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Women's Golf Eyes Big Prizes

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No. 1 USC women's golf has been the target all season after decimating the field en route to an NCAA Championship last spring, but now, the Trojans are on the attack with postseason play arriving this weekend. 

The Women of Troy are headed to the Trysting Tree G.C. in Corvallis, Ore., Friday through Sunday in search of back-to-back Pac-12 championships.  USC will then begin defense of its national title at the NCAA Regionals starting May 8.

Click here for a Pac-12 Championships preview.

Here is Caroline Deisley's "Trojan Spotlight" previewing a big postseason ahead for the Women of Troy:


Football Rally at Health Sciences Campus

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Head coach Steve Sarkisian and several Trojan players will hit USC's Health Sciences Campus tomorrow (Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the Pappas Quad) to rally up support for the coming season.  Fans attending the FREE event will hear from Sarkisian as well as be treated to performances by the Trojan Marching Band, Song Girls and Spirit Leaders.

Click here for more.

Plus, Sarkisian and the players will sign autographs at the team's last pubic appearance before the fall.  USC opens the 2014 campaign by hosting Fresno State on August 30 at the Coliseum.

Pappas Quad is adjacent to the Norris Medical Library on the USC HSC campus. The address is 2003 Zonal Ave., L.A., 90033.

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All-American Setter

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USC men's volleyball junior setter Micah Christenson was named an AVCA First Team All-American after leading the nation in assists (11.62 per match). He becomes the 33rd All-American in program history and the first since AVCA National Player of the Year Tony Ciarelli in 2012. 

Click here for the complete release.

Senior libero Henry Cassiday grabbed a spot on the All-American second team.  He is second nationally in digs (2.97 per match) missing the school record for a season by 18.

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Mother's Day Baseball Brunch

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USC baseball is inviting everyone and their mother to the game vs. Cal on Sunday, May 11, for a special Mother's Day celebration.  The $50 package includes two game tickets, brunch for two, and a USC baseball yoga mat.

Click here for purchase info.

The suddenly surging Trojans have won six consecutive games spurring talk of postseason play at Dedeaux Field for the first time in a while.  USC starts a three-game series at UCLA tonight (6 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks).


Shooting for 20

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USC men's golf has won 19 conference titles, which is more than any other Pac-12 program.  Ranked No. 20 in the country, the Trojans will take dead aim at their 20th conference crown this weekend in Arizona.

Click here for a preview.

USC's confidence is riding high heading into postseason play led by freshman Rico Hoey who has posted four straight Top 5 finishes and made the U.S. Palmer Cup Team. He leads the Trojans with a stroke average of 70.59 and has a team-best 14 rounds in the 60s, including a recent streak of seven in a row.

"Our regular season was a bit of a roller coaster," USC Coach Chris Zambri. "It seems the signs are there to have a spectacular team. We have enough guys who have played exceptional golf in a given week to play with any team in the country. The key for us will be whether or not it comes together in the same week for everyone. Rico has been a horse for us. We have leaned on him all year."

The Trojans will play 72 holes over three days at the Gallery G.C. in Marana, Ariz. The field favorites include No. 3 Cal, No. 6 Stanford, No. 16 UCLA and No. 17 Washington.

All-American senior Jeffrey Kang will be playing in his final Pac-12 Championships.
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Back at One

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USC men's tennis climbed back to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings after defeating UCLA and winning the Pac-12 regular season title.  The Trojans now head off to Ojai for the Pac-12 Championship riding a 16-match winning streak.

Click here for a preview.

Men's tennis is one of three active USC programs ranked No. 1 in the country joining women's golf and women's sand volleyball.  The Trojans get an automatic bye into the semifinals on Friday, so one win would put them in Saturday's final, which will be broadcast on tape delay by Pac-12 Networks on Sunday.

Yannick Hanfmann was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week.
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Championship Preview

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The three best teams in the nation are the three top seeds in this weekend's women's water polo MPSF Championship at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center (April 25-27). 

