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Meet Lamont Simmons

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Name: Lamont Simmons
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Position: DB

Class: RS Freshman

Size: 6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Age: 19

High School: Raines High School (Jacksonville, Florida)

Scouting Report: Simmons is the tallest defensive back on the USC roster, and he is two inches taller than any other cornerback. Given his size, he provides a nice match-up for all the big targets around the Pac-12.

Prep Career: Simmons had 30 tackles, an interception and four deflections his senior season at Raines High School where he played cornerback, running back and wide receiver. He made the 2013 Jacksonville Times-Union Super 24.

Spring Ball: After redshirting in the fall and working on the scout team, Simmons has gotten his chance to shine this spring. The cornerback position is loaded for the Trojans, but he could be a key reserve in 2015 and a lockdown cover guy as he develops going forward.

Sark on Simmons: "Lamont is a guy who is a really cool fit if you want to play a lot of man-to-man because he's got length [and] speed."

Here is Simmons with our Sarah Bergstrom...


Photo Gallery: Men's Volley Guts It Out

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No. 7 USC men's volleyball has shaken out of its doldrums by winning three consecutive matches, all in the maximum five sets. The Trojans displayed tremendous poise and heart coming back to beat rival UCLA on Saturday, clinching a spot in the MPSF Tournament.

Click here for head coach Bill Ferguson's weekly Q&A.

Now riding a winning streak and sporting a 14-7 record (12-6 in conference), USC begins the stretch run of the season with a road trip to No. 8 Pepperdine (Thursday at 7 p.m.) and No. 19 Stanford (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks).

Here are the John McGillen photos from the epic win over the Bruins:


Photo Gallery: Men's Tennis vs. UW

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No. 6 USC men's tennis started its run for another conference title last weekend by dominating Washington and Oregon at Marks Stadium. The Trojans will host Utah (Friday at 3 p.m.) and Arizona (Saturday at 1 p.m.) this week looking to stay undefeated in the Pac-12.

Saturday's dual match will also serve as Senior Day since the regular season home schedule is already coming to a close. The Trojans will honor national champions Yannick Hanfmann, Roberto Quiroz, Eric Johnson and Jonny Wang, a highly decorated quartet.

Here are the John McGillen photos from the win over the Huskies:


A Season to Celebrate

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USC men's swimming and diving backed up its first conference title since 1979 with a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships led by senior stalwart Cristian Quintero, who won the 200y free individual crown and contributed to titles in the 800y free relay and the 400y free relay. Quintero leaves Troy as a six-time NCAA champion and recorded three top 5 finishes individually for the second consecutive year.

Click here for the NCAA recap.

"We crawled our way into the top 4 with some hard work. The guys never gave up," said USC Coach Dave Salo. "Relays are so important and to win both the 400 and 800 is great. To win the relay makes the fourth place that much more special."

The relay titles were a true team effort as Quintero was supported by sophomore Santo Condorelli, freshman Ralf Tribuntsov and sophomore Dylan Carter in the 400y free quartet. Carter took it home for the Trojans who combined for a new school-record.

"It was amazing. Swimming anchor at the NCAAs is like at no other meet," Carter said. "I can't compare it to anything. You don't feel any pain. It was a great experience and I'm glad I got to enjoy it with these guys."

The 800y free relay squad was made up of Quintero, Carter, Michael Domagala and Reed Malone. This time, Malone closed the show for the repeat title, which was another new USC record.

"I just wanted to do my best for the team," said Malone. "That's what I was thinking about the whole race, doing it for the guys I train with every day. Doing it for the group and when the race is close, I want to do it for my brothers. I was so excited for the opportunity and I'm proud of the whole team."


Five Alive

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No. 10 USC women's rowing defended the Jessop-Whittier Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic, earning the prestigious trophy for the fifth consecutive year.  The Trojans have won all three competitions that they have entered this season.

Click here for the recap.

The Women of Troy paced the field which included Texas and No. 11 UCLA. The Trojans will battle the Bruins once again on April 11 for the BMW Crosstown Cup points.


Enjoying Life at the Top

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USC women's tennis consolidated its No. 1 ranking by dominating Oregon 6-1 and Washington 7-0 to remain undefeated in Pac-12 play at 5-0. The Women of Troy have now won six straight dual matches.

Click here for the recaps.

USC will finish up its conference road slate this weekend at Arizona and Arizona State. The Women of Troy close the regular season with home matches against Utah (April 10), Colorado (April 11) and UCLA (April 16).

Senior Gabriella DeSimone returned to the singles lineup and picked up a pair of wins.
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Five-Set Fun

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

No. 9 USC men's volleyball defeated crosstown rival No. 12 UCLA on Saturday for its third consecutive five-set victory, securing a spot in the upcoming MPSF Tournament.

Click here for a complete match recap
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Andy Benesh and Larry Tuileta had 13 kills apiece in the comeback, propelling the Trojans to victory after the team lost two of the first three sets. Tuileta also had 12 digs to go with Micah Christenson's 19, allowing USC to outlast the Bruins despite being out-hit and out-blocked in the match.

The Trojans have five more matches to play before the MPSF Tournament begins on April 25. First up, USC takes on Pepperdine on Thursday in Malibu at 7 p.m. PT. On Saturday, the Trojans square off against Stanford in Palo Alto at 7:30 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Networks).

Here is the rapid reaction and highlights from Saturday's win with Christenson senior Chris Lischke...


Stahel's Series

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Redshirt junior Bobby Stahel shined for the No. 8 USC baseball team this weekend in Seattle, helping the Trojans clinch their second Pac-12 series of the season. The outfielder had eight hits, two runs and two RBIs in 16 at-bats against the Huskies including the first run in the Trojans' 16-inning victory on Saturday and the game-winning home run in the 10th inning to seal the deal on Sunday.

Click here for a complete recap and full stats from Saturday's record-setting victory and Sunday's thrilling win.

The Trojans dropped the first game of the series, 5-1, on Friday, but were determined not to let the rest of the weekend play out in the same manner. On Saturday, after a 15-inning drought, USC scored three runs in the top of the 16th which allowed them to ultimately claim a 3-2 victory in the longest recorded game since USC baseball records started being kept in 1921. Stahel scored the first run off of a single by sophomore Corey Dempster and two batters later, a Timmy Robinson single plated two more runs to round out the Trojans' scoring for the day.

Click here to watch a recap from the lengthy battle on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Trojans and Huskies traded the lead back and forth before Stahel drilled his first collegiate home run over the left field fence in the 10th inning to give his team the lead once and for all. Redshirt freshman righty Alex Chavarria entered the game in the bottom of the inning to ensure the victory for the Trojans and earn his second save in two days.

USC is now 22-6 on the season and 4-2 in conference play, winning both of their Pac-12 series against Washington State and Washington. On Thursday, the team travels to Tucson to begin its series versus Arizona.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday's win, including Stahel's game-winning home run...


Twice is Nice

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

For the second consecutive year, No. 1 USC women's golf won the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic this weekend, an impressive feat considering the Trojans were tied for seventh and narrowly clinched a spot in the top bracket on Friday. The Women of Troy took down top-seeded UCLA and then Duke before facing host Georgia on Sunday.

Freshman Amy Lee and junior Kyung Kim (pictured) won the Trojans their first two points, but the Bulldogs quickly earned two themselves to even things up. Junior Annie Park halved her match and ultimately USC won the Classic by holding the tiebreaker, an 8-5 differential in matches won.

The victory was USC's seventh top two finish this season and fourth outright victory. The team's next competition is the PING ASU Invitational which begins on April 10.

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Weekend Warriors

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

There's no better way to start out conference play than two dominating wins in one weekend, and that's exactly what No. 6 USC men's tennis did this past Friday and Sunday. The Trojans successfully defended their home court and took down both Washington and Oregon in 6-1 fashion.

On Friday, USC notched six singles wins after dropping the doubles point to the Huskies and fired back to clinch its first conference victory of the season. Senior Eric Johnson got the Trojans' first point of the day in his 12th consecutive singles victory, and soon after, each of his teammates followed suit.

The Trojans returned to Marks Stadium on Sunday where they furthered their dominant effort against the Ducks. The new duo of Max de Vroome and Thibault Forget clinched the doubles point to get the day started and then de Vroome quickly collected USC's first singles point as well, beating his opponent 6-4, 6-4. Nick Crystal, Roberto Quiroz and Forget each won their matches in two efficient sets to seal a winning weekend for the Trojans.

Here is USC's Max de Vroome and Roberto Quiroz after Sunday's victory...