Pac Profile: Baseball's Jeremy Martinez

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Sporting its highest ranking since 2003, No. 6 USC baseball is back home tonight vs. UC Santa Barbara (6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field). The Trojans are 25-6 overall, riding a five-game winning streak.

Sophomore Jeremy Martinez has started all 31 games, playing primarily at first base, although he is a catcher by trade. Most importantly, head coach Dan Hubbs wants his bat in the lineup as Martinez is tied for third on the team with 22 RBI.

Here is a Pac-12 Profile on Martinez:

Meet Olajuwon Tucker

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

Name: Olajuwon "Boodah" Tucker

Position: ILB

Class: Sophomore

Size: 6-foot-3, 220 pounds

Age: 18

High School: Serra High School  (Gardena)

Scouting Report: Tucker is extremely versatile and possesses experience with seven game appearances under his belt. He's good in coverage due to his height and length, but also has the ability to come off strong on the edge when rushing the quarterback. 

Prep Career: Tucker is yet another one of the many former and current Trojans who hail from Serra High School. He thrived for the Cavaliers as a linebacker his senior year finishing with 117 tackles, including 25 for losses with 12 sacks - not to mention his seven interceptions, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. Tucker was named a 2013 Prep Star All-American, Max Preps All-State Division II first team, All-CIF Western Division and was the South Bay Defensive Player of the Year. 

Spring Ball: After seeing playing time in seven games as a true freshman in 2014, Tucker will look to compete for a starting spot at the inside linebacker position vacated by captain Hayes Pullard. This spring Tucker has improved dramatically running with the ones, while Anthony Sarao recovers from a foot surgery. 

Head coach Steve Sarkisian on Tucker: "He's changed his body. He came in just a little bit of a softer, longer guy. He's really hardened himself up which helps him be more explosive. He's been studying which is allowing him to be versatile. He's been playing inside for us, but we've also had him play some outside allowing him to rush the passer and he's showed up."

Here is Tucker with our Caroline Deisley...

Leslie Gets Hall Call

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USC legend Lisa Leslie is set to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015, joining former men's basketball head coach George Raveling. Leslie starred at the collegiate, Olympic and professional level, compiling an all-time great resume which includes the 1994 Naismith Player of the Year, four Olympic gold medals, three WNBA MVPs and two WNBA titles.

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At USC, Leslie was a three-time All-American and the first player ever to be named All-Pac-10 in four consecutive years. She was the National Freshman of the Year in 1991 and still ranks as the program's all-time leading shot blocker.

For Team USA, she brought home gold from Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. She is one of two women's basketball players (Teresa Edwards) with four Olympic gold medals.

As a pro, Leslie became a WNBA icon, earning MVP honors three times as the league's all-time best rebounder and second best shot blocker. Just down Figueroa, she led the Los Angeles Sparks to back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002.

Leslie is the third USC women's basketball player to be named to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, joining Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper. She will be enshrined with her Hall of Fame class on September 11, 2015, in Springfield, Mass.


Undefeated Weekend

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

USC's spring sports are putting together a dominating 2015 campaign across the board. There are currently 11 Trojan teams ranked in the national Top 10, including women's golf, sand volleyball and women's tennis which are all ranked No. 1. Last weekend, USC went 10-0 in competition in seven different sports:
Friday April 3
No. 8 USC Baseball 13, Arizona 6
USC Lacrosse 13, Oregon 11
No. 7 USC Men's Tennis 7, Utah 0
No. 1 USC Women's Tennis 5, Arizona 2

Saturday April 4

No. 1 USC Sand Volleyball 3, No. 3 Pepperdine 2
No. 8 USC Baseball 10, Arizona 9
No. 7 USC Men's Tennis 6, Arizona 1
No. 1 USC Women's Tennis 5, No. 23 Arizona State 2
No. 3 USC Women's Water Polo 6, No. 4 Cal 5
No. 8 USC Men's Volleyball 3, No. 14 Stanford 0

Even before men's volleyball made it a perfect 10, athletic director Pat Haden and women's lacrosse head coach Lindsey Munday celebrated the winning weekend...

Desert Divas

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

USC_W_Tennis_012515_MCG9819.JPGThe No. 1 ranked Women of Troy headed south to the dry desert to face theNo. 41 ranked Arizona Wildcats and the No. 23 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils last weekend. USC escaped the desert still undefeated in Pac-12 play while extending its win streak to eight consecutive matches, putting them at an impressive 18-2 on the season.

USC aced its first test against Arizona on Friday as the Women of Troy won the first five points of the match before losing the last two matches of the day. The match began close as doubles duos Gabby Smith/Madison Westby and Giuliana Olmos/Zoe Scandalis both barely pulled off 8-6, 8-7 victories respectively to secure the doubles point for USC. Freshman Madison Westby, Meredith Xepoleas and sophomore Zoe Katz all jumped out to early 6-0 leads in the first set of their singles matches ultimately leading the Women of Troy to victory and extending their win streak to seven.

