USC Adds Six Players For 2010 Season

April 21, 2010

LOS ANGELES -- Six high school players have committed to play women's volleyball at USC for the 2010 season. The players are: 6-2 outside hitter Kirby Burnham (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor HS), 6-4 outside hitter Falyn Fonoimoana (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS), 5-9 libero Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas/La Costa Canyon HS), 5-10 outside hitter Sam Hirschmann (Manhattan Beach/Marymount HS), 6-5 middle blocker Alexis Olgard (Spokane, Wash./Mead HS) and 6-3 outside hitter Sara Shaw (Austin, Texas/Westlake HS).

The class includes five players ranked in the Top 100 nationally by Prep Volleyball, including three players in the top 11 spots and the No. 1 player in the nation (Fonoimoana).

'This class gives us a group of players that will add firepower to our lineup and make immediate contributions,' said USC head coach Mick Haley. 'These kids can play the game and we will have immense depth on the squad. There are no kids in this class that are `projects' and it's evidenced by what they are doing for their high school and club teams. I think these kids want to compete and win a championship.'

'Our recruiting coordinator (Tim Nollan) got in on this class when he first got here and made it one of the top three classes in the nation. It has made an impact with our future classes so it's been absolutely great for our program and we are pleased to have him on our staff.'

Here are detailed profiles of the incoming players:

Kirby Burnham, 6-2 outside hitter (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor HS) -- Burnham is rated No. 49 in the nation by Prep Volleyball and was a 2010 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection, along with earning All-America honors by Prep Volleyball. She was the team captain for the Newport Harbor squad that won the 2009 CIF-SS Division 1-AA championship as Burnham earned 2009 All-CIF Southern Section first team honors. Burnham was named most valuable player in the CIF Division I state championship match after posting 12 kills in the 3-0 sweep of Salinas. She was named to the 2009 Orange County Register all-county team and the Daily Pilot Dream Team in 2008 and 2009. Newport Harbor also finished in first place at the Edison Beach Tournament and Huntington CBVA Tournament. Prep Volleyball also listed her as a Top 50 Junior National recruit as well as one of the Top 30 Underclassmen to Watch in April 2009. Burnham has played club volleyball for the Orange County Volleyball Club and was a member of the 16-1 championship squad at the 2008 Reno Volleyball Festival. She also spent three years on the varsity track team, competing in the hurdles and long jump events.

'Kirby has really come into her own and has developed as a true scoring machine,' said Haley. 'At 6-2, she is a player that is really getting control of her body and ready to take it to the next level. She has been dominating the high school scene with her attack. She can play multiple positions, including setter. She also competes in track and field so she will bring a dynamic athleticism to our program.'

Falyn Fonoimoana, 6-4 outside hitter (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) -- Fonoimoana is ranked as the No. 1 high school senior in the nation by Prep Volleyball and has been regarded by some as one of the best players ever at the high school level. She was a finalist for the Prep Volleyball National Player of the Year honor and 2010 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection. Last season, she led Mira Costa to the CIF-Southern Section I-AA semifinals and recorded 19 kills, 15 digs and three blocks in a five-set loss to Los Alamitos. She earned 2009 All-CIF Southern Section first team honors and was named Daily Breeze Player of the Year after recording 664 kills and 311 digs on the season with 63 blocks and 34 aces. She posted a .422 hitting percentage in her senior season. Earlier in the season, she recorded 35 kills, 11 digs and four aces at the Torrey Pines California Challenge against Dos Pueblos and later posted 30 kills, 17 digs and four aces against Redondo Union in a five-set win (including seven kills and an ace in the deciding fifth set). She was named 2007 National Sophomore of the Year by Prep Volleyball after teaming with current USC setter Kendall Bateman to lead Mira Costa to the CIF-Southern Section I-AA title with 17 kills in the final over Redondo Union. She recorded 15 kills in the 2007 state final in Mira Costa's win over Archbishop Mitty and was named state finals most valuable player. On top of her sophomore accolades, she was named Division I Co-Player of the Year (along with Bateman) and earned Daily Breeze all-area first team honors. At the age of 13, she led her Roxy Beach club team to the 14-1 national championship and was named 14 Open most valuable player. Fonoimoana's mother, Debbie, played beach volleyball and trained with her sister, Lelei, who swam in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, placing seventh in the 100m Butterfly at 17 years old. Debbie's brother, Eric, won a gold medal in 2000 in Sydney for beach volleyball and was a longtime standout on the AVP Tour.

'Falyn has one of the best volleyball IQs of any player in a while,' said Haley. 'She is a player's player and has had tremendous success throughout her career. She is probably the best high school player in the nation. Over the course of four years, she has dominated at the high school level and is probably just as good in the backcourt than at the net. She has tremendous velocity on her serve and expect her to be an impact player next year for us.'

