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Chamorro the Champ

USC women's water polo goalie Victoria Chamorro was named the MPSF Player of the Week for her efforts in the Triton Invitational this weekend.

Click here for the full release!

Chamorro, a junior from Rio de Janeiro, racked up 19 saves in two games. Against No. 17 San Diego State, she blocked seven shots, and against No. 5 Arizona State in the championship, she made 12 saves. She allowed just four goals on the weekend.

Chamorro, who represented her home country in the Rio Olympics this summer, leads the Trojans with 2.48 goals allowed per game this season. She ranks sixth in USC history with 310 saves in her career.

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Titans of the Triton

The Trojans powered their way through four wins this weekend to earn their fifth straight title at the Triton Invitational.

On Saturday, No. 2 USC kicked off the tournament with an 18-2 win over Santa Clara. Freshman Maud Megens led all scorers with five goals. Later in the day, the Trojans punched up a 17-4 victory over No. 17 San Diego State to earn a spot in the semifinals.

The tightest match of the weekend came against No. 6 Michigan in the semifinals. The Wolverines hung with USC throughout, but the Trojans locked in to earn a 9-5 win.

The win pushed USC through to the finals, where they met No. 5 Arizona State. The Trojan defense stepped up and only allowed two goals in USC's 12-2, title-clinching victory.

Megens and senior Stephania Haralibidis led the way with 10 goals each on the weekend. Haralibidis now has a team-leading 46 goals on the season and 231 in her Trojan career, which ranks third all-time.

Haralibidis and the Trojans now have a long break before their next action on Feb. 24 at the UCI Invitational.

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10 Out Of 10

USC women's water polo earned three dominant wins this weekend to move to 10-0 on the season.

In their home opener, the No. 2 Trojans took down No. 15 San Diego State, 23-6. Senior Stephania Haralibidis notched a game-high five goals, while junior Annika Jensen netted a new career-high four goals.

The next day, the Women of Troy racked up two more wins at the Whittier Invitational.

Against Pomona-Pitzer, they didn't allow a goal until the fourth period, racking up a 25-2 victory. Just hours later, they squared off against Chapman, and cruised to a 24-1 victory.

In USC's three wins, Haralibidis scored 11 goals, bumping her up to No. 4 on USC's all-time scoring chart. Her 221 goals trail only Monica Vavic, Aniko Pelle and Sofia Konoukh.

This weekend, Haralibidis and the Trojans take their talents to La Jolla, CA for the Triton Invitational. Their first action comes at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

See You at Uytengsu

USC_Water_Polo_CAL_Mcgillen_2016_HR_-2.jpgUSC women's water polo team, which is 7-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation, hosts its home opener vs. San Diego State tomorrow.

Click here for the full preview!

The Trojans haven't lost a home match since March 8, 2015, and aim to keep that streak alive against the No. 15 Aztecs.

The 5 p.m. outing gives senior Stephania Haralabidis a chance to move up USC's all-time scoring list, as the Greek import needs four goals to take sole possession of fifth place. This season, she's averaging 3.6 goals per game.

The Trojans face a quick turnaround as they head out to Whittier for an early double-header on Saturday. USC takes on Pomona-Pitzer at 9 a.m. and Chapman at 10:30 a.m. at the Whittier Invitational.

Follow @USCWaterPolo on Twitter for live updates during USC's three games this weekend!

Fifty-Goal Flurry

USC_Womens_waterpolo_040316_MCG2861.jpgUSC women's water polo racked up two more wins this weekend to improve to 7-0 on the season so far.

Click here for the full recap!

The No. 2 Trojans were dominant in their two games at the CBU Mini Invitational in Riverside, CA, beating their opponents by a collective score of 50-5.

Twelve Trojans found the back of the net in USC's first game of the weekend against Concordia, with senior Ioanna Haralabidis and freshman Maud Megens led the way (four goals each). The Trojans wound up with a 28-1 win -- their highest scoring output since Feb. 6, 2016.

On the latter end of Saturday's double-header, Haralabidis' twin, Stephania, paced the team with five goals. The Trojans beat Whittier, 22-4, to round out the weekend and stay undefeated on the season.

