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Cream Of The Crop

DBmENbQUMAA9pU5.jpgAfter yet another stellar season, five members of USC women's water polo earned All-American recognition from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches.

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Outgoing senior Stephania Haralabidis was named a First Team All-American for the second straight year, and finishes her career as a four-time All-American honoree (second team in 2015, honorable mention in 2014).

Haralabidis, who was born in Greece, led the MPSF in total goals this year, with 84. She posted the third-most goals in a single season in USC history, and moved into second place in career goals at USC, with 269. Her 269 goals are the sixth-most in conference history as well.

While Haralabidis' departure will leave a big hole in the Trojans' offense, Second Team All-American Maud Megens appears poised to fill it. The Dutch import had a breakout rookie season, ranking behind only Haralabidis on USC's scoring chart (58 goals).

Trojan goalkeeper Amanda Longan, who led the MPSF in saves (10.91 per game) and departing senior Brigitta Games earned Third Team honors for their efforts. Games scored 57 goals this season and ranks among USC's Top 20 all-time scorers.

Rising senior and 2016 team captain Brianna Daboub rounds out USC's five honorees, earning All-American Honorable Mention.

USC's five honorees are the second-most of any school in the nation, behind only national champion Stanford. After a T-3rd place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Trojans and their returning All-Americans will head into the 2018 season ready to get back on top.

Record-Setting Scholars

A program-record seven Trojans earned MPSF Women's Water Polo All-Academic honors for the 2017 season, the conference announced today.

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Avery Peterson, who graduated on May 11 as an All-American, national champion and team captain, earned her third MPSF Scholar-Athlete honor. Peterson wraps up her USC career with a 3.4 GPA as a communication major.

Fellow outgoing seniors Ioanna Haralabidis and Nikki Stansfield also earned Scholar-Athlete honors. Haralabidis lands her second-such honor, while Stansfield earned her first just after graduating.

Co-captain Brianna Daboub and rising senior Annika Jensen also earned the distinction for the second time in their careers.

Rising juniors Amanda Longan and Courtney Fahey made it on the honor roll for the first time. Fahey has the highest GPA on the team, with a 3.57 in health and human sciences.

USC's seven honorees this year are two more than last year.

In addition to setting a program record for all-academic honorees, the Trojans set an NCAA record in consecutive victories, extending their win streak to 52 matches this season. They went 29-4 on the year with a trip to the NCAA Final Four.

The Trojans will reload following the loss of Peterson, Stansfield, Haralabidis and the other outgoing seniors, and head into the 2018 season ready to contend for a national title once again.


Just Short In The Semis

USC women's water polo fell in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, finishing the 2017 season with a  29-4 record.

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The third-ranked Trojans were edged out, 11-10, by No. 2 Stanford, who went on to beat UCLA in the national title game.

After a high-scoring first quarter (Stanford 5, USC 4), the game settled down and went back and forth as the winners of the last eight combined NCAA titles battled it out.

Junior captain Brianna Daboub netted three goals for the Women of Troy -- topped only by Stanford's Maggie Steffens, a two-time gold medal winner with Team USA, who had four goals.

In her final game in Cardinal and Gold, USC senior Stephania Haralabidis scored twice, giving her a total of 84 goals on the season and 269 in her career. She'll depart from Troy ranking No. 2 on USC's all-time scoring list, while her scoring output this year ranks third on USC's single-season list.

Saturday's semifinal also marked the final game for seniors Ioanna Haralabidis, Brigitta Games, Avery Peterson and Nikki Stansfield.

This season, they helped USC set an NCAA women's water polo record by extending their winning streak to 52 straight games. Their four losses this season only came to either national champion Stanford or runner-up UCLA.

This offseason, the team will travel to Europe and regroup to start a new streak in 2018.

Time To Make A Splash

USC's third-ranked women's water polo team kicks off its quest for back-to-back national titles at the NCAA Tournament this weekend.

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The Women of Troy (28-3) kick off their title defense tomorrow in Indianapolis against Michigan (28-8), a team which USC defeated twice this season. USC's first game of the year was an 11-3 win over the Wolverines and the Trojans topped Michigan again in the semis of the Triton Invitational in February, by a 9-5 margin.

Should the Trojans win, they advance to the semifinals at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday, where they'll face the winner of No. 2 Stanford (20-3) vs. Pacific (20-8). A win there would slot USC into the championship match on Sunday at noon PT.

