Feb. 28, 2004
By Amanda Piechowski
The 2003 Torero volleyball team earned their third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, marking the seventh time in eight years that San Diego has reached the nation's field of 64. Several individual accomplishments and some key team highlights, including two tournament championships and a national ranking of No. 16 allowed USD to make a repeat appearance in the NCAA's.
USD exploded out of the gate, sweeping through tough competition to win team championship honors at Arizona State's Sun Devil Classic on August 30th. The Toreros went on to enjoy a string of wins in September and early October in which they won 11-of-12 matches. The fast start also included nine consecutive home wins and included the year's second team title at the 2003 USD Invitational.
San Diego kept building its reputation as one of the countries best collegiate programs, earning a ranking of No. 16 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on October 19th. It equaled the highest ranking in school history and marked the sixth straight year USD has appeared in the AVCA/USA Today Top-25 Poll.
The season's individual highlights included an outstanding season from junior outside hitter Devon Forster. Forster started and competed in all 30 matches for the Toreros and had over twenty kills on ten different occasions. For the third consecutive season, she was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team and ranked 22nd nationally in kills per game (5.10).
Sophomore setter Lindsey Sherburne established herself as the best setter in USD school history. Sherburne shattered San Diego's record for assists in a single season with 1,494, surpassing Katie Lindquist's 1997 total of 1,471, and ended the year ranked second nation-wide in assists per game (14.37).
Junior outside hitter Kristen Hurst was named an All-WCC Honorable Mention for the second straight season. Hurst played a key role in helping San Diego attain their eighth NCAA berth, ranking among USD's team leaders in several statistical categories.
The team as a whole competed quite well together, with several newcomers making their mark during their first year as Toreros. Freshmen middle hitters Christie Dawson and Emily Haas received honorable mentions to the All-West Coast Conference team and sophomore transfer libero Jackie Bernardin was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year by the WCC.
Seniors Brynne Young, Lisa Gordon, and Bridget Merritt made their last year a memorable one. Although plagued by injuries, the three led by example and carried the Toreros through the season. Proven defensive specialist in sophomore Monica Peterson provided depth in the libero position and junior Katie Kahlweiss' amazing jump serve helped rack up points for the Toreros. Freshmen hitters Ryan Maspero and Cassie Wolpern were key contributors to several Torero wins.
Head coach Jennifer Petrie guided the San Diego program to its fourth NCAA Tournament in her five-year tenure as USD's head coach. Under her direction, San Diego has won nearly 70 percent of their matches and Petrie reeled in her 100th career win on October 31, 2003, as the Toreros swept conference rival Gonzaga 3-0.
Six Toreros would earn All-West Coast Conference Honors at the end of the season in a league that sent an all-time record six schools into the NCAA's. The Toreros drew a first round date with the nation's No. 8 seed UCLA in Los Angeles.
The success of the Toreros in the 2003 season paves the way for even greater
success in 2004. With several victories over powerhouse teams and a continual
climb up the AVCA/USA Today Top-25 charts, San Diego proved to the nation that
they are, and will continue to be, a top contender among the nation's elite.
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Coach Fisher and Maya Hood attend media day in Las Vegas
Men's Basketball: New Heights
Men's basketball celebrates the third era of the program
Alumni and family gathered together for an eventful Homecoming weekend
Torero Timeout with Kristen Gengenbacher
Take a Timeout with the senior setter at her house in South Mission Beach
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Football preps for this Saturday's Homecoming game
Torero Timeout with Jonathan Petersen
USD Football's Petersen strolls through Belmont Park during his bye week
USD Basketball: Practice No. 1
Check out what practice looks like for the Torero ballers
Football: Week Five
Toreros prep for big game against Dayton
Football: FaceTime with Lion's Jamal Agnew
USD Head Coach Dale Lindsey congratulates Torero alum Agnew on his first NFL touchdown
Football: Brian Fogarty PFL Classic
From tailgates to touchdowns, we got it all
Football: Week Four
Hard work follows these Toreros on and off the field
Cross Country: USD Invite
Missed Saturday's race? Don't stress, we have it right here
Football: Week Three
Sights and sounds of USD Football at work
USD Invite: Take a Lap
Men's and women's cross country host the USD Invite: the only home race for the Toreros
Football: Week Two
Football hard at work for their first away game at UC Davis
Three Games - One Day
Ole Weekend was one to remember for USD Athletics
Football: Week One
Toreros preps for their home opener against Western New Mexico
2017 Football Season Preview
Head Coach Dale Lindsey and Senior Ray Clark discuss upcoming season
USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
Don't miss the best highlights from this past year in USD Athletics