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May 2017 Archives

Shaqquan Stays

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USC_Basketball_Omaha_mcgillen_2016_2934.jpgUSC men's basketball guard Shaqquan Aaron will return for his redshirt junior season, he announced today.

Aaron averaged 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in his first season at USC after transferring from Louisville. The Seattle native appeared in all 36 games for the Trojans, starting 20.

Aaron's return means the Trojans will only lose two players (seniors Charles Buggs and Sam Dhillon) from last year's squad. USC is one of just two teams that won an NCAA Tournament game in 2017 to return all five starters for the upcoming season.

Rising seniors Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart opted to forego the NBA Draft, as did rising juniors Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu prior to Aaron's announcement.

USC also welcomes three new freshman to the Galen Center this fall: Charles "Chuck" O'Bannon, Jordan Usher and Victor Uyaelunmo.

Click here for tickets to the USC men's basketball 2017-18 season!

Just Short Of Magic

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USC women's golf went down to the wire with Northwestern this morning, but fell just short of a trip to the NCAA Championship match.

Click here for the full recap.

The No. 5 Trojans and top-seeded Wildcats resumed their semifinal battle this morning after a rain delay cut yesterday's action short. At the beginning of the day, USC held the lead in four of five matches.

But Northwestern, playing less than two hours from campus, came out strong, earning the first two points of the day. Senior Tiffany Chan got the Trojans on the board before the final two matches went to a playoff hole.

Freshman Muni He delivered on a beautiful chip shot to win her match on the 19th hole and tie things up, placing all eyes on USC senior Gabriella Then and Northwestern's Janet Mao.

After Mao sunk her par putt, Then stepped forward, needing the hole to keep the match going. But her putt stopped just an inch short, ending USC's season in the NCAA Semifinals.

Despite the loss, the Trojans have much to be proud of. This year marked their 20th straight trip to the NCAA Final Round and their 12th straight NCAA Top 5 finish -- both longer streaks than any school in the NCAA can claim.

They made it to the NCAA Final Four this year after losing their stud senior -- Karen Chung -- to the LPGA Tour.

The Trojans are primed to reload once again, as today marked the last match in Cardinal and Gold for Chan, Then and fellow senior Victoria Morgan.

Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on their offseason!

Gunning In Germany

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USC Football alum Conner Sullivan recently said 'Auf Wiedersehen' to America, signing a contract to play quarterback for the Stuttgart Scorpions of the German Football League.

Sullivan came to USC on a baseball scholarship, but walked on to the football team in 2012 and served as a placeholder in 2014 before earning a scholarship for the 2015 season. The Orange, CA native also competed on USC's track & field team during the 2015 season.

In Stuttgart, which is about 140 miles from Munich, Sullivan is one of five Americans on the roster.

Follow Sullivan on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to stay up-to-date on his international experience.

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Start Your Streak: Joe Essy

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Written by Rachel Frain, USC blog contributor

When it comes to dedication, Joe Essy can compete with any Trojan fan. In 1967, Joe bought his first season ticket to USC football after buying individual games from friends for so long.

"I was a young guy back then and I had to scrape enough money together to even get the tickets," said Essy.

But for Essy, his experiences at the Coliseum and on the road with the Trojans have made up for every penny. And even though Essy's witnessed the breathtaking wins, he's also stuck with the team through the losses.

"There were a lot of down seasons by Trojan standards, but we always re-upped and I always came back."

Essy's Favorite Moments:
  • "First of all, the last Rose Bowl. The Sam Darnold Rose Bowl. I mean, that was incredible and Leon McQuay making that interception making the field goal possible..."
  • "But as terrific as that game was, the game with Ohio State going for two in the '75 Rose Bowl, beating Ohio State, 18-17. When you beat Woody Hayes, it's pretty sweet."
  • "There's been so many with John McKay -- the 1969 Stanford game where Ron Ayala kicks that 34-yard field goal and we beat Stanford, 26-24. Stanford in those days was still the Indians, the Stanford players after that ball went through were laying on the field in the Coliseum, heads down, pounding their fists."
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USC Kids Club

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For the Trojan in your life that is 12 years or younger, the USC Kids Club is the perfect gift. This year's membership includes a replica jersey, a basketball player piggy bank, a cereal bowl, headphones and a personalized membership card providing free tickets and ticket deals.

Click here to sign up today!

The entire package costs only $30. Memberships are available now until June 15.

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Trojan Travelers

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On May 18, USC women's volleyball took off on a 13-day, five-country trip across Europe to test their worth against international competition.

Click here to see the team's full itinerary!

So far, the Women of Troy have visited Iceland and Austria, and are currently staying in Slovenia, where they'll compete in a tournament featuring the national teams from Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Click here for to watch the video diary from Day 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland!

Click here to watch the video diary from Day 2 in Reykjavik, Iceland!

Follow the Trojans on Instagram and Twitter and watch the video diary from Day 3 in Salzburg, Austria below:

'Til The End

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USC-WOMENS-LACROSSE-CAL-2017-MCGILLEN-4374.jpgUSC women's lacrosse fell to host Boston College in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday to end its postseason run and finish the year at 18-4.

Click here for the full recap.

No. 7 USC and No. 14 Boston College met in the Elite Eight after each pulling off upsets in the previous round. While the Trojans knocked off host Florida, the Eagles smashed Syracuse to earn the right to host USC in Newton, MA.

The Eagles showed off their offensive firepower against the Trojans, scoring 20+ goals for the third straight game. USC trailed all game, but cut the deficit to three goals with 15 minutes left. The Trojans couldn't quite get over the hump, though, falling 20-14.

In their final game in Cardinal and Gold, seniors Drew Jackson (pictured) and Cynthia Del Core scored three goals each.

The Eagles keyed in on USC senior standout Michaela Michael, who finished the day with one goal, four draw controls and two ground balls. Michael goes out as USC's all-time leader in points (305), goals (234) and single-season goals (78 in 2017). She ranks second all-time in assists (71).

Michael helped the Trojans tally their second-highest win total in program history this season and their second straight NCAA Quarterfinal appearance. In the MPSF's final season sanctioning lacrosse, the Trojans finished atop the conference, and look to be Pac-12 favorites heading into next season.

To stay in the loop on USC Lacrosse, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram!

Three-Peaters Get Four

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bvb-avca.jpgUSC beach volleyball, fresh off its third consecutive national championship, had four student-athletes named AVCA Beach Volleyball All-Americans: Sara Hughes, Kelly Claes, Allie Wheeler and Sophie Bukovec.

Click here for the complete release.

In a young sport, Hughes will go down as one of the pioneers, becoming the first-ever four-time beach volleyball All-American. Claes has the trophy case to match her partner, earning her third All-American honor.

Bukovec picked up her second nod, while Wheeler is new to the elite group. The Women of Troy have now had seven different All-Americans in six years of existence.

Unfriendly Hosts

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The USC men's tennis season came to an end Thursday as the Trojans fell, 4-3, to Georgia in the NCAA Sweet 16. USC had the unfortunate draw of playing the host team and the Bulldogs bounced the Trojans from postseason play for the second consecutive season.

Click here for the recap.

While USC men's tennis always sets championship expectations under head coach Peter Smith, this season was a success in many ways. The Trojans developed a young core, including freshmen Brandon Holt (pictured) and Riley Smith, who won together in doubles and separately in singles. They also brought home some hardware in the form of a Pac-12 Tournament title.

"It's an incredible environment that was out there, it's often playing in that environment you really actually feel like they're cheering for you a lot of times," said head coach Peter Smith after the hard-fought road loss. "They got us in a couple third sets. They played great, and they were tough down the stretch, and they get to move on, and we don't."

The two freshmen will hang around Athens as Holt will compete in the NCAA Individual Championships and pair with Smith in the national doubles tournament.

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Tee Martin Mic'd Up

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USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin is in control of one of the nation's most talented offenses, but converting ability into production is what coaching is all about. Here's an inside look at the Trojans signal-caller as he groomed the young playmakers during spring practice:


Speech With Mike

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Swim With Mike co-founder Mike Nyeholt delivered an inspiring commencement address to the USC Physical Therapy graduates last week.
 

First Things First

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No. 1 USC men's golf has only one goal in mind: winning the program's first national championship. For the 11th consecutive season, tying the nation's longest active streak, the Trojans have put themselves in position by qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

USC bested the field at the Washington Regional as Rico Hoey, Sean Crocker and Justin Suh all finished in the individual top 5. The Trojans only needed to make the top 5 as a team to qualify for NCAAs, but instead, they won their fifth tournament of the season and third regional ever.

Next up, USC men's golf heads to Sugar Grove, Illinois, from May 26-31 for the final test at Rich Harvest Farms.


America's Best

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lax-allamericans.jpgUSC women's lacrosse is headed to Beantown this weekend for an Elite Eight showdown with Boston College. The Women of Troy will once again count on the contributions of senior Michaela Michael after being named an IWLCA First Team All-American for the second time this season.

Michael is joined by teammate Lydia Sutton, a junior defender from Minnesota, who made the third team. The team's top duo control action at both ends of the field as Michael leads the team in goals (77), points (97) and draw controls (143), while Sutton is second on the team in ground balls (34) and caused turnovers (26).

Click here for more.

The Women of Troy are one win away from the program's first-ever Final Four appearance. The NCAA Quarterfinal will be streamed live on ESPN3 at 10am PT on Saturday.

Replacing Hutch

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Junior linebacker Cameron Smith is the rock of the USC defense, but the Trojans must replace departed captain Michael Hutchings. Sophomore Jordan Iosefa and redshirt sophomore John Houston Jr. are two young bucks eager to fill the gap and more help is arriving this fall.


Trojans Leading Olympic Charge

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As part of the LA 2024 Olympic bid, four Trojans were appointed to the Athletes' Advisory Commission, which will play an integral role making sure the Games are an unforgettable experience for all the athletes involved. The 46-athlete board includes three-time Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse, Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson, five-time Olympic medalist John Naber and USC diving head coach Hongping Li.

Click here for more.

