March 2017 (1) Candygrams

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Thursday, March 2, 2017---Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Kickoff

Championship bannerTrojan Candy parked my car in USC Parking Structure X and walked to The Lab Gastropub where the Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Kickoff was located. On the way as I walked by the Merle Norman Beach Volleyball Stadium I saw this Championship banner.

I was one of the first to arrive at the event. On the table at the entrance, there was a tree branch. Each guest could write a "Good Luck Wish" and hang it on the branch.

After writing my "Good Luck Wish," Trojan Candy walked inside the patio, put my stuff down and immediately looked for any Beach Volleyball players to take pictures of.

Kelly ClaesLuckily, I saw the only Senior that I had not yet interviewed. Kelly Claes agreed to let me take her picture and interview her. Kelly is majoring in Sociology. She started playing beach volleyball when she was eleven or twelve years old. I asked her why she chose USC. With a big smile Kelly said, "Sara made her." Trojan Candy is so glad that Kelly's partner Sara Hughes is so persuasive! They are the #1 Pairs Team in the nation! Next, I asked Kelly if she has any hobbies. She said that she likes to play the video games "Uncharted" and "Zelda." Kelly's absolute favorite food is steak. Her favorite movie is "Dirty Dancing." Her favorite music is alternative music. Finally, Kelly told me that she wants to play beach volleyball professionally after she graduates. That is a goal she will certainly achieve! FIGHT ON, Kelly!

Cammie Dorn, Joy Dennis, Lainy Thomas, and Avery HazelriggImmediately, Trojan Candy saw four new players. They all smiled for this picture. They are Cammie Dorn, Joy Dennis, Lainy Thomas, and Avery Hazelrigg. Then I found out that they are all new Freshman to our team! I was able to interview each one of them quickly.

Cammie DornFreshman Cammie Dorn is majoring in Communication. She started playing indoor volleyball when she was eight years old and has been playing beach volleyball for four years. Cammie's favorite food is macaroni and cheese. Trojan Candy found out later from a friend that Cammie is a vegetarian. Her favorite singer is Taylor Swift. Cammie told me that she plays the guitar but doesn't sing too much. FIGHT ON, Cammie!

Lainy ThomasFreshman Lainy Thomas lived in Dallas when she was younger. She chose USC because she wanted to stay in California. Her dual major is International Relations and Global Business. Lainy started playing indoor volleyball when she was twelve and has been playing beach volleyball for four years. Her favorite food is Italian pasta. She, like Cammie, plays the guitar. Although Lainy told me, "...just a little." She likes all kinds of music. Her favorite television show is "The Office." FIGHT ON, Lainy!

Joy DennisTrojan Candy interviewed Freshman Joy Dennis next. Joy is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Occupational Therapy. She chose USC for three reasons. They are our very strong academics, our winning tradition and our Alumni. Joy played indoor volleyball for six years and has played beach volleyball for three years. Her favorite food is salads. Joy's favorite movie is "The Notebook." Joy's favorite musician is rapper YG. She has two hobbies. One is, depending on her mood, shopping. The other is sleeping! FIGHT ON, Joy!

Avery HazelriggThe fourth Freshman Avery Hazelrigg is majoring in Real Estate Development. She chose USC because she said that USC is the best school in her major. Avery also said that she chose USC because it has lots of good athletes. Her dad's uncle was a Trojan. Another USC family! Avery's favorite food is bean and cheese burritos. "Rocky" is her favorite movie. We talked about the "Rocky" statue in Philadelphia. Trojan Candy and her family lived near Philadelphia for almost two years and saw this statue. Avery's favorite singers are the Beatles. Her favorite television show is, like Lainy's, "The Office." FIGHT ON, Avery!

