No. 3 USC Claims Molten Invitational Crown
Sept. 15, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - The third-ranked USC women's volleyball team (12-0) earned a three-set victory (25-7, 25-12, 25-15) against Prairie View A&M (2-13) to win the TCU Molten Invitational title on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the University Rec Center.
The Women of Troy had three players named to the all-tournament team led by freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio who was also selected as the Most Valuable Player. Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller and junior libero Natalie Hagglund were also named to the all-tournament team. The three Trojans have received all-tournament honors in each of USC's four pre-conference tournaments.
Under head coach Mick Haley, the Trojans have now gone unbeaten in pre-league tournaments six times in 12 seasons. In four of the previous five years, USC has advanced at least as far as the NCAA national semifinals and twice won the NCAA crown (2002, '03).
Junior outside hitter Sara Shaw led the Trojans as she hit .550 with 11 kills (0e) on 20 swings and added seven digs and two service aces. Hagglund had just five digs, but made an offensive impact on the match with three service aces. Sophomore setter/opposite hitter Emily Young went off as she logged eight kills (0e, 10att) to hit .800 and added seven assists and five digs to her final line.
The Trojans attacked at a .488 rate as they posted 45 kills (5e) on 82 attempts. USC also won the point on 77 percent of its sideout opportunities to hold the Panthers at bay. Prairie View had 24 kills (21e, 95att) and posted a .032 hitting percentage. The Women of Troy held the Panthers to a negative .182 hitting rate in the first set with four kills (10e, 33att) to earn a big 25-7 win.
For Prairie View, Breanna McNeil had eight kills (4e, 36att, .111) and eight digs. LaKeisha Allen led the Panthers with nine digs and Kelsey Espinosa had 17 assists to power the Prairie View offense.
The Trojans will open the Pac-12 schedule as hosts of rival UCLA on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. PT at the Galen Center. ESPNU will be on hand to broadcast the match, live, with Sam Gore and Karch Kiraly on the call. Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information.