Janet Evans, another USC alum, is the LA 2024 Vice Chair and Director of Athlete Relations. "On behalf of LA 2024, I would like to welcome these 46 world-class athletes to the LA 2024 Athletes' Advisory Commission," she said. "From day one, our bid has been committed to placing athletes at the center of all of our activities. The key to delivering a spectacular Games experience for every participant is to understand the needs of athletes and to meet and exceed those needs, so that Olympians and Paralympians can be at their best on competition day. Unforgettable athletic performances are ultimately what inspire the next generation of athletes and unite the world in celebration. With no new permanent venues required, LA 2024 can focus all our resources and creativity on putting the right conditions in place for those performances."

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Babraj Resigns From Rowing

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USC women's rowing head coach Zenon Babraj announced his resignation today after 15 seasons in charge.

Click here for the full story.

"We thank Zenon for his 15 years at USC and wish him well in the future," said USC athletic director Lynn Swann. "Under his guidance, USC women's rowing became a nationally-prominent and nationally-competitive program. We will begin a national search for his replacement and look forward to building upon the foundation Zenon set."

Babraj, 62, was a 2-time CRCA West Region and Pac-12 Women's Rowing Coach of the Year (2007 and 2013). He led the Women of Troy to all 10 of the program's NCAA championship berths, including a fourth place finish in 2013 and the school's first-ever team bid in 2005, as well as the program's only conference team title (in 2007). At USC, he coached 25 CRCA All-Americans, 44 All-West Region picks and 26 All-Conference selections, along with 66 conference All-Academic honorees and 29 CRCA National Scholar-Athlete awardees.

During his tenure, USC never lost to UCLA in the annual crosstown dual, won the San Diego Crew Classic's Jessop-Whittier Cup 6 times and captured 3 Pac-12 titles. His team was ranked No. 1 nationally for parts of the 2007, 2012 and 2013 seasons. He twice saw a trio of USC boats advance to the NCAA grand finals (2011 and 2013). He had a pair of bronze medal winners in the NCAA varsity eight (2007 and 2012) and a silver medal varsity four in 2013.

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Super Team

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logo_super11_master.jpgFor the third consecutive year and seventh time in the last eight years, USC's sports information department was honored by the Football Writers Association of America as one of the Super 11.

Click here for the complete release.

"Our organization believes this award is one of the most important tasks that we do each year," said Tim Griffin of Cox Communications, the FWAA's 2010 president and the head of the Super 11 committee.

"There are many outstanding SID staffs across the country. But these 11 departments we are honoring are consistently exemplary beyond expectations. We hope these awards help to showcase them."

Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program's players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

Up And Coming

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ita-mtennis (1).jpgFor his impressive performance during his ongoing rookie season, USC men's tennis freshman Brandon Holt earned ITA Southwest Region Rookie of the Year and Player to Watch honors.

Click here for the full release!

Holt, who boasts a 33-8 overall record this season, is the first Trojan freshman to play consistently on Court No. 1 since 2003.

Click here to learn more about Holt!

Holt, who's the second Trojan in a row to win ITA Southwest Region Rookie of the Year (Jake DeVine), is ranked No. 19 in the nation in singles this season and No. 14 in doubles with fellow freshman partner Riley Smith.

Holt and Smith racked up a 24-7 record together heading into USC's NCAA Sweet 16 matchup at Georgia on Thursday.

After the NCAA Team Tournament has ended, Holt will compete for the NCAA Singles Tournament and NCAA Doubles Tournament titles.

Follow USC Men's Tennis on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the Trojans!

Stocked With Talent

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USC_Football_UCLA_Rose_Bowl_McGillen_2016_2520.jpgNFL Draft analyst Chad Reuter released his Top 50 College Football Players of 2017 recently, and no school has more players in the Top 20 than USC.

USC QB Sam Darnold comes in at No. 3 overall, behind Houston DT Ed Oliver and Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville.

Darnold trew for 3,086 yards and 31 TD last season, finishing with the second-best Total QBR (86.8) in the nation. He won the Archie Griffin Award as the 2016 College Football MVP, earned Rose Bowl Offensive MVP honors and was named a Freshman All-American.

USC's two other players in the Top 20 are LB Cam Smith (No. 14) and CB Iman "Biggie" Marshall (No. 16).

Smith, whom Reuter compared to Trojan great Brian Cushing, led the Trojans with 83 tackles last year and was named a Sophomore All-American.

Marshall posted 51 tackles, 8 pass deflections and 3 interceptions on his way to Sophomore All-American honorable mention and All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Reuter notched USC LB Porter Gustin as the No. 28 player in the nation in 2017, calling him "an excellent run defender" and "an all-around talent worth watching anytime you get the chance." Gustin led the team with 13.0 tackles for loss this year and ranked second in tackles (68) and sacks (5.5).

USC's final player on the list is junior RB Ronald Jones II, slotted at No. 43. Jones, whom Reuter described as "a dynamic ball carrier who's speedy and elusive," led the team with 1,082 yards and 12 TD last season.

In total, only Alabama (7) has more players on the list than USC (5), while no school has more players in the Top 20.

These five Trojans kick off their 2017 season on September 2 against Western Michigan.

Click here to purchase tickets!

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Meet Cary Angeline

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usc-spring-game-2017-mcgillen-2272.jpgName: Cary Angeline

Position: TE

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Size: 6-foot-6, 245 pounds

Age: 19

High School (Hometown): Dowington East HS (Chester Springs, PA)

Game: Angeline is a massive target, a power forward playing tight end. While he needs to continue developing his blocking skills and rounding out his game, he brings a size element to the USC passing game which could pay huge dividends in the red zone as early as this season. Angeline is listed at 230 pounds on the roster but has bulked up to 245+ in the last year. 

Prep Career: Angeline made 2015 Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-Pennsylvania second team, AP All-State AAAA first team, Pennsylvania Football News All-State first team and Philadelphia Inquirer All-Southeastern Pennsylvania first team, Daily Local All-Area first team and All-Ches-Mont League Player of the Year as a senior tight end at Dowington East High in Exton (Penn). He had 47 receptions for 826 yards (17.6 avg) with 13 TDs in 2015.

Head coach Clay Helton on Angeline: "The other guy that's really stood out to me and had a really good spring has been Cary Angeline. After a redshirt season, what he's been able to accomplish this spring -- I think he's stepped his game up a level."

Fun Fact: The coaching staff affectionately calls him "Big Bird."



Gold River Rowing

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usc-rowing-2017-lmu-1947.jpgUSC women's rowing placed fifth at the Pac-12 Championships in Gold River, CA this weekend.

Click here for the full recap.

USC's best performance came in the Varsity 4+, where Caroline McMorrow, Kendall Sinosky, Katarzyna Pilch, Krete Koovit and Chloe Chrysikopoulos posted a 7:10.037 to finish third.

No. 15 USC finished fifth in the Varsity 8+ and seventh in the second Varsity 8+ to close out the weekend in fifth, behind No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Cal, No. 8 Stanford and No. 14 Washington State.

The Women of Troy now await the NCAA Rowing Championship selections, which will be announced tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT.

Follow USC Women's Rowing on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop!

Runners-Up

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Both USC's men's and women's track and field teams finished second at this weekend's Pac-12 Championships in Eugene, OR.

Click here for the full recap!

The Men of Troy finished with 115.50 points -- 59.5 points fewer than first-place Oregon. USC's women's team finished with 135 points -- 54 points fewer than first-place Oregon.

Freshman Michael Norman was key in the men's team's success. He came from behind to win the men's 400m with a PR of 45.15 beating out the two-time defending Pac-12 champ in the event and becoming the first Trojan 400m champion since Bryshon Nellum in 2013.

Click here to watch Norman's photo finish and reaction!

Norman also anchored USC's men's 4x400 relay team, which won the Pac-12 title with a 3:07.67. Ricky Morgan Jr., Marquis Morris, Alex Rohani and Morgan earned USC's first win in the event since 2011.

USC's Eric Sloan and Dominic Smallwood went 1-2 in the men's triple jump to help give the Trojans a boost.

Thanks to an impressive performance on the women's side, USC swept the 4x400m relay. Cameron Pettigrew, Amalie Iuel, Anna Cockrell and Kendall Ellis set a meet record with a 3:29.52 to win the event for the fifth year in a row.

Ellis also pulled off a meet record, school record and a PR in the women's 400m, winning the event with a 50.66.

Up next for the Trojans are the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds from May 25-27 in Austin, TX. The NCAA Championships begin on June 7 in Eugene.

Going Out On Top

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sara kelly.jpgUSC beach volleyball's Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes put an exclamation point on their brilliant college careers by winning the 2017 USAV Collegiate Beach Pairs Championship this weekend.

Click here for the full recap!

Claes and Hughes, who were key in leading USC to its third straight national team title a week ago, topped teammates Terese Cannon and Nicolette Martin in an all-USC final in Hermosa Beach on Saturday.

Claes and Hughes had a busy weekend, participating in USC's student-athlete graduation ceremony in between matches. They beat pairs from Cal Poly, UCLA, St. Mary's, Florida State, LMU and Pepperdine to earn the opportunity to defend their 2015 AVCA title.

After dropping a close first set to USC's Cannon and Martin, Claes and Hughes -- nicknamed Cardinal and Gold for their respective red and blonde hair -- bounced back to win the second set, 21-13, and the tiebreak, 15-11.

Claes and Hughes finish their college careers as three-time national team champions, two-time national pairs champs, two-time Pac-12 pairs champs and owners of the longest winning streak in NCAA beach volleyball history (103 matches).

In four years, they racked up a 147-4 record as a duo and raised the level of competition across collegiate volleyball.

Follow USC Beach Volleyball on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the Women of Troy during the offseason!

Honor Roll

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IMG_8218.JPGSoon after USC women's tennis' season ended on Friday, three Trojans earned 2017 honors from the Pac-12.

USC head coach Richard Gallien was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, while junior Gabby Smith earned First Team honors and sophomore Jessica Failla earned Second Team honors.

Click here for the full release!