Dan Avila and Jeremy Wu
After finishing the four interviews, Trojan Candy saw two friends. Photographer Dan Avila (1/16/2009) and Women of Troy Beach Volleyball S.I.D. Jeremy Wu.
Doris Hughes, ?, and Mel Hughes
Just arriving were Doris and Mel Hughes with a friend.
Terese Cannon, Kelly Dormandy and Jenna Belton
Now Trojan Candy walked around looking for more athletes and friends. I saw Terese Cannon (3/3/2016), trainer Kelly Dormandy (2/15/15) and Jenna Belton.
Bill Bau, Clay Helton, Louis Wong and Dave Sell
Standing nearby were four friends. Bill Bau, Coach Clay Helton, Louis Wong and Dave Sell.
Sophie Bukovec and Jody Wheeler
Then I saw friend Sophie Bukovec (3/5/2015) talking with teammate Allie Wheeler's mom Jody.
Trojan Candy went inside the restaurant to get some of the delicious food. The quesadillas were really delicious, as well as the chicken wings. Here is the cake that was decorated with the 2017 Beach Volleyball Team. Can't wait for dessert!
Leland Waters and Anna Collier
As I carried my food outside, Trojan Candy took this picture of friends Leland Waters and Head Coach Anna Collier.
Clay Helton, Louis and Mary Jo Wong, Wandy Jung, Mel and Doris Hughes, Sue Cimbaluk, and Larry Jung
Trojan Candy walked out to the south patio and saw several friends. Standing were Coach Clay Helton, Louis and Mary Jo Wong, and Wandy Jung. Sitting were Mel and Doris Hughes, Sue Cimbaluk, and Larry Jung.
Allie and Jody Wheeler
Near the front, Trojan Candy saw Jody Wheeler with her daughter Allie (3/5/2015).
Dudley and Patti Poon
Next, Trojan Candy decided to take pictures of her nearby friends. My sister Patti and brother-in-law Dudley smiled for this picture.
Karen Trust, Anita Ybarra and Stephanie Miller
Friends Karen Trust, Anita Ybarra and Stephanie Miller posed for me.
Lynn Swann and the Beach Volleyball team
Just after taking their picture, Trojan Candy saw Athletic Director Lynn Swann posing with several team members in the photo booth. Standing are Terese Cannon, Joy Dennis, Lynn Swann, Cammie Dorn, Jenna Belton, and Sophie Bukovec. The three to the middle left are Nicolette Martin (3/5/2015), Avery Hazelrigg, and Lainy Thomas. The three in front are Katrina Kernochan, Abril Bustamante, and Becca Dunn (3/3/2016).
Allie Wheeler, Nicolette Martin, Kelly Claes, Sophie Bukovec, and Sara Hughes
Outside of the photo booth, Trojan Candy was finally able to take this picture of the five Beach Volleyball Seniors. Allie Wheeler, Nicolette Martin, Kelly Claes, Sophie Bukovec, and Sara Hughes (1/31/2014). CONGRATULATIONS 2017 USC Beach Volleyball Seniors!
Tara Quarrie, Jennifer Noriega and ?
Standing nearby were three USC Athletic Office friends. Tara Quarrie (11/29/2015), Jennifer Noriega and ?.
Natasa Siljkovic, Sara Hughes and Katie Fuller
Next, three more friends smiled for this picture. Volleyball alumna Natasa Siljkovic (9/2/2010), Sara Hughes and Volleyball alumna and current Beach Volleyball Director of Operations Katie Fuller.
Anna Collier and Clay Helton
Now it was time to draw for the baskets. Trojan Candy was standing right in front of Coach Clay Helton when he drew the ticket.
Patti Poon and Clay Helton
Then, I heard my sister Patti Poon scream. She won the two tickets to the USC-Western Michigan football game, two field passes, a parking pass, a USC men's tee shirt, and an autographed football!
Stefanie Miller
Another friend, Stefanie Miller, won the 2016 NCAA Championship Beach Volleyball basket.
Emily Young
Indoor and Beach Volleyball Alumna Emily Young (5/11/2016) also won a basket.
Paige Hines and Emily Young
Then Emily posed with friend Paige Hines (1/31/2014).
Then, Trojan Candy heard the Spirit of Troy playing. It was time to start the program.
Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Team
Check out this video of the 2017 Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Team. (video 0705)
Tossing Avery Hazelrigg
After the program, the entire team joined the Spirit of Troy near the firetruck. The team tossed Freshman Avery Hazelrigg.
Then, the team climbed onto the fire truck.
Kashi Cormier and Geena Urango
I met USC volleyball alumna Kashi Cormier. She was with another volleyball alumna Geena Urango (9/9/2010).
Next, the team walked across Figueroa to the Merle Norman Stadium for the game between the Alumnae and the current 2017 team.
April Ross
During the warm-ups, Trojan Candy said hello to April Ross (1/12/2013), who smiled for this picture.
Alumnae and the 2017 Beach Volleyball Team
The Alumnae and the 2017 Beach Volleyball Team joined together for a picture.
Kelly Claes and Alumnae
Kelly Claes photo bombed the Alumnae.
Then Trojan Candy took this picture of only the Alumnae.
I went to the second floor of the adjoining garage to take this picture of all three courts in action.
Kelly Claes and Alumnae
Trojan Candy took some video of the match between our number 1 pair Sara Hughes/Kelly Claes and Alumnae Geena Urango/April Ross. The Alumnae won in the close match.
Tara, Alexa, and Greg Strange
After the first sets were completed, Trojan Candy went to say hello to friend and alumna Alexa Strange (3/3/2016). She came with her parents Tara and Greg.

What a wonderful evening to meet new friends and visit with old friends.

FIGHT ON, USC 2017 Beach Volleyball!