January 2016 (1) Candygrams

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Sunday, January 10, 2016---Women of Troy Volleyball Awards Banquet

Trojan Candy walked into the Galen Center Founder's Room with the Women of Troy Volleyball Team. They are absolutely already so tall, but each one of them was even taller in her heels!

As soon as I could put my stuff down at the table, I got my camera and notebook. Then, Trojan Candy was off to take pictures.

Baylee Johnson, Samantha Bricio, and Alicia Ogoms
The first players I saw were friends and Seniors Samantha Bricio (11/29/2015) and Alicia Ogoms (11/29/2015). They smiled with teammate Baylee Johnson.
Brittany Abercrombie, Sarah Livingston, Eve Ettinger, Alice Pizzasegola, and Elise Ruddins
I was able to move quickly and take pictures at four more tables. Here are Brittany Abercrombie, Sarah Livingston, Eve Ettinger (8/30/2012), Alice Pizzasegola, and Elise Ruddins.
Jordan Dunn, Rachel Reed, and Taylor Whittingham
Jordan Dunn, Rachel Reed, and Taylor Whittingham
Baylee Johnson and Victoria Garrick
Baylee Johnson and Victoria Garrick
Yvonne, Niki, and Mike Withers
Niki Withers with her parents Yvonne and Michael.
Senior jersey frames
Trojan Candy walked by the Senior Jersey Frames.
Here are the trophies.
And the gifts.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take pictures of every team member, because the program started.

Our first speaker was Leland Waters. He said, "We were in a position to control our destiny. That's why they came to USC...to be the best, they can be! Today is a celebration!"

Next, Coach Mick Haley spoke. He said, "Coach of the Year is great. What it means is...it's a Team Award. Your journey together is what is important."

Kelli and Viviana TennantOur guest speaker was Women of Troy volleyball alumna Kelli Tennant. She competed at USC in 2005-2007. Trojan Candy was able to interview her before the program started. Kelli, who first loved to dance, started playing volleyball when she was ten years old. She played on the Junior National Team. At sixteen Kelli committed to play volleyball at Stanford, but changed her mind and chose USC. She said that she felt more comfortable at USC. Thank goodness she became a Trojan! Kelli graduated with a degree in Public Relations in 2009. Professionally, Kelli has worked for ESPNU, Fox and the Pac-12 Networks. She has won an Emmy Award for her broadcasting. More personally, Kelli's favorite food is her mom's chicken tacos. Her favorite movie is "Pretty Woman," and her favorite musician is John Mayer. Her brother Steven is an athlete also. He played water polo in college. Kelli stays active with her broadcasting and playing beach volleyball. For hobbies, Kelli loves to hike and to write. She has written a book titled The Transition for Athletes. It is a handbook for athletes as they go into the real world. Here is a picture of Kelli with her mom Viviana.

In her motivating speech, Kelli gave the team many "words of wisdom." She said to not be jealous of your teammates but learn to be the biggest "cheerleader" of others. You are more than your sport. Surround yourself by people who want to make a difference. Your parents are your greatest advocates. Create a team to help you along the way. Giving back is your purpose in the world. Kelli related how fibromyalgia cut her playing career short at USC. Tearfully, she told us that Coach Haley stayed by her side and told her, "Don't worry, Kelli, we've got your back!" Tearfully, Kelli said, "That's why I came to USC!" FIGHT ON, Kelli!

Next on the program was the introduction of the team. A nice tradition is that each team member introduces the next member. Coach Haley always interjects some personal information about each team member.

Then, two Seniors spoke. Alicia Ogoms said that her parents helped her with her speech. She said that each year was a new challenge for her. She will not miss the "ice baths" or the "zip lining." She will miss seeing Coach Haley in his orange Halloween wig. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Alicia!

Samatha Bricio spoke briefly. Sam admitted that she wanted to leave USC after her freshman year. She was in a new country, and it was hard on her parents when she left home. She said that she made "sisters" here, and Trojans became her family. Sam said that she found her love of the game of volleyball here at USC. She learned how to pass, share, be a better teammate and speak English. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Sam!

The third Senior, Eve Ettinger, chose not to speak. She has been injured all season. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Eve!

The final agenda item on the program was the presentation of the awards. They were as follows:

Congratulations to all the winners!

Video recap
The team watched a video recapping the 2015 season.
Then, Trojan Candy gathered the entire team for this picture.
Mick Haley and Leland Waters
I got pictures of Coach Haley and Leland Waters.
Kyle Weindel
Volunteer Coach Kyle Weindel who sat at my table.
Alicia Ogoms, Eve Ettinger and Samantha Bricio
The three Seniors smiled for this picture. Alicia Ogoms, Eve Ettinger and Samantha Bricio.
My final two pictures were of award winners.
Alice Pizzasegola
Alice Pizzasegola
Taylor Whittingham
What an enjoyable brunch with some wonderful Trojans!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Volleyball!

Thursday, January 7, 2016---USC Men versus ASU

Our men opened up their Pac-12 home conference game against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Men's Basketball team entering arena
Trojan Candy took this video of our team entering the Galen Center. I'm so short, and they are so tall, I almost didn't get their "heads" in my video.
Malik Marquetti and Jordan McLaughlin
Our two Team Captains, Malik Marquetti and Jordan McLaughlin, met at mid-court with the referees and ASU Captains.
Star Spangled Banner
Our team stood together for the Star Spangled Banner.
Team introduction video
Then, team introductions were shown on the big screen.
Halftime stats
Our men played well and led by as many as seventeen points in the game. Here is a recap of the game in the second half.
Trojan Dance Force
The Trojan Dance Force performs.
Darion Clark
I took pictures of two Trojans who made free throws. Darion Clark made his free throws.
Julian Jacobs
He was followed by Julian Jacobs.
Our Men of Troy have started a new tradition. After shaking hands with the ASU players, they continue around the perimeter of the court and "high-five" the fans. Trojan Candy took these videos of the team.
Team starts a new tradition.
Team starts a new tradition.
The team
The team "high fives" the fans.

Bring on the Arizona Wildcats!