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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.

Click here for the full recap.

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.

49 Is Fine

USC women's water polo extended its NCAA-record win streak to 49 matches yesterday with a 12-3 victory over No. 10 Princeton.

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Freshman Maud Megens tied her career high with five goals on the day. Junior captain Brianna Daboub added two, and seven Trojans founded the back of the net in total.

Megens, who hails from Rotterdam, Netherlands, moved into second place on USC's scoring list this season with 44 goals. Senior Stephania Haralabidis boasts 64.

The top-ranked Trojans take on No. 14 San Jose State at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Hartwick at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow in a double-header at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

State of Troy: March 2017

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

Swann on men's basketball's NCAA Tournament run...

usc-basketball-Baylor-NCAA-tournament-2017-mcgillen-Lr-7086.jpgNumber one, I thought the season was terrific. The coaches and players would like to still be playing basketball and have a run at the national championship, but when you look back at it, and you see that they won more games in a season than any other team in the history of USC men's basketball, that is a significant accomplishment. They validated their tournament selection by beating Providence and SMU despite a lot of so-called experts suggesting that they should not have been there. I think the players saw that they had a good chance to beat Baylor and be in the Sweet 16, and so as an athlete, that is why they are disappointed. They are not disappointed in their season, but they know they could have gone further. I hope they all come back and improve and get better because I think there is room for improvement. This was a great experience for them and I was pleased to have been there with them.

Swann on hiring a new women's basketball head coach...

I am very involved with this process. The base skill set requires that any candidate be able to teach, manage, organize and recruit. Beyond that, I am looking for someone who can develop and build relationships to get the most out of the team. You have to be able to reach the student-athletes individually to get them to be better people and better players. Hiring a head coach in today's environment, under NCAA and Pac-12 rules, is not as simple as it used to be because there is so much more you have to do off the court that if you are not prepared and organized, you get behind and it is tough to catch up. So, I am looking for someone who has that experience, mostly former head coaches, but we are still looking for talent, and if I believe that someone who has been an assistant and not been a head coach has that ability, I would not hesitate to bring them in and talk to them.

Swann on No. 1 women's water polo's record-setting 48-match winning streak...

To maintain that type of consistency and excellence, there are two things you need. One, you need the talent to pull it off. But, you also need a coach who can keep that team together and knows how to utilize that talent. Jovan Vavic has so many national championship trophies in his office that it is unbelievable. He is the key. He knows how to recruit and train the right student-athletes to give them the confidence and game plan to succeed. Even when his team does not play its best, they still find a way to win because of their preparation, attention to detail and technique.

Swann on No. 1 beach volleyball...

usc-beach-volleyball-2017-zuma-ucla-mcgillen-7466.jpgI have seen coaches who were driven, and I have seen coaches who were talented. Anna Collier is both. She makes it fun and fresh for her players. I was fortunate enough to see them firsthand on the beach in Malibu defeat Pepperdine and UCLA. Our young women are competitive and willing to get after it 100 percent of the time. I am looking forward to the rest of their season and I expect them to continue to do well and make history.

Swann on spring football...

The first challenge for Clay Helton is to get everybody over the fact that we went to the Rose Bowl and we won. You have to refocus. That was January, and we are now moving forward. The goal is to win the Pac-12 championship. You have to do that first, so that is what we want to get accomplished. We are trying to build the depth with our younger players to get to the level of the playoff teams like Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State. We need to be able to rotate players in without losing a level of performance and play. That's what we are striving to do, so that our backup players are not backups but the next guy ready to go in and get the job done.

Swann on the rest of the spring competition...

I am impressed by men's and women's golf, both ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Women of Troy recently won a tournament in Palos Verdes, while I watched the men dominate the field in Las Vegas. Our men's tennis team is in the top 10, while the women have hit a bump in the road, but I expect them to overcome it. Our women's lacrosse team has done very well, going back East and challenging itself against top competition. People are going to see a West Coast team in the East and say, 'I want to be there.' I really like head coach Lindsey Munday's intensity, and she is doing the right thing in terms of her schedule. I see the track and field team every morning working out. The coaches are putting them through their paces, and you can see the enthusiasm about what they have in this team. They had a good indoor season, but the goals are even bigger as the outdoor season begins. And baseball, I enjoyed watching the Trojans at Dodger Stadium, down 3-0 most of the game, come back and beat UCLA in extra innings. If they continue to play with that kind of grit, they will have a great season. Men's volleyball continues to improve, despite some key injuries, and is building for the future. As for our rowing program, they just finished their training camp and I am looking forward to their season and being on the water with them for their competitions. Overall, spring is the busiest time of year, and I think football, women's soccer and men's basketball set the tone with their high-profile success. The enthusiasm is contagious and we are excited to see it spread throughout every sport.

Super Stephania

The top scorer on the nation's top team -- Stephania Haralabidis of USC women's water polo -- picked up another MPSF Player of the Week award today.

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The senior scored two goals in USC's record-setting 47th consecutive win on Friday and five goals in USC's comeback victory against Hawai'i on Saturday.

After setting the win streak record in a dominant 15-2 win over Indiana, the Trojans saw the streak nearly go up in smoke the very next day.