Stephania and Ioanna Haralibidis are USC's two leading scorers this year, with 25 and 17 goals, respectively. The newcomer Megens is the next-most lethal scorer, with 15 goals to her name.

With nine goals this weekend, Stephania moved into No. 6 on USC's all-time scoring chart. She needs just four more to move into sole possession of fifth place. Her next chance will come on Friday at 5 p.m. vs. San Diego State.

Follow USC Water Polo on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the games this season!

State of Troy: January 2017

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

Swann on winning the Rose Bowl Game...

Schedule2.jpgOur head coach Clay Helton did an extraordinary job of keeping the football team together after starting 1-3. We finished the season ranked No. 3 so that sends a powerful message to future Trojans. USC now stands a little taller. We look forward to taking that Rose Bowl win and pushing that success into a great recruiting season and continuing the pursuit of Pac-12 and National Championships.

Click here for 2017 USC football ticket information!

Swann on the 2017 football schedule...

We continue to schedule top competition. We start off next season with Western Michigan, a team which lost only one game last year, its bowl game to Wisconsin. We have Texas in the first month, and Stanford is early in week two. It will require us to take the lessons of last year and apply them to this season, so we are better at the start and give ourselves a stronger chance to play for a Pac-12 Championship.

Swann on the men's basketball showdown between USC and UCLA at the Galen Center...

The Bruins are greatly improved from last season. Last year, USC had a terrific year, beating UCLA three times. We are certainly going into this game feeling like we can beat them again. Every team needs to go into every game with that kind of confidence. We played a strong game but came away with a loss against Arizona last week. We showed our mettle by coming back from down quite a bit. We followed it up with a good win over Arizona State and are geared up and focused to make a good run at UCLA. I'll be there. Our president, Max Nikias, will be there. Our head football coach will be there. This basketball team will have the support of the entire student body, so we are looking forward to it.

Click here for USC men's basketball tickets.

Swann on the NCAA relaxing time demands on student-athletes...

It has always been the case for student-athletes that academics, practice and competition demand all of their time, so they cannot do anything else. Certainly, athletes understand that they miss out on a number of things. It was not until I retired from football that I ever went to a tailgate party, and they go on all the time. (laughing) But, we take this very seriously. We want our student-athletes to do well in school and compete well in the athletic arena, but we want them to have a great college experience also. So, these changes in terms of time demand and structure, giving them some time off, making sure that they are not over-coached and over-trained and pushed over their limits, we want to make sure that we comply. We also want to give them time to recover, so they can continue to compete well in and out of the classroom.

USC_Football_Rose_Bowl_2017_PSU_McGillen_5095.jpgSwann on his role in recruiting student-athletes to USC...

My role in recruiting is whatever the coaches want or need me to do. I speak with student-athletes in every sport. I talk to the student-athletes and their parents, and I tell them the same thing. First, I want all the student-athletes to graduate, so we put them on a track to get their degree because that is the real golden ticket. Very few athletes get the chance to play professionally. If they do, the degree will augment what they do down the road, but they will never have to go back to move forward. Number two, we want them to come here and win. We recruit them because we think they are the best student-athletes available to compete at this level. We expect them to come here and work hard to be winners. Third, we want them to have a great all-around college experience. And finally, you have to want to come to USC. It has to be your choice. If it is not the student's choice, it is too tough for them to be living someone else's dream. That's what I tell the student-athletes. That's what I tell the parents. The story does not change. My door is always open to both because your kids being in college does not mean you stop parenting.

Swann on the beginning of spring sports season...

We are off to a winning start with a lot of top ranked teams. Women's water polo, the defending national champions, is at the top of that list. Swimming and diving is doing extraordinarily well, and I hope to attend the women's NCAA competition. Track and field kicked off its indoor season impressively with Kendall Ellis running a school-record time in the 400m indoors. Men's and women's tennis picked up early season victories last week. I am looking forward to getting out to all of these sports. I will participate and give them my support. It is important that they know that they have the full support of the athletic director every step of the way.

Scorching Scorer

USC women's water polo player Stephania Haralabidis began her started off her senior season with a bang.

Against USC's five opponents at the UCSB Winter Invitational, she drummed up 17 goals, a feat that earned her MPSF Player of the Week honors.

