Nov. 26, 2012
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 19th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team (21-6) will head up to Los Angeles for a second consecutive season to compete in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. On Friday, the Toreros will battle Michigan State in a 5:30 p.m. match. The winner of this match will play the winner of the UCLA-Long Island match on Saturday at 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Behind a 20-kill performance from junior middle hitter Katie Hoekman, the 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball picked up a thrilling 3-2 West Coast Conference win over No. 13 Brigham Young University Saturday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, to give the Toreros a share of the WCC crown. With the 25-23, 28-26, 13-25, 23-25, 15-13 win, the Toreros finish the regular-season with a 21-6 overall record and finish as the 2012 WCC Co-Champions with a 13-3 WCC record. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 25-3 overall and are tied with the Toreros as WCC champions. Hoekman recorded her team-best 20 kills on 34 swings, while only committing one error to hit for a .559 clip. Sandra Lozic was the second Torero in double digit kills, as she recorded 16, while also recording 16 digs to record a double-double. C'era Oliveira recorded a career-high 29 digs, which is the fifth best single-match dig total in program history. Both USD setters had a phenomenal day, as they each recorded a double-double with Rachel Alvey recording 30 assists and 15 digs, while Jianna Bonomi recorded 25 assists and 17 digs. Carrie Baird just missed a double-double, as she had nine kills and 19 digs.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS: The Spartans enter the tournament with an overall record of 23-9 after dropping their final match of the season to No. 1 Penn State. USD is 0-2 all-time against the Spartans in program history. The Michigan State offense is paced by Lauren Wicinski, who has 517 kills (4.39 kps), and is hitting at a .292 clip. The floor leader for the Spartans is Kristen Kuipers, who has 822 assists, while helping steer the MSU offense to a .271 team attack percentage. Kori Moster paces the team's defense with a team-leading 530 digs.
SCOUTING THE BLACKBIRDS: Long Island enters the Tournament with a 25-7 overall record after claiming the NEC championship with a perfect 16-0 mark in conference action. If USD and LIU meet in the second round, it will be the first meeting between the two programs. The Blackbirds offense is paced by Anika Fiot with a team-best 466 kills, while hitting for a .275 clip. The floor general for the team is Vera Djuric, who has a team-best 1,255 assists in helping steer the team's offense .249 attack percentage. The defensive leader is libero Adrianna Vinas Joy, who has 488 digs.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA enters the tournament as the No. 7 national seed after posting an overall record of 22-7. USD is 0-6 all-time against the Bruins in head-to-head competition, including 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins offense is paced by Tabi Love, who has a team-leading 477 kills, while hitting at a .303 clip. The floor leader duties is split between setters Becca Strehlow (655 assists) and Meghan Moenoa (602 assists), and these ladies have the team hitting for a .294 clip.
HOEKMAN CONTINUES TO DOMINATE: USD junior middle hitter Katie Hoekman finished off the regular-season with a bang. She helped lead USD to a thrilling 3-2 win over BYU, to claim a share of the WCC Championship in the regular-season finale, and the team also dropped a 3-1 decision to cross-town rival San Diego State earlier in that week. For the week however, she recorded 29 kills, and hit for a .553 clip. Against BYU, she recorded a career-high 20 kills, while hitting for a .559 clip, and she recorded five blocks. In the loss to SDSU, Hoekman recorded nine kills and hit for a .538 clip.
TOREROS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: San Diego is making its 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third consecutive trip. The Toreros are 11-15 all-time in the tournament and have advanced to the Sweet 16 in both the 2004 and 2006 seasons. USD has faced UCLA three times in the NCAA tournament, and dropped all three of those matches, two by scores of 3-0 on Dec. 3, 2005 and on Dec. 5, 2004, and last season they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Bruins. San Diego has never played Michigan State, nor Long Island in the NCAA Tournament.
THE POLLS: San Diego dropped one spot to No. 19 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll after posting a 1-1 record in the final week of the regular-season. UCLA checks in at No. 7, and neither Long Island nor Michigan State are ranked in any of the top-25 polls.
LIVE FREE VIDEO STREAM THIS WEEKEND: All of this weekends matches will have a live free video stream available at www.uclabruins.com.
PETRIE RETURNS!: San Diego head coach Jennifer Petrie returns to the sidelines this season after taking this past year off to spend time with the newest member of her family, daughter Caroline. Last season in her absence, Associate Head Coach Brent Hilliard took the reigns and led USD to a 28-5 overall record. 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, 2008 and 2010 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 12 complete seasons as head coach, Petrie has led San Diego to nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 & 2010).
WITH HONORS: The 19th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team had five players earn All-West Coast Conference honors, highlighted by both junior middle hitters, Chloe Ferrari and Katie Hoekman, taking home first-team honors. Taking home All-WCC honorable mention honors was junior setter Rachel Alvey, senior outside hitter Carrie Baird, and sophomore right side Alaysia Brown.
- Ferrari, a three-time All-WCC selection, finished the season with 237 kills (2.69 kps), while hitting for a .367 clip. Ferrari also was third on the team in blocks with 51, 12 of which were solo blocks. In WCC action, Ferrari recorded 142 kills, while hitting at a .340 clip, and she recorded 30 blocks. Ferrari was tabbed the Tournament MVP for the USD Tournament back in September.
- Hoekman, a two-time All-WCC honoree, paced the Torero offense this season, with 285 kills (2.69 kps), while hitting for an impressive .388 clip, and she led the team in blocks with 117, 19 of which were solo. In WCC action, Hokeman was second on the team in kills with 179, while hitting for a .386 clip and as he led the team in blocks with 84. Hoekman, who took home one WCC Player of the Week award this season, was selected to the All-Tournament tam at the USC Tournament and at the USD Tournament.
- Alvey, a first-time All-WCC honoree, led the team with 1,008 assists, added in 260 digs, while also helping lead the USD hitters to a .239 team attack percentage. In WCC action, Alvey recorded 678 assists, while also recording 170 digs, and she helped steer the USD offense to a .237 team attack percentage. Alvey, who took home one WCC Player of the Week award this season, was also named to the All-Tournament team at the Burnt Orange Classic back in August.
- Baird, is a second-time All-WCC honoree, had her best season in a Torero uniform, as she was third on the team in kills with 254, while racking up the second most digs with 270. In WCC action, Baird recorded 164 kills, while placing second in digs with 158.
- Brown, a first-team All-WCC honoree, had a break-out type season for the Toreros, as she bursted onto the scene and finished the regular-season with the second most kills (271), and second most blocks (71). In WCC action, she recorded 166 kills and 52 blocks, again both the second highest on the team. Brown was also selected to the All-Tournament team for the USC Tournament.
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