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Title IX Turns 45

17_Womens_TitleIXGraphic.jpgForty-five years ago today, Congress passed Title IX, creating a boom in women's sports on the NCAA level.

A section of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX ensured that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Since its inception, USC's women's sports have blossomed. Across 12 women's sports, USC was won 30 national championships (20 NCAA) and 73 individual NCAA championships.

USC's first women's team title came four years after Title IX was implemented. Head coach Chuck Erbe led the women's volleyball team to the AIAW Championship in 1976 for the first of six titles for the program. Only women's tennis has more at USC (seven).

USC's 20 women's NCAA titles are the seventh-most in the nation, while their 73 individual titles rank ninth.

In addition to USC's national titles, 18 Women of Troy have earned the Honda Award for the top female athlete in their sport. The first was Cheryl Miller of USC women's basketball in 1984, and the most recent was Samantha Bricio of USC women's volleyball in 2016.

Bricio's dominance helped USC's athletic department earn the 2016-15 Capital One Cup, given to the nation's top women's athletic program based on NCAA finishes.

Between basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, rowing, beach volleyball, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball and water polo, USC's women's sports have come on strong lately, winning at least one national title in four of the past five seasons.

In 2016, two women's teams went all the way: soccer won its second title in program history and beach volleyball won its third in a row.

Follow the Trojans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see which women's team will be next!

Trojans Counting Down

Today, USC women's volleyball revealed its 2017 schedule, which features 15 televised matches and 12 battles at the Galen Center.

Click here for the full release!

The Trojans kick off the season on Aug. 25 at Loyola Marymount before heading home to host Michigan later in the day as part of the USC/LMU Tournament.

Conference play for the Women of Troy begins on Sept. 20 at UCLA in a tilt that will be broadcast on ESPNU. USC's 14 other televised matches will air on Pac-12 Network.

USC's Pac-12 slate also includes two matches against defending NCAA champion Stanford and a home match against the Bruins on Nov. 25.

Click here to see the schedule!

The Women of Troy aim to improve on their 18-14 (10-10 Pac-12) record from 2016, which saw them fall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Follow USC women's volleyball on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date during the offseason and click here for tickets!


Garrick Gets Real

USC_Womens_Volleyball_UCLA_mcgillen_DSC_2767.JPGWritten by Rachel Frain, USC blog contributor

Victoria Garrick is the starting libero for the USC women's volleyball team, a rising junior and a broadcast and digital journalism student. Garrick also has major depressive disorder, single episode, with anxious features. This April, Garrick took the opportunity to share her experience at the TEDxUSC event, which featured speakers from all walks of life within the Trojan community.

"I'm a big advocate for being an open book," Garrick said prior to her TED Talk. "I think the more we can all talk about our problems, the better our world is going to be. So many people go through things and they just hide it."

In August of 2016, Garrick was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, something she realized she had been fighting for far too long.

"I started to become overwhelmed with my schedule, performing well, being on one of the best teams in the country, and that all sort of came at me so fast and because of that, I developed my own anxiety issues," said Garrick.

Though her experience as a student-athlete at USC seemed like too much to handle at first, Garrick acknowledged that the program was also fundamental in helping her heal. In fact, the USC Athletic Department has the largest and most integrated sport psychology program in the country. Through team psychologists and support from fellow student-athletes, Garrick is seeking the help she needs.

But the fight for Garrick doesn't end here. Now that she's sparked the conversation about mental health in athletes, she next seeks to tackle body positivity, which she wrote about on National Girls & Women in Sports Day, and the misuse of social media.

"I just think Facetune, editing our bodies, following girls and looking at their pictures, then feeling bad about ourselves is just so negative," said Garrick. "Why was I looking at things every single day that made me feel bad about myself? I think it's so true especially at USC, that's a big thing that needs to change."

Watch Garrick's full speech, entitled "Athletes and Mental Health: The Hidden Opponent," here:

Trojan Travelers

On May 18, USC women's volleyball took off on a 13-day, five-country trip across Europe to test their worth against international competition.