Gallien, who announced earlier this year that he'd step down at the end of the season, earns his sixth career Pac-12 Coach of the Year award. In his 22 seasons at USC, he's led the Women of Troy to a 391-161 (.710) record, not including eight wins and a loss vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC reached the NCAA Tournament every year under Gallien.

USC's two players who earned Pac-12 honors are also the two Trojans competing in the upcoming NCAA Singles Individual Championships.

Smith earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors for the first time in her career, after earning honorable mention last season. The Henderson, NV native went 23-9 this year, playing primarily on Court 2 for the Trojans. She is ranked No. 25 in the nation heading into the NCAA Singles tournament.

Failla garnered her first Pac-12 honor of any kind, landing on the second team. Failla, who is ranked No. 33 in the nation, went 22-7 this year, with a 7-2 mark against ranked opponents.

The NCAA Singles Individual Championships take place in Athens, GA from May 24-29.

Elite Eight Bound

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USC women's lacrosse upset No. 3 seed Florida this weekend to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Click here for the full recap!

The unseeded Trojans beat Jacksonville, 13-10, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to a rematch with host Florida. The Gators topped USC, 15-10, earlier this season, but the Trojans avenged that loss by taking them down, 15-12, in Gainesville yesterday.

Trailing 12-11 with six minutes left in the game, the Women of Troy dug deep and rattled off four straight goals to clinch the victory.

USC's seniors stepped up in the win, as Cynthia Del Core scored four goals, while Michaela Michael, Kylie Drexel, Drew Jackson and Gabby McMahon each scored two goals apiece. Junior goalie Gussie Johns, meanwhile, racked up 14 saves, caused two turnovers and grabbed seven ground balls.

USC has now won 12 straight games, and gets to go for No. 13 this Saturday at Boston College. The Eagles are coming off an upset of their own, having downed No. 6 seed Syracuse, 21-10, yesterday.

Saturday's game at BC will mark USC's second straight trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, and a win would put the team in its first-ever Final Four. Saturday's game begins at 10 a.m. PT.

Just Short In The Semis

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USC women's water polo fell in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, finishing the 2017 season with a  29-4 record.

Click here for the full recap.

The third-ranked Trojans were edged out, 11-10, by No. 2 Stanford, who went on to beat UCLA in the national title game.

After a high-scoring first quarter (Stanford 5, USC 4), the game settled down and went back and forth as the winners of the last eight combined NCAA titles battled it out.

Junior captain Brianna Daboub netted three goals for the Women of Troy -- topped only by Stanford's Maggie Steffens, a two-time gold medal winner with Team USA, who had four goals.

In her final game in Cardinal and Gold, USC senior Stephania Haralabidis scored twice, giving her a total of 84 goals on the season and 269 in her career. She'll depart from Troy ranking No. 2 on USC's all-time scoring list, while her scoring output this year ranks third on USC's single-season list.

Saturday's semifinal also marked the final game for seniors Ioanna Haralabidis, Brigitta Games, Avery Peterson and Nikki Stansfield.

This season, they helped USC set an NCAA women's water polo record by extending their winning streak to 52 straight games. Their four losses this season only came to either national champion Stanford or runner-up UCLA.

This offseason, the team will travel to Europe and regroup to start a new streak in 2018.

A Lott To Look Forward To

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USC_Football_Stanford_mcgillen_2016_DSC_0988 (1).JPGUSC junior linebackers Porter Gustin and Cam Smith were named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced today.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy, named for USC Football legend Ronnie Lott, is awarded annually to the defensive player who best exemplifies Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity (IMPACT).

USC, Penn State, Ohio State and Virginia are the only schools with multiple players on the watch list. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with 10 players on the list.

Click here for the full list!

Gustin earned the nod after leading the Trojans with 13.0 tackles for loss and finishing second in sacks, with 5.5 during the 2016 season. He also ranked second on the team (behind only Smith) with 68 tackles.

Smith, who's on the Watch List for the second straight year, earned Sophomore All-American honors in 2016 after racking up 83 tackles.

Recently-drafted USC CB Adoree' Jackson was a finalist for the award last season, but Michigan's Jabrill Peppers took home the hardware.

Gustin, Smith and the Trojans kick off their 2017 season on September 2 vs. Western Michigan.

Click here for tickets!

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Speech Perfect

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The USC student-athlete class of 2017 is loaded with acclaimed students and athletes, but it's hard to match the resumes of three-time Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse and three-time national champion Sara Hughes. The decorated duo were chosen as student speakers for Thursday's Student-Athlete Graduation, and they both delivered powerful messages.




Student-Athlete Successes

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USC-WOMENS-swimming-2017-ucla-MCGILLEN-6683.jpgOn the day of USC Student-Athlete Graduation, the 2016-17 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Teams for District 8 were released, and four Trojans earned recognition for their efforts in the classroom.

Click here for the full release!

USC women's swim graduate Anika Apostalon, who earned the Willis O'Hunter Award for the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at today's commencement ceremony, was named to the 2017 Academic All-District Women's At-Large First Team. Apostalon (pictured) managed a 3.92 cumulative GPA as a psychology major.

USC women's beach volleyball's Nicolette Martin, who graduated today with a 3.70 GPA in fine arts, also earned First Team honors.

USC also placed two male athletes on the 2017 Academic All-District At-Large First Team.

USC water polo junior Mihajlo Milicevic, a business administration major, earned First Team honors with a 3.72 GPA. Junior swimmer Pawel Furtek, a computer engineering and computer science major, boasts a 3.92 cumulative GPA.

These four Trojans are in the running for Academic All-American honors, which will be announced later this month.

Made The Cut

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USC women's golf got the Top 6 finish it needed this weekend to advance from NCAA Regionals to the upcoming NCAA Championships.

Click here for the full recap!

The sixth-ranked Women of Troy finished fourth at the 2017 NCAA Albuquerque Regional with a 20-over 884 (296-285-303), while Stanford placed first with a 2-over 866.

Out of 18 teams competing in Albuquerque, USC was among the six that made the cut to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Strong performances in difficult weather conditions by seniors Victoria Morgan and Gabriella Then helped the Trojans clinch their 20th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Later this month, USC heads to Sugar Grove, IL for the NCAA Championships at Rich Harvest Farms G.C. Follow the Trojans on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on scores and information!

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Time To Make A Splash

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USC's third-ranked women's water polo team kicks off its quest for back-to-back national titles at the NCAA Tournament this weekend.

Click here for the full preview!


The Women of Troy (28-3) kick off their title defense tomorrow in Indianapolis against Michigan (28-8), a team which USC defeated twice this season. USC's first game of the year was an 11-3 win over the Wolverines and the Trojans topped Michigan again in the semis of the Triton Invitational in February, by a 9-5 margin.

Should the Trojans win, they advance to the semifinals at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday, where they'll face the winner of No. 2 Stanford (20-3) vs. Pacific (20-8). A win there would slot USC into the championship match on Sunday at noon PT.

The Women of Troy are on the hunt for their sixth title in program history and their first back-to-back crowns. Last season, they topped Stanford, 8-7, with a thrilling last-second goal by Stephania Haralabidis.

This year, Haralabidis is the highest-scoring player in the MPSF (2.58 goals per game).

Each NCAA Tournament game will be streamed live on NCAA.com. Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter and Instagram for scores and updates!

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State of Troy - May 2017

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Each month, we interview USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

usc-beach-volleyball-pepperdine-ncaa-championship-mcgillen-050617-8842.jpgSwann on USC beach volleyball's third consecutive national championship...

Winning a championship is everybody's goal, but it is hard to attain. A three-peat is absolutely remarkable. It is one of the unique historical accomplishments to happen in any sport. For our top pair, Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes, their record is extraordinary. They will not realize how big this is for quite some time, and it is only going to get bigger.

Swann on the reaction to the recently-unveiled Coliseum seating plan after the renovation...

The messaging that went out last week was really well received. Most importantly, people understand it. Of course, there are a few folks fearful of change, but change is inevitable in any renovation and necessary in our situation. We will be sure to communicate with every one of our Trojan Athletic Fund members and season-ticket holders one-on-one to address their concerns as we believe that we have a suitable option for everyone. The fundraising support has been tremendous, and we are extremely grateful to all our loyal alumni and fans. At the end of the day, I believe that the Trojan Family will be happy with the changes that we are making and embrace the new seating grid. We will come together, support this football program, support this cause and turn out in full force for years to come. We will Fight On.

Click here for more information on the Coliseum renovation!

Swann on the APR report...

I'm very proud of our student-athletes for their conscientious efforts in the classroom that have led to a best-ever department APR of 976. To have nearly half of our 21 teams record their highest APR in history is a testament to our focus on the "student" part of the student-athlete equation. We should also acknowledge the emphasis our coaches put on the academic performance of their teams and the support provided by our staff in the Stevens Academic Center.

Swann on Commencement Week...

This is my first time here for graduation week as the athletic director, and it is very exciting. Congratulations to all the seniors and post-grads on earning your degrees. I am looking forward to the Student-Athlete Graduation on Thursday and then the main ceremony on Friday. Unfortunately, some of our student-athletes will miss graduation because they are competing in postseason tournaments. It is one of the difficult aspects of being an athlete. But, our student-athletes put so much time and effort into competing for championships that I know they are willing to make the sacrifice to reach for their goals.


usc-womens-water-polo-princeton-2017-mcgillen-5185.jpgSwann on the rest of the spring sport calendar...

Men's and women's golf are beginning their road to the NCAA Championships. The men are in a great position as head coach Chris Zambri has done an excellent job. They had to battle snowy conditions at the Pac-12 Championships in Colorado, which maybe threw them off their game a bit, but they have an opportunity to win the program's first national championship. Andrea Gaston always seems to put the women's team in a position to succeed in the postseason, so I look forward to seeing what they do as well.

Women's water polo will battle for the NCAA title this weekend in Indianapolis. They will go in as the three-seed. They are used to being on top, but they have taken a couple losses lately. It all comes down to the NCAA Tournament though, and Jovan Vavic knows how to win championships.

