NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame volleyball team is set for its second road trip of the season this weekend as it heads to Los Angeles for the USC Classic Tournament for matchups with No. 5 USC, No. 17 San Diego and Cal Poly.
The Irish get the weekend started with a 7:30 p.m. ET showdown with Cal Poly (1-4) on Friday. Saturday Notre Dame battles a pair of top-20 foes as it meets the No. 17 Toreros at 3 p.m. ET and the No. 5 Trojans at 10 p.m. ET.
For fans not attending, links for live stats can be found on UND.com as well as a link for free live audio.
The Irish are coming off a weekend sweep at home as they claimed the Shamrock Invitational crown. Notre Dame rallied on Friday to defeat UAB 3-1, before knocking off Buffalo (3-1) and Eastern Kentucky (3-0) on Saturday and Sunday. Turning in strong weekends were all-tournament performers Jeni Houser, Maggie Brindock and Toni Alugbue.
Houser 44 kills, hit .410 and tallied nine blocks on the weekend, while Brindock had an outstanding weekend from the setter position, assisting on 10.09 points per set. She also added 28 digs and seven blocks. Alugbue was named MVP after pounding out 49 kills and adding 19 digs and four blocks. Her best performance came against the Bulls as she had a career-high 21 kills with no errors in 30 chances, good for a .700 hitting percentage. She became only the second player in school history to hit over .700 for a four-set match.
The top-five ranked Trojans haven’t been tested so far this year as they boast four sweeps out of their six wins. Katie Fuller’s 4.28 kills per set on offense and Natalie Hagglund’s 4.95 digs per set lead them on defense. The team is especially adept at serving, as they have 27 aces already this season. USC leads the series with the Irish 4-2, but Notre Dame won the last meeting in 2005, 3-1.
San Diego enters the contest with a 3-1 record, but its lone loss was to No. 4 Texas in the season’s opening weekend. The Toreros offer a balanced attack on offense as five players have 20 or more kills. The two squads have only met once (1992), with the Irish claiming a 3-0 victory.
The Mustangs enter the weekend with a misleading record as two of the losses came at the hands of San Diego (3-0) and Texas (3-0), both ranked teams. Notre Dame leads the series 3-1, with the last matchup coming in 2010 at the Shamrock Invitational. The Irish won that matchup 3-2.
Notre Dame returns home next weekend to play host to Xavier, Kansas and Loyola Marymount in the Golden Dome Invitational.