The Women of Troy are on the hunt for their sixth title in program history and their first back-to-back crowns. Last season, they topped Stanford, 8-7, with a thrilling last-second goal by Stephania Haralabidis.

This year, Haralabidis is the highest-scoring player in the MPSF (2.58 goals per game).

Each NCAA Tournament game will be streamed live on Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter and Instagram for scores and updates!


State of Troy - May 2017

Each month, we interview USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

usc-beach-volleyball-pepperdine-ncaa-championship-mcgillen-050617-8842.jpgSwann on USC beach volleyball's third consecutive national championship...

Winning a championship is everybody's goal, but it is hard to attain. A three-peat is absolutely remarkable. It is one of the unique historical accomplishments to happen in any sport. For our top pair, Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes, their record is extraordinary. They will not realize how big this is for quite some time, and it is only going to get bigger.

Swann on the reaction to the recently-unveiled Coliseum seating plan after the renovation...

The messaging that went out last week was really well received. Most importantly, people understand it. Of course, there are a few folks fearful of change, but change is inevitable in any renovation and necessary in our situation. We will be sure to communicate with every one of our Trojan Athletic Fund members and season-ticket holders one-on-one to address their concerns as we believe that we have a suitable option for everyone. The fundraising support has been tremendous, and we are extremely grateful to all our loyal alumni and fans. At the end of the day, I believe that the Trojan Family will be happy with the changes that we are making and embrace the new seating grid. We will come together, support this football program, support this cause and turn out in full force for years to come. We will Fight On.

Click here for more information on the Coliseum renovation!

Swann on the APR report...

I'm very proud of our student-athletes for their conscientious efforts in the classroom that have led to a best-ever department APR of 976. To have nearly half of our 21 teams record their highest APR in history is a testament to our focus on the "student" part of the student-athlete equation. We should also acknowledge the emphasis our coaches put on the academic performance of their teams and the support provided by our staff in the Stevens Academic Center.

Swann on Commencement Week...

This is my first time here for graduation week as the athletic director, and it is very exciting. Congratulations to all the seniors and post-grads on earning your degrees. I am looking forward to the Student-Athlete Graduation on Thursday and then the main ceremony on Friday. Unfortunately, some of our student-athletes will miss graduation because they are competing in postseason tournaments. It is one of the difficult aspects of being an athlete. But, our student-athletes put so much time and effort into competing for championships that I know they are willing to make the sacrifice to reach for their goals.

usc-womens-water-polo-princeton-2017-mcgillen-5185.jpgSwann on the rest of the spring sport calendar...

Men's and women's golf are beginning their road to the NCAA Championships. The men are in a great position as head coach Chris Zambri has done an excellent job. They had to battle snowy conditions at the Pac-12 Championships in Colorado, which maybe threw them off their game a bit, but they have an opportunity to win the program's first national championship. Andrea Gaston always seems to put the women's team in a position to succeed in the postseason, so I look forward to seeing what they do as well.

Women's water polo will battle for the NCAA title this weekend in Indianapolis. They will go in as the three-seed. They are used to being on top, but they have taken a couple losses lately. It all comes down to the NCAA Tournament though, and Jovan Vavic knows how to win championships.

Men's and women's tennis also begin NCAA Tournament play this week. The men have been playing beautifully, including winning the Pac-12 Tournament, and I expect them to compete for more hardware at the NCAA Championships. The women's team has really improved late in the season, so they could have a good showing as well.

Women's lacrosse has to travel to Florida for the postseason. Coach Lindsey Munday has had this team ready to play from day one. They have grown in confidence every step of the way. I look for them to continue their outstanding play.

Men's and women's track & field will battle for the conference championship this weekend up in Oregon. They have had a great season. I really enjoyed the Dual Meet win for the Women of Troy over UCLA, but the men fell a little bit short. I think both teams are peaking towards postseason competition.

Baseball continues on with a trip to Utah this week. We hope to put together a late season run after a tough couple of weeks.

Women's rowing is working hard. They have a difficult schedule with all the travel, but I think they will make a good showing at the Pac-12 Championships this week. It's that time of year. Everybody is competing and pushing to win hardware.

Pick Six

STEPH.jpgSenior Stephania Haralabidis leads a pack of SIX USC women's water polo players who picked up All-MPSF honors this season.