Men's and women's tennis also begin NCAA Tournament play this week. The men have been playing beautifully, including winning the Pac-12 Tournament, and I expect them to compete for more hardware at the NCAA Championships. The women's team has really improved late in the season, so they could have a good showing as well.

Women's lacrosse has to travel to Florida for the postseason. Coach Lindsey Munday has had this team ready to play from day one. They have grown in confidence every step of the way. I look for them to continue their outstanding play.

Men's and women's track & field will battle for the conference championship this weekend up in Oregon. They have had a great season. I really enjoyed the Dual Meet win for the Women of Troy over UCLA, but the men fell a little bit short. I think both teams are peaking towards postseason competition.

Baseball continues on with a trip to Utah this week. We hope to put together a late season run after a tough couple of weeks.

Women's rowing is working hard. They have a difficult schedule with all the travel, but I think they will make a good showing at the Pac-12 Championships this week. It's that time of year. Everybody is competing and pushing to win hardware.

Season Starts Now

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Tomorrow, USC men's tennis kicks off its national title hopes when it hosts the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

usc-mens-tennis-at-ucla-2017-mcgillen-8448LR.JPGClick here for the full preview!

The fourth-ranked Trojans are in the tournament for the 11th year in a row, and are looking for their sixth title in the last nine seasons.

The tournament kicks off at Marks Stadium tomorrow at 10 a.m. with a battle between No. 30 Wisconsin (17-7) and No. 47 San Diego (17-10).

The Trojans (25-5) get going after that, with a 1 p.m. match against Denver (13-12).

Should USC defeat Denver, it would advance to a second round matchup on Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. the winner of Wisconsin and San Diego. Two wins this weekend would send the Trojans to Athens for the NCAA Round of 16 beginning on May 18.

A young crop of talent has lifted the Trojans to their 10th 20-win season and third Pac-12 title. Freshman Brandon Holt is ranked No. 19 in the nation and boasts a 16-5 dual match record playing primarily on Court 1. Down on Court 6, fellow freshman Riley Smith has been nearly unbeatable, with an 18-2 dual match record this season. Holt and Smith make up the 14th-ranked doubles team in the nation, going 17-5 together on Court 1 this year.

Sophomore Jack Jaede (pictured) has also racked up an impressive 19-3 record this season.

USC's seniors, Rob Bellamy and Nick Crystal, won an NCAA title their freshman year and are itching to make it back on top. The Trojans' quest begins tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Follow USC Men's Tennis on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on scores and information!

Find the Five

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The USC offensive line has to replace three starters, including two All-American tackles, and the Trojans were unable to learn much from spring football due to injuries. The unit should be healed by Fall Camp, leaving OL coach Neil Callaway tasked with finding his best five up front and then blending them together as one.


Meet Mark Trakh

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On April 21, USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann announced the hiring of Mark Trakh as the head coach of USC women's basketball.

Sixty-one-year-old Trakh, who was born in Amman, Jordan, returns to Troy after previously coaching the women's team from 2005-09. During that span, he went 90-64, made two NCAA Tournament appearances and produced four Top 10 recruiting classes.

Most recently, Trakh spent six years at New Mexico State, leading the Aggies to three straight conference titles.

In total, he has 22 years of head coaching experience.

Meet Mark Trakh:

USC Posts Impressive NCAA APR Scores

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Fourteen of USC's 21 sports posted an NCAA Academic Progress Rate that equaled or exceeded last year's score, including 9 teams whose figures were their programs' all-time highs (5 had perfect 1000 scores), in data that was released today by the NCAA.

NCAA_logo.pngThirteen Trojan teams had an APR that was above the national average for their sport in the annual scorecard of academic achievement for all Division I teams.

USC's cumulative 21-team APR of 976 this year is the school's best ever.

A team's APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation to generate a measure of academic performance. Each year, the APR creates a snapshot of a team's academic success as it tracks the progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. Today's APR is a multiyear rate based on scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. APR scores below 930 lead to penalties that include practice restrictions, playing season reductions and postseason ineligibility. The NCAA began tracking APR in 2004-05.

"We are extremely pleased with our APR numbers and the superb academic performance of our teams," said Dr. Magdi El-Shahawy, USC's senior associate athletic director in charge of Student-Athlete Academic Services. "Having two-thirds of our teams build on their scores from last year and almost half of our teams achieve all-time highs is impressive. This could not have been done without the hard work in the classroom by our student-athletes, or the support of our head coaches and the SAAS team in the Stevens Academic Center."

Five Trojan teams posted perfect 1000 APR rates: men's volleyball, women's beach volleyball, women's cross country, women's golf and women's tennis.

The 9 USC teams that this year posted their all-time high APR scores in the 13-year span of the NCAA's Academic Performance Program were: football (968), men's basketball (969), men's track (983), baseball (997 for the fourth consecutive year), men's volleyball (1000 for the second consecutive year), women's beach volleyball (1000), women's cross country (1000 for the third consecutive year), women's golf (1000) and women's tennis (1000 for the fourth consecutive year).

USC's 14 squads that equaled or exceeded their score from last year were: football, men's basketball, baseball, men's golf, men's tennis, men's track, men's volleyball, women's cross country, women's golf, women's soccer, women's tennis, women's track, women's volleyball and women's water polo.

USC's 13 teams whose APR exceeded the national average for their sport were: baseball, football, men's basketball, men's tennis, men's track, men's volleyball, women's beach volleyball, women's cross country, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's soccer, women's tennis and women's track.

Last week, 5 USC teams received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for outstanding performance in the classroom: baseball, men's volleyball, women's cross country, women's golf and women's tennis. Each team achieved an APR within the top 10 percent in their respective sports.

No USC sport was close to the NCAA APR of 930 that leads to penalties. In fact, all USC men's teams were at least 38 points above that baseline standard and all Trojan women's teams were at least 19 points above it.

Holt Bolts to the Top

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Written by Fernando Stepensky, USC blog contributor

The church bells tolled to mark 9 o'clock on an April night in Ojai, CA. In what was billed as "freshman talent vs. senior leadership," USC's Brandon Holt was locked in a battle with UCLA's Gage Brymer to decide the Pac-12 Men's Tennis championship.

The Trojans had made their way out to a 3-1 lead, but UCLA roared back to tie the match at 3-all, turning all eyes toward the final clash on Court 1. Holt and Brymer had traded the first two sets, then held serve all the way until the final game of set three. Nineteen-year-old Holt crushed a cross-court forehand on his third match point to finally break Brymer and clinch the victory for USC. His teammates rushed the court, lifting him up on their shoulders, and his mother -- Tracy Austin -- breathed a sigh of relief as she buried her head in her hands.

"Oh my gosh, that was so exciting," said Austin, who is a former world No. 1 tennis player and the youngest woman to ever win the U.S. Open. "All of a sudden Brandon's put into the situation as a freshman to play [Brymer], who is one of the most successful juniors in Southern California in the last decade, and he's a senior at your rival school. You just couldn't have put the pieces of the puzzle together better."

usc-mens-tennis-oregon-2017-mcgillen-2111.jpgHolt is the first USC freshman to play consistently at No. 1 singles since 2003, and with such a highly touted team this year, the accomplishment -- and the match-clinching victory at this year's Pac-12 Championship -- were all the more impressive.

USC men's tennis coach Peter Smith attributes Holt's success at the No. 1 spot to his level-headedness and ability to not put pressure on himself, even drawing a comparison between Holt and the calm, cool and collected USC football star Sam Darnold. 

"He makes everything look routine," Smith said of the freshman, who's ranked No. 19 in the nation. "In a way it's like, 'Whatever,' and I can promise you if Brandon was playing any other position it would be the same."

In fact, Holt conveyed an almost identical sentiment. 

"If coach wanted me to play two, I would be completely fine with that because I think that is what would be best for the team at the moment," Holt said. "I guess I didn't really expect to play No. 1, but I also wasn't very surprised. Coming in, I knew that I was playing very well, getting into the junior slams, I think I was around 40 in the world in the juniors, so I had a lot of confidence coming in, which was very nice, but it was never, 'I'm going to play one, I need to play one.'"

Holt's lack of total surprise makes sense, though, as he had already secured some major accomplishments under his belt on the junior circuit. While a student at Palos Verdes High, Holt traveled with the United States Tennis Association as a representative from his age group and played tournaments in Brazil and even in Europe for the Junior French Open.

"It's all fun, I mean I love it. You're traveling with your best friends and then coaches that are a lot of fun, so I mean every single trip is fun, but Brazil was a lot of fun," Holt said. "We went to Porto Alegre and São Paulo, we played two tournaments there, but the most fun was the one where we flew into Italy and played two tournaments in Italy, then one tournament in Belgium, and then the French Open, and unfortunately I got a stress fracture, so I had to pull out of Wimbledon, so that was kind of a bummer, but I think that was the most fun trip. It was four weeks in Europe with your best friends, just competing and just having a lot of fun."

usc-mens-tennis-oregon-2017-mcgillen-1980 (1).jpgHolt calls the International Tennis Federation Pan American Games, where he won in singles and doubles, his most memorable tournament as a junior. Holt also paired up with now-teammate Riley Smith at the Junior U.S. Open, where they earned wild cards into the draw, but made it to the finals.

Holt and Smith have continued to build upon that chemistry as USC's No. 1 doubles team this season, racking up a 24-7 record and a No. 14 national ranking. They recently earned an invitation to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championships, following the culmination of the team championships this month.

Both freshmen come from tennis families, but Holt's mother has never put pressure on her son to become a professional tennis player like she was. She insisted he continue attending high school when many other at his level opted to be homeschooled in order to practice and travel more often.

"I went to regular public high school even after I won the U.S. Open," Austin said. "I think that it's very important for us -- my husband Scott and I -- just to not put all of your eggs in one basket where you're missing out on the socialization, and that's even problem solving and time management and trying to figure out your day. I think it's benefited Brandon greatly with his academics, making that transition to USC. He's a very social kid, a very well-rounded kid, and I think even a lot of that shows up on the tennis court, that balance."

Holt insists that while supportive, his family has never forced him into tennis. His motivation comes from within.

