Women's Volleyball Sets SCORE Partnership

    Ebony Nwanebu goes toe to toe with students from Pio Pico.

    April 6, 2014

    This past Friday, the USC women's volleyball team paid an after-school visit to Pio Pico Middle School in order to launch their partnership through the SCORE Initiative.

    The program unites local middle and elementary schools with student-athletes in order to educate through the "Four Quarters" of SCORE: Physical Health, Academic Integrity, Team Building, and Community Responsibility. The SCORE Initiative includes monthly contact between the team and school, as well as the opportunity for the young students to attend a sporting event on USC's campus.

    The pairing between Pio Pico and women's volleyball seemed perfect even from the start. The Pio Pico Panthers volleyball team has consistently been one of the best in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and they couldn't wait to meet one of the best college teams in the nation.

    First, the athletes gathered in the school's auditorium for an educational session. They spoke about the importance of each SCORE Quarter as it relates to being a Trojan student-athlete.

    Afterwards, the athletes answered questions about balancing their busy schedules, handling teammates who might not be performing well, eating habits before games, and even participating in the crosstown rivalry with UCLA.

    Next, the action moved to the gym for an impromptu session of volleyball games. The Trojans and Panthers teamed up for casual drills to share their love of the game.

    At the end of the day, the kids received SCORE notebooks, pens, and autographed posters as reminders of the lessons taught by their new mentors.

    The Trojans plan to host more opportunities at Pio Pico next year in an attempt to positively impact the student body. Additionally, the Panthers will visit Galen Center next Fall to cheer on their team in the 2014 season.