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Photo Gallery: Series Sweep

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor 

USC baseball is off to its best start since 1988 extending its winning streak to 12-0 with a weekend sweep over the Fordham Rams, the winningest program in the nation. The first two games of the series were back-and-forth pitcher's duels, but Sunday's packed crowd for Kids Take Over the Ballpark at Dedeaux Field saw an offensive explosion sparked by Dante Flores' three-run homer which ignited a seven-run fourth inning. 

Starting pitching has been a key reason for the Trojans' impressive start to the 2015 season led by junior Kyle Twomey. Entering the season, USC was looking for someone to step up to replace aces Wyatt Strahan and Bob Wheatley, and Twomey has answered the call. He leads the starting rotation in innings pitched (20.1) with a team-best ERA of 1.33 and has won all three of his starts with opponents only hitting .154 against the left-hander. The junior developed his craft all summer in the Cape Cod League earning a consistent spot in USC's starting rotation for the 2015 season whereas last year he saw time both as a starting pitcher and as a reliever. 

The Trojans look to continue their winning ways on Tuesday in Santa Barbara at 2:00p.m. against the Gauchos. 

Here are John McGillen's photos from Sunday's 10-1 victory over Fordham with some great shots of all the kids who attended Kids Take Over the Ballpark... 

Pac-12 Championship Trio

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USC women's swimming and diving finished third at the Pac-12 Championships highlighted by Haley Ishimatsu (platform), Andrea Kropp (200y breast) and Kendyl Stewart (100y fly) grabbing individual crowns. Ishimatsu became the first Pac-12 woman to win the platform three straight years, while Stewart made it back-to-back titles in the 100y fly.

Click here for the recap.

Ishimatsu, who also repeated as the Pac-12 Women's Diver of the Meet, continued to rake in the honors after the meet when the conference named her the 2015 Pac-12 Women's Swimming and Diving Scholar Athlete of the Year. She has one more meet in her USC career as the Women of Troy advance to the NCAA Championships (March 19-21) in Greensboro, N.C.

"I'm so thankful for competing so well at Pac-12s the past three years," Ishimatsu said. "I'm sad to be leaving college but I'm excited to be moving on to new things. I'm very honored to be the three-time Pac-12 platform champion. I'm also honored to be the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year. I'm excited for the NCAA zones next week and NCAA Championships."

Click here to see how Ishimatsu loosens up before a dive.

Victoria Ishimatsu, a USC diving champion who now coaches the Trojans, surprised her sister with the academic award at the Pac-12 Championships. Watch the video...


Sand Volley Stat Crew

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The USC women's sand volleyball team is in need of a few good statisticians.

Do you know volleyball? Are you good at simple arithmetic? Like being outdoors? If so, you should probably be doing this.

The Women of Troy make use of several hand-to-paper statisticians during the team's home season at Merle Norman Stadium. There are nine (9) dates this spring on which the Trojans will host matches. Some are home matches for USC, and some are neutral-location matches between two visiting schools. All matches need statisticians.

If interested, please send an e-mail ASAP to Jeremy Wu, Assistant Director of Sports Information. Selected individuals will be brought in for interviews, and will need to go through a brief training.

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Newcomers Lead Water Polo

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No. 3 USC women's water polo bested No. 5 UC Irvine 11-7 on Saturday thanks to key performances from two new faces. The Women of Troy were paced by junior transfer Melissa Bergesen, who recorded a game-high four goals, and freshman goalie Victoria Chamorro, who made 10 saves.

Click here for the recap.

After pocketing a Top 5 road win, USC is 14-1 overall and finally ready to play its first home match of the season. The Trojans host Stanford on Sunday (2 p.m.) at Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

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Photo Gallery: Hoops Wins for Fans

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USC men's basketball thanked its loyal fans by putting on a show in the final regular season home game. The Trojans defeated Washington 70-55 with an array of dunks, no-look passes and all-out hustle.

Here are the John McGillen photos broken down by half:




Women's T&F First Again

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert placed an emphasis on indoor competition from the first day she took over the program last season. The focus has clearly paid off, with the Women of Troy clinching their second consecutive conference title, and the men finishing second at this weekend's MPSF Indoor Championships in Seattle.

Click here for the full meet recap.

Freshman Dior Hall continued to impress in her first collegiate season, winning the 60m high hurdles in 8.11. Coupled with Melia Cox's fourth place finish, the duo scored 15 points for the Trojans early in Saturday's competition. The women swept up points in several events including the 400m, in which four different Trojans set personal bests to score 23 total points for the team. Having already secured the title, the Women of Troy closed out the day setting a meet-record time of 3:33.58 in the 4x400m relay featuring Kendall Ellis, Amalie Luel, Vanessa Jones and Jaide Stepter.

USC won seven titles during the two-day meet including Andre De Grasse's top finish in the 60m at 6.61 seconds, BeeJay Lee's 21.04 time in the 200m and Connor McCullough's victory in the men's weight throw. The men traded the first-place spot with Oregon throughout the meet and ultimately finished just 6.5 points behind the Ducks for second place.