Click here to see the team's full itinerary!

So far, the Women of Troy have visited Iceland and Austria, and are currently staying in Slovenia, where they'll compete in a tournament featuring the national teams from Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Click here for to watch the video diary from Day 1 in Reykjavik, Iceland!

Click here to watch the video diary from Day 2 in Reykjavik, Iceland!

Follow the Trojans on Instagram and Twitter and watch the video diary from Day 3 in Salzburg, Austria below:

Volleyball Goes Dancing

USC women's volleyball earned its 26th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this year after posting an 18-13 record in the regular season.

Click here for the full release!

The NCAA selected the The Women of Troy for an at-large berth, so they will face Hawai'i in the first round of the tournament at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis on Friday. The last time USC faced Hawai'i, the Trojans escaped with a 3-2 win in the Aloha State.

USC will have a tougher road in the tournament than last year, when it earned the No. 1 overall seed before being upset by Kansas in the regional championship match.

Follow the team on Twitter for more information!


Shoe-In for Notre Dame

USC football is partnerning with the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work to conduct a sneaker drive dedicated to tackling homelessness.

Head coach Clay Helton and his wife, Angela, have begun to work on a multi-faceted initiative to help members of the homeless community in Los Angeles. In the month of November, their goal is to collect 5,000 pairs of sneakers, with a special emphasis on large men's sneakers.

"There are so many misconceptions about the homeless," Angela said. "Many people are working and doing the best they can for their children. Clay and I wanted to help. We wanted to do our part."


Final Home Stand for Trojans

USC women's volleyball hosts its last two matches of the regular season tomorrow and Saturday against Oregon State and Oregon.

Click here for the full preview!

The Trojans will honor its seniors, Elise Ruddins (pictured), Taylor Whittingham and Alice Pizzasegola, before the Oregon game on Saturday.

They have guided the team to a 17-10 record this season, including wins over Oregon State and Oregon earlier this season. The seniors, as well as young players like Khalia Lanier, will be key in USC's final push to make the NCAA Tournament.

Click here to purchase tickets to USC's final homestand!

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Meet Khalia Lanier

USC women's volleyball freshman Khalia Lanier was one of the most decorated prep stars in the country before coming to Troy. Since arriving, she's made an immediate impact, leading the team (and all freshmen in the Pac-12) in kills and total points.

The Scottsdale, AZ native has dreams of playing in the Olympics, but is focused on winning a national championship with USC first.

Here is Lanier on why she chose USC, what it means to be a Trojan and more:

Vote for Zach and Taylor!

zach class.jpgTwo Trojan student-athletes were named finalists for the 2016 Senior Class Award in their respective sports today, and Trojan fans can vote to help them win.

Football captain Zach Banner and women's volleyball captain Taylor Whittingham made the 10-person lists, which reward senior student-athletes for excellence in the community, in the classroom, in character and in competition.

Banner, the only Pac-12 player to make the final cut in football, is currently working on his second Bachelor's degree (in sociology), after earning a communication degree from USC earlier this year. He is frequently involved in USC's community programs, including a recent partnership with Trojan Outreach and the CFP Extra Yard for Teachers charity, during which he spoke to local elementary schoolers about the importance of education and helped present a local teacher with a $10,000 check. Banner missed two games to injury this season, but has helped lead an offensive line that's given up the fewest sacks in the Pac-12 this year. He earned All-Pac-12 first team honors in 2015.

Whittingham, who leads her team and ranks third in the conference in digs per set (4.94), is one of three Pac-12 women's volleyball players to be named finalists. This season, the communication major moved up to fourth in USC history with 1,609 career digs and counting. Off the court, Whittingham has led the women's volleyball team in number of service projects, including a day spent with patients at CHLA. She also served as a team leader during USC's "A Day in Troy" program and as a mentor to local Girl Scouts from 2014-15.

