Oct. 23, 2004
(San Diego, CA) - No. 22 San Diego defeated perennial national power Pepperdine for the first time in 12 meetings and remain atop the West Coast Conference standings with a perfect 6-0 league record. The Toreros (13-4; 6-0 WCC) received 17 kills from senior Devon Forster and a career-high 32 digs from junior libero Jackie Bernardin. Pepperdine (5-10; 3-3 WCC) held an early one-game advantage before falling to the Toreros (24-30, 34-32, 30-22, 30-21). A season-high 1,115 fans were in attendance Friday night at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion to witness San Diego win its seventh consecutive match.
Game one began with the Waves racing out to a 7-1 lead. Pepperdine's Sophia Milo put down five kills in the opening frame and finished with 17 on the night. Four Wave players reached double-figure numbers in kills Friday. Holding San Diego to a .103 attack percentage Pepperdine won game one 30-24.
Poised to go up two games to none the Waves led 26-22 in game two before an inspired comeback by USD. With help from sophomore Emily Haas, Torero senior Katie Kahlweiss served a pair winning points to pull San Diego back within one at 26-25. Haas had four of her 16 kills in game two. With the game even at 30-30, USD freshman attacker Erin Wiskar beat the Wave defense to give USD its first lead since 20-19. Wiskar again gave San Diego game-point at 32-31 and a service error by Pepperdine's Kristen Shultz and a ball handling mistake by Katy Daly sealed the Wave's fate.
After an eight minute intermission game three started off with both team's trading blows. With the game tied at seven, the Toreros established momentum on a thundering kill by Haas. An ensuing 8-1 scoring spree, led by Forster and sophomore Christie Dawson enabled USD to comfortably take the third game by a score of 30-22. A high-powered Torero attack was the decisive factor in the lopsided game-three victory, as setter Lindsey Sherburne set the team to a .366 hitting percentage and totaled 62 assists on the night.
The final game between the WCC rivals would end much like the previous one, but not without controversy. Tied at 6-6, USD went on a 4-0 run thanks to a string of Pepperdine hitting errors. With USD serving at 10-6, interference from the USD home crowd during the point ignited a severe protest from Pepperdine Head Coach Nina Matthies. Immediately following the point, an infuriated Matthies pulled her squad from the court, claiming it was unfair that play be disrupted by USD's home crowd. The Waves coaching staff launched a complainant to the down referee that the usage of unauthorized whistles and megaphones were strictly prohibited according to WCC regulations.
A five-minute intermission ensued, as USD officials dealt with the apparently unsanctioned props. When play resumed, the referees decided to replay the point. However, when the two teams returned to the court, the Toreros dominated, building an insurmountable 17-10 advantage. Despite Pepperdine rallying behind the strong jump serve of setter Melissa Mehlhorn, USD easily took game four 30-21.
Haas continued her strong play in the middle, as she banged home six more of her 16 kills. Friday's match with the Waves marks the fourth consecutive double-digit kill effort from Haas and 11th time she has accomplished the feat this season.
San Diego's WCC schedule continues Saturday night at 7pm when the second-place Lions of LMU pay a visit to the Jenny Craig Pavilion.