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Three In a Row

USC men's volleyball topped No. 11 Cal State Northridge last night in five sets for its third consecutive win over a ranked opponent.

Click here for the full recap!

The three-match win streak is USC's longest since the 2015 season and brought the No. 14 Trojans to 6-9 (5-7 MPSF) this year.

For the second straight match, the Trojans shot out to a 2-0 lead. But the Matadors clawed their way back to tie things up at 2 sets all before USC took the tiebreak and won, 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 22-25, 15-10.

Senior Lucas Yoder (pictured) racked up 24 kills in the win to extend his nation-leading mark to 260 on the season.

The Trojans have now split the season series with Stanford, Pepperdine and CSUN after losing their first matchups with each. Tomorrow, they go for a season sweep over No. 2 Long Beach State.

Follow the Trojans on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on scores and information!


USC MVB - Nygaard at the Net: Week 8

USC men's volleyball earned two victories over ranked opponents this weekend in Stanford and Pepperdine to move up to No. 10 in the nation.

After a slow start to the season, USC head coach Jeff Nygaard calls the success the culmination of "little things" and says the team must control its own side of the net in the two upcoming games.

Catch the latest episode of Nygaard at the Net:


USC men's volleyball cracked the Top 10 after winning back-to-back matches over ranked opponents this weekend.

On Thursday, the Trojans upset No. 6 Stanford in a three-set sweep.

USC knocked off another contender in a five-set victory over No. 9 Pepperdine on Saturday. Freshman Lucas Lossone posted 16 kills, while Andy Benesh added 12, plus 7 blocks.

The Trojans got off to a two-set lead before the Waves charged back to even it at two sets all. In the tiebreak, USC rattled off four straight points to earn an 11-7 lead and didn't look back.

USC now stands at 5-9 this season (4-7 in MPSF play) and looks ahead to its next match at Cal State Northridge tomorrow.

Upset SCity

USC men's volleyball shut down the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal for a three-set sweep at Galen Center last night.

Click here for the full recap!

Senior leader Lucas Yoder stepped up with 15 kills, helping the Trojans hit .286 to Stanford's .089. Sophomore Woody Cook posted 10 kills and five digs as USC managed a 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 victory.

The win avenged USC's 3-0 loss at Stanford last month and marked the Trojans' first three-set win of the season. They now stand at 4-9 on the year, with a 3-7 mark in conference play.

USC, which now has three wins over Top 10 opponents this season, is gearing up to take on No. 9 Pepperdine tomorrow at 7 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets!

USC MVB - Nygaard at the Net: Week 6

USC men's volleyball couldn't pull off the upset against No. 3 BYU on Friday, falling in three sets. Head coach Jeff Nygaard sat down to discuss the match and the team's outlook going forward.

USC MVB - Nygaard at the Net: Week 5

USC men's volleyball picked up its third win of the season with an impressive upset over UC Irvine this weekend, before dropping a four-setter to UC San Diego.

Watch head coach Jeff Nygaard break down what went right against the Anteaters and what went wrong against the Tritons in this week's Nygaard at the Net:

USC MVB - Nygaard at the Net: Week 4

USC men's volleyball added a new member to the team on Jan. 23, who came in and started contributed immediately in the Trojans' two matches this week.

USC dropped both, to No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 Pepperdine, but head coach Jeff Nygaard was impressed with newcomer Gianluca Grasso, his team's steady improvement and the Trojans' "Fight On" spirit.

Hear everything he had to say in this week's "Nygaard at the Net."

Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Vinnie Rios

USC's student-athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond and pool --- they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a bit better in our academic spotlight.

Vinnie.jpgName: Vinnie Rios
Class: Senior
Sport: Men's Volleyball
Major: Global Medicine (Master of Science)
GPA: 3.26

Aubrey Kragen (AK): So when did you first realize that you were interested in medicine?

Vinnie Rios (VR): To be completely honest, I think it's something I've always known I've wanted. Throughout even high school and middle school -- as far back as I can remember in my schooling -- sciences were always the thing I was most intrigued by. As I took classes throughout high school and my undergrad here as well, I started keying in on the more biomechanical side of things. Being an athlete, I just love the way the body works and when things go wrong, I wonder why and how I can fix that. Also, as an athlete, I've had my fair share of injuries and I had an orthopedic surgeon who did wonders for me. He was able to not only heal me but get me back on the court in a pretty understandable amount of time. So I think for me, I want to go into orthopedic surgery -- that's kind of my goal. I just want to be able to give back. I want to be able to help out future athletes in the way that he helped me.

