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Vote For Bricio!

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USC women's volleyball's Samantha Bricio won just about every accolade possible in the final season of her stellar, four-year Trojan career. The 2015 AVCA, Pac-12 and espnW Player of the Year, a recipient of the prestigious Honda Sports Award and a three-time AVCA All-American, the outside hitter finished her collegiate playing days on top. 

But there's one more award Bricio can add to her resume this year, and the Trojan needs your help to bring it home. The recent USC graduate is nominated for Best Female College Athlete of the Year at the 2016 ESPY Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, July 13 at 5pm PT at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.  

Click here to vote for Bricio now!

This season, she led the nation in points (803.0), points per set (6.18) and service aces (86). She holds four career records at USC: kills (2,095), attacks (5,499) service aces (301) and points (2,546.5). Bricio is also the Pac-12 record holder for aces, is third in attacks and fifth in kills. 

Voting continues all the way up to the start of the show, so be sure cast your vote and spread the word!

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With confetti still falling on the streets of Cleveland, it's time for the 2016 NBA Draft, where USC's most recent first team All-Pac-12 point guard, Julian Jacobs, will find out which city will reap the benefits of his striking athleticism next. Beginning at 4 p.m. PT at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Thursday, 30 NBA front offices will select what they hope to be the future of their organizations and Jacobs is hoping to be the first Trojan drafted since 2011. 

In the 2015-16 season, the versatile guard averaged 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and a conference-leading 5.4 assists per game. At 6-foot-4 he possesses good height for his position with even better athleticism, showcased game after game last year as he compiled a dunk reel prime for SC Top 10 pickings. His leadership over the course of the last three seasons is impressive to NBA scouts as well, considering the point guard helped guide USC from a 11-21 record his freshman year to a 21-13 record this March and the Trojans' first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011. Jacobs did not receive an invite to the 2016 NBA Draft Combine, but is still projected to be a late second round pick. 

Also in the mix on Thursday night is former USC forward Nikola Jovanovic who averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season. The Serbian-native has reportedly worked out for the Pistons, but is projected to be on the bubble to be drafted in the late second round.  

#StartYourStreak: Jeff Schneider

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schneider.jpgThe Trojan Family has some of the most devoted fans in college football, including Jeff Schneider.

Each fall, Schneider takes the term "passion" to a new level as a dedicated USC fan who travels 2,300 miles almost every other weekend to watch his Trojans take the field in the Coliseum. He didn't go to USC, but the Florida resident understands the Trojan Family as true as anyone after being adopted in by USC alumni at the 2005 Orange Bowl. In the 11 years since, Schneider has bled Cardinal & Gold.

"I always get goosebumps when I step foot into the Coliseum," Schneider said. "This place is special."

Click here to Start Your Streak today with a customizable mini-plan!

Props to Peterson

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Junior USC women's water polo captain Avery Peterson leads a trio of Trojans receiving All-Academic honors from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches for the 2016 season. In addition to Peterson, freshmen Courtney Fahey and Mackenzie Flath earned spots on the national academic list for their cumulative GPAs of 3.20 and above. 

This is the third ACWPC All-Academic selection for Peterson, a communications major with an impressive 3.41 GPA. Fahey leads the Women of Troy on the academic front, boasting a 3.47 GPA while Flath rounds out the talented group with a 3.28 GPA. The trio all contributed to the Trojans' remarkable, national championship-winning 26-0 season. 

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Volleyball Set For 2016

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The defending Pac-12 co-champion USC women's volleyball team announced its schedule for the 2016 season on Tuesday, including 19 televised games with a pair set to be broadcast on ESPNU. 

Click here for USC's complete schedule

In addition to the regular 10 conference matches on the schedule, the Women of Troy will also host three pre-conference tournaments at the Galen Center, providing fans with plenty of opportunities to come out and cheer on the Trojans. The lineup in 2016 won't be an easy one in the ever-competitive Pac-12 Conference as the Trojans will face teams that made 2015 NCAA Tournament appearances 16 times this year. 

The Trojans open the season against crosstown rival UCLA on September 21 at home, and will host Senior Day on November 19 against Oregon. All but seven conference matches will be televised, the majority on the Pac-12 Networks, aside from both matches versus Stanford (October 23 and November 10) which will be aired on ESPNU. 


Be sure to follow @USCWomensVolley on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for season updates, photos and more!

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The Best is Yet to Come

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

In this week's edition of First Look, NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah's offseason breakdown of college football's best players, the former NFL scout profiled USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster who is looking to make an even bigger splash in his junior campaign. 

