Toreros Return Home for a Pair of WCC Matches

Kelsi Myers.

Oct. 5, 2009

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 24th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (9-4, 1-1 WCC) will return to the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion this week as they resume West Coast Conference play. On Thursday, the Toreros will host the University of San Francisco in a 7 p.m. showdown. Then on Saturday, USD will host Santa Clara University in a 1 p.m. match, a match that is tabbed the "Dig Pink" match to help raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted a 1-1 record this past week to open conference play. USD picked up a 3-2 win over Loyola Marymount, then fell to Pepperdine 3-0 on Saturday. In Thursday's win, Carrie Baird paced the Torero offense as she tied a career-high with 13 kills on 28 attempts, while only committing two errors to hit for a .393 clip. Baird also recorded 10 digs to post her second double-double of the season. Ali Troost also recorded 13 kills and picked up eight digs, while Torey Ellick had 12 kills and Ashton Basch added in 10 kills. Kelsi Myers recorded 47 assists in helping direct the USD offense to a .245 attack percentage. In Saturday's loss, Torey Ellick and Carrie Baird led the team with 10 kills apiece, with Ellick hitting at a .500 clip and Baird hitting at a .400 clip. Kayleen Webster led the team's defense with 10 digs and Kelsi Myers recorded a team-best 45 assists in helping direct the USD offense to a .316 attack percentage.

SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the match with an overall record of 7-7, and are 1-0 in the WCC after defeating Santa Clara 3-0 in its WCC opener this past week. USD leads the all-time series at 35-15, with the two teams splitting the meetings each of the past two years. The Dons offense is led by junior opposite/outside hitter Sarah Mandala, who has a team-best 227 kills, is hitting at a .141 clip and is second on the team with 112 digs. The Dons' floor leader is junior setter Alaina Sully, who has a team-leading 384 assists, while helping steer the USF offense to a .182 attack percentage. San Francisco is under the direction of third-year head coach Gilad Doron. During his time in the Bay Area, Doron has posted an overall record of 46-19.

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara enters the week with an overall record of 10-6 and are 0-1 in the WCC after dropping its WCC opener to San Francisco, 3-0, this past week. The Broncos lead the all-time series at 18-18, but USD did win both meetings last season. SCU's offense is led by freshman outside hitter Katherine Douglas, who leads the team with 146 kills, is second on the team with 132 digs and is hitting at a .125 clip. The Broncos' floor leader is junior setter Emily Burke, who has a team-best 409 assists, while helping direct the SCU offense to a .225 team attack percentage.

THE POLLS: The Toreros dropped four spots to No. 24 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll. San Francisco and Santa Clara are not ranked in any of the top-25 polls.

ROOKIE HAS ANOTHER SOLID PERFORMANCE: Freshman outside hitter Carrie Baird has been hot as of late for the Toreros. The freshman from Green Village, Colo., has been a formidable force for the Toreros offense this past week, she led the USD offense with 23 kills, while hitting at an impressive .396 clip. Baird also recorded 17 digs, 10 of those coming in the win over Loyola Marymount in which she also tied a career-high with 13 kills, to post her second collegiate double-double. On the season, Baird has 72 kills and has moved her attack percentage up to .222.

NATION'S ELITE: Junior setter Kelsi Myers is currently ranked No. 6 in the nation in assists per set (11.82). Myers recorded a career-high in assists on Nov. 17 in a win over UC Irvine, when she racked up 63. On the season, Myers has now recorded 597 assists. Myers has also been busy on the defensive side of things, as she is second on the team with 87 digs.

TROOST NAMED WCC CO-PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Junior right side Ali Troost of the University of San Diego women's volleyball team has been named the West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Month for September, the conference office announced Thursday afternoon. Troost, a 6-2 junior from Hemet, Calif., played a huge role in helping lead USD has to a 7-2 record for September. She led the team with 115 kills, hit for a .361 clip, was second on the team with 58 digs, and she posted a career-high with 23 kills, to go along with along with 13 digs to post her first double-double of the season in a win over No. 18 UC Irvine. She has helped catapult USD to a season-high seven match win streak, and she was named the MVP of the Denver/Colorado Invitational, not to mention earned one WCC Player of the Week award.

TOREROS DIG PINK: Dig Pink is a Breast Cancer Awareness Rally being held all of October to raise awareness and funds. USD has designated Oct. 10th as their "Dig Pink" match against Santa Clara. Every year the Toreros want to help educate and raise funds to eradicate this terrible disease. Proceeds will go towards doing something significant and identifiable in the fight against Breast Cancer.

DEGROOT TO REDSHIRT IN 2009: San Diego senior outside hitter Amy Mahinalani DeGroot will sit out the 2009 season with a medical redshirt. Last season, DeGroot led the team with 392 kills (4.22 kps) and was second in digs with 231 en route to being named the WCC Player of the Year and earning an All-America honorable mention honor from the AVCA. DeGroot will return in the 2010 season.

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 There is no cost for this service. The Toreros will also be adding in a live play-by-play with the home video stream this season, as Paul Duchesne will be calling all the action.

GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego volleyball home and select road matches can be followed live via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at Gametracker is a service of CBS College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action.

TOREROS TABBED AS FAVORIATES TO WIN WCC: Fresh off its fourth conference championship in the last five years, the University of San Diego has once again been selected as the preseason favorite to take home the 2009 West Coast Conference regular season title. The Toreros, who will be returning five starters from last year's squad, received the maximum seven first place votes for a total of 49 points. Head Coach Jennifer Petrie returns the reigning WCC Player of the Year in Amy Mahinalani DeGroot as well as Ali Troost, both of whom were named to the preseason all-conference team, also selected by the league's head coaches.

THE COACH: 11th-Year head coach Jennifer Petrie has done an outstanding job directing the fortunes of San Diego volleyball since taking over as the Toreros head coach in 1999. Honored as the 2004 and 2008 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Petrie continues to establish the University of San Diego as one of the top volleyball programs in the nation. In nine complete seasons as head coach, Petrie has led San Diego to seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008) with her 2004 team reaching the Sweet-16.

FAB 50 INVADES SAN DIEGO: A pair of USD freshman, Amber Tatsch and Carrie Baird, have been named as two of the Fab-50 incoming freshman according to Sports Imports.

- Tatsch comes to the Toreros from San Antonio, Texas, where she was not only a stand-out on the Ronald Reagan High School team but also a valuable member of the Austin Junior Volleyball club team, where she helped lead the team to the 2008 National Championship. While at Ronald Regan High School, she recorded 602 kills and 442 digs en route to being named All-American, named to the All-State Team, and being named the Express Payer of the Year as a senior.

- Baird, a native of Greenwood Village, Colo., played club volleyball for the Front Range Volleyball 18-1 Black team, where she helped lead her team to 14 top-5 finishes in national club tournaments, was a USA High Performance A2 Team member, and played in Global Challenge Tournament in Europe, where she helped her team qualify for the Junior Olympics by taking a Gold medal in the Big South Qualifier in 2008. While at Cherry Creek High School, she was a three-time first-team All-Centennial League selection and as a senior she helped led her team to a perfect 31-0 record and a 5A state championship while breaking the schools 12-year old career kills record, and now sits atop the record books with 963 career kills.