AK: Can you go into detail on what being an orthopedic surgeon entails?

VR: Bone breaks, muscle tears, joint dislocations -- and I want to specialize in sports injuries as well, because orthopedics can be anywhere from old age just needing a hip replacement. Dr. Dorr, a hip replacement surgeon in the Keck Medical School, did my grandpa's knee replacements. So I'm looking at an internship right now through him, but I specifically want to get into sports injuries, so if I could follow a team around that would be great. More of the biomechanical side of things.

AK: You mentioned you had an injury experience that opened your eyes to this field?

VR: Yeah, I broke my ankle my freshman year of high school, and then I ended up breaking my back a year later. I think it really stemmed from me starting to compensate ... Because I was compensating and walking a certain way it ended up causing stress on my back, so the second doctor I went to was able to figure that out and worked from the ground up, essentially. He was able to not only address the back issues, which was what I came for, but also addressed some of the underlying causes of how to walk again -- I had a weird limp.

AK: There are many different programs at the Keck School of Medicine, so what led you to the Global Medicine program specifically?

VR: I mainly just talked to my advisor. When I was finishing up the undergraduate side of things, people were asking, 'Where do you want to go? What's your plan?' I honestly said I was not ready to take the MCAT yet -- I knew I wanted to go to med school, but I wasn't ready yet. So I was looking for internships or a way to buy some time. And my advisor ended up guiding me toward the Global Medicine program ... I'm very appreciative toward my advisor, Laura Ames, my academic athletic advisor, Darrick Brown. There have been so many people who are helping me talk to the right people at the right time.

AK: How do you make your med school schedule work with practice?

VR: It's actually an oddity. This semester is my last semester -- I'll be finishing my Master's this spring. And for the first time since I've been in school for five years now, I have class for two hours Wednesday and two hours Friday. And it is unbelievable. Amazing. I love it. There are times when I don't really know what to do with my life, but I usually just fill it with rehab. I spend a lot of time with my trainer in the training room.

AK: You started your college career at Pepperdine, right? How was the transition coming here, both academically and athletically?

VR: That was a struggle. I loved Pepperdine -- It was a great school, I have nothing bad to say about it. But it was a very small science program. So with me being an athlete and trying to go the pre-med route, it just wasn't working. If I would have stayed an extra semester, I would have been missing four to five days of practice. So I talked to advisors and said this isn't working out, and I talked to my coaches to try to change practice time, but everywhere I turned, they said, 'Well, you can quit the team, or you can change your major.' And I kind of thought, 'I've been working so hard to have both of these in my life, and I'm not passionate about anything else,' so those just weren't good options for me. I quit the team there, got into contact with some coaches around here and luckily found my spot here. It was the best decision I made -- I would do it 10 times out of 10, 100 percent.

AK: So you have your Bachelor's degree, you're getting a Master of Science and then you're going to med school right? How do you stay motivated throughout all that schooling?

VR: I definitely want to take a gap year between the Master's and medical school. I'm feeling a little burnt out right now. It's been a lot of summer school for me, too, because I was behind from Pepperdine, so I almost feel like I've been in nonstop schooling for the past three or four years. My mom's been very understanding of that. She's excited -- I'll hopefully be the first doctor in my family, so she's all about moving on and getting into med school. I told her I need to do this at my own pace, kind of slow it down and enjoy my time for a little bit. She was worried that I wasn't going to want to go back once I took a year off. And the thing that I tell her is just that I am passionate about this. I guarantee the drive will not ever go away for me.

USC MVB - Week 3 Recap

USC men's volleyball dropped its matches to No. 11 UC Santa Barbara and No. 2 UCLA this week despite impressive play from veteran Lucas Yoder and freshman Aaron Strange.

The Trojans now sit at 2-5 on the season (1-3 in MPSF) play and must prepare for three straight road matches.

Head coach Jeff Nygaard sat down to discuss how his team has improved this season and what it still needs to work on in his weekly recap:

USC MVB - Week 2 Recap

After two hard-fought losses to Top 15-ranked teams, USC men's volleyball bounced back this week with an upset win over No. 3 Long Beach State. The Trojans couldn't hold on to their momentum, though, falling in three sets to No. 13 Cal State Northridge just three days later.

USC head coach Jeff Nygaard discussed the potential he saw in his team during the upset and dubbed senior outside hitter the team's "work horse" in his Week 2 recap.