Click here to vote for Taylor and click here to vote for Zach!

The fan vote accounts for 1/3 of the total votes toward determining a winner. The other 2/3 comprise NCAA Division I coaches and national media members. Fan voting will be open until Dec. 12.

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Taylor's CLASS

Senior libero Taylor Whittingham of USC women's volleyball was recently named a Senior CLASS Award candidate for the 2016 season.

Click here for the full release!

Whittingham is one of 30 candidates for the award, which stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The award is given annually to an NCAA Division I senior who shows excellence in the community, the classroom, in character and in competition.

Whittingham, a team captain, has excelled on the attack and on defense this season, leading the team with .27 aces per set and 4.91 digs per set. The Rancho Santa Margarita, CA native recently moved up to fourth on USC's all-time digs list, with 1,548 and counting.

Last season Whittingham was named a Volleyball Magazine third-team All-American, An AVCA All-Pacific South Region selection and a Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention. She built on those this year by winning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3 --- the third such honor in her career.

Off the court, she holds a 3.0 GPA as a communication major and is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention selection. She has been involved in service projects at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital and has served as a team leader and counselor for USC's annual inner-city outreach program, A Day In Troy. She also has been an active counselor for the Girl Scouts program in 2014-2015. This summer, Whittingham was joined the Pac-12 All-Star Team, which visited China to play and to put on on free volleyball clinics.

The 10 finalists for the award will be announced later in the regular season.


Split Sweeps

USC women's volleyball ended up on both the winning and the losing end of a sweep this weekend at the Galen Center.

On Friday, the 25th-ranked Women of Troy took down Cal in three close sets (25-22, 25-21, 25-18). Senior libero Taylor Whittingham (pictured) helped lead the team to victory with a match-high 11 digs. Her efforts catapulted her into fourth place on USC's all-time digs list.

The Trojans couldn't get it done on Sunday against Stanford, though, falling in three sets just as close as Friday's (25-22, 25-19, 25-21). Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier finished with 11 kills, five digs and two blocks in the loss.

USC is now 14-7 and 6-4 in Pac-12 play. The Women of Troy have back-to-back matches at the Galen Center against Utah and Colorado on Friday and Saturday. Click here for tickets!


Lanier Leads the Way

Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors for leading USC to two road wins this weekend, over Oregon and Oregon State.

On Friday, the Women of Troy earned a four-set upset of No. 16 Oregon in Eugene. Lanier posted a career-high 23 kills and added eight digs and a block to lead all players with 23.5 points.

Lanier earned a double-double in USC's tilt with Oregon State on Sunday to help the Trojans sweep the Beavers. She finished with 16 kills, 12 digs, two blocks and an ace. Alyse Ford also posted a double-double. The win was USC's first sweep of a conference opponent this season and helped the Women of Troy stay undefeated on the road this year (7-0).

Despite leading all Pac-12 freshmen in kills (4.01 per set), service aces (0.25 per set) and points (4.52 per set), this is Lanier's first Freshman of the Week award from the conference.

Lanier and the Trojans host four conference opponents to close out October, starting with Cal on Friday at 6 p.m.


Volleyball Nets 1,000

Last night, USC women's volleyball won its 1000th match as a program in a 3-1 victory over ASU at the Galen Center.

Click here for the full recap!

The Women of Troy improved to 11-5 on the season, with a 3-2 mark in conference play, and became the 17th women's volleyball program in NCAA Division I history to earn 1,000 wins.

Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier led the way with her eighth double-double of the season (career-high 22 kills, 11 digs). Opposite hitters Niki Withers and Alyse Ford also racked up double-digit kills.

The Women of Troy won the first two sets easily (25-15 and 25-18), but dropped a close third set (25-27). They roared back in the fourth, jumping out to an early 7-2 lead, and Ford put up the final kill to seal USC's 1000th victory.

The win was just another milestone for head coach Mick Haley, who has led the program to their 600th, 700th, 800th, 900th and now 1000th win.