The Trojans trailed by two goals in the third period vs. the Rainbow Wahine, but clawed their way back to even things up before Haralabidis set up for a 5-meter penalty shot. With just 19 seconds to go in the game, she fired it into the back of the net to earn a 9-8 victory for USC.

The goal was Haralabidis' 63rd of the season, which ties her total output from last year and is one short of her total from 2015 (64), which ranks T-10th for single-season scoring in USC women's history.

With 248 career goals, Haralabidis ranks third in USC history. She needs just eight more to move into sole possession of second place, passing Cutino winner and Hungarian national team player Aniko Pelle.

Haralabidis' next shot comes on Thursday vs. Princeton at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


For the Record

wwp-48consecutivewins.jpgNo. 1 USC women's water polo collected its 47th and 48th consecutive victories on its spring break trip to Hawaii, extending the nation's all-time longest winning streak. The Women of Troy cruised past No. 15 Indiana, 15-2, to secure the record, but needed a come back to slide past No. 8 Hawaii on the road.

Click here for the Indiana recap.

Click here for the Hawaii recap.

The Women of Troy remain undefeated on the campaign, 21-0, having not lost a match since the 2015 NCAA Tournament. USC has played only one match at home all season, but the reigning national champions begin a five-match home stand at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on Thursday against Princeton.

All They Do Is Win

water polo.jpgOn Thursday, USC women's water polo made history.

With a 15-2 win over Indiana, the No. 1 Trojans won their 47th consecutive game, setting a new NCAA women's water polo record.

The Trojans have won every game since the final matchup of the 2015 season, a consolation win over Cal. During the 2016 season, the national champion Trojans were a perfect 26-0, and this year, they've opened up a 21-0 start to bring their total win streak to 48 after another win over Hawai'i yesterday.

USC's current 48-game win streak eclipses the old NCAA record of 46, set by UCLA from 2007-09. It also tops the USC men's record: 44 consecutive victories from 2005-06.

USC head coach Jovan Vavic now boasts a 537-142 (.791) record with the Women of Troy and a 1055-226 (.824) record overall at USC, including 14 national championships between the men's and women's teams.

The Women of Troy have their eyes on another title this year, having beaten No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 UCLA once already this year.

USC's next test comes this week against Princeton at home. The top-ranked Trojans tangle with the Tigers at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

Top Dogs

number 1.jpgHeading into tomorrow's matchup with CSU Bakersfield, USC women's water polo owns the No. 1 spot in the nation, and is one win away from tying the NCAA record for consecutive victories.

USC knocked off top-ranked Stanford in an overtime thriller last week to usurp the top spot in the national rankings. That win was also USC's 45th in a row, dating back to the final game of the 2015 season. Should the Trojans win again tomorrow, they'll tie the NCAA women's water polo win streak of 46 that UCLA set from 2007-09. The current USC streak is the longest in program history -- men's or women's.

While USC is 18-0 this year, CSUB is 8-7 on the season and ranked No. 23 in the country. In USC's last matchup with the Roadrunners (April 3, 2016), the Trojans came out on top, 16-3.

Click here for the full game preview!

The reigning national champions kick off tomorrow's game at 1 p.m. at USC's Uytengsu Aquatic Center.


USC women's water polo senior Ioanna Haralabidis was named the MPSF Player of the Week for her impressive performances over the weekend.

Click here for the full release!

Haralabidis scored 10 goals in USC's four games at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, including the overtime game-winner against Stanford in the finals.

The Athens, Greece import scored four goals against both LMU and Hawai'i, then once apiece against UCLA and Stanford, giving her 36 on the season and 154 in her career, which ranks 10th on USC's all-time scoring list.

Called "Jo" by her teammates, Haralabidis also added six assists and shut down opponents' top centers to take home her first ever MPSF Player of the Week award.

Haralabidis has been a key part of a team that's won 45 consecutive games dating back to the final match of 2015. The streak is the longest in USC water polo history and one short of tying the NCAA women's water polo record.

The Trojans go for their 46th consecutive win on Saturday at 1 p.m. at USC's Uytengsu Aquatic Center vs. CSU Bakersfield.


45 and Counting

USC women's water polo pulled off a gutsy overtime upset against Stanford this weekend to win the Barbara Kalbus Invitational and keep their impressive winning streak alive.

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The No. 2 Trojans topped LMU, Hawai'i and UCLA to set up a clash with No. 1 Stanford in the finals of the tournament. USC battled back and forth with the Cardinal all game, 4-3 at the half. But at full time, Stanford had evened it up at 7-7. USC outscored the Cardinal, 3-2, in the two overtime frames to seal a 10-9 victory.

The Trojans have now won 45 contests in a row dating back to the last game of the 2015 season. It's the longest streak in USC water polo history -- men's or women's -- and is one short of tying the national women's water polo record.

Standing at 18-0 on the season, USC has a chance to tie the record when it takes on CSU Bakersfield this Saturday. Should the Trojans win this weekend, they'll have plenty of time to rest up before taking on Indiana in Honolulu, HI in the potential record-breaking matchup.

Saturday's game vs. CSU Bakersfield begins at 1 p.m. at USC's Uytengsu Aquatic Center.


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.

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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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