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For the second year in a row, Haralabidis earns First Team All-MPSF honors. Haralabidis leads the MPSF in scoring (80 goals, 2.58 goals per game). Her 80 goals are the fourth-most in a single season in USC history and have helped her move into No. 2 on USC's all-time scoring charts. She's earned some level of MPSF honor in each of her four seasons at USC.

Haralabidis' twin sister, Ioanna, is one of four Trojans on the second team. She's joined by senior two-meter Brigitta Games, sophomore goalie Amanda Longan and freshman utility player Maud Megens.

Ioanna has scored a career-high 52 goals this year en route to her third straight season earning MPSF honors (first team last year and second team her sophomore year).

Games is a second teamer for the second straight season after notching 56 goals -- second-most by a Trojan this season.

Games and Stephania Haralabidis also earned MPSF All-Tournament Team honors.

Longan, who leads the conference in saves this season (10.77 per game), has also earned back-to-back MPSF honors.

Megens ranks third on USC's scoring charts this season with 54 goals. In addition to her second team honors, she earned a spot on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team. Joining her on the All-Newcomer team is Denise Mammolito, who scored 27 goals her freshman season.

The Trojans begin their NCAA championship defense as this year's No. 3 seed. They open the 2017 NCAA Tournament on May 12 at 2:15 p.m. PT against Michigan.

On To Indy

USC women's water polo beat Cal to earn third place in the MPSF Tournament in Westwood, CA this weekend.

The No. 3 Trojans kicked off the tournament by dominating San Jose State to set up a semifinal clash with No. 2 Stanford on Saturday. The Trojans battled all the way until the finish, but wound up just short, losing 6-5 to earn a spot in the consolation game.

There they faced No. 5 Cal, a squad USC had beaten just two weeks before. The Trojans and Bears were even through two periods, but USC's 2-0 run in the third period was all the team needed to secure an 8-6 win and the third place prize.

Senior Stephania Haralabidis led the way with three goals, while sophomore Amanda Longan racked up 14 saves.

The Trojans now look ahead to the NCAA Tournament, which takes place from May 12-14 in Indianapolis. After an undefeated 2016 season which saw USC emerge as the national champion, the Trojans take a 28-3 record into this year's NCAAs.


Eyes On The Prize

Tomorrow, USC's third-ranked women's water polo team begins its MPSF Tournament title defense.

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The Trojans are 26-2 (4-2 MPSF) on the season and earned the No. 3 seed in this year's tournament, which UCLA is hosting.

USC kicks off the tourney with a quarterfinal matchup against six-seed San Jose State tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. In USC's matchup with San Jose State earlier this season, the Trojans came out on top, 19-3.

USC's Stephania Haralabidis (pictured) leads the conference in scoring (2.68 goals per game), while USC goalie Amanda Longan leads the conference in saves (10.63 per game) heading into tomorrow's matchup.

Should the Trojans come out on top, they'll advance to the semifinals, where they'll face the winner of No. 2 Stanford vs. No. 7 Cal State Bakersfield.

The MPSF Tournament will be streamed live by FloSports.

Follow the Women of Troy on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on USC's title defense!


Battle Of The Best

USC women's water polo dropped its regular season finale at UCLA this weekend, locking in the No. 3 seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament.

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The No. 2 Trojans and No. 1 Bruins traded scores to open up the game, before UCLA added another to finish the first period up 3-2. The Bruins came on strong in the second period, shutting USC out to increase their lead at halftime.

Trailing 6-2 at the break, the Trojans made adjustments to outscore UCLA in the third period and pull within two. But the Bruins pulled away at the end, earning an 11-7 victory.

Stephania Haralabidis, Brigitta Games and Maud Megens all scored two goals apiece for the Trojans, and Hayley McKelvey added the other. Amanda Longan racked up 10 saves.

With the loss, the Women of Troy finished the regular season 26-2 (4-2 MPSF) and earned the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, behind UCLA and Stanford -- the only two teams to beat them this year.

USC will face San Jose State in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Friday at 12:45 p.m. in Westwood.

Check out USC team photographer John McGillen's photos of Saturday's match:

Warriors In The Water

In its regular season finale tomorrow, USC's second-ranked women's water polo team tangles with No. 1 UCLA.

