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Trophies

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Written by Max Holm, USC blog contributor

For the fourth time in program history, USC's women's water polo captured the MPSF crown and continued its impressive, undefeated season with an 8-5 comeback win against Stanford on Sunday. The Women of Troy now stand at an incredible 23-0 this year.

Click here for the complete recap.

Despite falling behind by two goals early, USC showed composure and resilience, answering Stanford's every punch. As the game remained tight in the fourth period, the Trojans scored four consecutive goals to pull away late and put the championship to bed.

Junior Avery Peterson and sophomore Brianna Daboub carried the Women of Troy with three goals each, but it was sophomore Hayley McKelvey who scored the most decisive goal. With the Trojans on a big run, McKelvey gave USC a 7-4 advantage and they never looked back.

To partner the strong showing on the offensive side of the ball, the Women of Troy saw off several 6-on-5 chances for Stanford behind 12 saves from freshman goalie Amanda Longan.

Now with the MPSF crown theirs, the Women of Troy will await the NCAA Tournament bracket, which will be announced later today.

Boat Raced

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"All were merged into one smoothly working machine; they were, in fact, a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades." - Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat

No. 12 USC women's rowing dominated No. 20 UCLA in the annual Crosstown Rowdown, sweeping the competition for the second time (2004) and extending the program's perfect record over the Bruins to 15-0.

"All four boats performed very well, up to their potential," said head coach Zenon Babraj. "They raised up to the occasion and performed fantastically."

Click here for the recap.

The Trojans' varsity eight continued its own streak in the dual having never lost in the 15 head-to-head meetings. USC's top boat blew away UCLA's best by eight seconds.

Click here for the video highlights and recap.

The Women of Troy now begin preparations for the Pac-12 Championships set for Sunday, May 15, at Lake Natoma in Gold River, CA.

Here are the John McGillen photos from the Dual Meet:


Pride of the Pac-12

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The Women of Troy are making history in the first year that both the Pac-12 Conference and NCAA are officially sponsoring collegiate beach volleyball. The No. 1 Trojans cemented themselves as the first-ever beach volleyball Pac-12 Champions on Sunday, defeating No. 6 Arizona in a 3-0 sweep at Merle Norman Stadium.


After winning the conference's first-ever pairs crown on Friday, USC's All-American duo of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes continued what has been a remarkable run dating back to 2015, in extending their match winning streak to 69 in team play on Sunday. The pair won its 44th match of the season to lead the Trojans to the team title and were named to the first-ever All-Tournament Team for their outstanding performance. 

The team victory was the 26th-straight for the Women of Troy who are now preparing to defend their national title as the No. 2 seed in the inaugural NCAA Championships held in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The action begins on Friday at 9 a.m. PT against seventh-seeded Georgia State. Live coverage will be provided on TruTV on both Friday and Saturday. The championship round will air on TBS on Sunday at 11 a.m. 

Be sure to follow @USCBeach for behind-the-scenes access of the Trojans' upcoming weekend!

Click here to watch Hughes and Claes' breakdown of the Pac-12 Championship


Check out all the John McGillen photos from Sunday's historic match...

Nobody Does It Better

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Four new members were added this weekend to the USC to the NFL Draft fraternity as Su'a Cravens (2nd round to Washington), Max Tuerk (3rd round to San Diego), Cody Kessler (3rd round to Cleveland) and Kevon Seymour (6th round to Buffalo) saw their dreams come true.

The Trojans remain on top of the all-time leaderboards for 1st round picks, total draft picks and No. 1 overall selections.

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2016 NFL Draft: Kevon Seymour

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Seymour-Draft.JPGUSC CB Kevon Seymour was the only Trojan taken on Day 3 of the NFL Draft when the Buffalo Bills selected him in the 6th round (218th overall).

He will join some familiar faces in Buffalo, including former USC teammates, WR Robert Woods (drafted by the Bills in 2013) and CB Nickell Robey, as well as Buffalo DC Dennis Thurman and DB coach Tim McDonald, who were All-Americans as Trojans.

2016 NFL Draft: Cody Kessler

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Kessler-Draft2.JPGUSC QB Cody Kessler surged up to the Cleveland Browns in the 3rd round, becoming the 93rd overall pick of the NFL Draft. He is the highest drafted USC quarterback since Mark Sanchez went 5th overall in 2009.

Kessler is the seventh Trojan QB taken in the NFL Draft since 2003. No other school has produced more than four in that time period.

The Browns have enjoyed picking Trojans lately as Cleveland selected LB Hayes Pullard (now in Jacksonville) and TE Randall Telfer last year. They also drafted TE Jordan Cameron (now in Miami) back in 2011.

With three total picks in the first three rounds, USC is enjoying its most productive start to an NFL Draft since 2011.

2016 NFL Draft: Max Tuerk

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Tuerk-Draft.JPGUSC center Max Tuerk was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft with the 66th overall pick.

The Orange County product, who missed most of his senior season after tearing an ACL, will be able to stay close to home in San Diego. He is the first Trojan drafted by the Chargers since Shareece Wright in 2011.

While Tuerk is a versatile offensive lineman, having started at tackle, guard and center, he finished his USC career on the ball. Tuerk is the third USC center drafted in the last four years, joining former teammates Khaled Holmes (Colts in 2013) and Marcus Martin (49ers in 2014). He is the highest drafted USC center since NFL All-Pro Ryan Kalil went 59th overall in 2007.

2016 NFL Draft: Su'a Cravens

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USC LB/DB Su'a Cravens was the first Trojan taken in the 2016 NFL Draft when the Washington Redskins selected him with the 53rd overall pick in the 2nd round.

Cravens will play for former USC linebacker Joe Barry, who is the Redskins defensive coordinator. In the true spirit of the Trojan Family, Barry took a break from his family vacation to watch Cravens at USC Pro Day, and obviously, he liked what he saw.

Cravens, who will join former teammate Silas Redd in Washington, could play either linebacker or safety at the next level. He is the highest drafted USC LB since Nick Perry went in the 1st round in 2012 or the highest drafted USC DB since Taylor Mays went 49th overall in 2010.

Rowing for the Cup

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No. 12 USC women's rowing welcomes No. 20 UCLA to the Port of Los Angeles on Saturday for the annual dual meet (8:40 a.m. start). The Crosstown Rowdown carries 10 important points as the Trojans close in on the BMW Crosstown Cup.

Click here for the preview.

The Women of Troy have won 14 consecutive dual meets over the Bruins. To track the results of the races, follow @USCWomensRowing on Twitter.

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Haden's Last Pitch

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As his tenure as USC athletic director winds down, Pat Haden wound up for the first pitch before last night's baseball game against Arizona. The Trojans lost the series opener, 8-5, but the two teams will square off again tonight (7 p.m. PT) and Saturday (2 p.m. PT) at Dedeaux Field.

Here is video of Haden's final toss: