Men's Volleyball
    Six Top High School Players Sign With USC Men's Volleyball
    Michael Mullahey (left) and Alex Slaught
    Michael Mullahey (left) and Alex Slaught

    Nov. 11, 2011

    Six top high school volleyball players--Michael Mullahey, Brooks Varni, Christopher Orenic, Alex Slaught, Josh Kirchner and Tommy Leonard--have signed with USC and will join the Trojan program in the fall of 2012, USC men's volleyball head coach Bill Ferguson announced today.

    "We are thrilled about the character and talent that these players bring to the USC program, both on and off the court," said Ferguson. "Signing a class of this quality fills a lot of our future needs and allows us to build a solid talent base that will carry through the 2016 season."

    Mullahey, a 6-5 setter from Loyola High in Los Angeles (Calif.), was an alternate on the 2011 U.S. Youth National team. He helped lead his Southern California Volleyball Club team to the 2011 U.S. Junior Olympics 17 Open Gold Division gold medal while making the All-Tournament team. As a sophomore at Loyola, his team was the 2010 CIF Division I championship and he earned All-Mission League second team honors. In 2010, he was on the U.S. Youth A2 team that won a gold medal at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships and he made the 16 Open All-Tournament team at the Junior Olympics. He participated in the 2009 U.S. Youth National Holiday Training Camp. He was on the 14 Open bronze medal team at the 2008 Junior Olympics. He also plays beach volleyball, winning a gold medal at the 2010 AAU Spring Beach Classic, a silver at the 2010 AAU Tour Championships and a gold at the 2009 AAU Palisades Open. His grandfather, Edward Mullahey, was swimmer at Iowa (1952-54).

    "We feel that Mullahey is one of the top young setters in the country," said Ferguson. "He is a perfect fit for our university and our program, and should have a fantastic career at USC."

     

     

    Varni, a 6-0 libero from Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach (Calif.), helped lead his Southern California Volleyball Club team to the 2011 U.S. Junior Olympics 17 Open Gold Division gold medal while making the All-Tournament team. As a 2010 sophomore at Mira Costa, his team was the CIF Division I runner-up.

    "Varni will come in and compete right away for the libero spot," said Ferguson. "His presence will give us immediate depth and quality at the position."

    Orenic, a 6-3 outside hitter from Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach (Calif.), helped lead his Southern California Volleyball Club team to the 2011 U.S. Junior Olympics 17 Open Gold Division gold medal while being named MVP of the All-Tournament team. In 2011, he was on the U.S. Youth A2 team that won a gold medal at the USA Volleyball High Performance U19 Championships and he made the 16 Open All-Tournament team at the Junior Olympics. As a 2010 sophomore at Mira Costa, his team was the CIF Division I runner-up. He was a member of the 2010 U.S. Youth National team that won a silver medal at the NORCECA Youth Continental Championships in Canada and he made the 16 Open All-Tournament team at the 2010 Junior Olympics. In 2009, he was on the U.S. Select A1 team that won a bronze medal at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships, he participated in the U.S. Youth National Holiday Training Camp and he made the 15 Open All-Tournament team at the Junior Olympics. In 2008, he was on the USA Volleyball High Performance Select A1 team and his club team won a 14 Open bronze at the Junior Olympics. He also plays beach volleyball, winning a gold at the 2008 and 2010 AAU Beach Junior National Championships (he was the 2010 AAU Beach U18 Player of the Year) and at the 2010 USA Volleyball SoCal Open U 16 tourney, as well as silver at the 2009 and 2011 AAU Beach Junior National Championships (he also won 3 golds at other AAU beach tourneys in 2009).

    Slaught, a 6-5 outside hitter from Loyola High in Los Angeles (Calif.), made the 2011 All-Mission League first team. He was on the Manhattan Beach Surf club team that won a silver medal at the 2011 U.S. Junior Olympics 17 Open Gold Division and he made the All-Tournament team. As a sophomore at Loyola, his team was the 2010 CIF Division I championship. He made the 16 Open All-Tournament team at the 2010 Junior Olympics. In 2009 and 1010, he was on the USA Volleyball Youth Select A1 team and participated in the U.S. Youth National Holiday Training Camp. He also played football at Loyola.

    "Orenic and Slaught are both extremely athletic and productive outside hitters with great arm swings," said Ferguson. "Both have the ability to carry a team with their play."

    Kirchner, a 6-6 middle blocker from Hamilton High in Sussex (Wisc.), was a member of the 2011 U.S. Youth National team that won a bronze medal at the Pan Am Cup in Mexico and finished 11th at the FIVB Youth U19 World Championships in Argentina. He helped lead his West Allis Lightning club team to a gold medal at the 2010 Junior Olympics 16 Open Gold Division and was on the U.S. Youth A2 Red team that won a gold medal at the 2010 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships International Youth Gold Division. He was on the 2009 U.S. Select A2 Silver team and participated in the 2008 Select A2 Camp. Hamilton did not field a boys volleyball team, but he was on Hamilton's track team. His sister, Stephanie, is a sophomore outside hitter at Wisconsin-Platteville.

    Leonard, a 6-8 middle blocker from Barrington (Ill.) High, made the 2011 All-Northwest Area and All-MidSuburban League West Division first team while getting 223 kills and 80 blocks.

    "Kirchner and Leonard have the ability to compete early for starting jobs," said Ferguson. "They will solidify our middle blocker corps in the immediate future."

    USC, which has won 4 NCAA Championships and appeared in 12 Final Fours, advanced to the Final Four last season for the second time in the past 3 years.