March 2015 (1) Candygrams

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Sunday, March 8, 2015---Women of Troy Water Polo vs. Stanford

The Uytengsu Aquatics Center was bustling with activity.

Women of Troy
Our Women of Troy Water Polo Team was practicing in the pool...
along with the Stanford Cardinal.
The Stanford Women's Water Polo Team lined up for the introductions.
Women of Troy
Our Women of Troy Water Polo Team lined up for the introductions.
Women of Troy
Click the thumbnail above to view my video of the Women of Troy introductions.
Stephania Haralabidis and Jennifer Stiefel
Sophomore Driver #10 Stephania Haralabidis and Graduate Student #9 Jennifer Stiefel were ready for the Face-Off neutral throw. USC won the first Face-Off. Let the match begin.
Avery Peterson scores
With the score tied 1-1, USC Sophomore Avery Peterson scored this goal ...
Women of Troy lead 2-1
to go ahead 2-1 in the first frame.
Team huddle
Coach Vavic huddled with the team.

Unfortunately, at half-time we were down 2-5.

Jayde Appel scoredUSC scored first in the third period. Junior Jayde Appel scored this goal, but we were still down 3-5.

While all the action was going on in the pool in the third period, a large group of young men came to sit down on the aisle steps next to Trojan Candy. Hmmm.... I thought to myself, they look like athletes. Men's Water Polo Team So I asked the young man who was sitting next to me, "Are you on the men's water polo team? When he answered, "Yes!" I took their picture and then asked them to write down all of their names. They obliged. The men's team was quite outspoken for the rest of the match. It was all in fun. First Row: Luke Felton, Mihajlo Milicevic, Tristan Reinhardt, Jake Sanders. Second Row: Tim Leong and Brock Hudnut. It was so nice to meet so many team members at once. FIGHT ON, USC Men's Water Polo!

Trojan Candy wanted my Women of Troy to FIGHT ON and they did!

SC scores
Still in the third period, this USC goal made the score 4-7.
SC scores
This goal made it 5-7.
SC shot
Then, in the fourth period, there was a flurry of goals. This shot ...
SC scores
scored, making the score 6-7.
SC scores
Our seventh goal was at 4:34 in the fourth period.
SC shot
Goal number eight was at 3:00.
SC scores
What excitement! With this goal our Women of Troy tied the match at 9-9...
SC scores
with 1:34 left. What a comeback!

Two over-times ensued. Stanford scored three goals in the over-times and won 12-9. Our Women of Troy made a valiant effort.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Water Polo!

Saturday, March 7, 2015---What a Baseball Game!

Trojans take the fieldScoreboardTrojan Candy came early to the USC vs. Vanderbilt baseball game at Dedeaux Field today. It is a good thing that I did! So many Vanderbilt baseball fans and player's parents came to the game. They filled up the stands where I was sitting behind home plate. They were very boisterous too!

Vanderbilt was ranked #1 in the nation and is the current NCAA College World Series Champions. My Trojans just beat highly ranked TCU in twelve innings on Friday night, and were ready to beat Vanderbilt too. The Trojans took the field to begin the game.

The Vanderbilt team is ready!
My Trojans are ready! Let the game begin.
USC scoring in the third inning
The game was tied 1-1 after 2-1/2 innings. Then USC scored two runs in the bottom of the third to go ahead 3-1.
USC scores in the fourth inning
We scored again in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 4-2.

The score was tied 5-5 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs, Freshman pinch hitter Adalberto Carrillo stepped to the plate. Trojan Candy had an inkling that Adalberto would hit a home run. I even told my son Gregory, "This is it!" In anticipation, I took several pictures of Adalberto.

Adalberto Carrillo at bat
With two outs, I took this picture of Adalberto at bat.
Adalberto Carrillo, the umpire and the catcher watching the ball sail toward the fence
My next picture shows Adalberto, the umpire and the Vanderbilt catcher watching the ball go over the left field fence!
The USC team ran out of their dugout to congratulate Adalberto on hitting his first collegiate home run winning the game in walk-off fashion, 6-5!
The scoreboard tells it all!

Team savoring the victoryTeam storming AdalbertoTrojan Candy took two videos of the celebration. The first shows the team storming Adalberto. The second one shows the team savoring the victory while Conquest was played. What a celebration! What a baseball game!

FIGHT ON, USC Baseball Team!

Thursday, March 5, 2015---Women of Troy Sand Volleyball Kick-Off

Trojan Candy arrived on time at The Lab for the Sand Volleyball Kick-Off. Many other guests had already arrived. I immediately went into action. Camera in hand, I walked up to friend Paige Hines (1/31/2014) and started taking pictures.

Lorna Brandt, Paige Hines, and Eve Ettinger
Paige posed with teammates Lorna Brandt and Eve Ettinger (8/30/2012).
Kelly Claes and Bria Russ
Kelly Claes and Bria Russ (3/23/2012) were at The Lab entrance.
Alexa Stonish and Paige Hines
Then, I saw Paige standing nearby with her partner Alexa Stonish.
Pam, Tony, and Alexa Stonish
Alexa posed with her parents Pam and Tony.
Louis and Mary Jo Wong
There was a photo booth. Louis and Mary Jo Wong posed with several USC Sand Volleyball teammates. This is definitely a cute picture!
Mark Tanimura, Karen Tanimura, Doris and Mel Hughes, and Kandi Wopschall
As Trojan Candy walked to the food table I saw friends Mark Tanimura, Karen Tanimura, Doris Hughes, Mel Hughes and Kandi Wopschall.

