No. 3 USC Revisits Lone Star State for Molten Invitational
The Women of Troy look to extend their nine-match winning streak with a trip to Texas, this weekend.
Sept. 12, 2012
USC Match Notes (PDF) | TCU Match Notes
TCU MOLTEN INVITATIONAL
Recreation Center | Fort Worth, Texas
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
No. 3 USC at TCU - 7 p.m. CT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
No. 3 USC vs. Lehigh - 11 a.m. CT
No. 3 USC vs. Prairie View A&M - 4:30 p.m. CT
LOS ANGELES - The third-ranked Women of Troy look to extend their winning streak as the USC women's volleyball team (9-0) heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the 2012 TCU Molten Invitational, this weekend. The Trojans can match the start they had in 2010 when USC went 12-0 to start the year and advanced to the NCAA semifinal.
USC will need wins against TCU (9-1), Lehigh (1-4), and Prairie View A&M (2-9), to emerge from pre-conference tournaments with a12-0 mark. It will be the first time in program history that the Trojans will be meeting each of these teams, but that won't shake USC which is 120-5-2 all-time in first-time meetings against opponents.
The Trojans have won each of the first three tournaments they have appeared in and have produced the tournament MVP in each of those tourneys. Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller was named the most valuable player in each of USC's two home tournaments and has been enjoying a career-season to date with 4.25 kps and a .325 hitting percentage. Fuller set new career marks for kills (21 vs. Notre Dame) and digs (18 vs. San Diego) over the weekend and has been effecting as both a blocker and server for the Trojans.
Freshman Samantha Bricio and junior Natalie Hagglund have each enjoyed successful starts to the season. Both have been named to the three all-tournament teams for the tourneys that USC has been in. Bricio is second on the team with 3.58 kps and hits .295 while Hagglund ranks third in the Pac-12 with 4.35 dps.
The Women of Troy are one of just three remaining undefeated teams in the Pac-12. Washington and Oregon share that distinction with the Trojans. USC has gone unbeaten in preseason tournaments five times under head coach Mick Haley. Four of those five times, the Trojans have advanced at least as far as the NCAA semifinals. Two of those times, they went on to win the national championship (2002, '03).
TCU MOLTEN INVITATIONAL SCOUTING REPORT
The Trojans have never met any of the three teams they will face in the TCU Molten Invitational, but USC is 120-5-2 in all-time first meetings against opponents.
The Horned Frogs (9-1) dropped a four-set decision to Northern Colorado to open the season and have since rolled to a nine-match winning streak through which they have lost just three sets overall. TCU claimed a four-set win against Arizona (9-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-13) to stun the Wildcats and win the Wildcat Classic last weekend and is coming off a three-set sweep of UT-Arlington on Tuesday (Sept. 11). The Frogs will be playing their fifth match in seven days when they take the court against the Trojans. TCU is led by junior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan who is hitting .419 this season with 4.09 kps. Igodan also leads the team in blocks with 1.21 bps. The only other Horned Frog over two kills per set is senior outside hitter Sloane Sunstrum who puts down 2.12 kps to go with 2.76 dps. Senior setter Megan Munce averages 8.88 assists per contest and has already logged 20 service aces in just 10 matches.
The Mountain Hawks (1-4) opened the season with a 3-1 win (25-16, 25-17, 24-26, 25-21) over Rider but have since dropped four straight contests and are coming off a tough five-set loss to Rutgers on Tuesday (Sept. 11). Four different Hawks average more than two kills per set led by senior middle blocker Taylor Poole who knocks down 2.32 kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Jade Van Streepen is second on the squad with 2.25 kps. Lehigh often runs a 6-2 offense that features the talents of freshman setter Amy Matula (4.88 aps) as well as junior setter Dana Raber (5.79 aps) who also can play defensive specialist. Junior libero Rachel Charles leads the team in digs at a 4.26 dps clip.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
The Panthers (2-9) started the year 0-4 before they won two out of the next three. Since its last win, Prairie View A&M has lost four matches in a row with a five-set defeat at the hands of Southern Texas in its last match on Sept. 8. Senior right-side hitter Bruna Menezes leads the team in offensive production with 2.60 kps. Fellow senior hitter Breanna McNeil is second on the team with 2.17 kps. Sophomore libero Shanice Faison tops the squad on the defensive end with 4.03 digs per outing.