Against the Sun Devils, the Women of Troy rebounded after losing the doubles point to win three straight singles matches with No. 11 ranked Giuliana Olmos clinching the victory for USC. Freshman superstar Gabby Smith swung the momentum back into the hands of the Women of Troy by shutting out her opponent 6-0, 6-0 to start off singles play. She was followed by victories from No. 49 Zoe Scandalis and No. 73 Madison Westby before Olmos finally clinched the USC victory over ASU with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Stephani Vlad.

The No. 64 ranked freshman sensation Gabby Smith earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for her performance this weekend in the desert heat. She ground out a tough victory on Friday to help secure the doubles point before winning both her matches, including a singles shutout on Saturday against ASU. This recognition is Smith's first ever selection as Pac-12 Player of the Week and the Women of Troy's fifth player this season. 

USC looks to protect its record and extend its winning streak this weekend as it hosts Utah at 1:30p.m on Friday and Colorado at noon on Saturday.

Fitting Senior Tribute

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No. 7 USC men's tennis honored its seniors the best way it knows how. The defending national champions picked up two more wins in the final home matches of the regular season, sweeping Utah 7-0 and beating Arizona 6-1 on Senior Day.

Click here for the recaps.

The senior quartet of champions did not drop a single match, highlighted by Eric Johnson (pictured) getting his chance to lead the line at No. 1 singles. The captain dropped just seven games over two straight-set victories.

USC will finish the regular season with three road tests at Cal (Friday), Stanford (Saturday) and No. 15 UCLA (April 16). The Trojans defeated the Bruins 4-1 earlier this season.


First Time for Everything

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No. 1 USC women's sand volleyball kept its undefeated season alive by becoming the first team ever to defeat No. 3 Pepperdine in a dual match at Zuma Beach in Malibu. The Women of Troy won 3-2 over the Waves to move to 15-0 on the season, having now defeated their chief rivals home and away.

Click here for the recap.

The dual match ultimately came down to courts 1 and 4. On court No. 4, Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler (pictured) won the only match pushed to the third and final set. And on the showcase court, Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes earned the clinching point for the Women of Troy, reversing the result from their first match against Pepperdine's best.

The top-ranked Trojans are coming home this week for a Thursday doubleheader against Loyola Marymount (2:30 p.m.) and San Francisco (4 p.m.). Both dual matches will be carried live on Pac-12 Networks.


Road Runners

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Last weekend, the No. 8 USC baseball team heated up in the desert, winning for the first time in Tucson since 2009. The Trojans captured their first Pac-12 sweep of the season against the Wildcats and solidified their position as one of the nation's best teams.

On Thursday, USC was knotted in a 1-1 tie with Arizona until the seventh inning when Dante Flores delivered a triple to left field to bring home the go-ahead run. The team scored two more runs in the inning and then relied on fantastic pitching from Brooks Kriske who retired 10 of 12 batters in 3.1 innings of work to win the game 4-1.

The Trojans got their bats firing on Friday to get the job done, tallying 13 runs on a season-high 18 hits to top the Wildcats, 13-6. Bobby Stahel contributed four hits and Reggie Southall led the team with four RBIs in the game that featured multi-hit performances from six different Trojans. On the mound, Kyle Twomey earned his fifth win of the year, pitching five complete innings and allowing just two runs on seven hits.

Arizona refused to go down quietly on Saturday, battling back-and-forth with USC until the very end. The Trojans fought back from a 5-1 deficit in the third, putting up seven runs in the top of the fourth to take an 8-5 lead. The Wildcats answered however with four runs in the next four innings, and the two teams entered the top of the ninth tied 9-9. Facing two outs, junior David Oppenheim hit a single to bring home the game-winning run and Marc Huberman closed out the day on the mound, securing his fifth win of the season.

Next up, the Trojans host UC Santa Barbara at 6 p.m. PT on Tuesday. The game will be live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Going to Miss Monica

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No. 3 USC women's water polo ground out a tough road win in Berkeley over No. 4 Cal, besting the Bears 6-5. Senior Monica Vavic accounted for four of the Trojans' six goals, moving the school's greatest goal scorer just 14 shy of the all-time MPSF record.

Click here for the recap.

The Trojans were actually trailing going into the final period, but they came through in the clutch, scoring four consecutive goals to flip a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 lead. The Women of Troy are now 20-2 overall and 3-1 in conference with San Jose State coming to the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Saturday (4 p.m.) for Senior Day.

Vavic, who will play the final home match of her illustrious career this weekend, spoke with Pac-12 Networks after the big win over the Bears.

Lights, Camera, Victory

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No. 8 USC men's volleyball does not get to play every match on TV, so the Trojans enjoyed the spotlight provided by Pac-12 Networks on Saturday, sweeping rival Stanford up on The Farm. USC has now won four of its last five with three regular season matches remaining, including hosting Concordia tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Click here for the recap.

The Trojans split their road trip as they lost to Pepperdine earlier in the week. They are now 15-8 overall and 13-7 in the MPSF, in position to be the fourth seed and host a conference tournament quarterfinal.

Against Stanford, Alex Slaught paced Troy with 16 kills. Here is the recap on Pac-12 Networks: