Pac-12 Preview: USC vs. Colorado

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The Trojans travel to Boulder today. Here's how Yogi Roth, Curtis Conway and the rest of the Pac-12 Network crew think it will play out:

Back In Rhythm

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

kills-leaderboard4.jpgThe USC women's volleyball team returned home after a four-match away stretch and earned two victories at the Galen Center this weekend over Colorado and Utah. According to head coach Mick Haley, the Trojans are back in rhythm now that they're home, and the team is focused on finishing the final two weeks of the regular season in dominant fashion.

On Wednesday night, USC hosts Oregon at 7:30 p.m. PT in a match that could see senior Samantha Bricio become USC's all-time career kills leader. The outside hitter is just 22 kills away from Alex Jupiter's record of 1,918 and is averaging 5.16 kills per set. On Thursday, the Trojans face Oregon State at 7:30 p.m. PT at the Galen Center.

Here's Haley in his weekly women's volleyball update discussing the strengths of his team across the court...

Fearsome Foursome

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

wbball.jpgNational Signing Day for all winter and spring sports is today, and USC women's basketball kicked things off in strong fashion, signing the nation's tenth ranked class according to ESPN for 2016. Joining the Trojans next season will be Valerie Higgins, Asiah Jones, Minyon Moore and Ja'Tavia Tapley.

"We identified three things as our top priorities as we built the USC class of 2016: talent, high motors and passion to play," head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said on Wednesday. "Each of our four signees are exceptional basketball players who will immediately impact and add to the talent level of our team."

For a complete recap of women's basketball signing day, click here.

Two of the new additions, Valerie Higgins and Minyon Moore, are California natives who attended Chaminade College Prep High School and Salesian High School, respectively. Higgins, a 6-foot-0 guard, was named to the All-CIF First Team and was ranked as an ESPN Top-10 Wing at Chaminade. According to Cooper-Dyke, she will bring unparalleled versatility to the Trojans next year. Also a guard, Moore helped lead Salesian to the North Coast Section Division IV Championship and stands out as a "ball hawk" with "relentless energy".

Tall and talented forward Asiah Jones will join the Trojans in 2016 as well. From Piedmont, South Carolina, Jones' size gives her an advantage as a shot blocker and rebounder which will strengthen the Women of Troy on both ends of the court. Ja'Tavia Tapley rounds out the fearsome foursome as a 6-foot-3 forward from Jacksonville, Florida. She is ranked as the No. 39 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 6 small forward.

The quartet won't take the court for USC until 2016 but there's lots to be excited about this year as the Women of Troy get their season underway on Friday at 12 p.m. PT at the Galen Center.

Colorado Wednesday: Helton Presser

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

USC heads to the snowy Rocky Mountains tomorrow to prepare to face the Colorado Buffaloes on the Trojans' first-ever Friday the 13th game. In his last address to the media before kickoff, interim head coach Clay Helton announced that RB Tre Madden (knee) will not play on Friday and explained how the Trojans prepared to battle Colorado's freezing temperatures.

Voting For Two

Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

USC star WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and standout CB/WR/KR Adoree' Jackson are inching closer to two postseason awards and need the help of every Trojan fan to make it as finalists this December.

Smith-Schuster, currently the fifth-leading receiver in the country, has his eyes on the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the best wide receiver in college football. The sophomore is looking to become the second Trojan in four years to take home the award. To vote for JuJu, click here! Fans can vote as often as once every 24 hours.

The Hornung Award recognizes the most versatile athlete in college football each year, a description that perfectly fits Trojan sophomore Adoree' Jackson, the most exciting player in college football. Already this season, Jackson has 17 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns plus 14 tackles, one deflection and one forced fumble as well as 15 kick returns for 341 yards. To vote for Jackson, click here.

Veterans Day at the Coliseum

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First and foremost, thank you to all the veterans and active military for your service and sacrifice, today and every day. In recognition, the Coliseum is offering FREE historic tours today, 10am to 4pm, for all veterans and active military.

Click here for more info!


