USD Preps for Final Regular-Season Road Swing

Alaysia Brown.

Alaysia Brown.

Nov. 6, 2013

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The eighth-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (19-3, 11-2 WCC) will begin its final regular-season road swing this week as they head to the Bay Area.  On Thursday, USD will square off against Santa Clara in a 6 p.m. match.  Then on Saturday, USD will look to complete a sweep of San Francisco with a 1 p.m. match.     

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego posted another perfect 2-0 record this past week to run their winning streak to a season-high 10. USD posted a 3-0 win over Pepperdine at home on Thursday, then picked up a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount this past Saturday.  In Thursday's sweep over Pepperdine, Katie Hoekman led all players with 12 kills on 21 attempts, while only committing one error to hit for a .524 clip. Hoekman also recorded four blocks. Alaysia Brown was the second player in double digit kills with 11, while hitting for a .280 clip. Rachel Alvey had all-around great match, as she recorded 22 assists, had four blocks and four kills. C'era Oliveira led the defense with 20 digs, and as a team, USD hit .300.  In Saturday's win over LMU, Taylor Hollins led the team with 15 kills, while also recording 12 digs to record a double-double. Sandra Lozic also recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs, while hitting for a .394 clip. Chloe Ferrari recorded 13 kills, while hitting for a.417 clip and recorded three blocks. Brown recorded 12 kills, while hitting .400 and Hoekman recorded 11 kills and hit .529. Jianna Bonomi (34 assists) and Alvey (22 assists) helped steer the USD offense to a .325 attack percentage, while Oliveira recorded 15 digs.

TOREROS HOLD STEADY AT NO. 8:  The University of San Diego women's volleyball team held steady at No. 8 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association top-25 poll. This marks the ninth consecutive week that the Toreros have appeared in the top-25, and marks USD's sixth week all together in the top-10, having reached as high as No. 2 on Sept. 16. Neither Santa Clara nor San Francisco are ranked in any of the top-25 polls.  The only other WCC team to be ranked is league-leader BYU, who is No. 21 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll. 

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara enters the week with an overall record of 8-13 and a 3-9 mark in the WCC after dropping a match to Gonzaga, and bouncing back with a win over Portland this past week.  The Broncos are led offensively by Megan Anders and Haley Cameron.  Anders leads the team in hitting percentage (.305) and kills-per-set (2.99), and is second on the team with 0.85 bps.  Cameron is second in hitting percentage at .301 and leads the team with .95 bps.  Taylor Milton is fourth on the team with 2.59 kps and third with 2.41 dps. Hess is second on the team with 2.84 kpg and Clayton is third with 2.83 kpg.
SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the week with a .500 record at 11-11, and they have a 7-5 record in the WCC after splitting with Portland and Gonzaga this past week, defeating Portland 3-1, before falling to Gonzaga in five sets this past Saturday.  USD leads the all-time series at 43-15, including taking the first match-up 3-0 back in San Diego.  Valentina Zaoznik paces the offense with 245 kills (2.72 kps), while hitting for a .353 clip.  Mackenzie Murtagh helps steer the Dons offense to a team attack percentage of .265, with her team-beast 496 assists (5.51 aps).  

HOEKMAN HAS PACES USD OFFENSE:  Senior middle hitter Katie Hoekman helped lead USD to a 2-0 record, this past week, with wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. Hoekman led the team with 23 kills, while hitting for a .526 clip.  Hoekman also recorded five blocks, one solo.  Hoekman began the week with a 12-kill and four block performance against Pepperdine, while hitting for a .524 clip.  She then followed that up with a 11-kill performance against LMU, in which she hit .529, had two digs, and one block.

GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a season-high 10-match winning streak, after sweeping Pepperdine and taking Loyola Marymount in four this past week.   This current streak began with USD's thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win over Loyola Marymount on Oct. 3.  During this streak, USD has only dropped four sets, while hitting for a .293 clip as a team, and holding their opponents to a .188 clip.  Five players have recorded at least 85 or more kills, paced by Chloe Ferrari's 115, followed by Alaysia Brown's 111, Taylor Hollins' 101, Sandra Lozic's 93, and Katie Hoekman's 85.C'era Oliveira has recorded 160 digs (4.71 dps), which is almost double of the next highest of 88 by Hollins. 

THE WCC STANDINGS UPDATE: San Diego is still currently in sole possession of second place in the WCC at 11-2, just one match back of BYU.  SMC is right behind the Toreros at 9-3.  With just five matches remaining, the Toreros are still in a must win scenario in order to at the very least have a share of the conference title with BYU.  The last match of the regular-season, on Nov. 23 against BYU at the Jenny Craig pavilion, could provide a winner take all scenario for the WCC title.  However, USD still has to battle through four tough opponents, beginning this week with a road trip to Santa Clara and San Francisco.     

RPI UPDATE: San Diego's current RPI is up three spots to No. 15 after posting a 2-0 record this past week.  USD needs to be in he top 16 in order to have a good shot at hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.  All the Toreros can do is keep on winning, and then see where they stand at seasons end.  But as of now, things are looking up, as USD is back in the top-16 with just five matches to go.  

FERRARI TABBED WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Senior middle hitter Chloe Ferrari of the eighth-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for October. This is the second consecutive month Ferrari has earned this award.  Ferrari, a 6-1 senior middle hitter from Clovis, Calif., helped guide the Toreros to a perfect 9-0 record in October, and moved USD into sole possession of second place in the WCC, just one match behind BYU. Ferrari also helped lead USD back into the top-10 of the national rankings, now standing at No. 8 in the national polls.  Ferrari led the team's offense with 102 kills (3.40 kps), while hitting for an astronomical .494 clip, as she only committed 13 errors in 180 attempts. Ferrari also recorded 25 blocks, five of which were solo, had 33 digs, and she was second on the team in aces with seven. Ferrari recorded double-digit kills in five matches, and in three of the four she didn't reach double-digit kills, she recorded eight and nine kills, respectively. She recorded 19 kills in a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win over Loyola Marymount University on Oct. 3, in which she hit .471 in the match. She hit over .400 in seven of the nine matches in October, while recording at least two blocks in all but one match.

TOREROS TABBED SECOND IN WCC PRESEASON POLL: The defending West Coast Conference Co-Champion University of San Diego women's volleyball team was picked to finish second in a preseason WCC Coaches poll.  BYU was chosen to win the 2013 WCC title after capturing five of the nine possible first place votes and 74 points overall. Just one point shy of the Cougars, USD tallied 73 points and three of the remaining first place votes. The Cougars and Toreros tied for first place in last year's regular season.  Saint Mary's College earned 69 points and two first place votes, while Pepperdine was picked fourth with 58 points. Loyola Marymount University earned 43 points and Santa Clara University tallied 42 points to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. Newcomer University of the Pacific earned 33 points to finish seventh, while the University of San Francisco (32 points), Gonzaga University (16 points) and the University of Portland (10 points) rounded out the preseason poll.