Natalie Hagglund, 5-9 libero (Encinitas/La Costa Canyon HS) -- Hagglund is ranked as the nation's top libero by Prep Volleyball and No. 27 overall. She was a 2010 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection. As a 2009 senior, Hagglund earned 2009-10 Under Armour All-America first team honors and played for the La Costa Canyon High squad that won the San Diego Section Division I championship in four sets. She posted 10 kills in the Division I final victory. She played for the 2009 U.S. Under-19 Beach Volleyball squad as part of the No. 2 team and was part of the youngest team ever to qualify for the main draw of the AVP Manhattan Beach Open (2009). For La Costa Canyon High, she was named 2010 Scholar Athlete of the Year. She also earned 2009 North County Times first team and 2008-09 San Diego Union Tribune all-academic team honors. As a member of the 2008 CIF Division I state championship squad, she was named to the all-tournament team and earned most valuable player honors at the 2008 California Challenge. Her 2008 squad earned Prep Volleyball's national high school championship. In 2007, she earned All-CIF San Diego County section, San Diego Union Tribune and North County Times first team honors. She was a member of the 2008 La Costa Canyon High squad that was named national champions by Prep Volleyball and Max Preps. For club volleyball, she played for the Encinitas Wave and a member of the U-16 squad that won the Junior Olympics championship. She also won a national championship in beach volleyball in the USA Volleyball Junior Olympics in Manhattan Beach for the U-16 Division. She was a state beach champion in 2005 for the U-14 divisionHagglund is an accomplished surfer as well, winning the 2007 San Diego County High School Girls' Long Board Surfing championship. She was a high school teammate of current USC freshman outside hitter Katie Fuller.

'Natalie is the best libero in this 2010 class,' said Haley. 'She is a lot like (former USC All-America libero) Debora Seilhamer. She plays with an unbelievable competitive fire and determination. She has been playing on the left side as well and is very athletic. She competes in everything she does in life whether it's her school, surfing or volleyball. She is a great beach player as well. We think she will come in and change the culture in our practice gym like a couple of freshmen this season. She has the right combination that will be great for us and we expect her to challenge for the starting libero spot.'

Sam Hirschmann, 5-10 outside hitter (Manhattan Beach/Marymount HS) -- Hirschmann is a three-year varsity letterwinner for a Marymount squad that won three straight Sunshine League championships. She was the team captain in her senior year and earned All-Sunshine League first team honors in her junior and senior seasons. She earned ESPN Rise CalHiSports Girls' state athlete of the week in September 2009 after being No. 3 Mira Costa and recording 20 kills during the match.

'This is a kid that brings energy and enthusiasm to her play,' said Haley. 'She continues to develop. For her size, we will get a great effort out of her every day and she should make the people around her better.'

Alexis Olgard, 6-5 middle blocker (Spokane, Wash./Mead HS) -- Rated No. 5 nationally by Prep Volleyball, Olgard played for the 2009 U.S. Women's Junior National Team and was an alternate for the 2008 squad. She was a finalist for the Prep Volleyball National Player of the Year honor and 2010 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection. At the 2009 FIVB Junior World Championship in Mexico, she finished fourth in blocks among all players and 20th in scoring. She was an integral part of three state championship squads (2006, 2007 and 2009) and was named 2009 Gatorade State Player of the Year as well as 2009 Inland Northwest Junior Female Athlete of the Year. During the 2009 4A state championship, Olgard recorded 33 kills, 10 blocks and 13 digs and was named tournament most valuable player. She earned all-state first team honors in her 2009 senior, 2008 junior and 2007 sophomore seasons. She was named to the all-tournament team for the 2007 and 2009 Beach City Invitational as well as the 2008 Emerald City Classic. She was named to the 2005 USA Volleyball High Performance A3 roster.

'Alexis is a tremendous athlete at 6-5 that is rapidly developing,' said Haley. 'She has built considerable international experience with the Junior National Team and did a great job at the Junior World Championship. She also adds a good jump serve to our attack and will continue to get better in the back row. We expect that she will challenge immediately for a starting position as middle blocker.'

Sara Shaw, 6-3 outside hitter (Austin, Texas/Westlake HS) -- Shaw is rated No. 11 nationally by Prep Volleyball and played for the 2009 U.S. Women's Junior National Team. She earned 2009-10 Under Armour All-America first team honors after leading Westlake to its third straight Class 5A state final and was named 2009 Gatorade State Player of the Year. She was a finalist for the Prep Volleyball National Player of the Year honor and 2010 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection. Despite a close five-set loss, Shaw posted 23 kills, 17 digs and five aces. She played club volleyball for the Austin Juniors and played on the 17s Mizuno squad that won the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Girls' Volleyball Championship title. She set a Westlake High School season kill record with 698 as a junior and led Westlake to the Texas High School State Tournament Class 5A Finals. Shaw earned TXSWA 5A All-State first team and TGCA All-State Class 5A honors while being named 5A All-Tournament Team. She was named best offensive hitter in her district and earned All-Centex first team honors. She was a finalist for National High School Junior Player of the Year by Prep Volleyball and a Top 50 Junior Recruit by the publication. In her sophomore season, Westlake again reached the Class 5A State Tournament finals as she earned all-state and All-Centex first team honors and was named to Prep Volleyball's Soph 79 list. She was selected district Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and named to Prep Volleyball's Frosh 59 list.

'Sara is one of the best athletes in this class,' said Haley. 'She has tremendous ability and can play on the left or right side for us. We think she will definitely challenge for an outside hitter spot. Her volleyball skills adds extreme depth to our lineup. With her club team winning the national championship last year, she knows how to win and will be able to utilize those skills at the collegiate level.'

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