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Aiming for a Perfect Weekend

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It's setting up to be an exciting weekend at USC as both the No. 1 women's water polo and No. 5 women's lacrosse teams are gunning for perfect regular season records in their final games. Water polo is just one game away from a 21-0 record in 2016 and will look to clinch undefeated status against Cal on Friday at 2 p.m. PT. Lacrosse has two to go to get to 17-0, first on Friday at 4:30 p.m. versus Stanford in the Coliseum, and finally at McAlister Field on Sunday against UC Davis at 12 p.m.



Friday's water polo game will be Senior Day for Melissa Bergesen, Alegra Hueso and Nicola Welch. The Women of Troy have had a stellar 2016 season, outscoring opponents 253-85 through 20 games and leading the MPSF in defense with 4.25 goals allowed per game. Junior Stephanie Haralabidis is USC's top scorer with 50 goals to date while twin sister Ioanna is just behind her with 33 goals this season. The Trojans' match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

On Sunday, the Women of Troy will celebrate 14 seniors in their final home match, including Courtney Tarleton, Amanda Johansen and Caroline Cordrey, among others. The day should be a very special one as the group has played at USC since the program first began in 2012 and will be USC's inaugural four-year class. The Trojans are one of just two undefeated teams in the country (No. 1 Maryland) and boast the nation's top scoring offense and defense. All-star attacker Michaela Michael leads the conference with 3.57 goals per game and has tallied 52 total this year.

Be sure to come out and support both teams and follow @USCWaterPolo and @USCTrojansLAX for in-game updates, photos and more this weekend!

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USC Hoops' Newest Members

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On Friday, USC men's basketball announced the newest member to the Class of 2016, Chicago-area forward Nick Rakocevic as well as the return of Chris Capko who will serve as an assistant coach in 2016.


The 6-foot-10, 215-pound incoming freshman averaged 19.8 points, 14.4 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game as a senior at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois. He posted a double-double in all 33 starts last season and led his team to the 3A Illinois state title his junior season. 

"Nick's size, versatility and work ethic will be extremely valuable to our roster moving forward," said head coach Andy Enfield. "Nick and his team had an outstanding 2015-16 season and he was impressive with double-doubles in every game. We look forward to adding Nick to our team this summer where he will join his teammates in skill development and strength and conditioning programs."

Rakocevic joins previously announced members of the 2016 Class Jonah Mathews, De'Anthony Melton and Harrison Henderson. 

Capko, who served as the USC Director of Operations during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, returns to the Trojans as an assistant coach after holding the same position at Florida International University last season. Before his first stint at USC, the coach worked as an assistant men's basketball coach at Georgia Southern (2012 and 2013) and Stetson (2010 and 2011). 

"Both the staff and players are excited to have Chris [Capko] rejoin the USC men's basketball program," said Enfield. "He was here at the beginning when we formed the plan for the future of the USC basketball program and we look forward to great things from Chris."

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Talented All-American sprinters Ky Westbrook and Just'N Thymes have decided to redshirt the 2016 season for USC Track & Field. Both athletes have dealt with leg injuries beginning in the indoor season, and have not competed outdoors this year.

The sophomore Westbrook (below) finished up the 2015 season by running a wind-aided 11.11 to place fourth in the 100m dash at the NCAA Championships, the third-fastest any condition time ever run by a Trojan in the NCAA finals. She also earned All-American honors in the 4x100m relay which placed third with a time of 43.27.

The senior Thymes had a strong first season at USC last year after transferring from Riverside City College, posting a best of 10.37 in the 100m and a PR of 20.46 in the 200m. He helped the Trojans finish 1-2-3 in the Pac-12 Championships 200m race with a time of 20.75 and earned All-American honors in the 4x100m relay which ran 38.75, the second-fastest time in USC history.

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Cotton Bowl Boselli

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

On Friday, USC offensive tackle Tony Boselli was inducted into the 2016 Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame for his performance in the 1995 Classic. The Trojans absolutely dominated Texas Tech in the game, winning 55-14 and setting records for total offense, passing yards, points in one quarter and points in one half. Boselli helped lead the USC offense to a whopping 578 total yards. The two-time All-American was inducted into the Hall of Fame at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday morning along with Fred Akers, Eric Dickerson, Bob Golic, Fred Marshall and Dan Petty.

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

After turning heads at the 2016 NFL Combine, USC CB Kevon Seymour is eager to bring his speed to an NFL roster. Seymour ran the fastest USC 40-yard dash in over a decade after running a 4.39 this February at the Combine. As a Trojan, the cornerback notched 126 tackles including four for loss, 19 deflections, one fumble recovery and three interceptions. Last season, he was the veteran leader of the Trojans' youthful secondary. 

Back at the helm of USC's defense, Clancy Pendergast is preaching communication, technique and disruption in 2016. The defensive coordinator, who returned to USC this year, directed the best Trojan defense in the past seven years during his last stint in 2013. 

Throughout Spring Ball, Pendergast focused on teaching technique at all levels of the defense, his first step in installing an aggressive system that seeks to "spend more time on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage than ours". 

Streak Ends in Ojai

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

USC_Womens_tennis_UCSB__6571.jpgThe No. 19 USC women's tennis team lost a 4-2 heart-breaker to No. 13 Stanford in a battle for the Pac-12 title on Wednesday, ending its nine-match winning streak. The Women of Troy jumped out to an early lead after winning the doubles point, but couldn't hold on when it came down to the wire in singles play.

Click here for a full recap from Wednesday's loss. 

The Women of Troy were treated to dinner with USC athletic director Pat Haden after the match to celebrate their ongoing season (photo below)

The Trojans are now 12-5 entering the NCAA team championships with the bracket being announced on May 3. Currently, USC is competing in the Pac-12 singles and doubles championships, which also take place in Ojai, through April 24. Be sure to follow @USCWomensTennis for match updates, photos and more. 

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On Saturday, April 30, Dedeaux Field belongs to the kids. USC baseball will host Arizonaat 2 p.m. and we are offering our second "Kids Take Over the Ballpark" package for only $25 which includes two tickets (adult and youth), youth t-shirt, a mini USC baseball helmet with ice cream, USC baseball trading cards, two food vouchers and much more.

We Are The Champions

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The No. 2 USC women's golf team is the 2016 Pac-12 Tournament Champions, defeating crosstown rival UCLA by three strokes on Wednesday afternoon. This is the program's sixth conference title and fifth tournament win this season. The Women of Troy led the entire tournament with all five golfers finishing at par or better. It's the program's first championship since 2013 when it went on to win the NCAA Championship as well. 

Click here for a full recap of the Women of Troy's Pac-12 Championship.

All five USC golfers finished in the top 18, with junior Gabriella Then leading the pack with a third-place finish. It was her first top 10 finish since the season-opener in September. The Women of Troy will now advance to the NCAA Regional Championships May 5-7, looking for its nation-best seventh straight regional championship and 12th overall.

#FightOn Camps 2016

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Train like a Trojan and learn from the best at this summer's Fight On Football Camps conducted by USC head coach Clay Helton and his staff. Seven football camps for high school, elementary school and post-high school players will be held in June on Howard Jones Field, the on-campus practice fields for the USC football team. 


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