The Trojans' outdoor season began on Sunday at the Rossi Relays in Claremont. Their first home meet will be on March 20-21 for the Trojan Invitational.

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3-Points: USC 70, UW 55

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

The Trojans dominated the Huskies in their final home game of the season in a win that featured phenomenal performances from Julian Jacobs, Elijah Stewart and Nikola Jovanovic.

Click here for the full recap and box score from Saturday's victory.

Happy at Home

Each of USC's three conference wins this season were played at home, including Saturday's victory on Fan Appreciation Night. The energized Galen Center crowd witnessed one of the team's best showings of the year, as the Trojans played high-intensity and wildly-entertaining basketball from the opening tip to the final whistle. Three Trojans finished in double figures, including Nikola Jovanovic with 16 points, Elijah Stewart with 14 and Katin Reinhardt with 11. Even without forwards Strahinja Gavrilovic and Darion Clark (who left the game early due to a knee injury) USC dominated Washington in the paint, 44-14. The Trojans looked like the team they've aspired to be all year under head coach Andy Enfield, which he attributed to their ability to get out fast in transition. "Our goal all year was to improve every week and every month. We've done that," said Enfield after the game. "We are a much better basketball team. We had some bumps, we had some injuries but our goal is to compete. We're competing, we're getting better and we know the future is bright."

Speed Kills

The difference in Saturday's game was speed, as the Trojans got out to a fast start and never looked back. USC forced 12 turnovers, had eight steals and notched four blocks which allowed the team to capitalize on fast break opportunities and push the tempo. The Trojans led for the majority of the first half, but after the Huskies narrowed the lead to five, the coaching staff placed an emphasis on increasing defensive pressure in the second. Their players answered the call, going on a 19-10 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to put the game out of reach for Washington. Nikola Jovanovic played a pivotal role in the second half push, scoring 15 of his 16 total points after the break. Enfield was most impressed with freshman Elijah Stewart's ability to make plays on the defensive end of the court, allowing his team to break away with a victory. "To get out in transition you have to play good defense," explained Enfield. "We did that tonight. I thought Elijah and Julian played great tonight on defense. I think Elijah's going to be a an All-Pac-12 defender in his career here."

Numbers Game

The Trojans put up stellar numbers across the board, out-rebounding the Huskies 46 to 43 and shooting 43.8 percent from the field to Washington's 29.7. USC finished with 18 second-chance points and 19 fast break points as well. The team effort was highlighted by remarkable play from Jacobs and Stewart who both finished with career-high rebounding marks. Stewart nearly clinched a double-double with 14 points and nine boards, while Jacobs was in hot pursuit of a triple-double, finishing with 10 rebounds, nine assists and eight points. Jacobs is one of just two players in the country who is averaging 10 points, five assists and five rebounds in the month of February. The sophomore guard has stepped up in the absence of Jordan McLaughlin and continues to see improvement in his own game as well as his team's. "I want to do what I can to lead the best way that I can," said Jacobs. "Coach told me I had to embrace that sense of leadership and I'm trying to do that every time I step on the court."

Here are the SnappyTV highlights, including dunks from Elijah Stewart, Malik Martin and Julian Jacobs...

#USCBHM: Student-Athlete Podcast

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After 20 inspiring and original stories in 28 days, USC Athletics' month-long celebration of Black History Month culminates with a student-athlete podcast featuring D.J. Morgan, Akawkaw "Coco" Ncha-Ndip, Dominique Randle and Reggie Southall.

To listen, click here!

As #USCBHM concludes, USC Athletics is deeply grateful for its rich African-American heritage and excited for an equally powerful future.

2015 Spring Football Guide

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USC will kick off spring football on Tuesday as the Trojans begin a slate of 15 practices, culminating in the Spring Game on April 11 at the Coliseum. Tickets for the Spring Game are $10 and can be purchased at the box office on the day of the game.

Click here to download the official USC Spring Football guide.

The practices will be divided between Cromwell Field (the track stadium) and the Coliseum, while Howard Jones and Brian Kennedy Fields undergo offseason maintenance. All 10 practices on Cromwell will be open to the public, while the Coliseum practices are closed with the exception of the Spring Game.

Open practice dates on Cromwell Field:

March 3-5-7-12-24-26-28

April 2-4-9

Also of note, the five spring entrants were given their uniform numbers:

OL Chuma Edoga - No. 70

OL Roy Hemsley - No. 63

LB Cameron Smith - No. 35

QB Ricky Town - No. 8

WR Isaac Whitney - No. 15

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Men's Basketball Appreciates the Fans

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USC men's basketball is thanking its loyal fans by dedicating the final home game to the Trojan Family. No one will leave Galen Center empty-handed.

Click here for tickets!

The Trojans take on Washington at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to UCLA (Wednesday at 6 p.m.) to close the regular season.

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