Swimming's Desert Sweep

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

The USC men's and women's swimming teams kicked off a road trip to the desert by sweeping Arizona State last Friday. The men, led by sophomores Pawel Furtek and Jon Knox, topped the Sun Devils, 159-132, while the women bested ASU, 178-106 thanks to outstanding performances by junior Chelsea Chenault (200y fly, 500y free), sophomore Hannah Weiss (100y back, 200y back) and freshman Riley Scott (100y breast, 200y breast).

Click here for a complete recap of the dual meets.

On Saturday, the Women of Troy defeated Arizona, 156-144, with junior Anika Apostalon winning the 50y free, 100y free and leading off the clinching 200y free relay. Meanwhile, the men's team lost its first meet of the year in a 172-126 Wildcat victory. The Trojan women are now 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12 this season while the men's squad is 5-1 overall and 1-1 in conference. 

This season, the Trojan men are coming off of their first conference title since 1979 and their second fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships in the last three years. Similarly successful on the national stage, the Women of Troy are coming off of an eighth place finish at the NCAA Championships and a third place finish at the Pac-12s.

Next up for USC is the Trojan Diving Invitational at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center November 13-15.

The Moment is Now

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

playeroftheyear-mills.jpgIt's been an exciting week for the USC women's soccer team which wrapped up it's best season since 2007 with a victory over UCLA last Friday and was selected as a No. 4 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament which begins this Friday. The last time the Trojans finished second in the Pac-12, as they did this season, they went on to win the National Championship. The Women of Troy (14-5-1, 9-2) will host Cal State Fullerton (16-3-1, 6-2) at 1 p.m. PT at McAlister Field.

This is the second year in a row the Trojans have made the postseason under second-year head coach Keidane McAlpine and they are intent on improving upon last season's ultimate result. In 2014, the Women of Troy fell in penalty kicks to Pepperdine in the first round. This year, driven by their "One Moment, One Now" philosophy, the Trojans believe the time is now to make a deep run into the postseason.

But before postseason competition officially begins, five of the team's biggest contributors received postseason Pac-12 honors on Tuesday, led by junior defender Kayla Mills who was selected as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Joining her on the All-Pac-12 First Team is junior Morgan Andrews who led the Trojans in scoring this season. Rounding out the talented group, junior defender Mandy Freeman earned All-Pac-12 Second Team honors, redshirt junior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme received All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and freshman defender Ally Prisock made the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.

Click here for more details on the honorees.

Here is McAlpine with his weekly women's soccer update...

#USCHero: Paul Alwine Jr.

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This week's Sport Clips Hero of the Game is Paul Alwine Jr. who graduated from USC in 1962 after attending on a Naval ROTC scholarship. As a Navy officer he served on an aircraft carrier involved with combat support at the beginning of the Vietnam War. He served our country during the Cold War and the first Gulf War.

During his distinguished 30-year Navy career he served on both active duty and in the reserve, commanding four different Navy units. After retiring as a captain, he became active with the USC alumni group that supports the current Naval ROTC midshipmen at USC, and currently serves as its president.


Trojans Live - Colorado Week

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Football and futbol took center stage on this week's edition of Trojans Live as Jordan and JJ welcomed interim head coach Clay Helton, World Cup champion Amy Rodriguez and a talented assortment of other guests. First up, Helton discussed USC's hard-fought victory over Arizona, rehashed sophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster's heroic performance and gave his preview for this Friday's cold game in Boulder.

Click here to watch Helton's complete segment.

In back-to-back segments, Jordan and JJ turned their attention to the talented USC women's soccer team coming off its best season since 2007. First up was head coach Keidane McAlpine who broke down the keys to the Trojans' stellar season and previewed their first postseason match this Friday vs. Cal State Fullerton.

Click here to see what McAlpine had to say about his team's mentality heading into postseason play.

Following the head coach was USC's most accomplished soccer alum, Amy Rodriguez, who called in to the show to relive her memories as a national champion at USC and offered her thoughts on this year's Trojan team.

Click here to listen to USC All-American Amy Rodriguez as she explains what life has been like as a World Cup champion.

Last but not least, sophomore safety John Plattenburg stopped by The Lab to cover a variety of topics including recording his second career interception on Saturday, his passion for community outreach and his development as a player after two years at USC.

Next week, don't miss Trojans Live on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT at The Lab on Figueroa.