Dec. 9, 2013
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The eighth-ranked and ninth-seeded University of San Diego women's volleyball team (26-3) will travel to Lincoln, Neb. to play the eighth-seeded and 10th-ranked University of Nebraska on Friday in the Sweet 16 at the Devaney Center at 5 p.m. (PST). Should USD win, they will play the winner of the No. 1-seeded Texas Longhorns, and American on Saturday at 6 p.m. (PST)
LAST TIME OUT: For the third time in program history, the ninth-seeded University of San Diego women's volleyball team has advanced on to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with a thrilling 3-0 win over the University of Arizona Saturday evening at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. With the 25-14, 25-19, 25-22 win, the Toreros improve to 26-3 overall, run their winning streak to 17, and will advance on to play the eighth-seeded University of Nebraksa on Friday at the Devaney Center at 5 p.m. (PST). With the loss, the Wildcats finish the season with a 21-13 overall record. The Toreros offense was paced by both Chloe Ferrari and Alaysia Brown, as both players had 13 kills apiece, with Ferrari hitting for a .526 clip and Brown hitting .500. Taylor Hollins was the third Torero in double-digit kills, as she had 10. Jianna Bonomi recorded a double-double with 24 assists and 16 digs, while C'era Oliveira recorded 15 digs. As a team, USD hit .377.
HIGHLIGHTS VS. ARIZONA
TOREROS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: San Diego is making its 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fourth consecutive trip. The Toreros are 13-16 all-time in the tournament and have advanced to the Sweet 16 now for the third time in program history, having also done it in 2004 and 2006. USD has faced Nebraska just one time in the NCAA Tournament, back in 2006 in the round of 16 as well, when the Huskers swept USD on their way to the national championship. USD has never faced Texas or American in the NCAA Tournament.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All of this week's matches will have a live broadcast on ESPN3 and ESPNU. The first two matches on Friday will be aired live on ESPN3, while Saturday's regional final will be on ESPNU.
SCOUTING THE HUSKERS: Nebraska enters the match with an overall record of 25-6, after sweeping both Fairfield and Oregon in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska leads the all-time series at 3-0, with the last meeting coming in the Sweet 16 of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, a 3-0 Husker win on their way to winning the national championship. The Huskers offense is paced by Kelsey Robinson, who has 495 kills (4.38 kps), while hitting for a .321 clip. The floor leader for Nebraska is Mary Pollmiller, who has 1,209 assists in helping steer the team's offense to an attack percentage of .274.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS: Texas enters the regional round with a 25-2 overall record, while riding a 21-match winning streak, after sweeping Texas State in the first round, and defeating Texas A&M in four in round two. The Longhorns lead the all-time series at 3-1, including escaping with a 3-2 win in Hawaii on Aug. 31, 2013. The Longhorns offense is paced by Haley Eckerman, who has 405 kills (4.18 kps), while hitting for a .286 clip. The floor leader for Texas is Hannah Allison, who has 677 assists in helping direct the Texas offense to a team attack percentage of .296.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES: American University enters the regional round with an overall record of 34-2, after sweeping both Georgia and #No. 14 seeded Duke in the first two rounds, and have won 16 consecutive matches. Should USD meet American, it will be the first match-up in program history. The Eagles offense is paced by Kristyna Lindovska, who has a team-best 405 kills (3.58 kps), while hitting for a .287 clip. The floor leader the Eagles is Monika Smidova, who has 1,174 assists in helping steer the offense to a team attack percentage of .295.
GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a season-high 17-match winning streak, after defeating UC Santa Barbara and Arizona in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. This is the second longest winning streak in program history, trailing the 19-match winning streak in 2004. During this streak, USD is hitting for a .274 clip as a team, and holding their opponents to a .171 clip. Five players have recorded at least 150 or more kills, paced by Chloe Ferrari's 203 ,followed by Alaysia Brown's 188, Taylor Hollins' 171, Katie Hoekman's 152 and Sandra Lozic's 151 kills. C'era Oliveira has recorded 288 digs (4.80 dps), which is almost double of the next highest of 156 by Jianna Bonomi.