Haralabidis was one of three Trojans to score in each of the team's five games this week. More impressively, her nine-goal outing vs. No. 9 UCSB was a career-high and tied an MPSF single-game scoring mark.

Her 17 goals over the course of five games brought her all-time total up to 202, which ranks eighth in USC history. She needs just three more to move into the No. 7 slot. Haralabidis will get that chance when the Trojans compete in the Cal Baptist Invitational starting on Saturday.

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Five-Oh

USC women's water polo picked up where it left off last year, drumming up a flurry of wins in its first tournament of 2017 this weekend.

Over the course of just three days, the No. 2 Women of Troy won five matches to open their season 5-0.

USC competed in the UCSB Winter Invitational in Santa Barbara, CA against No. 8 Michigan, Cal Baptist, Cal State Northridge, No. 5 Hawai'i and No. 9 UCSB.

In those five games, the Trojans outscored their opponents by a total of 81-20 for an average margin of victory of 12.2 goals. Senior Stephania Haralabidis was a large part of the team's offensive success, scoring 17 goals on the weekend. Nine of them came in one game (vs. UCSB), which tied the MPSF single-game scoring record.

Next up for the Women of Troy is the Cal Baptist Invitational this weekend, where they'll face Concordia and Whittier.

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Reign On

Lr_USC_waterpolo_ncaa_championship_stanford_hr_mcgillen_4463.jpgOn Friday, reigning national champion USC women's water polo begins its title defense.

Despite finishing undefeated and on top of the national rankings last year, the Trojans enter the 2017 season at No. 2 in the country. They'll put that ranking to the test at the UCSB Winter Invitational this weekend, where they open with No. 7 Michigan.

USC returns three first-team All-Americans in goalie Amanda Longan, driver Stephania Haralabidis and 2-meter player Brigitta Games. Haralabidis, who won the 2016 Peter J. Cutino Award (considered the Heisman Trophy of water polo), led the team with 63 goals last year. She and her twin sister, Ioanna, who ranked third on the team with 34 goals in 2016, enter their senior season trying to make one final splash.

Eight freshmen join the fold this season, including U.S. National Team member Paige Hauschild and two Canadian National Teamers: Nina Ceklic and Verica Bakoc. They'll help the Trojans compete in events such as the Cal Baptist Invitational, the Whittier Invitational, the Triton Invitational and the UCI Invitational.

The team hopes that after all that, they land a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Jovan Vavic has some experience there, as he's fresh off taking the men's team to the national title game. He's won 14 titles overall and aims for No. 15 this season.

Follow along on Twitter as USC women's water polo goes for a repeat.

Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Brianna Daboub

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.

Brianna Daboub.jpgName: Brianna Daboub
Class: Junior
Sport: Women's Water Polo
Major: Health & Human Sciences
GPA: 3.18

Aubrey Kragen (AK): Can you describe the Health & Human Sciences program?

Brianna Daboub (DB): It actually started my sophomore year --- I was one of the first people to join the major. It's an interdisciplinary major, so it kind of pulls from psychology, sociology, bio and a bunch of different traditional majors. I really like it --- it's not actually super science-intensive, but it definitely gives you experience in the healthcare field, and that's definitely where I want to be once I graduate.

AK: So the major didn't exist when you showed up at USC? How did you hear about it?

BD: I was just exploring all the majors, really, trying to find what I really liked to do. And my academic advisor recommended me to my major advisor now, and he told me about the major and I loved it immediately and declared.

AK: What about the health world intrigues you?

BD: I think because I play sports, I'm really into the human body. I find that really interesting. But I'm kind of geared more toward the business aspect of health now. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree --- my mom was in marketing and my dad is basically in marketing --- he does sales for Univision. So I think we're kind of a business-oriented family.

AK: You mentioned you wanted to go into healthcare. What exactly do you want to do with your degree?

BD: I don't know exactly. Maybe health administration, so hopefully that's where my Entrepreneurship minor can come into play, with more of the business side. But I'm still exploring all my options right now and looking into possibly going to graduate school.

AK: Was the Entrepreneurship minor something you came in wanting to do or did you kind of fall into it?

BD: One of my friends told me that I should take an entrepreneurship class, because she's an Entrepreneurship minor and she said the professors are great and that she really loved it. So I decided to take Management of Small Business, and I loved my professor. She was great and I just fell in love with it, so I decided to take another one and I loved that class as well.

