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San Diego Heads To NCAA Sweet 16

Dec. 7, 2006

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WCC NCAA Sweet 16 Schedule
The University of San Diego is the only remaining WCC team in the NCAA Tournament after beating Jacksonville State and Duke in the first and second rounds, respectively. The No. 16 seeded Toreros are making their second trip to the Sweet 16 in program history. In 2004, USD went 14-0 in the WCC and earned its first trip to the third round of the tournament before being bounced by USC.

The two teams last met on August 29, with the 'Huskers coming away with a 3-0 sweep of USD. Nebraska's only loss this season came at the hands of Big 12 opponent Colorado in five games on November 11. The Cornhuskers have made eight trips to the Final Four, four trips to the National Championship and have won two titles, with their last coming in 2000.

The winner of Friday's match will face the winner of the other regional semifinal match between Minnesota and the host Gators. The Gainesville regional final is scheduled for 1:00 PM (PST) on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Final Four in Omaha, NE.

NCAA Tournament - Gainesville, FL Regional

Third Round - Dec. 8
No. 16 San Diego vs. No. 1 Nebraska - 1:30 PM (PST)

Quarterfinals - Dec. 9
San Diego/Nebraska vs. Florida/Minnesota - 1:00 PM (PST)

WCC NCAA First & Second Round Results

Gainesville, FL Regional

Dec. 1 at Tennessee
No. 16 San Diego def. Jacksonville State - 3-0
Duke def. Tennessee - 3-1

Dec. 2 at Tennessee San Diego def. Duke - 3-2

Honolulu, HI Regional

Dec. 1 at Long Beach State
Long Beach State def. Pepperdine - 3-1

Austin, TX Regional

Dec. 2 at Stanford
Missouri def. Santa Clara - 3-0

Around the WCC

Sweet Reward
No. 14 ranked San Diego kicked off the NCAA Tournament with a bang, posting back-to-back wins in the first and second rounds to advance to the Sweet 16. The Toreros downed first round opponent Jacksonville State 3-0 on Friday in Knoxville, TN before topping Atlantic Coast Conference champion Duke 3-2 on Saturday. The wins earn No. 16 seeded San Diego its second appearance in the NCAA regional semifinals and a date with No. 1 Nebraska in the Sweet 16 this weekend. The two teams met earlier this season, with the Cornhuskers coming away with a 3-0 sweep. Nebraska has spent the entire season at the top of the CSTV/AVCA rankings and brings a 29-1 record into the matchup after defeating American and Northern Iowa in the first and second rounds, respectively. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 PM (PST) Friday at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The winner will face the winner of the Minnesota at Florida match on Saturday at 1:00 PM (PST).

First Round Foibles
Both then-No. 24 Pepperdine and then-No. 21 Santa Clara ended the season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last weekend. Pepperdine dropped a 3-1 decision to host Long Beach State, while Missouri got revenge after losing to Santa Clara earlier this season with a 3-0 sweep of the Broncos at Stanford. The Waves finish the season with a 16-12 record and 2006 All-WCC first team member Sophia Milo, WCC Defensive Player of the Year Kekai Crabbe and middle blocker Kristin McClune closed out their careers in Malibu. Santa Clara finished the season ranked No. 25 in the CSTV/AVCA poll with a 20-8 record. The Broncos will lose All-WCC outside hitter Kim McGiven and middle blocker Megan Pura to graduation.

WCC in the NCAA Tournament
For 10 straight seasons, the WCC has sent at least three teams to the NCAA Tournament. In 2005, the WCC experienced its most successful tournament yet, with Santa Clara making the conference's first trip to the Final Four. Three of the WCC's five participants in the tournament last year earned at least one win. 2005 marked the fifth consecutive year the WCC was represented in the Sweet 16. The conference now boasts 21 NCAA Tournament teams in the past five years.

WCC NCAA Tournament Team Notes

Pepperdine Waves (16-12 / 11-3 WCC)
- Pepperdine got bounced from the NCAA Tournament in the first round after a 3-1 loss at Long Beach State.

- Julie Rubenstein led all players with 17 kills against Long Beach, while Sophia Milo chipped in 12 kills and six blocks in the loss.

- The Waves struggled on the attack against the 49ers, posting 33 errors while hitting .174 for the match. Pepperdine hit below .200 in the first two games.

- Senior libero Kekai Crabbe earned WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors and setter Kiah Fiers earned WCC Freshman of the Year honors for the Waves. Crabbe, Sophia Milo and Julie Rubenstein were all named to the All-WCC first team.

- Pepperdine will lose Milo, Crabbe and middle blocker Kristin McClune to graduation.

San Diego Toreros (26-5 / 13-1 WCC)
- San Diego advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over Jacksonville State (3-0) and Duke (3-2) in the NCAA Tournament at Tennessee.

- Laurel Abrahamson and Christie Dawson led the attack against Jacksonville State, tying for a game-high with 13 kills apiece. Dawson led all players, hitting at a .476 clip with just three errors.

- Kristen Carlson posted a 27-kill, 17-dig double-double in the win over Duke. Amy Degroot, Dawson and Abrahamson joined Carlson in double-digit kills.

- Jessica Nyrop dished out 69 assists while setting the team to a .309 hitting percentage for the match. The Toreros hit over .400 in three out of the five games of the win over Duke.

- San Diego takes on No. 1 Nebraska in the Gainesville, FL regional semifinal at 1:30 PM on Friday. The winner will face the winner of the Florida vs. Minnesota semifinal on Saturday.

Santa Clara Broncos (20-8 / 9-5 WCC)
- Missouri handed Santa Clara an early exit from the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 sweep on Saturday at Stanford.

- Anna Cmaylo led the Broncos with 17 kills on .364 hitting, while Brittany Lowe posted a double-double with a 13 kill and 11 dig performance in the final outing of the season.

- Missouri outblocked Santa Clara 12.5 to 2.0 and hit at a .257 clip to earn the sweep.

- The Broncos placed four players on the All-Conference teams. Anna Cmaylo and Kim McGiven earned first team honors, while Caroline Walters earned an honorable mention and Lindsy Evans was named to the All-Freshman team.

- SCU finishes the season with a 20-8 record and bids farewell to McGiven and middle blocker Megan Pura, the team's only seniors.