Undefeated Champions

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The USC sand volleyball team completed its perfect season by winning the 2015 AVCA National Championship on Saturday in Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the first time in school history. The Women of Troy took their undefeated record into the tournament as the No. 1 seed, defeating reigning national champions Pepperdine in the quarterfinals and No. 6 Long Beach State in the semi-finals to reach the program's first-ever championship match against Long Beach State again. 

The Women of Troy defeated the 49ers 3-0 in the championship match to bring home USC's 123rd all-time team national championship. USC's No. 2 pair Sophie Bukovec and Alexa Strange started things off with a victory followed by a victory from USC's No. 5 pair of Jenna Belton and Bria Russ. USC's No. 1 pair, featuring all-star sophomores Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, defeated Delainey Aigner-Swesey and Chelsea Cabrajac to clinch the crown for the Women of Troy.

2015 NFL Draft: Hayes Pullard

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USC LB Hayes Pullard was selected in the 7th round (219th overall) by the Cleveland Browns. He is the sixth Trojan taken in this NFL Draft, the most in any single draft since 2011.


2015 NFL Draft: Randall Telfer

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USC TE Randall Telfer was selected in the 6th round (198th overall) by the Cleveland Browns. He will be expected to help fill the void left by fellow USC TE Jordan Cameron, who joined the Miami Dolphins in the offseason as a free agent.


2015 NFL Draft: Buck Allen

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USC RB Buck Allen was selected in the 4th round (125th overall) by the Baltimore Ravens. He is the first USC tailback taken since Allen Bradford in 2011, and the 11th Trojan running back picked since 2003.

The first four Trojans drafted this year have Florida ties. Allen, Leonard Williams and Nelson Agholor were recruited out of the state, while Josh Shaw is a transfer from the University of Florida.


2015 NFL Draft: Josh Shaw

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USC defensive back Josh Shaw was selected in the 4th round (120th overall) by the Cincinnati Bengals. He is the 13th USC defensive back taken since 2002.


Time to Dual

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

This weekend is one of the biggest of the year for USC men and women's track & field as the Trojans face off against crosstown rival UCLA in the annual Dual Meet on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Loker Track Stadium. The Trojans are blowing past their competitors this season with the women jumping to No. 1 in the nation and the men moving up to No. 4 this week. 

Among the storylines to track, USC football phenom Adoree' Jackson will compete in the long jump at 3 p.m. as well as the 4x400m relay. Jackson currently holds the 19th best jump for collegiate athletes in just two meet appearances. Similarly, former USC RB D.J. Morgan is hurdling again for the first time in three years and ran the seventh fastest time in the Pac-12 in his only meet this season.

The men's track team also boasts one of the best sprinters in the nation in Andre De Grasse. The junior leads the NCAA in the 100m and 200m dashes with times of 9.87 and 20.16, respectively. Not only does he lead the NCAA, but De Grasse's wind-aided 100m time is tied for number one in the world and his 200m time is currently the second-fastest legal time in the world. 

The No. 1 ranked Women of Troy are also home to some of the best hurdlers in the nation with two of the top three 400m intermediate hurdlers in the NCAA. Jaide Stepter and Amalie Iuel rank second and third in the nation and are sixth and seventh in the world with times of 55.83 and 55.92 respectively. These times rank them third and fourth on the USC all-time list, and they are just one second off the USC record of 54.95 set by Natasha Danvers in 2000.

The female field athletes are also shattering USC records as well. Tera Novy and Alex Collatz are the second and fourth best discus throwers in the nation with both of them breaking the school record on April 16 with throws of 193-10 and 189-8, respectively. 


Shake Pepperdine Off

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No. 1 USC sand volleyball dug out of an 0-2 hole to emerge victorious over defending national champion Pepperdine and advance to the semifinals at the AVCA Sand Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama. USC will now play Long Beach State at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday with the winner earning direct entry into the national title match.

Click here for the recap.

The Trojans are now 26-0 on the season, but they had to work awfully hard to maintain that perfect record. USC won all three of its matches in the final set, escaping 15-13 on courts 1 and 2, and 15-11 in the clincher on court 4.

Here is a Taylor Swift themed recap/dance celebration after the epic comeback:

2015 NFL Draft: Nelson Agholor

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USC WR Nelson Agholor was selected 20th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the NFL Draft.

He is the first USC wide receiver taken in the first round since Mike Williams in 2005. The Trojans have had 14 wide receivers drafted since 2000, including seven in the first two rounds.

The All-American was the second Trojan drafted tonight, joining fellow Florida native Leonard Williams. USC now has 79 first round picks all-time and 485 total picks, which are both more than any other school.


2015 NFL Draft: Leonard Williams

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USC DE Leonard Williams was selected with the sixth overall pick in the first round by the New York Jets.

He is the 78th Trojan to be drafted in the first round, which is more than any other school. Williams is the highest USC pick since OT Matt Kalil went fourth overall in 2012, and the top defensive lineman taken from Troy since Darrell Russell went second in 1997.


USC Draft History

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USC and Notre Dame is the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football, and the two old foes compete more than once a year. The Trojans have long taken great pride in having more NFL draft picks than any other school, but the Fighting Irish overtook USC on the all-time list last year.

Over the next three days, several Trojans are expected to pad the all-time stats and reclaim the top spot over Notre Dame. Either way, USC's draft history is unparalleled in comparison with any other school in the nation.