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Year in Troy: Individual Brilliance

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As we close up shop on 2013-14, here is a look at the teams, athletes and moments that made it a milestone year.

For many schools, one or two exceptional student-athletes competing for national titles defines a season, but USC is a consistent breeding ground for champions.  The 2013-14 numbers are once again staggering: 54 First Team All-Americans, five individual national champions and one National Player of the Year.

Who was USC's athlete of the year?  Consider these among many worth candidates...

Nikola Vavic, Men's Water Polo

He is the lone National Player of the Year this campaign earning the top award for the second consecutive season.  He leaves Troy as the all-time leading goal scorer, a four-time NCAA champion and a four-time All-American.

Haley Ishimatsu, Women's Diving

She went back-to-back as the NCAA platform champion and doubled down at the Pac-12 Championships with wins in the platform and 3-meter springboard.  She is also an accomplished scholar-athlete (pictured below).

Cristian Quintero, Men's Swimming

He was a one-man wrecking crew at the NCAA Championships sprinting to the wall first in the 500-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle relay with teammates Dimitri Colupaev, Reed Malone and Dylan Carter.  He also finished second in the 200y free and third in the 100y free becoming the first Trojan to earn All-American honors in the 100y, 200y and 500y free since Hungarian great Bela Szabados in 1999.

Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes, Women's Sand Volleyball

In one of USC's newest sports, Burnham is officially a pioneering legend, while Hughes is more than ready to carry the torch.  The senior teamed with the freshman to make it back-to-back AVCA Pairs Championships, and the dynamic duo did it in dominant fashion sporting a 42-4 record. 

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