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The Trojans head to Westwood with their sights set on a share of the regular season MPSF title. With a 26-1 (4-1 MPSF) record, USC would need to beat UCLA (19-1, 5-0 MPSF) to earn it.

This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams, as USC eked out a 10-9 victory in the semifinals of the Barbara Kalbus Invitational in February.

UCLA jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 in the country last week after beating Stanford, the team that snapped USC's 52-game win streak earlier this month. The Bruins also hold an eight-goal scoring differential over the Trojans, so USC would need to beat them by eight to earn the top seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament.

Tomorrow's 1 p.m. matchup will be a battle between USC's conference-leading offense (15.56 gpg) and UCLA's conference-leading defense (4.1 gpg). The battle will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Los Angeles and will be streamed on


Late Bloomers

USC's second-ranked women's water polo team used a second-half surge to power past No. 5 Cal in Berkeley this weekend.

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The Trojans were held scoreless in the first period but flipped the script and shut the Bears out in the second to head into halftime tied, 1-1.

In the third period, USC broke out to score four goals and take a lead they'd never relinquish, eventually winning by a 6-3 margin. Brigitta Games, Maud Megens (pictured) and Ioanna Haralabidis had two goals each to seal the deal for the Trojans.

With the win, the Trojans improved to 26-1 (4-1 MPSF) on the season with just one regular season game to go before the MPSF Tournament. That game takes place at No. 3 UCLA this Saturday at 1 p.m., and the winner earns the 2017 MPSF title and the top seed in the upcoming tournament.

The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


Start Fresh

On Saturday, No. 1 USC women's water polo saw its record-setting 52-game win streak come to an end at the hands of No. 2 Stanford.

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The Trojans started their winning streak in the 2015 NCAA third place game, after falling to Stanford in the semifinals. They went undefeated and won the national title in 2016, and opened up the 2017 season 25-0 before Saturday's showdown with the Cardinal.

Stanford netted the first two goals of the game, and took a 7-5 advantage into halftime at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans notched the first goal of the second half to make it a one-point game, but Stanford answered and took control as the game went on, to secure a 12-8 win and end USC's impressive streak.

The Trojans are now 25-1 (3-1 MPSF) on the season with two more regular season matchups to go. They travel to Cal this weekend before finishing up at UCLA on April 22.

Check out team photographer John McGillen's photos of the epic battle:

Clash Of The Titans

USC women's water polo's final home match of the season is a big one, as the No. 1 Trojans host No.  2 Stanford tomorrow at 5 p.m.

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Stanford has been USC's toughest opponent in recent history. The Cardinal were the last opponents to beat USC, back on May 9, 2015. Since then, the Trojans have won an NCAA women's record 52 straight games -- five of which have come against the Cardinal.

USC topped Stanford in last year's national championship and beat the Cardinal again in an overtime thriller this February to usurp the nation's No. 1 ranking and keep the win streak alive.

USC's win two months ago marks Stanford's only loss of the season (16-1, 3-0 MPSF). While USC's Stephania Haralabidis leads the conference in scoring (2.88 goals per game), Stanford's Maggie Steffens, who won gold with Team USA at the Rio Olympics, ranks second.

Haralabidis is one of seven seniors who will be honored ahead of Saturday's showdown. She will be joined by her twin sister Ioanna as well as Melanie Slater, Nikki Stansfield, Cassidy Feltenberger, Brigitta Games and Avery Peterson, who will all play their final game at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

Tomorrow's match begins at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


Haralabidis Pop Quiz

No. 1 USC women's water polo's Haralabidis twins have combined to score 420 goals in their college careers. Ioanna and Stephania are always in sync in the pool, but how much do the sisters know about each other outside of the water?

Ahead of their final home game, Saturday's showdown with No. 2 Stanford (5 p.m. at Uytengsu Aquatics Center), we quizzed them to find out more.

Megens Again

For the second week in a row, USC women's water polo freshman Maud Megens has been named the MPSF Newcomer of the Week.

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In USC's win over No. 4 Arizona State last week, Megens notched two goals, three assists and two steals. She has 48 goals for USC on the season, second only to senior Stephania Haralabidis' 72.

Megens and the Trojans are 25-0 on the season heading into Saturday's 5 p.m. match against No. 2 Stanford.

Follow USC water polo on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop as the Trojans shoot for another undefeated season.


Ever Closer

On Saturday, USC's top-ranked women's water polo team took down No. 4 Arizona State to improve to 25-0 on the season and extend its win streak to 52 consecutive games.