AK: You were a team captain as a sophomore last year, right? What was that experience like, being an underclassman but having older teammates look up to you?

BD: It was definitely challenging and I was trying to figure it out as we went. But I had Avery Peterson as a co-captain and Alegra Hueso and they definitely helped me out. At a certain point, I had to realize that I was voted captain by my peers, so I had to be a leader and take on that role. It wasn't easy, but I had an incredible team that supported me and made me look good. The credit goes to them.

AK: One of your brothers is a USC student too. What's it like having a sibling here?


BD: It's great having him here. I don't see him as much as I'd hope, but when we see each other on campus, we say hello. It's great having another Trojan in the house, because my oldest brother went to UCLA and played water polo there, so there's kind of a family rivalry. We're pretty supportive of one another and supporting each other's successes.

AK: How would you describe the dynamic having two Trojans and a Bruin in the family?

BD: I think that's more where we butt heads, but I definitely support my oldest brother Anthony and everything that he does. And he does the same for me. When he was in the water, I cheered for him and when I was in the water he cheered for me, and that's how it works.

AK: Lastly, what are your goals as a student-athlete and going forward?

BD: Well, obviously you want to be as successful as you can be and get the best grades you can to set yourself up for the rest of your life. To graduate would be my number one goal academically. Water polo-wise, winning the next two championships, but focusing on this next one first. And beyond that, that's the big question.

Great Eight

USC women's water polo, which went undefeated and won the national championship this year, signed eight new members to its 2017 class yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Six members of the new class are California products: Paige Hauschild (San Marcos High - Santa Barbara), Sabrina Garabet (St. Lucy's Priory High - Glendora), Kari Jensen (Campolindo High - Moraga), Randi Reinhardt (Murrieta Valley High - Murrieta), Sophie Traversi (Palos Verdes High - Palos Verdes Estates) and her high school teammate Molly Leimbach.

The other two signees are Canadian imports. Nina Ceklic comes to Troy from Calgary and Verica Bakoc is shipping in from Toronto.

Reinhardt and Traversi both had brothers play on USC's men's team, while Jensen and Leimbach are following in their older sister's footsteps at Troy.

These eight will arrive at USC next year to compete in the spring 2018 season. The 2017 season kicks off on Jan. 20 at the Gaucho Invitational in Santa Barbara.

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Trophy Time

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During the Trojans' game vs. Colorado on Saturday, USC's female student-athletes were presented their trophy and check for winning the 2015-16 Capital One Cup.

The Capital One Cup recognizes NCAA Division I athletics programs for their cumulative performance across multiple men's and women's sports. The Women of Troy earned their first ever Capital One Cup Trophy by winning two national championships (water polo and beach volleyball) and posting eight total Top-10 finishes (lacrosse, volleyball, golf, swimming, track and indoor track) last season. USC's spring sports helped catapult the program from 17th place at the end of the winter season to the top overall spot.

As part of the presentation, Capital One also presented USC with a $200,000 check for student-athlete scholarships.

Currently, USC's women's soccer, volleyball, golf, cross country and swimming programs are working to keep the Women of Troy atop the college athletics totem pole. Women's swimming heads to the SMU Classic on Friday, while volleyball faces Oregon in Eugene on Friday night. Women's golf will start play in the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament on Friday as well.

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.

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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)

Hometown Hero

Written by Grace DeWitt, USC blog contributor

The chance to compete in an Olympics is every athlete's dream. The chance to compete in an Olympics for the host country, in your hometown, in an event your country has never participated in before? Unimaginable. But that was exactly the opportunity for junior Victoria Chamorro, goalie for Women of Troy water polo.

Grace DeWitt (GD): What was your first thought when you learned that Rio would be hosting the Olympics?

Victoria Chamorro (VC): "It was 2009 when I found out. I had started to play water polo a year earlier - I was really new to the sport. I was really happy because the Beijing Olympics had just ended and I had watched and thought, 'Wow, I can play in the Olympics at home in the future,' like a 'when I grow up...' kind of thought. It came true when I joined the national team and later sank in that I actually could be a part of the Olympic team. It was awesome; it was really motivating."

