Bumped - P
We're all PO'd about the situation w/ USC and Larry Scott (now all my friends realize why I booed him when he showed up at the Utah game), but there are still lots of other things to celebrate and look forward to in many other USC sports. Here's what's been going on around Heritage Hall these days:
WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: The #4 ranked Women's Volleyball team had their 12 game winning streak snapped against #5 Stanford this past Friday, losing in straight sets 18-25, 14-25, 23-25. However, they bounced back against #2 Cal the following night, defeating the Bears 25-15, 25-17, 25-22. Alex Jupiter is clearly the MVP of the team this season w/ 311 kills, 100 more than the next highest player on that list, Katie Fuller. Right now, USC is tied for the conference lead w/ UCLA, and the Pac-12 title could come down to the season finale between the two in Westwood. But for now, the Women of Troy must prepare for games this weekend against the WSU Cougars and the #10 Washington Huskies.
MEN'S WATER POLO: At least one team was able to beat the Farm. Before the football game on Saturday, the #2 Men's Water Polo team earned a key victory over #3 Stanford by a score of 8-4. Keeper Joel Dennerley had a fantastic day, hauling in 14 saves. The win puts the Men of Troy in the driver's seat of the MPSF standings, and they look to keep their momentum going on Saturday vs. Pepperdine and Chapman
WOMEN'S SOCCER: The Trojan Futbol team struggled greatly this year, with a record of 7-12. However, they have recently discovered a hot streak and have won 4 of their last five games. But that new fire will be put under one final, extremely tough test in the season finale against UCLA in Westwood. #2 UCLA has only lost one game all season, and has never lost at home against the Women of Troy. If SC could somehow pull it off, it would end a difficult season on a very high note, and give USC points in the Crosstown Gauntlet race.
MEN'S GOLF: Going into the final round of the Gifford Collegiate, the Trojans have a 12 stroke lead and could win their first tourney since claiming the conference title last season. Senior Steve Lim is currently tied with UCLA's Patrick Cantlay for the individual lead at -9 and is aiming for his first individual title.
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY: This young team has a lot of growing to do. The Women of Troy finished in last place at the Pac-12 Championships this past weekend. With five freshman walk-ons, USC just couldn't compete with an extremely tough Pac-12 lineup. Colorado took home both the men's and women's titles, and Shelby Buckley was USC's highest-finishing runner at 77th with a time of 22:01.
MEN'S BASKETBALL: It's not going to be an easy season for Kevin O'Neill. USC has lost four of its five starters, three to the draft and one to injury. Only sophomore PG Maurice Jones remains. Except for him and forward Garrett Jackson, the team will comprise of transfers and scholarship players with no game experience. For all of these reasons, USC is projected to finish 7th in the Pac-12. However, there is some hope in the injury report, as Dewayne Dedmon is set to play in the season opener vs. CSUN with a soft splint, and if Jio Fontan's recovery continues as well as it has so far, he could potentially return on January 5th for the ASU game.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: On the women's side, the outlook is much brighter. The Women of Troy are ranked #23 in the AP preseason poll and are projected to finish 2nd in the Pac-12 and receive an NCAA tournament berth. It's their best preseason projection since 2006, when they were ranked #19 and reached the Second Round. The team will have five all-conference players returning, including seniors Ashley Corral and Briana Gilbreath. Their biggest challenge will be --of course-- Stanford, which is the 11-time-defending conference champions and will be USC's first conference opponent this season on December 29. The season kicks off on November 11 vs. Fresno State.
In non-athletic news, did anyone see the taping of Will Ferrell receiving the Mark Twain Award on PBS last night? In true style, he "accidentally" dropped the award and smashed it into pieces. Whoops.