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The Trojans trailed, 2-1, at the end of the first period, but USC shut ASU out in the second to take a 4-2 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Trojans took over, making their way out to an 11-4 win.

Maud Megens, Hayley McKelvey, Ioanna Haralabidis and Brigitta Games all scored two goals apiece to help the Trojans improve on their women's NCAA record winning streak and inch closer to another perfect regular season.

USC hosts just one more home match (Saturday at 5 p.m. vs. Stanford) before hitting the road for its final two games of the regular season. The final three games will be key in determining the Trojans' slot in the MPSF Championships, which begin April 28 on the campus of UCLA.

Perfection In Sight

USC's top-ranked women's water polo season continues its quest for an undefeated regular season with a game against No. 4 Arizona State tomorrow.

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The Trojans are 24-0 (2-0 MPSF) on the season with four matches remaining in the regular season, including tomorrow's conference clash with the Sun Devils (18-4, 2-1). USC has topped ASU five straight times, including a 12-2 beat down in the championship of the Triton Invitational last month.

Surprisingly, that 10 goal margin is smaller than the average margin of victory this year for the Trojans. In 24 wins this season, USC has defeated its opponents by a combined score of 395-94 and an average score of 16.46 to 3.92.

Senior Stephania Haralabidis' offensive firepower has been a key part in USC's dominance this season. The Athens, Greece native has netted 71 goals on the season -- the most in the MPSF. In the cage, USC has alternated between junior Victoria Chamorro and sophomore Amanda Longan. Chamorro (pictured) leads the MPSF in goals-against average (3.0), while Longan leads the conference in saves per game (11.14).

Tomorrow's match, which begins at 12:30 p.m., is USC's penultimate showdown at Uytengsu Aquatics Center this season. It will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


Sweep On The Water

MPSFplayer-brigitta.jpgThe awards keep rolling in for USC's top-ranked women's water polo team, as senior Brigitta Games was named the MPSF Player of the Week and freshman Maud Megens was named MPSF Newcomer of the Week today.

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Games scored a career-high seven goals against San Jose State, plus four against Hartwick and one against Princeton for a total of 12 across a three-game span for the Trojans. Games has 43 goals on the season, which ties her total from 2016, a season after which she was named a first team All-American.

Megens, a freshman from Rotterdam, Netherlands, scored 10 goals in USC's three wins this week. Half of those came in a career-best performance vs. Princeton, where she also added three steals. Megens ranks just above Games on USC's scoring chart this season, with 46 goals, and ranks third among MPSF freshmen in scoring average (1.92 goals per game).

Games and Megens have done their part to maintain USC's NCAA-record 51-game win streak, which the Trojans will put on the line on Saturday against Arizona State. That match kicks off at 12:30 p.m. at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


Half-Century Mark

This weekend, the No. 1 USC women's water polo team won its 49th, 50th and 51st consecutive games to extend its NCAA-record win streak.

With wins over No. 10 Princeton, No. 14 San Jose State and No. 18 Hartwick, the Trojans remained undefeated (24-0) on the season, with just four regular season games remaining.

Senior Stephania Haralabidis chipped in seven goals in the three games, helping her take over as USC's No. 2 all-time goal scorer.

Senior Brigitta Games also had a big weekend, punching in 12 goals, including a career-high seven against San Jose State.

With Haralabidis and Games departing after this season ends, the Trojans are thankful for the emergence of freshman Maud Megens. She scored 10 goals in USC's three wins and is USC's second-leading scorer this year.

The Trojans now lock in for a tough final stretch, hosting Arizona State and Stanford before heading to Cal and UCLA to close out the regular season. The MPSF Championships are on deck after that, just before the grand finale: the NCAA Championships.

Play For LA

33629537625_93f6c8f5c7_k.jpgToday, the Los Angeles City Council honored USC's football, women's soccer and women's water polo teams for their accomplishments last season.

Sam Darnold, flanked by Deontay Burnett, Daniel Imatorbhebhe and Cam Smith, made a speech on behalf of the Rose-Bowl winning football team and received a commemorative memo. Dom Randle spoke on behalf of USC's national champion women's soccer team, while Stephania Haralabidis spoke for national champion women's water polo.

City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Curren Price, both USC alumni, conducted the presentation for the Trojans.
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