GD: When did you find out you'd be playing for the Brazilian team?

VC: "The last cut was in July of this year. I had already been on the national team for two years with the coach that would be the Olympic coach, but I didn't know if I would be going to the Olympics or not because there would only be two goalies going and there were three trying out. The other two were much older than me, 10 years older. It was the first time that the Brazilian team was going to Olympics. I knew that I had it in me, but I still didn't know if I would be selected. Even though I had played more than the other two goalies, anything could happen. But I was selected, and I was really emotional."

USC_Water_Polo_ASU_031415_MCG6674.JPGGD: Did you bump into other Trojans while you were there?

VC: "Yes! Water polo had a lot of Trojans, for both women's and men's. I met up with my friend, goalie McQuin [Baron], who is also from the class of 2018. I also met up with two women's water polo players from Team USA, Kaleigh Gilchrist and Kami Craig, Kostas [Genidounias] from Greece, and many others. It was really cool to see how strong the USC program is and how many Olympians we send to every Olympics. I was really honored to be part of this group that represents USC water polo in the Olympics. To come back here and be a part of a group that studies here, are Olympians, and play for USC --- it's really gratifying. It's an honor."

GD: You played against Kaleigh and Kami, how was that?

VC: "Kaleigh shot a penalty shot against me. Kami missed one against me. I was doing an interview and then she stopped me and was like 'Dammit, it was the intimidation factor,' because she was swimming and swimming and she didn't stop. She got too close, lost the angle and then she just like...boom. I didn't even have to touch it! It went off the corner; she just missed the cage. I was like, 'Alright!' and she was like, 'Oh, that was embarrassing.' I knew Kaleigh before the Olympics from here at school, but Kami was always someone whose playing I admired a lot. Today we're friends and they're really cool. We always talk at championships because we're both from USC. Playing against them is...interesting (laughs). It's really cool. But they are Americans, so at game time I'm not thinking whether they're from USC or not. But after the game it's all respect, admiration for others from the same school, friendship. So it's really cool. It's cool to see, to have two people that passed through the same process of college as me, and to arrive at this level, earn gold medals, and Kami three medals!"

GD: Describe your emotions playing in your country, in your hometown.

VC: "I have so much to say. First, arriving at the Olympic Village, I already started to cry with my colleagues from here. Afterwards, at the Opening Ceremonies, it was amazing entering Maracana with everyone screaming, singing, Maracana packed. I'm going to get goosebumps thinking about it right now. It was a lot of emotions altogether. I thought a lot about my family, everything I had been through to get to that point, when training was hard, nut at the same time, a lot of happiness to be living in that moment. I was looking up at everything, enjoying the moment. After, in the first game, I was very confident the whole time, very happy, ready, I didn't feel nervous, I didn't feel any pressure. Nerves hadn't hit me at all. It was only my motivation --- to be home, with 10,000 people watching in the stadium. And even when I played, it was very emotional. It was a unique feeling. I had never felt that way in my life."

GD: Did you have a lot of family there watching you at the stadium?

VC: "Yes! My mother and father, my best friends from my childhood, my friends from my Brazilian club team, my aunt, cousins; lots of people."

GD: What was your favorite part of the games?

VC: "The Brazilian fans. The crowd was amazing. Every goal, every time I had the ball they would scream my name. It was such a vibe, they cheered for me the whole time. It was awesome to play with everyone supporting and rooting for you. For me, at least, I didn't feel intimidated, I felt very happy. I was home. Everything changes when you think, 'Wow, everyone is in Brazil playing my sport, which isn't well known here, with 10,000 people watching,' It was very motivational. It was really special."

GD: Did you feel like your team had an impact on the sport in Brazil?

VC: "It was the first women's water polo team from Brazil, a young team with with young players like myself. Other girls were much older, more than 30 years old. It was a milestone in the history of my sport in the country. Our team didn't have a lot of help from the confederation. No investments; they cut it off from us. And even so, the team was able to represent the country well. We were able to show the world of water polo that talent exists in Brazil and that if we had a little bit more incentive from the confederation, we can be a team that can fight for a medal. All the teams had difficult games against us. Brazil was winning until the half against a majority of the teams, so it wasn't easy. Everybody saw Brazil through different eyes, in a different way, with more respect for Brazil's women's water polo. To be part of that impact is very rewarding and I hope that we are in the next Olympics."

