as a freshman on the Hilltop. A four-time all-tournament selection, Gombos averages 3.14 kills and 1.16 blocks during West Coast Conference play.
BABIN TIED FOR FIFTH ON USF'S SINGLE-SEASON BLOCKS LIST: Sophomore middle blocker Carly Babin continues to make her presence felt at the net for USF and enters the final week of the 2006 regular season with 136 total blocks good for a share of sixth place on the Dons single-season top-10 list with Teresa Russell (1999-03), who tallied 136 as a freshman. With two regular season matches left, Babin needs four stuffs to move past Chiara Lawrence (1993-96), who tallied 139 in 1995, for second place. Tracy Harrison (1982-85) is the WCC and Dons single-season leader with 186 in 1985.
KARTCHNER CAPTURES SECOND PLACE ON CAREER ASSISTS CHART: Senior setter Jamie Kartchner moved into sole possession of second place on the San Francisco career assist chart at Portland (11/16) and finished the weekend with 3,228. Kartchner passed April Scoggin (2000-03) who compiled 3,199. Kartchner became just the third setter in program history to surpass 3,000 career assists at Pepperdine (10/12). Denise MacDougal (1989-92) is the all-time leader with 3,464.
Linzy Kearney NINTH IN USF CAREER BLOCKS: Junior opposite Linzy Kearney continues to produce for the Dons and enters the final week of the 2006 regular season ranked ninth in USF career total blocks with 227. Next up is Jeanette Sargenti (1994-97), who recorded 296. On the season, Kearney ranks third on the team in total blocks (0.87) and adds 1.13 kills per game.
Haley Carroll SECOND ON SINGLE-SEASON DIGS CHART: Freshman libero Haley Carroll enters the final week of the 2006 regular season needing just two digs to become the second player in program history to surpass 500 in a season. Carroll already ranks second on the single-season chart with 498 and is chasing current teammate junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer, who set the 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. On the season, Carroll averages 4.93 digs per game and leads the team in service aces (37).
MAURER ADDS TO DONS CAREER DIGS RECORD: Junior outside hitter Brynn Maurer recorded a team-high 25 digs last week in a split at Portland (11/16) and Gonzaga (11/18) and continued to build on the program's all-time digs record, finishing the final week of West Coast Conference play with 1,326. For her career, Maurer averages 4.41 digs per game, the top mark in program history. This season the Newport Beach native has reached double-digits in digs in 18 matches and has surpassed 20 three times. After shifting to outside hitter for 2006, Maurer averages 2.19 kills and 3.30 digs per game.
Darcy Carroll CRACKS CAREER ASSISTS TOP-10 CHART: Sophomore setter Darcy Carroll enters the final week of the 2006 regular season with 1,096 assists, good for ninth place on the Dons career list. Carroll needs 28 in her final two regular season matches to move into eighth place, passing Sandy Kruger (1997-98). Carroll leads San Francisco in assists (7.55) in the Dons new 6-2 alignment.
Anna Berger CHASING DONS FRESHMAN KILLS MARK: Freshman outside hitter Anna Berger enters the final week of the 2006 regular season with 248 kills and needs 30 to seize the USF freshman kills record, currently held by Theresa Hart (2003-05). Berger ranks third on the team in kills (2.53), fourth in digs (2.00) and shares second place in aces (28).
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 (3.07) and blocks (1.14) and leads the club in attack percentage (.343), while Babin leads the team and ranks second among West Coast Conference blocks (1.32) leaders and is second on the team in attack percentage (.302); fifth in kills (1.99).
NELSON CLOSING IN ON LEAGUE WINS MARK: Already the program's career wins leader with 75 and counting, USF head coach Jeff Nelson needs just one conference win to match the school record for West Coast Conference victories, but will have to wait for 2007 to get it. Laurie Corbelli (1986-89) won 22 conference contests, and guided the Dons to a 9-5 slate and a third place finish in 1987 en route to WCC Coach of the Year Honors.
USF LOOKS TO RE-WRITE PROGRAM WINS RECORD: With two matches remaining in the 2006 regular season, San Francisco has a golden opportunity to set the program wins standard. USF tallied its 22nd victory in a sweep at Portland (11/16) and chases the 23 wins recorded by the 2003 NCAA Tournament edition in head coach Jeff Nelson's first campaign with the Green and Gold. The 22 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 75 victories since Nelson took over the reigns of the program.