Upset City

USC men's volleyball bounced back from two straight losses to upset Long Beach State at the Galen Center last night.

Click here for the full recap!

The unranked Trojans hosted the No. 3 49ers in their home opener, and pulled off a four-set win (25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22). Senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder racked up 28 kills and 6 digs to lead the way along with teammate Andy Benesh, who hit .526 with 12 kills, 5 digs and 4 blocks.

After the match, USC head coach Jeff Nygaard insisted the Trojans could beat anybody. Watch his full post-game interview here!

The Trojans gear up for another upset opportunity when No. 13 Cal State Northridge comes to town on Saturday at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets!

One Down

Aiming to improve on last year's losing season, the USC men's volleyball team opened 2017 up with a 3-1 win over Concordia last night.

Click here for the full recap!

Freshman OH Aaron Strange made a statement in his debut as a Trojan, racking up 13 kills and hitting .667 with only 1 hitting error in 18 swings.

USC came from behind to win the first set, 30-28, but dropped the second set, 23-25, before hitting its stride and winning the last two sets, 25-13 and 25-18 to earn the 29th season-opening win in program history.

The win marks an immediate improvement from last season, when the Trojans under first-year head coach Jeff Nygaard opened up the season with six straight losses.

The Trojans also got big contributions from Lucas Yoder (9 kills, 5 digs), Andy Benesh (6 blocks) and Gert Lisha (3 aces).

USC has no time to celebrate, as the team heads straight to Columbus, OH for the AVCA Showcase Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. The Trojans face defending national champion Ohio State on Friday before taking on Penn State the next day.

The tournament will be a huge step in determining how far the team has come since going 7-19 last year.

Click here for a full season preview!

Four More New Trojans

USC men's volleyball added four local recruits to their class of 2017 yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Sam Lewis, a 6-foot-10 middle blocker from Long Beach Poly, plus 6-foot-7 middle blocker Mitch Haly of Corona del Mar, 5-foot-10 libero Cole Paxson of Laguna Beach High and 6-foot-6 outside hitter Noah Franklin of Huntington Beach High all signed national letters of intent for USC yesterday.

All four have Junior Olympics experience and hope to contribute immediately during the 2017 season. In the meantime, though, they'll watch this year's team tackle the 2016-17 schedule. The Trojans are coming off a rebuilding year in which they finished 7-19. They'll get a fresh start in their first match of the regular season, on Jan. 3 against Concordia (Irvine).


Trojan Tune-Up

USC men's volleyball is gearing up to host a nine-team preseason tournament this Saturday at USC's Galen Center Pavilion.

Click here for the full preview.

The Trojans will split into two teams ("Cardinal" and "Gold") and will compete against Long Beach State, Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon and Concordia.

USC hopes to get back into the mix this season after going 7-19 in its first year under head coach Jeff Nygaard.

The team kicks off competition at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday on the upstairs courts at the Galen Center Pavilion, which is adjacent to the Galen Center. Admission to the event is free.


21 Pilots

Heading into the 2016-17 season, representatives from each of USC's 21 sports met on top of the AT&T Center for the annual "All 21" photo shoot. The AT&T Center, just two miles from campus, overlooks the skyline of downtown Los Angeles, where the Trojans call home.

Top row, from left to right: Nick Bell (men's water polo), Nina Kelty (lacrosse), Rebekah Ent (cross country), Anika  Apostalon (women's swimming), Eric Sloan (men's track & field), Courtney Jaco (women's basketball), Karen Chung (women's golf), Lucas Yoder (men's volleyball), Reed Malone (men's swimming), Brianna Daboub (women's water polo), Sara Hughes (beach volleyball), Jeremy Martinez (baseball)

Bottom row, from left to right: Zach Banner (football), Zoe Katz (women's tennis), Jordan McLaughlin (men's basketball), Amalie Iuel (women's track & field), Madara Strautmane (rowing), Nick Crystal (men's tennis), Collin Pollard (men's diving), Taylor Whittingham (women's volleyball), Savannah Levin (women's soccer), Sean Crocker (men's golf), Madison Witt (women's diving)

Seven More for SC

Allyson.jpgUSC athletes added seven more Olympic medals to their tally over the weekend, bringing the Trojans' total count at Rio 2016 to 21.

Allyson Felix bolstered her place among the best track and field athletes of all-time by winning two medals on Friday and Saturday evening. Felix won gold in both the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay in addition to her silver medal in the 400m last week. Felix's nine total Olympic medals ties Merlene Ottey (Jamaica & Slovenia) for most medals all-time by a female Olympic track and field athlete.

