Nov. 20, 2006
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 17th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (23-5, 13-1 WCC) will conclude their regular-season with a non-conference home match against the Titans of Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday at 7 p.m. inside the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT: Fresh off claiming the West Coast Conference Championship a week ago, the 17th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team didn't letup as senior Christie Dawson's 17 kills and her .571 attacking percentage helped lead the Toreros to a 3-0 (32-30, 30-27, 30-28) sweep over No. 22 Santa Clara University Saturday afternoon in the WCC finale for both teams. With the win, the Toreros improve to 23-5 overall, conclude conference play with a 13-1 record and have now won three consecutive matches. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 20-7 overall and 9-5 in the WCC. Dawson led all players with her 17 kills on 28 attempts while only committed one attacking error to post a .571 attacking percentage. Laurel Abrahamson also recorded double-digit kills as she racked up 14 kills on 25 attempts while only committing three attacking errors to post a .440 hitting percentage. Kristen Carlson recorded her 20th double-double of the season as she recorded 11 kills and racked up 10 digs. Jessica Nyrop recorded 50 assists to help direct the San Diego offense to a .308 team attacking percentage. For the Broncos, Kim McGiven led the offensive charge with her team-best 16 kills and she also added in seven digs. Crystal Matich recorded 39 assists to help direct the Broncos offense to a team attacking percentage of .193.
SCOUTING THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton enters the contest with a 17-11 overall record and a 6-8 record in the Big West Conference. The Titans 17 wins ties a program record and their six wins in the BWC is a program-best. USD holds the all-time series lead at 15-11, including posting a 3-1 win last season at Titan Gym. Fullerton is led offensively by Breanna Trudeau, who has a team-best 3.11 kills per game average coupled with a 1.46 digs per game average. The floor leader for the Titans is junior setter Julie Geissert, who has a team-leading 11.34 assists per game average. CSF is under the direction of fifth-year head coach Carolyn Zimmerman. During her tenure is Fullerton, Zimmerman has posted an overall record of 58-88.
NYROP NAMED WCC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The University of San Diego's sophomore setter Jessica Nyrop was named the West Coast Conference women's volleyball Co-Player of the Week after helping lead the Toreros to a sweep over No. 22 Santa Clara University this past Saturday. This past week, Nyrop had yet another solid performance as she recorded 50 assists in helping the Toreros post a team-attacking percentage of .308. This marks the 19th time this season that Nyrop has recorded at least 50 assists. She recorded a career-high 73 assists in the 3-2 win against Loyola Marymount University on Nov. 2, 2006.
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 5.10 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 fourth in the WCC in hitting percentage at .335. Christie Dawson ranks first in the WCC in hitting percentage during conference games only at .401 and overall she ranks fifth in kills per game with her 4.07 average. Jessica Nyrop continues to lead the conference in assists per game at 13.82. The team ranks not only first place in the standings, but first in kills at 17.27 and assists at 15.84. USD is also ranked second in hitting percentage at .256.
THE POLLS: The University of San Diego women's volleyball team held steady at No. 17 in the latest CSTV/AVCA top-25 poll after posting a 3-0 win over Santa Clara University this past Saturday in West Coast Conference action. This marks the ninth consecutive week the Toreros have been ranked in the top-25.
CARLSON DOUBLES-UP AGAIN: Senior left-handed outside hitter Kristen Carlson continues her dominance in her final collegiate season as she recorded her 20th double-double of the season in the 3-0 win against Santa Clara. During the match with the Broncos, Carlson recorded 11 kills and 10 digs.
DAWSON CONTINUES HOT STREAK: Senior middle hitter Christie Dawson continues her hot streak for the Toreros as the senior from Apple Valley, Calif. recorded yet another solid performance in the sweep over No. 22 Santa Clara this past Saturday. Dawson recorded a match-best 17 kills on eight attempts while only committing one attacking error to post a .571 hitting percentage. Over the past four matches, Dawson has posted 4.64 kills per game average, while only committing eight attacking errors to post a .514 attacking percentage. On the season, Dawson is averaging 4.07 kills per game and is hitting .309.
THREE-HEADED MONSTER: For 13 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 5.10 kills per game, followed by Dawson who is averaging 4.07 kills per game and Abrahamson is averaging 3.17 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.