GD: Any other thoughts from the games?

VC: "To represent USC in the Olympics, to represent Brazil in Rio, my home, was a special experience. I'm never going to forget it. It changed and impacted my life in many respects: as an athlete, as a person. I'm happy to value Rio as my home. I think the Olympics were very beautiful. I was a little afraid about the structures and security, but it was very positive. I think everything was really beautiful. Everything was alright and made a great impression for everyone who went, especially for me since I'm from Rio. The Olympic spirit definitely will be with me forever and I definitely want to go to Tokyo 2020 now. My hands can't wait."

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Golden Gilchrist

Just six days ago, Kaleigh Gilchrist won a gold medal at Rio 2016 with the USA water polo team. It's another incredible accomplishment for the 24-year-old, who won a national championship at USC and also surfs professionally. The Newport Beach, CA native recently returned to SC to share stories about her Olympic experience.

Aubrey Kragen (AK): When you were growing up and playing at SC, did you ever dream of going to the Olympics?

Kaleigh Gilchrist (KG): "For me, it was never a dream or anything, until I was about 12 years old. I found a school project not long ago, where I wrote "About the Author." I talked about myself, and I was like, 'I would love to go to USC on athletic scholarship and then play in the 2012, 2016 Olympic Games. So I found that not too long ago and got the chills ... My dad swam in '64 and '68 and was also a Trojan. My uncle swam in '48 and '42 and was a Trojan as well, so we joked that it was in the family."

AK: What was it like playing with and against other Trojans in the Olympics?

KG: "It's different because USC welcomes international players so much more than other colleges. For me it was tough because I had these insane relationships with Hannah Buckling, Jayde Appel and Anni Espar. Anni is arguably my favorite player I've ever played with --- luckily we played on opposite sides of the pool, so we didn't have to guard each other. We always threw in some smiles here and there and we always gave the good luck texts. It was special to have their support. Once the games start it's always competition but outside of that, we're friends."

AK: Outside of water polo, did you have the chance to meet up with the other Trojans in Rio?

KG: During the Opening and Closing ceremonies, I ran into them and got a couple pictures with fellow Trojans and always cheered them on. I remember watching a bunch of Steve Johnson's tennis matches and then Murphy Troy and Micah [Christensen] for volleyball. It was fun cheering each other on, for sure."

AK: How did your time at USC prepare you for the Olympics?

KG: "Luckily Kami Craig was a part of the team as well, so she had the same background as me. Just being coached by Jovan [Vavic], there's so much more that you learn than just water polo. You learn about being prepared and mentally tough and all those things that I could tell from going through this whole program that others didn't have. I think it just gave me and Kami an edge over other opponents and kept us competing."

AK: So what's it like having a gold medal?

KG: "It's pretty surreal, for sure, because we've been dreaming about this since we've been little kids ... I've been showing it around and everyone is pretty amazed by it and by how heavy it is --- apparently this is the heaviest medal."

AK: What were some of your favorite sights that you saw or cultural experiences in Rio?

KG: "We were lucky enough to go in November, and we did a lot of touristy things, so it was flushed out of our system before the Olympics. But in November, we saw El Cristo Redentor, and that's insane. It's one of the wonders of the world. We were able to get some team photos there, and it was cool in November to be able to dream of where we wanted to be in August.

AK: You're also a professional surfer. How is it possible for a person to be so good at two different sports? How do you fit that all into your day?

KG: "I'm obsessed with both sports, and I've always been a goal-setter. So it would first be like, 'I want to win a local contest, or I want to win a little tiny water polo tournament.' The older I got, and as I developed into a better athlete, the goals grew. I was like, 'I want to win CIF. I want to win NCAAs. I want to win an Olympic gold." And for surfing, it goes the same way: 'I want to win an NSSA championship. I want to go to Worlds and make the USA Team.' I was really all about goal-setting and attacking them, attacking my dreams, and I've been able to pursue them."

AK: Lastly, what's next for you?

KG: "Next goal is to go to Tokyo 2020. The goal is to go for surfing, but if not I want to be there no matter what. It might be water polo, but I'm committing to surfing for the next year, and I'll re-evaluate after that."

