|Thursday||#19 San Diego at Pacific||7:00 p.m.||Live Stats||TheW.tv|
|Saturday||#19 San Diego at Saint Mary's||12:00 p.m.||Live Stats||TheW.tv|
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The Toreros head back to Northern California this week for a pair of WCC matches. On Thursday they play at Pacific (7-9, 2-3) at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday they take on the Gaels (5-10, 1-4) in Moraga, Calif. at noon. Both matches will be streamed on TheW.tv.
CAN YOU DIG IT?: With the graduation of Hunter Jennings, the Toreros' all-time leader in career digs, Lizzy Tardieu had some big shoes to fill this year. The senior from Salinas, Calif. has shown she is up to to task so far. Last Saturday against No. 9 BYU, she had a career-high 24 digs and is currently second in the conference with 4.15 digs per set. Tardieu has had double-digit kills in 12 of the Toreros' 14 matches.
SET IT & FORGET IT: The Toreros rank third in the nation in assists per set with 13.98. Much of this has to do to the success of senior setter Kristen Gengenbacher, who is averaging a career-high 11.23 assists per set (23rd in the nation & 1st in the WCC). With 3,046 career assists, she just moved into fifth place in the USD record books, passing Kelsi Myers (3,019, 2007-10).
FOR THE KILL: USD is also third in the nation with 14.85 kills per set. Jayden Kennedy is averaging a team-high 3.60 kills per set, while Kaity Edwards is tops in the WCC with a .430 hitting percentage, good for tenth in the nation. As a team, the Toreros have a hitting percentage of .271, which is also first in the conference (21st in the nation).
EFFICIENT EDWARDS: Kaity Edwards' is in the midst of a breakout season for the Toreros. She is second on the team with 135 kills (2.93 kps) and has an incredible hitting percentage of .430, the tenth best rate in the nation. The highest ever single season hitting percentage by a Torero was set in 2013 by Chloe Ferrari (.444).
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific is 7-9 on the year with a 2-3 record in WCC matches... Last week they lost a pair of road matches at Pepperdine (3-1) and LMU (3-0)... Their WCC wins came against Portland (3-2) and Santa Clara (3-0)... Ashley Fleming is second in the conference in hitting percentage (.337) and fourth in blocks per set (1.22)... Andie Shelon has two triple-doubles on the year, tied for third in the nation... Head Coach Greg Gibbons (8th season) was named WCC Co-Coach of the Year in 2014 and helped lead the Tigers into the Top 25 national rankings in 2015.
THE SERIES VS. PACIFIC: The Toreros are a perfect 10-0 against the Tigers all-time, going 8-0 since Pacific joined the WCC in 2013... Last season the Toreros were taken to five sets by the Tigers at home, but swept them on the road.
SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary's is 5-10 so far in 2017 with a 1-4 record in WCC matches... They have lost six of their past seven matches with their lone win in that span coming at home against San Francisco (3-0)... The Gaels are third in the WCC in blocks per set (2.53)... They are eighth in hitting percentage (.205) and kills per set (12.28)... Alexsa Parker is second in the conference in aces per set (0.37)... Head Coach Rob Browining (13th season) has led the Gaels to four NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently in 2012. He is also the head coach of their beach volleyball program.
THE SERIES VS. SAINT MARY'S: The Toreros are 48-12 all-time against the Gaels... They have won the last four matches, sweeping the past three... USD is 22-7 in Moraga.
WCC DOMINANCE: Since Coach Petrie took over as head coach, the Toreros have been the top program in the WCC. Dating back to 1999, Petrie's first year as head coach, the Toreros have gone 212-64 (.768) in conference matches. Since 2004, the Toreros have taken first or second place in the WCC every year except for one.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Jayden Kennedy was named to the All-Tournament team for all three of the Toreros' preseason tournaments. Kaity Edwards and Kristen Gengenbacher earned that honor twice.
WELL-DESERVED: Associate Head Coach Brent Hilliard was named a finalist for the Southern California Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame. As a powerful opposite player, Hilliard led Long Beach to the 1990 NCAA finals and in 1991 to its first NCAA title. He was the 1991 NCAA MVP, then the 1992 NCAA Player of the Year and finished as a three-time first team All-American. He then won an Olympic Games Bronze medal in 1992 as the team's youngest player and followed with a silver medal in 1993 Pan-American Games. He also won a bronze medal in the 1991 World Cup. 27 finalists were announced and 15 will be chosen in May of 2018.
SUMMER STORIES: Kristen Gengenbacher & Lauren Fuller were selected to be on the U.S. Collegiate National team this past summer. Gengenbacher represented the U.S. in Croatia and helped America win the European Global Challenge with a perfect 6-0 record. Fuller was with the team at their Minneapolis program, but was unable to play due to an injury. Fuller was joined in Minnesota by USD assistant Coach Marie Zidek, who served on the CNT coaching staff for the second straight summer.
PRESEASON PROPS: Kristen Gengenbacher and Kaity Edwards were selected to the All-WCC Preseason Team. Both Gengenbacher and Edwards were All-WCC honorable mention selections last season. Gengenbacher has led the team in assists the past two seasons as the team's starting setter. She enters the 2017 season with 2,518 career assists, the ninth most in program history. For the second summer in a row, she competed with the U.S. Collegiate National Team and helped the squad win the European Global Challenge in Croatia this past July. Edwards made an immediate impact in 2016, her first year with the Toreros after transferring from Santa Clara. She finished third on the team in kills (235, .364 percentage), total blocks (66) and block assists (58).
PICKED SECOND: The Toreros were picked to finish second in the preseason WCC Coaches Poll. USD received one first place vote and 72 total points in the preseason coaches poll, trailing only the 2016 champion, BYU, who had 81 points. Portland, fresh off the most successful season in program history was tabbed third with 58 points. Pacific was picked to finish fourth with 50 points. Santa Clara snared 48 points to round out the top-five of the survey, one point in front of sixth-place Pepperdine (47). Saint Mary's (35), Loyola Marymount (28), Gonzaga (21) and San Francisco (9) round out the survey.
BEST OF THE BEST: Head Coach Jennifer Petrie has built the Toreros in to one of best programs in the nation. In the past 21 seasons, USD has made the NCAA Tournament an incredible 19 times. Other accomplishments in that span include winning 15 NCAA Tournament matches, producing 13 All-Americans, winning nine WCC championships, having 10 WCC Players of the Year, 42 All-WCC first team honorees, four WCC Defensive Players of the Year, and three Sweet 16 appearances.
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