Tour Of Troy: Kiffin-Free Edition

USC volleyball shuts down UCLA, water polo starts a new winning streak, and soccer gets off to a bad start in Pac-12 play.

Well, that was quite a weekend, wasn't it? We all woke up on Sunday morning to find out that for the first time in Trojan history, a football coach has been fired midseason. Now we're all waiting and hoping that Coach O can pull off some miraculous revival of this team during the bye week and lead the Trojans on a tear through the remaining eight games on the schedule.

For the rest of Trojan Athletics, the season goes on, and one team is starting to show a particular bit of promise. Women's volleyball kicked off their Pac-12 schedule last week with a four-set victory over UCLA in the 100th match between the two teams. The first three sets featured a combined 11 lead changes and winning margins of four points or less, before USC ran away in the fourth set to win 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-16. Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu and senior middle block Alexis Olgard set career-best performances with 17 and 13 kills, respectively. USC then followed up that victory with a road sweep of the Utah Utes, with outside hitter Samantha Bricio getting 16 kills and four aces, while Nwanebu added nine more kills to her weekend total to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors for the second straight time.

USC has now won six straight games and 13 straight at the Galen Center, giving them the #2 spot in the coaches' poll behind Washington. Now the Women of Troy must put all of that on the line on Friday against their toughest opponent yet: #7 Stanford. The Cardinal come in with an eight-game winning streak, including sweeps of UCLA and ASU. The winner will stay in the race with the Huskies for the Pac-12 lead, and if USC wins, head coach Mick Haley will earn his 1,100th career victory.

The women's soccer team, on the other hand, did not get their Pac-12 schedule off to a good start, falling to the Sun Devils in Tempe less than 24 hours after their football counterparts did. After 89 minutes of scoreless soccer, ASU's Devin Marshall shook off a yellow card and scored the game-winning goal with 20 seconds left. USC now falls to 5-4-1, with all four losses coming by one goal. Trojan Futbol will now try to avoid falling into a slump with home games this weekend against Washington and WSU. The Huskies are first, playing on Pac-12 Network on Friday at 2 PM.

Men's water polo played its first two homes games amid the construction of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, trying to rebound from their first loss since December 2011. They rebounded all right, defeating Princeton and Whittier by a combined score of 45-6. Eight hat tricks were achieved in the two games, with junior Kostas Genidounias leading the scoring with seven goals on the day. USC now improves to 12-1 and will begin MPSF conference play against UC Irvine on Saturday at 1 PM.

Finally, the NCAA champion women's golf team continues its torrid streak of success, winning a school-record fifth-consecutive meet in Illinois this week. Even though one of their players mistakenly signed an incorrect card and received a DQ, USC still finished two strokes ahead of Oklahoma and four strokes ahead of Stanford and Arizona to win their eighth meet in their last nine. Sophomore Kyung Kim tied for second in the individual competition, and was named the Pac-12 Player of the Month for September.

That's your non-rev news. Coach O announced yesterday that the weekly jock rally for the football team will be moved to Tommy Trojan this Wednesday at noon, where he will be making a big speech for the entire student body. This Thursday game is being marketed as the start of the road back for USC, and Coach O told a small crowd at the weekly pub quiz at Traddies that he's never seen the Trojans practice harder than they did in his first as interim head coach.

We're one week away from a new era.

FIGHT ON!

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