Women of Troy Sign Ebony Nwanebu and Elise Ruddins
Nov. 15, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's volleyball team signed Ebony Nwanebu (Lovejoy HS | Lucas, Texas) and Elise Ruddins (Aliso Niguel HS | Laguna Niguel, Calif.) to National Letters of Intent head coach Mick Haley announced on Thursday, Nov. 15. The Women of Troy will add the pair of highly-coveted pin-hitters to their 2013 roster.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have signed both of these young ladies," said Haley. "We view them as two of the absolute best players in the entire country and feel that each of them is able to come in here and have an immediate impact on our program. It is something special to be able to have two players of this caliber arrive in the same recruiting class. Both Elise and Ebony are players who can play all six rotations and different positions in each rotation. I think it gives us some flexibility that we don't believe anybody in the rest of the country will have, next year. We are very excited to welcome them to the Trojan Family and can't wait to see them on campus."
Ruddins is a 6-3 middle blocker who played for Michael Soylular at Laguna Beach Volleyball Club and prepped at Aliso Niguel High School with head coach Peter Butler. She was rated No. 2 among high school recruits as PrepVolleyball.com's No. 2 Senior Ace. As a junior, Ruddins served as her team's captain and was named Most Valuable Player of the South Coast League. She was also selected for All-County, All-CIF DII and All-State Team honors. She was also chosen for All-League honors as a sophomore. She most recently helped her club to a third-place finish at the 2012 Las Vegas Classic and first-place finishes in the SCVA Regionals and the 2011 Fiesta Classic. Ruddins is also an accomplished soccer player. She is the niece of USC All-American setter Kim Ruddins (1981-85), a two-time Olympian (1984, '88) whose No. 3 jersey hangs in the rafters of the Galen Center.
"Elise is a true impact player who was moved from middle to the outside," said Haley. "She was highly effective coming off of one foot and can make a difference in any of the six rotations. It's unfortunate that she was injured earlier this year because we would have loved to see her get selected for the Under Armour All-American match. We are very excited to have a player of her quality join our team."
Coinciding with her signing, Nwanebu was named a first-team Under Armour All-American on Wednesday. The 6-4 outside hitter played at Texas Advantage Volleyball Club under head coach Ping Cao and prepped at Lovejoy High School under head coach Ryan Mitchell. She is PrepVolleyball.com's No. 7 Senior Ace and has twice been named to the LoneStarVolleyball.com All-Texas first team. Nwanebu recently led her club to a silver-medal finish at the Junior National Championships and was selected to the all-tournament team. She has also helped her high school to a pair of Texas State titles in the 3A division and was named the tournament MVP as a sophomore. In 2009, she was a PrepVolleyball.com National Freshman of the Year finalist and has been a regular face at the USA High Performance Camps. Nwanebu has previously earned All-America honors from MaxPreps and PrepVolleyball.com and was chosen by the Texas Sports Writer's Association as a Co-Player of the Year in addition to the numerous accolades throughout her accomplished club and high school career.
"Ebony is a very dynamic young player," said Haley. "She can not only play on the outside and in the middle, but she has one of the most devastating serves from the end line, she can pass, and is going to be a player that will impact all parts of the game from all over the court for us."
The Trojans (24-4, 12-4 Pac-12) have four regular-season matches left on the schedule and will close out play at the Galen Center with top-ranked Stanford (24-2, 16-0) in town for a Thursday match at 7 p.m. PT and California (14-12, 8-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. The USC-Cal match is Senior Day for the Women of Troy who will honor middle blocker Natasa Siljkovic, defensive specialist Erin Yoder, and opposite hitter Katie Fuller in pre-match ceremonies.