The Women of Troy, seeded third, will host the tournament, which they are trying to win for the second consecutive time and fourth time overall. USC will likely need to go through No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 UCLA, but No. 6 Arizona State poses the first challenge on Friday at 12:30 p.m.

Click here for the complete preview.

If USC advances, it will play in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.  The championship game is set for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Click here for the tournament central page with ticket information.

Here is a preview of the Women of Troy heading into a big weekend:


Misty Inspires Golden Dreams

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USC sand volleyball volunteer coach Misty May-Treanor knows exactly what it takes to win Olympic gold.  She knows the formula so well that she executed it three times, and now plans to impart her wisdom on the next generation.

As part of a Pac-12 Sports Report feature with Yogi Roth, May-Treanor explained how she pushes all the Trojans to dream big.


Reminder: Lonnie White Memorial

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The family of Lonnie White, a Trojan football great and award-winning LA Times sportswriter, has created a beautiful tribute site for friends and fans to send donations for his memorials, which will be held April 26 at USC (Noon inside the Galen Center Founder's Room).

If you'd like to contribute to the memorial fund or just read the dedications, click here to view the site.

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Crunch Time

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

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After a three-game losing skid, USC women's lacrosse was resurrected on Easter Sunday with an upset over No. 13 Stanford in the Coliseum. 

The Trojans' 11-10 victory over the Cardinal is their first win over a ranked opponent in program history, and they did it in thrilling fashion. USC took the lead with 11:18 to play, but the defense had to hold off the aggressive Stanford attack, including a huge save by goalie Liz Shaeffer with 59 seconds left to play. 

The winning effort was led offensively by the Trojan freshmen as both attacker Annie Ruland and midfielder Alex Moore scored hat tricks, while midfielder Michaela Michael added two goals and forced a turnover. The stunning upset guarantees USC at least the fifth seed heading into the MPSF Tournament as they finished 6-3 in conference play. 

More importantly, the upset marks a turnaround for the Women of Troy who were atop the conference before two rough, one-goal losses to Colorado and No. 20 Denver followed by a home loss to Oregon.

"It definitely stinks to lose like that especially by one and then one in overtime," said defender Courtney Tarleton. "But, especially for the Denver game it just shows you how close we are to a top 20 team. We can compete with anyone so you can definitely look at it positively."

While the program is making waves on the national scene, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The young squad competes with top programs, but struggles to close them out.

"We definitely need to act older than we are. We can't make any of these young mistakes that people expect us to make," added Johansen. "When we have the ball at the end of games, we need to know what to do in the right situations. We need to know when to shoot, when to hold the ball, all that stuff. It's really hard to do but we need to be really mature about it and act like we're not freshmen or sophomores. We need to act like upperclassmen."

From the beginning, head coach Lindsey Munday has emphasized the mentality of taking things slowly and focusing on getting better every day. Despite the looming pressure of the MPSF Tournament, Munday tries to keep it simple with her young team.

The Trojans finally put this mentality into practice on Sunday in the Coliseum when they stunned No. 13 Stanford proving that they can not only compete with top 20 teams but can also put forth the necessary effort to close out these tight games. The Coliseum isn't the only famous stadium the Trojans will play a game in this season as their next contest will take place at historic Wrigley Field on April 26 against the Northwestern Wildcats. 

"It's really special to play in the Coliseum and certainly at Wrigley so we want to take in the moment when we can during walk-thru practices and at the right times," said the head coach. "But certainly, come game time, it's a game and it kind of doesn't matter where we play, but obviously, they're really special stadiums, so we really want to enjoy them when we can."

After the Women of Troy hit the big stage against Northwestern this weekend, they will gear up for the MPSF Tournament where they will be either a third, fourth or fifth seed depending on this week's final action. Last season, they entered the tournament as a fourth seed but ultimately fell to Denver in the semifinals. Now, it's crunch time as the Trojans enter the tournament with the quality victory they needed to give them the confidence to face top 20 teams like Denver and Stanford in postseason play.