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Terese Cannon and Nicolette Martin served as the clinchers as the Trojans served up a 5-0 win to keep their all-time record against LMU unblemished (16-0).
USC's standout duo of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes dropped their first set in uncharacteristic fashion, but bounced back with a dominant 21-10 win in the second set, and a 15-3 tiebreak victory.
The hard-fought win was the duo's 85th consecutive win.
After locking up the victory, the pair competed in the USC vs. LMU Pairs Tournament, winning its first two matches before splitting up in the finals. Hughes paired with Cannon in the finals, earning a 21-14, 21-18 victory over teammates Katrina Kernochan and Allie Wheeler.
The undefeated Trojans head to Columbia, S.C. this weekend for the Gamecock Grand Slam -- Dan Apol Memorial tournament, where they'll face No. 4 FSU, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 9 Georgia State and No. 13 Stetson.
Guinard, an industrial and systems engineering major who has accepted an offer to work at Bank of America Merrill Lynch upon graduation, joined the team this fall after being spotted hitting on the practice courts by the women's tennis coaches.
Yesterday, she made her first appearance in a dual match for the Trojans, and with all eyes on her, clinched a 4-3 victory for USC.
After dropping the doubles point, USC rattled off three straight singles victories to charge ahead to a 3-1 lead. But the Lions clawed back to even things up with two three-set wins. With the score knotted at 3-3, spectators, teammates and coaches gravitated toward Court 6, where Guinard was locked in battle with LMU's Tatijana Sheikhan.
Guinard took the first set in a tiebreaker, but dropped the second. With the match on the line, she powered through to win the third set, 6-3, to win her first-ever collegiate tennis match and clinch the win for the Trojans.
With the win, the Trojans improved to 5-7 on the season heading into conference play. USC kicks off its Pac-12 stretch with a road trip to take on the Washington schools this weekend.
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@inesguinard is one of the best sport stories I have ever been a part of. Ines Guinard just secured the deciding match in a 4-3 win over LMU. What makes this story so special is that Ines was a normal student in early January, a senior, finishing up her Industrial Engineering degree, looking forward to her job as an investment banker upon graduation. For whatever reason, Ines slipped through the cracks for 3.5 years at USC until we saw her practicing and saw her true tennis ability. Once @zoescandalis and I shook her hand, we knew we had to have her on the team. Now here she is making history and blazing her own trail. I am not surprised, she is emotionally intelligent, doesn't flinch under stress, extremely positive, always building up the team, and loves to compete. So so so great to have her on our team for her last few months of school!
The program recently brought in Athletes for Hope to hold a workshop at the March Head Coaches meeting to educate the coaches on why and how to give back to the community.
Additionally, USC student-athletes participated in a workshop with PlayWorks at their most recent Trojan Athletic Senate Meeting. The student-athletes learned different methods to interact with and inspire children, which will come in handy this fall, when they'll partner with PlayWorks once a week to join local LAUSD students at recess to demonstrate the "Power of Play."
Next up for Trojan Outreach is the "Trojan Zen" event, where Trojan football alum Zach Banner will partner with UpRising Yoga to educate local children on the mental and physical benefits of yoga. That event will take place on campus this Saturday.
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The Trojans, who won the event last year as well, beat four teams in just a day and a half to earn the crown.
First, USC took out No. 16 Yale, 4-1. Next, the Trojans swept No. 9 Old Dominion, 5-0, to advance to the semifinals against No. 12 Fresno State.
The Trojans took down the Bulldogs 3.5-1.5 to set up a battle with BYU in the finals. In that match, the Trojans took control and managed a 4.5-0.5 win.
The win is USC's third of the season, and the team has its eyes set on another when it takes on Pepperdine and Northwestern on Sunday.
- OL Nico Falah (back), LB Porter Gustin (hand) and WR Josh Imatorbhebhe (stomach bug) were among the players who practiced today after taking spring break to recuperate from injury and illness.
- A stomach illness hit Imatorbhebhe hard, causing him to lose about 20 pounds -- 9 of which he estimates he's gained back. While others traveled home or elsewhere for spring break, the redshirt freshman stayed on campus to get back into "football shape." He's doing everything possible, especially in the mental game, to take the next step, with veteran receivers like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darreus Rogers, De'Quan Hampton and Isaac Whitney gone. "I just want to make sure that I'm calm at times because I feel like I knew the plays, but you know it's just sometimes it can be nerve wracking," Imatorbhebhe said. "Just going out there in the speed of the game, you can kind of get distracted."