Trojan track stars Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse, representing Canada, also medaled in the 4x100 relay on Friday evening. Team Canada finished the race in fourth, but upon Team USA's disqualification, Brown and De Grasse were awarded bronze medals. It was Brown's first-ever Olympic medal and De Grasse's third, having won bronze in the 100m and silver in the 200m earlier in the week.

On Sunday, three more Trojans brought home medals.

Micah Christensen and Murphy Troy, playing volleyball for Team USA, earned bronze medals in a five-set win over Russia. They came back from two sets down, mirroring their fight throughout the whole Olympics --- Team USA lost its first two matches, but went on a winning streak against No. 1 Brazil, No. 11 France, No. 26 Mexico and No. 2 Poland before losing to No. 4 Italy to end up in the bronze medal match.

DeMar DeRozan capped off a successful Olympics for USC by earning a gold medal in men's basketball. Team USA topped Serbia, 96-66, thanks in part to DeRozan's six points, two rebounds, two assists and a block.

USC now boasts 309 Olympic medals, including 144 golds.


Torch Bearers

USC men's volleyball legend Celso Kalache and his wife Lucy, a 1972 Olympic swimmer for Brazil, participated in the Olympic Torch Relay on Monday in Cabo Frio, a town just outside of Rio.

Kalache led the Trojans to the program's first NCAA title in 1977 after competing for Brazil in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. The couple met at the 1975 Pan American Games and have a daughter, Tatiana, who played women's volleyball at USC.


#USC2RIO: Murphy Troy

The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Murphy Troy

Country: United States of America

Event: Men's Indoor Volleyball

Troy led a men's volleyball resurgence at USC, earning AVCA National Player of the Year in 2011 and captaining the Trojans to the NCAA Championship match. Since then, he's enjoyed a stellar professional career in Europe.

Now, Troy is ready for his first shot at the Olympics, competing for playing time as an opposite hitter on Team USA. He has become a key player for his country, helping the Americans win the 2015 FIVB World Cup and qualify for Rio 2016.

Troy is one of two Trojans on Team USA, joining Micah Christenson, but the pair missed each other by a year in college. USC men's volleyball previously has produced 12 Olympians who have participated in 18 Games, including gold medalists Dusty Dvorak (1984), Pat Powers (1984), Steve Timmons (1984, 1988) and Gabe Gardner (2008) and bronze medalists Timmons (1992), Nick Becker (1992), Dan Greenbaum (1992) and Bryan Ivie (1992).


#USC2RIO: Micah Christenson

The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Micah Christenson

Country: United States of America

Event: Men's Indoor Volleyball

Christenson, 23, began his Team USA career while he was still running the show at USC as the nation's best setter. Now, he is a mainstay in the side, headed to his first Olympics.

He is at the core of a young roster ready to represent in Rio. "I think we just approach the match being aggressive with as much energy and fire as possible," said Christenson. "We know that whatever lineup we put out there we're always going to compete."

A 2014 and 2015 All-American first teamer at USC, Christenson set the U.S. to the 2015 FIVB World Cup gold medal as well as the 2014 FIVB World League gold medal and a bronze in 2015. The USA Men's Volleyball Team will have podium aspirations as a Top 5 ranked squad in the world coming into the competition.


#FightOnForever: Ernie Hix

Ernie Hix, known as "The Father of USC Men's Volleyball", died on Saturday, June 4, at the age of 80. The two-time national champion head coach is credited with building the Trojans into a national power over his eight-year tenure from 1974-81.

Click here for his complete obituary.

"It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Coach Ernie Hix, a Trojan legend," said current USC men's volleyball head coach Jeff Nygaard. "He singlehandedly grew USC Men's Volleyball from its infancy into an NCAA championship-winning program, and along the way he had a deep impact on those who played for him. I have profound respect and admiration for the Father of USC Men's Volleyball, and I am in awe witnessing his continued impact through the outpouring of love from those who knew him best."

Hix fostered the careers of some of the sport's great players, including All-Americans Tim Hovland, Dusty Dvorak, Celso Kalache and Bob Yoder (pictured left to right with Hix, center, below). He won 73.8% of his matches at USC, with an overall record of 138-49.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in Hix's name to the USC Men's Volleyball Alumni and Boosters Club, c/o USC Men's Volleyball, Galen Center, 3400 So. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90089-2360.

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