Sophomore powerhouse outside hitter Brooke Botkin goes up for a kill against Northern Iowa where she recorded eight kills and 11 digs to lead USC to victory on Saturday morning. (Sarah Kim | Daily Trojan)Following the Women of Troy’s dominating performance this past weekend at the Trojan Invitational, two standouts earned Pac-12 weekly awards. Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Botkin was named Offensive Player of the Week, and freshman setter Raquel Lázaro was selected Freshman of the Week. These honors were career firsts for both players. While the undefeated weekend was a team effort, these two players carried the load.Hailing from Pearland, Tex., Botkin had an outstanding performance over the weekend, boasting 19 kills against Kentucky and 25 against Creighton. Her defense remained consistent with 11 and 12 digs, respectively. In the grueling five-set victory over Creighton on Saturday night, she added two aces to help ultimately put the Women of Troy on top. Botkin had a total of 52 kills throughout the three matches with a .248 hitting percentage.“[Botkin] is really going to have a big step forward from her freshman year,” head coach Brent Crouch said prior to the season opener. “It’s going to be really fun to watch her in that position.” During the 2017 season, Botkin appeared in 22 matches, recording a total of 151 kills and four aces. In her best match that season, she had 20 kills and 10 digs for the first double-double of her career. She has already surpassed her best record from last season.Lázaro made her college debut in the first match of the Trojan Invitational against the Kentucky Wildcats, stunning everyone in Galen Center with 55 assists. This marks the highest number of assists in a single match for the Trojans since Hayley Crone’s 58 assists in 2012. Against the Bluejays on Saturday night, she recorded her first career double-double with 53 assists and 22 digs. Throughout the weekend, she led the team to an impressive .248 hitting percentage and 175 kills. From Soria, Spain, Lázaro played for the country’s national team for six years before coming to USC. She won two gold and four silver medals with the Spanish National Team. In 2017, she made eight appearances in the European League Championships. Lázaro hopes to bring her high-level experience to the Trojans this season, a task that she has already succeeded in. The No. 7-ranked Trojans will travel to the University of Florida this weekend to compete in the Bubly Invitational Tournament, where their opponents include No. 4 Florida, UCF and Louisville. Botkin and Lázaro will continue to lead the team, along with junior outside hitter Khalia Lanier and senior libero Victoria Garrick. The Women of Troy are now looking to roll with their momentum and hold on to their undefeated season.
Brian O’Driscoll will be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame later this week.Ireland’s all-time leading try-scorer is one of 12 players to be included in this year’s honours.Other players that have made the list include former Welsh winger Shane Williams, and England duo Jeremy Guscott and Lawrence Dallaglio.
Authorities are reporting that a Florida man claimed that he attempted to break into a home because his horse got into the homeowner’s yard.The incident occurred Thursday at a home in Pasco County.The homeowner identified as Steve Ferguson told authorities that he caught the suspect, Lonnie Maddox, breaking into his home and confronted him. Maddox told Ferguson that it was actually his horse who broke into the home and that he was only trying to get her.When authorities arrived, Maddox then told them that the horse wandered into Ferguson’s yard through a broken fence so he went after it. Once inside the yard Maddox says he became curious about the inside of the home because he was considering renting it.Surveillance video from the home shows Maddox walking around the home with the horse. Maddox then tries to get into the home through the front door but when he was unsuccessful, he then breaks a window.Authorities found the horse several blocks away from the home but it was later discovered that the horse did not belong to Maddox.The horse has since been returned to it’s rightful owner while Maddox was taken into custody and charged with burglary of a dwelling.