"I'm definitely trying to play professional tennis. Every day I wake up trying to think of how I can improve on the tennis court," Holt said. "I'm still just trying to keep that door open [as a business administration major] in case anything happens. I'm just trying to be realistic and honest with myself that there's a lot of people who are trying to be professional athletes, and it's not as easy as you think, things can happen. I think I'm on a great path and I'm giving myself every opportunity that I can to play professional tennis."

Holt and the Trojans secured the No. 4 seed in this month's NCAA Tournament and will host Denver in a first-round matchup at 1 p.m. this Friday. Should the Trojans win, they'll host the winner of Wisconsin vs. USD on Saturday at 1 p.m. Both matches take place at USC's Marks Stadium.

Meet Tyler Vaughns

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USC-FOOTBALL-SPRING-BALL-040617-MCGILLEN-5275lr.JPGName: Tyler Vaughns

Position: WR

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Size: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Age: 19

High School (Hometown): Bishop Amat HS (Pasadena, CA)

Game: Vaughns is a long and lanky receiver who loves to push vertically down the field and rise up to reel in contested jump balls. He has shown himself to be a smooth route runner this spring, taking advantage of his increased opportunities. He is in the mix this fall to fill the playmaking roles vacated by Darreus Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Prep Career: Vaughns made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket All-CIF, Los Angeles Times All-Area first team, San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area first team and All-Mission League Co-Player of the Year as a senior wide receiver and defensive back at Bishop Amat High in La Puente. He had 84 receptions for 1,319 yards (15.7 avg) with 13 TDs in 2015.

QB Sam Darnold on Vaughns: "Tyler's really improved route running and just learning the whole playbook."

Fun Fact: Vaughns prepped with fellow redshirt freshman WR Trevon Sidney at Bishop Amat, the alma mater of USC receiving greats JK McKay and John Jackson.


Coming In To Compete

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USC_Womens_soccer_UNC_mcgillen_2016_LR_USC_Womens_soccer_UNC_mcgillen_2016_DSC_3196 (2).JPGUSC's national champion women's soccer team signed six new Trojans to the squad, head coach Keidane McAlpine announced yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Young women are coming from far and wide to join the team.

Defender Jessica Haidet (Atlanta, GA - Pace Academy) served as the NASA-Tophat Soccer Club team captain each year since 2012 and has attended a number of U.S. Soccer National Training Centers.

Forward Natalie Laser (Glencoe, IL - New Trier HS) led her club team (FC United) in goals for four straight years and earned all-state honors last year. She is the younger sister of USC men's tennis redshirt junior David Laser.

Midfielder Samantha Trinceri (Colorado Springs, CO - Discovery Canyon HS) has served as Colorado Storm team captain for five years and led the squad to four Northwest Conference Mountain Division championships.

Midfielder Arlie Jones (Las Vegas, NV - Bishop Gorman HS) is a member of the U-20 U.S. Youth National Team after being named the Tournament MVP at the U-18 International Cup in 2016.

Jones' club teammate Tara McKeown (Newbury Park, CA - Newbury Park HS) is a forward/defender for the U-20 U.S. Youth National Team as well. McKeown was named the Los Angeles Daily News Soccer Player of the Year in 2015-16.

The Trojans also signed goalkeeper Emily Cuthbert (Encinitas, CA - La Costa Canyon HS), who helped lead her team to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Title in 2015 and earned the Golden Glove, given to the top goalkeeper in the tournament.

These six players join a Trojan squad that went 19-4-2 last season en route to its second national championship. The 2017 Trojans kick off their season this August.

Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date!

USC Baseball - Meet The Freshmen: Position Players

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Heading into the 2017 season, USC baseball head coach Dan Hubbs expressed uncertainty but excitement about his new-look roster.

USC's draftees and graduates left five starting spots open for USC's young talent to fill and freshmen Blake Sabol, Christian Moya and Matthew Acosta have all stepped up to the plate.

Sabol, a catcher from Aliso Viejo, CA, has started 16 games this season. Sabol has cardinal, gold and baseball in the blood, as his second cousin is USC legend Troy Polamalu and his older brother played baseball at Oregon and in the New York Mets organization.

Moya, an outfilder from Diamond Bar, CA, has started 12 games. Hubbs called him "an absolute run stopper in center field" and "a guy who shows that he is not scared of Division I baseball from the time he stepped on campus."

Acosta is an outfielder from Chino Hills, CA. He's started more games than any other freshman this season (32) and sports a .250 batting average.

Meet Sabol, Moya and Acosta:

On the pristine sand of Gulf Shores, AL yesterday, USC beach volleyball won its third straight national championship. The Women of Troy fought off wind and a remarkable effort by the Pepperdine Waves to clinch the title match by a 3-2 margin.

USC team photographer John McGillen was on hand to capture the battles on the sand and the celebration that ensued.



Beach Volleyball Three-Peats!

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IMG_8188.JPGNo. 1 USC beach volleyball delivered a hard-fought 3-2 victory over No. 3 Pepperdine yesterday to win its third straight national championship.

Click here for the full recap!

The Trojans earned a spot in the championship match by beating South Carolina, 4-0, Hawai'i, 4-0, and Pepperdine, 3-0. Pepperdine then won the contender's bracket to earn a rematch with USC in the championship.

The Waves came out of the gates strong with a straight-sets win over USC's Abril Bustamante and Joy Dennis on Court 4. But USC's Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer returned the favor on Court 5, tying things up as the teams headed into the second flight of matches.

All three of the Top 3 courts would go down to a third-set tiebreak. Pepperdine went up 2-1 with a three-set victory on Court 2, but USC's star duo of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes tied things right back up, turning all eyes to Court 3, where USC's Terese Cannon and Nicolette Martin were also locked in a tiebreaker.

Martin's strong serving and Cannon's precise placement gave USC a slight advantage, setting up a match point which saw Cannon deliver the final blow.

Click here for highlights of the instant classic championship match!

Martin and Cannon, along with Claes, Hughes, Bustamante and Dennis, were named to the NCAA All-Tournament team.

The Women of Troy finished the season with a school-record 38 wins and just one loss. After winning the AVCA National Championship in 2015 and the inaugural NCAA Championship last year, the team has now won three straight national titles. Today's title is USC's 127th all-time and 104th NCAA crown.

Follow USC Beach Volleyball on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop on USC's latest national champs!

Golden Golfers

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pac12-mgolf.jpg
Senior men's golfer Rico Hoey became the second player in program history to earn All-Pac-12 First Team honors four straight years, leading USC's five conference honorees this season.

Click here for the full release!

Hoey, who ranks second on the team in stroke average (70.88) this year, joins Sam Randolph as the only Trojans to accomplish the feat. Hoey is coming off a tie for second place at the Pac-12 Championships -- USC's best finish at the event since 2011.

Hoey is joined on the first team by Sean Crocker and Justin Suh. It's Crocker's third conference honor, after earning second team status last season and first team his freshman year. The Zimbabwe-born junior leads the team in stroke average (70.76) this year. Suh managed five Top 10 finishes including one win this season, and ranks third on the team in stroke average (71.21) to earn his second conference honor after making the All-Freshman team last year.

USC's three first teamers are its most since 2009 and the most of any school in the Pac-12 this year.

In addition to Hoey, Crocker and Suh, junior Jonah Texeira and freshman Cheng Jin earned Pac-12 Honorable Mention, while Jin was also named to this year's All-Freshman team.

Texeira earns his third straight conference honor after finishing in the Top 10 three times this season, including one win. Jin has finished in the Top 20 three times.

The Trojans earned a No. 1 seed in the upcoming Sammamish, WA NCAA Regional, which begins on May 15.

Smart And Sporty

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Five Trojan teams recently earned Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA for their outstanding performance in the classroom.

Click here for the full release!


USC baseball, men's volleyball, women's cross country, women's golf and women's tennis teams all earned the awards, which are based upon teams' commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving multiyear Academic Progress Rates (APR) within the top 10 percent in their respective sports. A team's APR comprises eligibility, retention and graduation.

This recognition comes just around a week before the latest class of USC student-athletes graduates. Student-athlete commencement takes place on May 11 at the Galen Center.

usc-baseball-asu-game-3-mcgillen-7383.jpg

Tewaaraton Time

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USC-LACROSSE-2017-MPSF-CHAMPIONSHIP-MCGILLEN-043017_MCG1530.JPGUSC attacker Michaela Michael, the highest scoring women's lacrosse player in the nation, was named one of 25 nominees for the Tewaaraton Award yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

The Tewaaraton Award is given annually to the top male and female college lacrosse players in the United States.

Michael's 71 goals this season are the most in the nation, and set a new USC and MPSF single-season record. Her 126 draw controls also set a new MPSF record this year.

Click here to learn more about Michael!

Michael has led the No. 7 Trojans to a 16-3 record and a berth in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Five finalists will be selected on May 11 and the winner will be announced June 1.

2017 Football Mini-Plans

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USC football mini-plans are ON SALE NOW for the 2017 season, providing you the opportunity to customize your ticket purchases to fit your schedule and budget. Mini-plans are also your only chance to guarantee tickets to the UCLA and Texas games outside of buying season tickets.

Click here to shop now!

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

The Flex Pack allows fans to pick two or more games. The Texas +1 and the UCLA +1 options let fans get tickets to either of those marquee games plus one additional game. The Football Tommy Pass is available in a 6-game (all but Texas) and 7-game package, priced at just $199 and $249 respectively, with seat locations varying from game to game. The VIP Pack gives fans access to two games in the field clubs just a few feet from the action of the east end zone.

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2019 Coliseum Seating Plan

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The new seating plan for USC football games when the Los Angeles Coliseum is renovated in 2019 is being unveiled to members of the Trojan Athletic Fund and current USC football season ticketholders.

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 4.11.04 PM.pngClick here to visit ColiseumRenovation.com.

The renovation will reduce the stadium's current seating capacity by about 16,000 seats, thereby requiring a re-seating of current season ticketholders.  Capacity will go from 93,607 to 77,500 due to such improvements as added aisles, widened seats and increased leg room in many sections and the construction of a new Scholarship Club Tower on the stadium's south side that will include suites, loge boxes, club seats, a new concourse and a new press box.