Marianne Hunt, Sophie Bukovec, Anita Ybarra and Karen TrustWhen I sat down to eat, there was a new sand volleyball player sitting with my friends Marianne Hunt, Anita Ybarra and Karen Trust. Naturally, Trojan Candy interviewed new transfer player Sophie Bukovec. Sophie is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She played one year at Long Beach State and transferred to USC. Alexa Stonish is her partner. Sophie is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Marketing. When she was younger, Sophie played soccer and volleyball. She has played sand volleyball for only five years. Sophie's family is very athletic. Her twin sister is a scholarship soccer player at Belmont in Nashville. Her older sister played soccer at McMaster University in Canada, and her brother competes in soccer at Humber in Toronto. On a personal level, Sophie likes to sing with a piano accompaniment. She likes jazz, and Nora Jones is her favorite singer. Sophie's favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell and her favorite movie is "The Guardian" starring Ashton Kutcher. Crepes are her favorite food. Trojan Candy is so glad that Sophie decided to be a Trojan! FIGHT ON, Sophie!

Nicolette Martin and Allie WheelerAfter my interview with Sophie was done, I went to look for more team members. Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler were standing together. I took their picture together and interviewed both of them very quickly. They are Sophomores, roommates and partners on the team. Nicolette is majoring in Fine Arts. She loves to paint and draw. Allie is majoring in International Relations. She loves to participate in any outdoor sports. Allie likes to surf, to swim and to ski. And, of course, she, like Nicolette, loves to play and compete in Sand Volleyball! FIGHT ON, Nicolette! FIGHT ON, Allie!

By now, Trojan Candy was all over The Lab.

Susan Frost and Sarah Hughes
I saw friend Sara Hughes (1/31/2014) and met her sweet grandmother Susan Frost.
Mary Jo and Louis Wong with team members
Outside the entrance, Mary Jo and Louis Wong posed with the team.
Meg Norton, Eve Ettinger, Olivia Asprey and Sophie Bukovec
Then, inside The Lab again, Trojan Candy took this picture of Meg Norton, Eve Ettinger, Olivia Asprey and newest friend Sophie Bukovec.

Geena and Tito UrangoI was hoping to see a long-time friend again and catch up with her. Luckily I wasn't disappointed. Geena Urango (9/9/2010), with her beautiful smile, walked up to me to say hello. I first met Geena in Heritage Hall when she was a Senior on the volleyball team. Then she was the first scholarship recipient for USC Sand Volleyball in 2012. Now, Geena partners with Angela Bensend on the AVP Pro Beach Tour, and she also works for the AVP as a Digital Content Manager. Geena told me that she travels to all AVP events. What an exciting career! Trojan Candy also got to meet Geena's dad, Tito. Keep FIGHTING ON, Geena! An honorary FIGHT ON, Tito!

VideoJust as I was saying good-by to Geena, Sand Volleyball Head Coach Anna Collier started the program. Winners of the door prizes were announced. Then, each current Women of Troy Sand Volleyball member introduced herself by class and added a personal "fun fact" about herself. Click the thumbnail to check out my video of the introductions.

Sand volleyball teamAfter the program ended, Coach Anna had the team gather on The Lab steps for the team photo at right.

Spirit of TroyThen, the Spirit of Troy came to escort the team across the street to the Merle Norman Stadium for the exhibition.

Before I left The Lab, another friendly face came to say hello. Trojan Candy talked for a while with Hayley Crone and Mel and Doris Hughes. Hayley competed in volleyball for USC. Sand volleyball team She said that she enjoys working in the athletic department this semester. Hayley will graduate in May. FIGHT ON, Hayley!

LineupAs Trojan Candy entered the Merle Norman Stadium, I saw the line-ups for the first exhibition matches.

Then, as I walked to a seat, I heard someone call out my name. Looking up, I saw a familiar Women of Troy track athlete waving at me and smiling. I walked up the steps to give her a big hug. Trojan Candy first met Akawkaw (CoCo) Ndipagbor (7/14/2011) at the Heritage Hall desk. Akawkaw Ngipagbor and Alyssa Reardon She is a Senior now and still has the same major, Global Health. CoCo competes very successfully in the 400m and 4x400 relay. Keep FIGHTING ON, CoCo!

Alyssa ReardonPictured with CoCo in the photo was her friend (and my new friend) Alyssa Reardon. When I found out that Alyssa is a Women of Troy Cross Country member in the fall and competes on the Track Team in the spring, I whipped out my notebook for the last interview of the day. Alyssa is a Junior majoring in Human Biology. In track, she competes, naturally, in the long distances of 800m and 1500m. Alyssa said that she likes to nap, cook her favorite food...omelettes...and read. Two of her favorite books are Gillian Flynn's books Gone Girl and Dark Places. As for music, Alyssa likes rap, Indie music and Juan del Rey. FIGHT ON, Alyssa!

It was so nice to see "old" friends and to interview four "New" Women of Troy athletes.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Sand Volleyball!