FERRARI TABBED WCC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: San Diego's senior middle hitter Chloe Ferrari was voted the 2013 WCC Player of the Year, which is the ninth time that a San Diego player has been awarded the Conference's top honor. After suffering a season-ending injury late in the 2012 season, the senior middle hitter came back strong to tally 325 kills with an impressive conference-leading .447 hitting percentage, as well as 98 blocks and 85 digs. Ferrari was named the WCC Player of the month for both September and October, as she helped guide USD to a program record 26-3 overall mark on the season. Ferrari was also tabbed WCC Player of the Week three times this season.
FIVE TOREROS EARN ALL-WCC HONORS: Taking home first-team All-WCC honors were Chloe Ferrari, Katie Hoekman, and Alaysia Brown. Earning All-WCC honorable mention accolades was senior libero C'era Oliveira, while freshman libero Hunter Jennings was named to the All-Freshman team. Head Coach Jennifer Petrie was also honored as the WCC Coach of the Year.
BONOMI AND THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Junior setter Jianna Bonomi has been playing really well as of late. In fact, over the past three matches, she has recorded a double-double in each of them, to lead the team in this category with 12 on the season. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Bonomi recorded 23 assists, and had 11 digs against UC Santa Barbara, and in the round two, she recorded 24 assists and had 16 digs in the sweep over Arizona.
CHLOE, CHLOE, CHLOE: In the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, it was no surprise that senior middle hitter Chloe Ferrari paced the team's offense. Ferrari led the team with 26 kills, 13 in both matches, while hitting for an astronomical .622 clip, and she led the blocking effort with seven. In fact, Ferrari has recorded 13 kills in each of the last three USD matches, and she has recoded double-digit kills in 17 of USD's 29 matches.
TOREROS AWAY FROM SAN DIEGO: San Diego is not only a tough opponent to beat on their home floor, but away from home, they are just as tough. USD has posted a 10-1 record on the road, and they are 2-1 in neutral matches this season. In road matches, USD is hitting .262 as a team, and holding opponents to a .201 clip. USD has held even with their opponents in blocks with 90.0, while four USD players have recorded at lease 110 kills, paced by Chloe Ferrari's 139, and she is hitting.447 in road matches. In neutral matches, the Toreros are hitting .268, while holding their opponents to a .168 clip. USD's one loss on a neutral court came to No. 1 Texas, in Hawaii, at the start of the season. USD was just one swing away from defeating the defending national champs in four, before falling in five sets.
USD IN THE SWEET 16: This will be USD's third trip to the Sweet 16 in program history. In 2004, USD fell to USC, 3-1 in Lexington, Ken., and in 2006, the Toreros were defeated 3-0, to eventual national champion Nebraska. USD is hoping the third time's a charm, as they get to rematch with Nebraska in the round of 16.
PETRIE TABBED WCC COACH OF THE YEAR: Head coach Jennifer Petrie was named the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. This is the fourth time Petrie has earned this honor, after leading USD to the best season in program history. Petrie took USD to new heights this season, posting four consecutive wins over top-20 opponents, including road wins at Hawaii, at Iowa State, a neutral site win over Illinois, and then capped it off with a thrilling 3-1 victory over top-ranked USC in the home-opener. USD then skyrocketed up to No. 2 in the AVCA top-25 poll on September 16, marking the highest ranking for any USD sport in the Division I era. The Toreros then finished the season on a 15-match winning streak, including claiming the WCC title outright from BYU on Nov. 23 in front of a record home crowd of 2,045.
RECORD BOOKS: Senior middle hitter Chloe Ferrari currently sits at 1,216 career kills, which places her 10th all-time at USD. But her records don't stop there. She currently has the highest career hitting percentage in program history at .401, and her 327 blocks places her eighth all-time at USD. Another Torero who is making her way through the USD all-time records section is Katie Hoekman, who currently has 364 total blocks, placing her sixth all-time at USD, and her career .365 hitting percentage is second best all-time. Senior libero C'era Oliveira is now in the top-10 all-time in career digs with 1,320, placing her fourth all-time.
WHERE THEY RANK NATIONALLY: San Diego, as a team, is currently second nationally in assists-per-set at 14.32, and second in kills-per-set at 15.12. On the individual side of things, Chloe Ferrari is sixth nationally in hitting percentage at .447, while Katie Hoekman is 29th in hitting percentage at .388.
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