- Fellow redshirt freshman wideout Tyler Vaughns (pictured) is also putting in the work to potentially earn a starting spot, which includes "going into meeting rooms when nobody's there, going to the field on weekends when you don't have practice -- just trying to perfect your craft," in his words.
- Vaughns said the lessons he learned from the vets of the team have been key in his development. "Darreus always said pinkies up," Vaughs explained. "JuJu: Just to have fun out there, perfect your craft." Vaughns also noted that going up against Iman "Biggie" Marshall and Adoree' Jackson in practice every day was "a real competition." "It wasn't a year wasted," he said of his redshirt season.
- The young wide receiving corps, including Vaughns and Imatorbhebhe, is getting a little more crowded this spring. Head coach Clay Helton is giving sophomore Keyshawn "Pie" Young the opportunity to compete at wide receiver, and senior Jalen Greene will be focusing primarily on the position (as opposed to QB). Helton compared Greene's ability to contribute at different positions to former Steelers and Redskins WR Antwaan Randle El. He also praised Young's "very natural route running" and "very natural ball skills."
- While Greene drew a Randle El comparison, Helton also compared redshirt freshman Velus Jones Jr. to a recently retired NFL wideout. "He's kind of that Percy Harvin type, the ability to run great routes, explosive plays in the pass game, but then be able to hand him the ball on the outside perimeter and do some special things," Helton said. "He's a guy that I think a redshirt year really helped."
- While the young wideouts drew most of the attention, junior RB Ronald Jones II also showed off his hands at practice, hauling in a deep ball from Sam Darnold for a TD. Helton says he can already see new RB coach Deland McCullough having a positive effect on Jones and the run game. "He's on top of things -- he's not one of those coaches that has his hands in his pockets -- he's coaching nonstop," Helton said. "I like his diligence, I like his attention to detail, and I can see the guys already progressing from it, especially RoJo right off the bat."
- Darnold was sharp most of practice, but redshirt freshman DB Jamel Cook was able to pick him off. "Proud for him today," said Helton of Cook. "He's really turning the corner. We've all known that he's a talented kid and the light kind of came on today, so that's good to see."
- Helton added that the staff is trying Cook out at nickel back due to his "unique cover skills, the ability to rush off the edge" and length. "He has great quickness in pressures, he's good enough to play man coverage, he's a good run support defender off the edge, so he gives us something there that we want to take a look at. We know he can be a good safety, but we're looking for additional nickels also."
- Overall, Helton was impressed with the defense's energy on the day. "Love the mentality that they're playing with, and you can just see the experience that's running in the defensive front as well as the secondary carrying over."
- Watch Helton's full press conference below:
The Trojans won all four relays and eight individual events, including men's shot put, which helped redshirt junior All-American Nick Ponzio earn Pac-12 Men's Field Athlete of the Week.
Ponzio won his first ever Pac-12 weekly award by winning the shot put competition with a 62-7.75 (+0.8), which leads the NCAA early in the season.
Brittany Mann won the event on the women's side for the Trojans. Amalie Iuel won the women's 400m, Kendall Ellis won the women's 200m, Destinee Brown won the women's 100m, Dior Hall won the women's 100m hurdles and Margauz Jones won the women's long jump.
On the men's side, Marquis Morris (110m hurdles) and Ponzio topped the field.
Next up for the Trojans is the Jim Klein Combined Events in Santa Barbara, CA and the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, CA.
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Michael earned recognition for scoring 11 goals in USC's three games last week: three against New Hampsire, four against Dartmouth and four against Cornell. By the end of the week, she had recorded her 31st career hat trick, the most in program history. She also boasts more MPSF weekly honors than any player in program history; this is her seventh. The Hillsborough, CA native also finished the week with six assists, 17 points and 14 draw controls.
While Michael earned her seventh weekly honor from the conference, Miller earned the second of her young career. The Bayport, NY product scored 10 goals and added one assist, eight ground balls, six draw controls, and four caused turnovers for the Trojans this week. Her 19 goals this season are second only to Michael's 22.
Michael and Miller's efforts helped USC top New Hampshire, 15-4, and Dartmouth, 19-8, but couldn't help the No. 4 Trojans take down No. 11 Cornell.
The 6-2 Trojans hope to get back on track when they travel to face Stony Brook and Ohio State this week.
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