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Water Polo Winners

Kami Craig and Kaleigh Gilchrist, two USC water polo alums, won gold at Rio 2016 today in Team USA's 12-5 win over Italy.

Click here to follow #USC2RIO!

Craig, who won an NCAA championship at USC in 2010, scored one goal in the final, and five total goals throughout the tournament. Gilchrist, a 2013 NCAA champ with USC, also scored five goals in Rio.

USC now boasts 14 medals at Rio 2016 (six gold, five silver, three bronze), and 302 medals all-time (141 gold, 93 silver, 68 bronze).

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#USC2RIO: Victoria Chamorro

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: Victoria Chamorro

Country: Brazil

Event: Women's Water Polo


USC water polo has dominated the collegiate landscape over the past decade, and the fruits of that labor will be seen in Rio. The Trojans are sending nine Olympians to compete in the men's and women's water polo tournaments, including current Women of Troy goalie Victoria Chamorro.

Chamorro is one of two Trojans from the host nation, Brazil, to compete in this year's Olympic Games. The rising junior played in 13 matches as a sophomore for the NCAA champions, battling Amanda Longan all year long for minutes. The previous season, Chamorro made 207 saves, the ninth highest single-season total in program history, to set the USC freshman record and earn All-American status.

On the international stage, Chamorro has proven quite comfortable. The Rio native has represented Brazil at the 2016 FINA Super Final, 2014 FINA Super Final, and the 2013 FINA World Championships.

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#USC2RIO: Anni Espar

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: Anni Espar

Country: Spain

Event: Women's Water Polo


Espar is headed to her second Olympics, carrying Spain to a silver medal at London 2012 as a 19-year-old. She scored 15 goals, second most in the tournament, to earn a spot on the Olympic All-Star Team and be named European Water Polo Player of the Year.

Since then, she scored the game-winning goal for USC women's water polo in the 2013 NCAA Championship Match and then pushed her country to gold at the 2013 FINA World Championships. She followed that up by winning the 2014 European Championships.

Spain will likely be in contention for a medal again after finishing second to Team USA at the 2016 FINA World League in June.

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#USC2RIO: Hannah Buckling

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: Hannah Buckling

Country: Australia

Event: Women's Water Polo


USC boasts a dominant women's water polo program, including the 2016 undefeated national champions, so it's no surprise that the Women of Troy litter the Olympic rosters, including Australian standout Hannah Buckling.

In her single season served at USC, Buckling certainly made her mark. She was instrumental in the Trojans' run to the 2013 NCAA Championship, earning status as the 2013 MPSF Tournament MVP and going on to garner All-American honors after punching up 40 goals for the Women of Troy that season.

Upon her return to Australia, Buckling rejoined her National Team and has stood out as a driving force for the Aussies' success. Buckling provided five goals for Australia in its fourth-place finish at the 2010 FINA World Championships, following up the silver medal that she won in the 2013 event. Buckling was the 2012 Australian Junior Female Water Polo Player of the Year, and has stayed on that powerful path in her time with the Stingers.

Australia most recently captured bronze at the 2016 FINA Super Final, led by two goals from Buckling for the Aussies in the bronze-medal match.

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Run the World

champs.jpgFor the first time, the Women of Troy are the Capital One Cup champions, winning the prestigious trophy which ranks the most successful women's athletic programs in the country each year. On the strength of two national championships, women's water polo and beach volleyball, and eight Top 10 finishers, USC women's athletics edged Stanford and Penn State for the top spot.

"We have always been proud of our women's athletics program and are excited to see it recognized as the winner of the 2015-16 Capital One Cup," said USC Athletics Director Lynn Swann. "As a first for our University, we are honored to receive this award and applaud our women's athletes and coaching staff on this remarkable achievement. All of us at USC would like to extend our gratitude to Capital One for its continued support of student-athletes."

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Overall, the Trojans finished fourth in the Learfield Directors' Cup, which annually measures the all-around competitive strength of the athletic department. USC was bested by Stanford, Ohio State and Michigan. This was the Trojans' fourth Top 10 finish in the past five years, and follows their best-ever third place finish in 2014-15.
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