Rooted in Tradition, Rose Cup Continues to Thrive|
Nov. 4, 2015
The word “family” is often overused in our hyperbole-laden culture, its underlying meaning misconstrued. Last Sunday’s fourth annual Rose Cup, however, embodied the true spirit of the Trojan Family.
More than 100 USC student-athletes and coaches from 12 teams paraded onto Marks Stadium’s tennis courts for a little competition, a number of shanked backhands and a ton of support.
Women’s tennis player Giuliana Olmos first created the event four years ago in support of teammate Kaitlyn Christian and her mother Rose, who was battling breast cancer at the time. Since Rose’s remission, the Rose Cup has grown each year to become a staple of the Trojan Outreach program.
“It’s not everyday that the baseball team will play tennis with girls from lacrosse or volleyball,” Olmos said. “So bringing different Trojan athletes together and raising money and awareness, it’s a win-win.”
This year, Olmos’s teammate Madison Westby’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the team has rallied around her, dedicating this year’s Rose Cup in her name with t-shirts that read “We Play for Aunt Pam.”
This year’s event featured a pair of Trojan head coaches in Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Dan Hubbs from women’s basketball and baseball, respectively. With coach by their side, baseball’s Mitch Hart and Jack Poulsen battled to become Rose Cup 2015 champions.
Westby thought this year’s turnout was the best yet.
“Baseball always supports us, but we had track and football, Juju [Smith-Schuster] in his pink socks representing, swimmers and divers, lacrosse is actually pretty good,” Westby said. “It’s fun to have all the athletes together because we’re all on different schedules and this becomes a time to actually meet a lot of people while supporting a great cause.”
The $5,000 raised through the tournament, t-shirts sold and other donations will go directly to Dr. Julie Lang’s research lab at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As a senior Olmos’s Rose Cup leadership is coming to an end, and Westby will take the reigns going forward.
“GuGu [Olmos] will probably come back and help because this event is really close to the USC women’s tennis team’s hearts,” Westby said. “It probably won’t change much, but it will be really fun.”
If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the Rose Cup will continue to be a Trojan Family affair.