During the next 15 months, USC Athletics representatives will contact Trojan Athletic Fund (TAF) members and invite them to visit the Coliseum Renovation Preview Center to consider available seating solutions that best suit their needs.  Priority for seat selection will be determined by TAF membership level followed by lifetime giving to USC Athletics.  Then, in the summer of 2018, remaining current season ticketholders will be contacted about their seating options.  Every effort will be made to accommodate those who wish to continue to sit together.

USC Athletics is committed to making the re-seat as fan friendly as possible and providing affordable seating options to all.  Approximately two-thirds of the seating in the renovated Coliseum will not require any Coliseum restoration gift.  The remaining third will be designated for supporters who make a one-time Coliseum restoration gift and are members of the Trojan Athletic Fund.  The one-time restoration gift ranges from $100 to $6,000 per seat, while Trojan Athletic Fund memberships begin at $200 annually.  The restoration gift amounts, which are tax deductible and payable over four years, were determined based on the construction costs associated with seating enhancements throughout the stadium excluding the Scholarship Club Tower.

Student and band seats will not be relocated and USC will work to upgrade the student experience.

A major portion of the Coliseum's $270-million renovation, announced in 2015, will begin following the upcoming 2017 season and will be completed for USC's 2019 home opener.  There will be limited impact in the 2018 season to some current season ticketholders who will be moved to temporary locations.

The renovation is being funded entirely by USC Athletics from Coliseum restoration gifts, sponsorship revenue, non-USC events at the Coliseum and donor naming opportunities.  It will not require any student fees or general university, local, state or federal funds.  With an annual budget of $100 million, USC Athletics is one of just seven self-sustaining NCAA Division I programs in the nation, which means it receives no funding from tax appropriations or student fees.

USC is obligated under its long-term lease agreement to make significant improvements to the Coliseum.  The renovation will 1.) ensure that the game-day experience provides all fans options to enjoy the stadium's new amenities while recognizing the loyalty of Troy's long-time fans, 2.) provide the Trojan football team with a first-class facility and a tremendous home field advantage, 3.) create long-term revenue streams so that USC Athletics can sustain its excellence across all sports for generations to come, and 4.) preserve the historical integrity of the Coliseum.

The Trojan Athletic Fund was founded in 1923 to provide funding necessary to sustain the excellence of USC Athletics' varsity sports. The members of the Trojan Athletic Fund form a global group of more than 5,000 alumni, parents, former student-athletes and friends who directly contribute to the success of USC's 650-plus student-athletes in all 21 sports by funding scholarships, including tuition, books, and room and board costs, at an annual cost of more than $19 million.

Some renovation to the Coliseum has already begun.  New field and stadium lighting was installed for the 2016 season.  New videoboards and scoreboards throughout the stadium will be in place for the 2017 season, replacing the boards that sat atop the peristyle and thereby restoring the iconic peristyle to more closely resemble the stadium's original design.

Other previously-announced Coliseum renovations by 2019 will include:  replacing every seat in the stadium and installing handrails throughout the stadium;  updating Wi-Fi technology throughout the venue;  adding new concession stands and improving existing stands;  upgrading entry concourses;  and replacing the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems to meet current standards. 

Bring On The Beach

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bvb-ncaa-1.jpgTomorrow, USC's No. 1 beach volleyball team kicks off what it hopes will be its third straight national title run.

Click here for the full preview!

The Trojans enter the tournament having won 96 of their last 99 matches, a mark that includes a 62-match win streak which lasted from March of 2016 until the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament last week. Despite that loss, the Trojans bounced back to earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship match and exact revenge over UCLA, claiming the conference crown for the second straight year and locking up the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 overall seed.

As the No. 1 seed, USC kicks off the tournament against No. 8 seed South Carolina at 9 a.m. CT (7 a.m. PT) in Gulf Shores, AL tomorrow. The Trojans' 34-1 record this season includes a 5-0 sweep of South Carolina in March. The Gamecocks are 23-9 heading into the tournament.

Seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, who have racked up a 34-1 record on Court 1 this season and were recently named the Pac-12 Pair of the Year, will lead the Trojans into battle in this double elimination tournament.

Last year, the Trojans cruised through the bracket with sweeps of Georgia State and Pepperdine, a 3-1 win over Florida State in the semifinals and a sweep of the Seminoles in the championship match, earning the NCAA Beach Volleyball title in its first year of existence (USC won the AVCA Beach Volleyball title the year before).

Tomorrow's match against the Gamecocks will be live streamed by the NCAA. Should the Trojans win, they'd advance to face the winner of No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Hawaii at 1 p.m. PT tomorrow. That match will be broadcast on TruTV. The semifinals take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday on TruTV and the championship match will be broadcast Sunday at 11 a.m. on TBS.

Spike Stars

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allpac12-bvb (1).jpgSenior standouts Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes headline the list of six Trojans who earned Pac-12 Beach Volleyball honors this season.

Click here for the full release!

Claes and Hughes were named the Pac-12 Pair of the Year for the second season in a row, and Claes herself earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors for the second straight year. The duo has posted a 34-1 record in dual matches this season, with a 44-1 overall record. They've won 92 of their last 93 matches, dating back to the beginning of the 2016 season.

Click here to learn more about Claes and Hughes' journey together over the past four years.

While Claes and Hughes made All-Pac-12 first team, three Trojans made the second team: Sophie Bukovec, Terese Cannon and Allie Wheeler.

Seniors Bukovec and Wheeler have teamed up on Court 2 for a 21-4 record in dual matches and a 25-6 record overall.

Cannon, a junior, has racked up a 29-6 dual match record and a 33-8 overall record playing primarily on Court 3 with senior co-captain Nicolette Martin.

USC's veterans have taken the team to incredible heights, but the squad features young talent as well. Freshman Joy Dennis was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team for going 24-6 in dual matches and 28-7 overall.

These Women of Troy have guided their team to a 34-1 record and the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Cleaning House

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On Tuesday, USC's Trojan Outreach program partnered with Goodwill Southern California to host a kickoff event for its Spring Cleaning For Good donation drive.

Just under 500 participants dropped off gently used clothing and household items in USC's McCarthy Quad, totaling around 2,000 pounds of donations.

Those who donated received a pamphlet about Goodwill's efforts to end homelessness in addition to a free lunch from Chick-fil-A and a free drink from Coca Cola.

Goodwill bins will remain on and around USC's campus until May 11.

Follow Trojan Outreach on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on USC's work in the community.

Baseball Battle

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BASE-Series.jpgCrucial Crosstown Cup points are on the line this week as USC baseball takes on UCLA in a three-game series.

The Trojans currently trail, 95-90, in the Crosstown Cup standings, and need to win two out of three against the Bruins to tie things up.

Click here for the full series preview!

Sophomore C.J. Stubbs will get the start tonight at 6 p.m. in a Throwback Thursday-themed game, during which the first 500 fans will receive a free Randy Johnson hat.

Freshman Chris Clarke -- whose older brother, Zander, plays for UCLA -- takes the mound tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Sophomore Marrick Crouch will close out the series on Saturday at 7 p.m., which marks a Fight On Family Day, (first 300 children in attendance will receive a free coloring bag).

All three games this week will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

The Trojans are 261-134 all-time against the Bruins, including a 4-3 extra-innings win in the finale of the Dodgertown Baseball Classic in March. Both teams enter this week's series with a similar record this season -- USC sits at 19-22 (6-12 Pac-12) while UCLA is 21-19 (10-8 Pac-12).

Click here to purchase tickets to this week's games!

Next Generation Wideouts

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With JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers headed to the NFL, the Trojans have a lot of production to replace at the wide receiver spot. The two pass catchers combined to make 126 receptions for 1,610 yards and 14 TDs last season.

USC head coach Clay Helton knew this time would come, so he prepared the program by loading up on wide receivers in the 2016 recruiting class. Between sophomore Michael Pittman Jr. and redshirt freshmen Tyler Vaughns, Velus Jones Jr. and Josh Imatorbhebhe, the Trojans have a bounty of young, talented wideouts ready to seize their opportunity.


Crosstown Cup Update: UCLA 95, USC 90

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After a slow start in the fall, despite a big win in football, USC had major ground to make up in the race for the Crosstown Cup against UCLA. The Trojans have blown the Bruins away lately, including four rivalry wins last weekend alone, to close the gap to just five points.

UPDATED STANDINGS: UCLA 95, USC 90

While postseason play could shift things around, the school that reaches 100 points clinches the cup, so everything rides on this weekend's baseball series. UCLA comes to Dedeaux Field on Thursday (6 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.) needing to win at least two out of three to grab five massive points. If the Trojans win the series, USC will pull even at 95-all and tiebreakers will decide this year's winner.

Click here for USC-UCLA baseball tickets.

In their only meeting this season, USC baseball defeated UCLA, 4-3 in 10 innings, at Dodger Stadium. The Trojans are hoping to retain the Crosstown Cup after winning, 115-75, last year.

Crosstown Cup Update: UCLA 95, USC 90. It all comes down to @sctrojans_baseball! #FightOn #BeatTheBruins

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Heritage Association Spotlight: Wilfred Steven Uytengsu

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Written by Fernando Stepensky, USC blog contributor

The Heritage Association Spotlight was created to profile USC student-athlete alumni who have given back to the university.

This month, we sat down with Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, whose incredible journey started as a walk-on swimmer at USC, to eventual team captain and now a generous supporter of USC Athletics. While at USC, he also majored in business administration with hopes of taking over the family business -- Alaska Milk Corporation -- in his home country of the Philippines one day.

His story at USC is one of passion, dedication, timing, and even love, as he married his college sweetheart. With his support of USC Swimming and Diving and naming the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Fred has bettered the university that changed his life forever, and he was gracious enough to share some of those experiences with us.

fuytengsu3.jpgFernando Stepensky (FS): Why did you want to come to USC?