In reviewing film from three games in the 2015 season, Jeremiah highlights Smith-Schuster's aggressive style of play, ability to make "special catches" and consistent big play contribution. 

"Smith-Schuster has areas he needs to refine, but I love his overall toughness and competitiveness," writes Jeremiah. "He is already a great player, and he hasn't come close to reaching his ceiling. The future is bright for Smith-Schuster."

The bottom line: At just 19-years-old, Smith-Schuster likely has the most potential of any wide receiver in college football right now. Eager to join Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor as the most recent Trojan All-American wideouts, the junior returns to action on September 3 in USC's season-opener against Alabama. 

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Mini-Plans On Sale Now

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Starting today, USC fans can purchase mini-plan ticket packages for the 2016 football season, providing the ultimate flexibility to attend Trojan home games that fit their schedules.

Click here to purchase!!

Fans can choose mini-plans in increments of two to six games, including the Oregon and Notre Dame contests. Mini-plans allow fans to purchase only the games they want to attend, as well as save money off single game pricing and get priority seating over individual game ticket buyers.

Mini-plan packages start at just $70, with pricing options and seating locations available at all levels. Individual game tickets will not be available for purchase until late July.

USC has six home games in 2016. The Trojans play their home opener on Sept. 10 when they welcome Utah State of the Mountain West Conference, with fans receiving a Marcus Allen bobblehead. Troy next has back-to-back October games, Arizona State on Oct. 1 for its initial conference home opener and then Colorado on Oct. 8 as part of Trojan Family Weekend. USC follows by hosting California on Thursday night, Oct. 27 (just the fourth non-holiday Thursday game that Troy has played in the Coliseum). The Trojans remain at home the following week for Homecoming to face Oregon on Nov. 5, the Ducks' first appearance in the Coliseum in four years. USC then concludes its regular season by hosting traditional foe Notre Dame in a Thanksgiving weekend clash on Nov. 26.

Click here to customize your mini-plan!

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Trojan Trio at 20

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

On Tuesday, a trio of Trojan greats were named to the WNBA's 20@20 list, a selection of the 20 greatest and most influential players in league history in celebration of the WNBA's 20th anniversary. With three players selected, USC was the second-most represented school on the list.

Tina Thompson, Lisa Leslie and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke made history in their respective careers at USC, but their legacies extend far beyond their time in Cardinal & Gold. As record-breakers and pioneers from the league's earliest days, the trio brought talent, energy and passion to the WNBA.  With six WNBA Championships, three gold medals and 33 years of WNBA experience between them, these Women of Troy paved the way for the next generation of women's basketball players.

Heading into her fourth season as head coach for the Women of Troy, Cooper-Dyke's legendary career is continuing to expand where it first started. A standout Trojan guard from 1982 to 1986, she led the Houston Comets to four straight WNBA titles in the first four seasons of the league, winning Finals MVP each time. A two-time WNBA MVP and 1988 gold medalist, Cooper-Dyke returned home as USC's head coach in 2013.

A three-time All-American and 1994 National Player of the Year while at USC, Lisa Leslie was poised for success from the first moment she hit the hardwood. The center was the heard of the Los Angeles Sparks for the entirety of her WNBA career (1997-2006, 2008-09), where she won two WNBA championships, three MVP honors and two gold medals for Team USA. Her incredible 12-year career earned her a spot in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2015. 

Rounding out the trio is Thompson, who played 16 years in the WNBA, winning four consecutive WBNA championships alongside Cooper-Dyke with the Houston Comets. A three-time All-American (1994-97) at USC and three-time gold medalist as a member of Team USA, the forward boasts one of the most successful resumes in women's basketball history. 



Check out the WNBA's career retrospective on women's basketball pioneer and USC women's basketball head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke...

A Workout By The Waves

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

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The Trojans escaped the heat on Tuesday morning, trading in their regularly-scheduled, player-run workout for a grueling beach fitness session at sunrise. From push-ups, to dune sprints to endless reps of squats, the team, led by head coach Clay Helton and joined by the new class of incoming freshmen, put in another hard day's work on the road to USC's September 3 season-opener against Alabama. 

Several of USC's position coaches documented their team's effort on Twitter. Check out their photos and videos here...




Times Square Takeover

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USC beach volleyball's two-time national champion duo Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes took a bite out of the Big Apple this weekend, competing in the AVP New York City Open. The amateurs made it all the way to the semifinals, narrowly losing to USC alum April Ross and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, who went on to win the tournament.

Hughes and Claes made the most of their time in Manhattan, including playing a little pepper in Times Square.