Click here to watch highlights of the match!

USC photographer John McGillen captured all the best moments from USC's historic win:

Grand Expectations

Sitting on 999 wins as a program, USC women's volleyball has two chances to get to a grand this week.

The No. 22 Trojans (10-5, 2-2 Pac-12) set up at home against Arizona State (7-9, 0-4) tomorrow and Arizona (10-6, 2-2) on Friday. Both matches are at 7 p.m. at the Galen Center. USC enters the week fresh off two road wins over Colorado and Utah, after dropping their first two conference matches.

USC has been hot against these two teams recently, boasting an 8-2 record in the last 10 matches over ASU and 9-1 in the last 10 against the Wildcats.

Click here to purchase tickets to what could be USC's 1,000th win!


Wonderful Whittingham

Taylor Whittingham, a senior libero on USC's women's volleyball team, earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts against Colorado and Utah this weekend.

After missing the last two matches due to injury, Whittingham came back to lead the team in digs in both contests this weekend, with 19 against the Buffaloes and 28 against the Utes, for an average 5.22 digs per set.

Whittingham, one of USC's team captains, has now registered 20+ digs in six matches this season. Overall, she leads the team with 222 digs (4.83 digs per set).


Big Bounce Back

After dropping its first two Pac-12 matches, USC women's volleyball bounced back with two wins over ranked opponents over the weekend.

Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier led the way with a career-high 18 digs, plus 19 kills and three blocks in the 23rd-ranked Trojans' 3-1 win over No. 20 Colorado.

On Saturday, USC earned a hard-fought, five-set win over No. 25 Utah. Lanier posted another double-double --- her seventh of the season --- and senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins (pictured) hit .727 plus a career-high three solo blocks.

USC is now 10-5 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play. Next, the Trojans set up for what could be the program's 1000th win on Wednesday vs. Arizona State.

That match kicks off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Galen Center.


Photo Gallery: WVB Falls to Bruins

No. 21 USC women's volleyball saw its eight-match winning streak come to an end in a tight four-set loss to No. 9 UCLA on Wednesday night.

Click here for the recap.

The Women of Troy were led by junior Niki Withers who had 13 kills and freshman Khalia Lanier who posted 12 kills.

Here are the John McGillen photos:

Crosstown Cup Commences

USC women's volleyball will be the first Trojan team to face off against UCLA this season when they host the No. 9 Bruins tomorrow. The 7 p.m. match will mark the start of the 16th Crosstown Cup competition.

Click here for the full match preview.

In 2015, the Trojans took home the Crosstown Cup for the 10th time in 15 years of competition. USC swept UCLA in key sports like football, men's basketball, women's soccer and women's water polo to earn a 115-70 edge in total points.

The women's volleyball team split matches with UCLA last season, so both teams earned 5 points each. In their first meeting, the Trojans swept the Bruins, but the tables turned later in the year when No. 13 UCLA upset top-ranked USC.

This year, UCLA enters the matchup at 9-1 and is ranked No. 9 in the nation, while USC is ranked No. 21 at 8-3. The Crosstown Cup begins when the teams face off tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Galen Center.


Volleyball Sets Up at Home

USC women's volleyball returns to the Galen Center this week to host the 2016 Pac-12 Challenge.

Click here for the full preview.

The No. 21 Trojans have picked themselves off the mat, winning six straight after dropping their first three matches of the season. They took home the title at the USC Radisson Classic and the Rice Adidas Invitational and now they prepare to face Oklahoma and Maryland this weekend.

Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier (pictured), junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie and senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins, all of whom earned all-tournament honors last week, will be key in topping the Sooners and the Terrapins.

Lanier, who was the 2016 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year, 20 leads the team with 125 kills and 10 service aces this season. Ruddins, meanwhile, has posted a team-leading 32 blocks.

The Trojans face Oklahoma at 8 p.m. tonight and Maryland at 8 p.m. on Saturday.


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)
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