WSU: Well, when I was coming out of high school and looking at where I wanted to go, I was looking at top swim programs in the country, even though I wasn't necessarily being recruited. I wanted to be at a school that had a top program, and of course USC was at the top of the list. When I visited USC and the Dungeon (the old indoor pool), I saw Coach Peter Daland working out the team of All-Americans -- and back then there was no Internet so these were just people you read about -- it was pretty awesome to see that group in the Dungeon.

At the same time, I would say that when I set foot on campus I just felt like I belonged. I connected with campus right away, but then the whole other issue was, 'Can I really be on this team?' because I knew the reputation of USC. So, I asked Coach Daland, "Would you allow me to walk on?" He said, "Well if you're prepared to do the work, and you commit, then we'll see." So that was it. That was the beginning.

FS: Once you did walk on, what was it like being on the team?

WSU: Well it was interesting because I had broken my leg in a car accident just before Junior Nationals in the spring, so I showed up to practice in a fiberglass cast, and I actually had to start the first six weeks of training with a pull boy and a fiberglass cast! So first of all I had that handicap on top of trying to keep up with these big guns, a lot of them Olympians and All-Americans. The team was really supportive. They said, you know, here's a guy who is really trying hard because he's got this handicap.

But after a while the guys got over it and there was a lot of smack talk, which I think is part of the norm at SC, so you learn to step it up or step out. I wouldn't call it pity, but there was this sentiment of 'We see you working hard, but you're going to have to continue to work hard,' and I think that's one thing great about USC Athletics. They push you to be your best no matter what the circumstances are. You don't fully appreciate that until you are there.

FS: How did you eventually become the team captain?

WSU: About four years later, I remember a couple guys said, "Hey, you've been chosen as team captain," and, you know, all the captains before me were Olympians, All-Americans, NCAA Champions, so I thought they were just pulling my leg. I went to Coach Daland and I said, "Peter, the guys have been pulling my leg," and he said, "No, they haven't." I said, "Coach, there's a lot of faster guys on the team," and he said, "We're not choosing a captain for necessarily being the fastest swimmer, we're choosing someone for leadership."

That was very special. I was very touched because that comes from your peer group, and it was my first taste of leadership at 21. To have that honor was very humbling.

I realized I wasn't going to be scoring the big points, so it became a mantra of 'How do I support the team? How do we as a team collectively do our best?' You know, little things. It was also about raising money for parkas for the team. I remember Cal looked better dressed than us at meets, so I said, "Why should they look better than us?" and we went on a fundraising campaign because we didn't have the budget.

FS: Was there anything you learned at USC that has transferred over into your business life?


WSU: I remember one time I said something and a couple guys reacted negatively and were like, "Who made you boss?" and I said, "I'm not the boss, I'm just here to galvanize the team, to collaborate, to be a better team as a whole."

When you're one of the guys -- and you still are as captain -- you have to be careful with how you lead, and not necessarily barking out orders or directions. Instead, you lead from behind. Then, later in life I also realized that just because you say something because you're CEO of a company, doesn't necessarily mean people will follow. You have to give people purpose, you have to motivate them, and when you achieve that kind of leadership, I think that's when you start to achieve greater results.

Work ethic is critical, especially with swimming. Anyone who spends four hours a day, six days a week, 50 days a year looking at a black line and punishing yourself, you have to have a very determined work ethic, and that's definitely carried over. I don't care how successful a product or service you have, if you don't back it up with a work ethic it's only a matter of time before you fail or someone catches where you are in market position.

FS: What were some of your favorite things about being at USC?

WSU: The spirit we have at USC is second to none, and that's something I loved when I set foot on campus, something I experienced as a student-athlete, and something I have continued to enjoy as an alum. It was also great to put on the SC swim cap or wear my SC sweats and know that I am part of the university in a special way. It was special to me to be able to participate at that level. Anyone who gets to be a student-athlete, it's a very special opportunity, which I tell the younger guys today when they're in school: "Cherish this moment because it's short, but it's very meaningful."

FS: What motivated you to then give back to USC?

WSU: I would say probably in the last 10 years of my father's lifetime, he became much more philanthropically-inclined and taught us, my brother and my sister, the importance of philanthropy. He went to Stanford and Indiana Tech. One of his first gifts was to the alumni house at Indiana Tech, which was a pre-Civil War building, and getting it to a green certified building. He was really excited about that prospect, and at 82 years old to be so enthusiastic, to me was really intriguing. Unfortunately, he passed away before they could commemorate the building, and I ended up giving the speech for that and talking to the alumni about what that gift meant to him.

Afterwards I talked to my wife and I said, "We really shouldn't wait until we aren't around to give back," and when we looked at what USC has meant to us, I think it would be important for us to take this opportunity now.

Ron Orr had spoken to me about opportunities to enhance the aquatics center, and I remember the first time he mentioned it I was like, "That's a big goal Ron, I don't know if you're going to get someone to do that." It took the example of my father, him not being able to appreciate that moment, to be the catalyst to do what we did for USC Aquatics. In the years since we've done it, just the feedback and the appreciation that I hear from coaches, swimmers, water polo players, and divers, it's really a fantastic experience. It makes me feel very proud to see how student-athletes appreciate the facilities they have. Even non-athletes tell me they love to hang out there. It's rewarding to be part of the university in this way now. To see our name alongside the university is very gratifying.

Giving back to the university, at any amount, helps to further strengthen the institution and make it even better in the years to come.

If you are a member of the USC student-athlete alumni community, or would like more information about the Heritage Association, please click here!

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Spring Forward

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usc-womens-basketball-asu-mcgillen-012917-8470.jpgRising sophomore Minyon Moore of USC women's basketball recently earned an invitation to the USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team Trials in Colorado Springs.

Click here for the full release!

Moore appeared in all 30 games as a freshman, starting four. She ranked second on the team in scoring (11.7 points per game) and led the Women of Troy in assists (4.0 per game) and steals (1.9 per game).

Her breakout performance last year came against Washington State. The Hercules, CA native netted 32 points -- the most by a Trojan since 2014 -- and earned USWBA National Player of the Week for her performance.

She also notched the second-most assists in a single game in USC history, with 15 against Sacramento State in December.

Moore will join 32 other women's basketball players aiming to make the 12-player roster. The Women's U19 World Cup Team will compete in Italy this July.

Follow USC women's basketball on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on Moore and the Women of Troy!

Meet Jamel Cook

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usc-spring-game-2017-mcgillen-2056.jpgName: Jamel Cook

Position: S

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Size: 6-foot-3, 185 pounds

Age: 19

High School (Hometown): Miami Central HS (Miami, FL)

Game: Cook is a long and lean safety who opened a lot of eyes this spring by creating turnovers in the secondary. He was out most of the 2016 season with a foot injury, but he is fully healthy now and looking to get in the defensive back rotation this fall. With his unique blend of size and athleticism, Cook saw a lot of time at nickel back during the spring.

Prep Career: Cook made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, USA Today All-Florida second team and All-State Class 6A first team his senior year at Miami Central. Cook played as a defensive back, recording 6 interceptions in his final season. Cook and the Miami Central football team won the state 6A championship title in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Head coach Clay Helton on Cook: "He has great quickness in pressures, he's good enough to play man coverage, and he's a good run support defender off the edge."

Fun Fact: Cook's cousin is former Florida State All-American running back Dalvin Cook.


The Perfect Set

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USC beach volleyball's perfect pair, Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, used trigonometry to explain the perfect set as part of Chevron's "Human Energy Stories."


Pick Six

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STEPH.jpgSenior Stephania Haralabidis leads a pack of SIX USC women's water polo players who picked up All-MPSF honors this season.

Click here for the full release!

For the second year in a row, Haralabidis earns First Team All-MPSF honors. Haralabidis leads the MPSF in scoring (80 goals, 2.58 goals per game). Her 80 goals are the fourth-most in a single season in USC history and have helped her move into No. 2 on USC's all-time scoring charts. She's earned some level of MPSF honor in each of her four seasons at USC.

Haralabidis' twin sister, Ioanna, is one of four Trojans on the second team. She's joined by senior two-meter Brigitta Games, sophomore goalie Amanda Longan and freshman utility player Maud Megens.

Ioanna has scored a career-high 52 goals this year en route to her third straight season earning MPSF honors (first team last year and second team her sophomore year).

Games is a second teamer for the second straight season after notching 56 goals -- second-most by a Trojan this season.

Games and Stephania Haralabidis also earned MPSF All-Tournament Team honors.

Longan, who leads the conference in saves this season (10.77 per game), has also earned back-to-back MPSF honors.

Megens ranks third on USC's scoring charts this season with 54 goals. In addition to her second team honors, she earned a spot on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team. Joining her on the All-Newcomer team is Denise Mammolito, who scored 27 goals her freshman season.

The Trojans begin their NCAA championship defense as this year's No. 3 seed. They open the 2017 NCAA Tournament on May 12 at 2:15 p.m. PT against Michigan.

All-American Aces

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Outgoing seniors Andy Benesh and Lucas Yoder earned All-MPSF honors this season, the conference announced yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Yoder earned ACVA Second Team All-American honors, while Benesh earned honorable mention.

It's the second All-American honor for both Benesh and Yoder. Benesh earned AVCA honorable mention as a sophomore in 2015, while Yoder earned AVCA honorable mention as a freshman in 2014.

Yoder led the nation in kills per set (4.85) and points per set (5.22) this season, fighting through injury to make an impact every time he was able to step on the court.

Benesh, meanwhile, ranked fifth in the nation in hitting percentage (.429) after starting in 27 of USC's 28 games this year.

Benesh and Yoder helped USC double its win total from 2016 and earn a trip to the MPSF Tournament after missing it in 2016.

Legend Lives On

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nfl-draft-twitter.jpgThis weekend, five Trojans saw their dreams come true at the 2017 NFL Draft, adding to USC's unparalleled draft history.

CB/RET Adoree' Jackson was the first Trojan off the board, going in the first round (18th overall) to the Tennessee Titans. USC has had five first-round safeties selected in the past, but Jackson became USC's first true cornerback ever taken in the first round.

The next day, USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was drafted in the second round (62nd overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers. USC has now had a receiver taken in the first two rounds in four of the last five drafts, but Smith-Schuster is the highest Trojan drafted by the Steelers since Troy Polamalu in 2003.

On Saturday, USC All-American Zach Banner was selected in the fourth round (137th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts.

Banner represented the 499th NFL Draft pick in USC history, so Trojan fans waited with bated breath to learn who might become Mr. 500.

Nearly 100 picks later, the Kansas City Chiefs made USC the first school to produce 500 all-time NFL Draft picks by selecting safety Leon McQuay III (sixth round, 218th overall). Minutes later, though, USC added another, bringing its all-time tally to 501 NFL Draft picks, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (seventh round, 223rd overall).

Jackson, Smith-Schuster, Banner, McQuay III and Tu'ikolovatu helped USC extend its streak of consecutive years with a player drafted, which reaches all the way back to 1939. Michigan is the only other school who can claim such a streak.

After the draft ended, nine more Trojans got another shot to make a mark.

Wide receiver Darreus Rogers, who caught 56 balls for 696 yards and 4 TD last season, earned an undrafted free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

Wideout Isaac Whitney and guard Jordan Simmons both signed with the Oakland Raiders, where they'll aim to make an impression on Trojan alum and current Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio.

Guard Damien Mama is also headed to the AFC West, signing an undrafted free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

All-American tackle Chad Wheeler got the call from the New York Giants, while WR De'Quan Hampton signed with the Detroit Lions, LB Quinton Powell signed with the New Orleans Saints, TE Taylor McNamara signed with the Cleveland Browns and RB Justin Davis will stay in L.A. to show his stuff for the Rams.

The 2017 NFL season begins on Thursday, Sept. 7, when the New England Patriots host the Chiefs.

USC is the first school to reach 500 all-time #NFLDraft picks! #USCtotheNFL

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Keep Track

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tf.jpgUSC's women's track and field came out on top, while the men's team fell to UCLA in this weekend's USC-UCLA Dual Meet at Loker Stadium.

Click here for the full recap!

The Women of Troy won 11 of 19 events to earn an 86-77 victory -- their fourth straight over the Bruins.

Brittany Mann opened up USC's scoring by winning the hammer throw and the shot put. Amalie Iuel won the high jump in her first try at the event this season. Dior Hall, Ky Westbrook, Destinee Brown and Deanna Hill teamed up to win the women's 4x100. Freshman Anna Cockrell PRed to win the women's hurdles event, while Margaux Jones won the long jump. Kendall Ellis led a USC sweep of the 400m, while Hill led a USC sweep of the 100m and 200m, and Iuel led a USC sweep of the 400m hurdles. USC's 4x400 team ran uncontested to pick up the final five points of the meet and seal a victory for the Women of Troy.

On the men's side, Eric Sloan won the long jump and the triple jump. Freshman Michael Norman won the 400m in his outdoor season debut. USC's 4x100 team of Marquis Morris, Alexander Barnum, Christian Sourapas and T.J. Brock came out on top. Morris also won the 110m hurdles, while Sourapas won the 200m. Robert Ford won the 800m. Matthew Katnik won the shot put and Michael Gonzalez PRed to win the pole jump and USC's 4x400 team ran uncontested to earn the 10th event win for USC's men's team.

Despite winning 10 of 21 events, USC's men fell, 88-75.

Next up for the Trojans are the Pac-12 Championships in Corvallis, OR.

Battle With Beavers

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USC baseball took one game out of three in its series against No. 1 Oregon State this weekend.

Oregon State's Luke Heimlich, the nation's leader in ERA (0.78), held the Trojans to just one hit and one run in USC's 3-1 loss on Friday evening.

The Trojans bounced back on Saturday, handing the Beavers their first home loss of the season. USC and Oregon State went back and forth all game, with the Trojans getting the run they needed to tie it up in the top of the eighth and ultimately send the game to extra innings.

USC charged out of the gates in the top of the 10th, loading the bases with just one out. Senior Cris Perez stepped up and drove in two runs to help USC earn a 7-5 victory -- only the fourth loss for the Beavers this season.



USC's offense stalled on Sunday, though, as the Trojans fell 10-1 to move to 19-22 (6-12 Pac-12) on the season.

This week, the Trojans host a series against UCLA. With the Bruins leading 95-90 in Crosstown Cup standings, USC must take two out of three to tie up the score. Two months ago, the Trojans topped the Bruins, 4-3, in the Dodgertown College Baseball Classic. This week, they face off on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Snowy Session

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The Trojan men's golf team braved the elements to tie for third at the Pac-12 Championships in Boulder, CO this weekend.

USC was tied for fourth after one day of play, but saw play suspended on Saturday due to the five inches of snow that fell overnight and the freezing temperatures.

The Trojans got back to it on Sunday, managing a 1-over final round to finish at +32 1082 (366-365-351), tied with Washington for third. Oregon and Stanford finished first and second, respectively.

Senior Rico Hoey tied for second in individual play -- USC's highest finish at Pac-12s since 2011. Sophomore Justin Suh, meanwhile, used a huge final round to tie for ninth in the tournament.

On To Indy

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USC women's water polo beat Cal to earn third place in the MPSF Tournament in Westwood, CA this weekend.

The No. 3 Trojans kicked off the tournament by dominating San Jose State to set up a semifinal clash with No. 2 Stanford on Saturday. The Trojans battled all the way until the finish, but wound up just short, losing 6-5 to earn a spot in the consolation game.

There they faced No. 5 Cal, a squad USC had beaten just two weeks before. The Trojans and Bears were even through two periods, but USC's 2-0 run in the third period was all the team needed to secure an 8-6 win and the third place prize.

Senior Stephania Haralabidis led the way with three goals, while sophomore Amanda Longan racked up 14 saves.

The Trojans now look ahead to the NCAA Tournament, which takes place from May 12-14 in Indianapolis. After an undefeated 2016 season which saw USC emerge as the national champion, the Trojans take a 28-3 record into this year's NCAAs.

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Sweet Sixteen

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Yesterday, USC women's rowing beat UCLA to extend its all-time record against the Bruins to 16-0.

Click here for the full recap!

UCLA started off a point ahead, as the Trojans didn't enter a boat in the 3V8+ race. USC tied it up with a win in V4, but the Bruins surged ahead after earning two points by winning the 2V8+ race.

Trailing 3-1, USC needed a first place finish in the 1V8+ to secure a win in the dual. The Trojans finished 1.4 seconds ahead of the Bruins to clinch the victory.

Next up for the Trojans are the Pac-12 Championships in Gold River, CA. Competition begins on May 14.

Kings Of The Conference

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Youth trumped experience on Saturday night when USC men's tennis freshman Brandon Holt topped UCLA's senior leader to clinch the Pac-12 Tournament title.

Click here for the full recap!

The third-seeded Trojans topped Utah and Cal to set up their fourth meeting this season with their crosstown rivals. After falling in two of the previous three, the Trojans had revenge -- and a Pac-12 crown -- on their minds.

USC got right to work, winning a tight doubles point to take an early lead. UCLA tied it up with a win in singles, but the Trojans won the next two singles matches to take a 3-1 lead with three courts still playing. When the Bruins took the first two of those courts to tie things up at 3, all eyes focused on Court 1, where 19-year-old Holt was battling UCLA senior Gage Brymer.

Holt took the first set, 7-5, but dropped the second, 6-3. He seemed to have the edge in a majority of the games, but Brymer continued to come through in the clutch, taking advantage of the tournament's no-ad scoring to steal a few points. Holt's strong serving and even keel put him in position to break Brymer at the very last minute, earning a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 win.

Click here for highlights of the match!

The win catapulted No. 7 USC to a 4-3 victory, its third Pac-12 tourney title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 2017 NCAA Tournament begins on May 18 in Athens, GA.

Trojans Take The Crown

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Yesterday, USC women's lacrosse topped Colorado to win its second consecutive MPSF Tournament title and its 22nd straight conference matchup.

Click here for the full recap!

The top-seeded Trojans earned a trip straight to the semifinals, where they beat San Diego State, 18-7. That set up a rematch with Colorado in the finals -- a team USC topped, 11-5, earlier in the season.

In the senior class' last career game at McAlister Field, MPSF Player of the Year Michaela Michael and All-MPSF first teamer Gabby McMahon led the way with four goals each in the 16-11 win over the Buffs.

With four goals in the title game, Michael set a new USC and MPSF single-season scoring record (71), passing UC Davis alum Katie McMahon's mark of 69 goals, set in 2005.

Michael has set and broken USC's single-season goals record three years in a row now.



Michael, McMahon, junior goalie Gussie Johns and freshman midfielder Kaeli Huff were all named to the all-tournament team for their performances across two games.

The conference title has a bit of extra meaning for the Women of Troy because the MPSF will dissolve after this season and USC will join the Pac-12.

The win also locked in a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Trojans, who have won 10 straight games. USC learns its seed and opponent on Sunday.

Going Back-To-Back

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This weekend, USC beach volleyball took a unique path to its second straight Pac-12 Tournament title.

No. 1 USC steamrolled its first two opponents (Utah and ASU) before facing No. 2 UCLA in the winners bracket semifinals on Friday. The Bruins snapped USC's 62-match win streak by a tight 3-2 margin, handing USC its first-ever Pac-12 loss and sending the Trojans into the contender's bracket.

The Trojans bounced back with a sweep of Washington, earning them a rematch against UCLA in the Pac-12 title match.

USC (34-1) got revenge over its crosstown rival with a 3-2 win in the championship. It all came down to the final match, where seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler earned a three-set victory on Court 2.

Click here for highlights of the Pac-12 title match!

Bukovec and Wheeler continued their clutch play by making it all the way to the finals of the Pac-12 Pairs Championship, where they faced teammates Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes. Top-seeded Claes and Hughes downed their teammates in straight sets to earn their second straight Pac-12 Pairs crown.



With two consecutive conference titles under their belts, the No. 1 Trojans are now gunning for their third straight national title. The back-to-back champs head to Gulf Shores, AL this week, where they'll kick off their NCAA conquest against No. 8 seed South Carolina.