Women of Troy Down Two Players For 2009-10

Nov. 5, 2009

The USC women's basketball team has suffered another hit to its roster, as two Trojans will be sidelined for the 2009-10 season due to knee injuries. Already out for the past two seasons following ACL injuries, Stefanie Gilbreath reinjured her right knee during the offseason and has undergone surgery to repair the ACL tear. True freshman Vicky Tagalicod also re-tore her ACL during preseason practice, and will have surgery in the coming weeks.

Both Gilbreath and Tagalicod initially suffered torn ACLs before coming to USC. Gilbreath's first injury came to her left knee while in junior high. Just before the 2007 McDonald's All-American was set to play in the All-American game, she tore the ACL in her right knee. She has since reinjured her right knee twice, as she is now sidelined for a third season at USC.

'I am upset that it's happened again,' Gilbreath said of the recent ACL tear. 'But it's just another bump on the road to success for me. The support I've received from my team and coaches and training staff has been great, and only motivates me more to come back and play.'

Tagalicod tore her ACL while in high school and was unable to play in her senior season at Hilo High School. She had been cleared for full participation with the Trojans when she reinjured that same knee, forcing Tagalicod out of action for the season.

'I think in the beginning our team was shaken up by the injuries, but we've moved past it and grown from it, and this team is definitely ready to have a great season,' Gilbreath said.

The USC women are under new coaching leadership with head coach Michael Cooper at the helm of the Trojan program. A decorated professional player and coach, Cooper and his staff are guiding a talented USC roster that boasts returning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Briana Gilbreath (younger sister of Stefanie) and several other All-Pac-10 honorees in guards Heather Oliver and Ashley Corral and center Kari LaPlante. The Trojans reached the final of the Pac-10 Tournament for the first time last season, and USC is once again set to host the Pac-10 Tournament at the Galen Center in March.

USC opens the 2009-10 season next week in a 1:30 p.m. game against Xavier on Friday (Nov. 13) at the Galen Center, with another matchup on Sunday (Nov. 15) against Fresno State at 5:30 p.m.

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