SAN DIEGO — The Torero women’s volleyball team is heading to the NCAA tournament and hosting the opening rounds on campus this week for the first time since 2013.
“I think all season it’s been ‘why not us’ has been our motto,” said University of San Diego Senior Setter Gabby Blossom. “We work really hard and we really enjoy playing the sport with each other.”
Why not the Toreros who come into the NCAA tournament as the number two seed in their region and host site for the first time in nine years.
“It’s what we’re shooting for every single season,” USD head coach Jennifer Petrie. “To be one of those top 16 seeds, to be in our home environment, to be in our home crowd, it’s eclectic here in the Jenny Craig and we’re super excited to showcase what we’ve been working on all season.”
What a season it was, USD finished the year 27-1 overall, undefeated in West Coast Conference play and riding a 24-match winning streak.
“They are more than ready for this opportunity,” Petrie said. “It’s nice to finally have it arrive. We’ve been looking forward to it and not trying to get ahead of ourselves, but this is the most exciting part of the year and they’re ready.”
Petrie, a Mt. Carmel High School alum, has taken her teams dancing in 23 out of the 25 seasons. She’s been on campus and earned West Coast Conference Coach of the Year for this group’s latest campaign.
“There’s no such thing as a coach of the year, it’s a coaching staff and I have the best in the country,” Petrie said. “I’m thrilled we’ve been recognized for that because there’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of late nights, film, scouting and our staff deserves the recognition.”
Awards didn’t stop there as the Toreros took home three other all-conference accolades including Libero of the Year in Annie Benbow, Setter of the Year in Gabby Blossom and Player of the Year Katie Luke’s who led the team with 364 kills and counting.