February (3) 2022 Candygrams

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Saturday, February 26, 2022---Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Alumnae Game

Trojan Candy arrived at the Merle Norman Stadium at 4:15 pm. It’s been two years since I have been able to see the Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Team live. The stadium was bustling with excitement. Trojan Candy got to work as soon as I could.

1270I saw friend Jerry Ensom with Volunteer Assistant Coach Laurel Weaver.

1273Then I started taking pictures of as many USC Beach Volleyball players that I could. Time was of the essence. The first player was Hailey Harward (2/21/2020). Hailey posed with her roommate Willa. After I took Hailey’s picture Trojan Candy interviewed her. Hailey is a graduate student from Long Beach. She is majoring in Marketing. Her favorite food is Raising Cane’s chicken fingers. Hailey likes all music. She also sings at church. Her favorite cartoon character is Sponge Bob. FIGHT ON, Hailey!

Nearby, Trojan Candy saw a familiar face. Sara Hughes gave me a big smile and a big hug. I met Sara when she was a freshman in 2014. Here is her interview (1/31/2014). My good friend Ray Wong, who takes pictures for Beach Volleyball, posed with Sara.
Former Beach Volleyball Coach Anna Collier joined Sara in my next picture. It was so nice to see Coach Anna again.

Trojan Candy saw five Beach Volleyball players standing together.

They were Nicole Nourse (2/21/2020), alumna Joy Dennis (3/2/2017), Delaynie Maple, Harper Hallgren, and Julia Scoles.

1281Trojan Candy asked Delaynie if I could take her picture and interview her. She agreed. Here is Delaynie. She is a sophomore majoring in Communication. She has been playing beach volleyball for eight years. Her favorite food is pasta. “Titanic” is her favorite movie. As for music, Delaynie said that she likes country music. Lastly, she said that she likes to read volleyball magazines. FIGHT ON, Delaynie!

On the other side of the net, Trojan Candy saw four more beach volleyball players. They were freshmen Eden McCoy and Ava Gallien, Audrey Nourse (2/21/2020) and Haley Hallgren (2/22/2018).
I was able to interview Eden McCoy. Eden, who is from Manhattan Beach, is a freshman majoring in Philosophy. She has played beach volleyball for six years. Her favorite food is pasta. “The Godfather” is Eden’s favorite movie. FIGHT ON, Eden!

1286Eden told me that Ava Gallien and she are friends from high school and that both of them are from Manhattan Beach. Ava is a freshman who is majoring in Communication. She likes to go to the beach. No wonder that she is now competing in Beach Volleyball at USC! Ava’s favorite food is Mexican food. Her favorite movie is “Grown-Up.” FIGHT ON, Ava!

1289Trojan Candy took this picture of the two friends, Eden and Ava.

1290Just to the right, I saw four more team members. They were Emily Hansen, Megan Kraft (2/22/2022), Olivia Bakos and Mollie Ebertin.

Next, Trojan Candy met and interviewed Megan Kraft. Megan 1293started playing beach volleyball when she was in the 8th grade. She is majoring in Accounting. Megan’s favorite food is pasta. In addition to beach volleyball, Megan enjoys swimming and surfing. Her favorite movie is “Remember the Titans.” As for music, Megan likes just about all kinds of music, but Rap is her favorite. FIGHT ON, Megan!

1295Next, Trojan Candy took this picture of the Number 1 High School Beach Volleyball partners, Megan Kraft and Delaynie Maple. They played at Torrey Pines High School.

1297Beach Volleyball Head Coach Dain Blanton posed with his team.

Trojan Candy finally saw her! I was able to take a picture of Olympian Tina Graudina (2/22/2018). Tina, 1299who is from Jurmala, Latvia, is a senior who is earning her Masters in Communication Management. As an undergrad she studied Political Science. Tina has been playing beach volleyball for ten years. Her favorite food are fruits. Hiking is one of her hobbies. Tina likes to read mystery books. FIGHT ON, Tina!

Nearby, the Spirit of Troy played "Conquest."
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My husband Jim took this video of their performance.
Trojan Candy saw USC Beach Volleyball alumnae Geena Urango (9/9/2010), Allie Wheeler (3/5/2015) and Terese Cannon (5/8/2018).
Graduate student Sammy Slater (2/22/2018) posed with Megan Kraft.

Trojan Candy had initially interviewed Sammy Slater on February 22, 2018. I decided to catch up with her now since she is a graduate student who is part of the team. Sammy told me that as a graduate team member, she is taking more of a leadership role with the team. She is learning the new dynamic....Keep it fun! Sammy goes to a farmer’s market more now, because she cooks a ton of vegetables because she is a vegan. KEEP FIGHTING ON, Sammy!

Then Trojan Candy took this picture of our Beach Volleyball announcer, Leland Waters.
As I walked toward the entrance, Trojan Candy saw a familiar face talking with team member Caitlin Cummings and Athletic Director Mike Bohn. I said, “Hi” to my fellow USC Class of 1968 graduate John Colich. He is the major donor to the Colich Track and Field Center.

Now it was almost time for the program and introductions to start.

I took this picture of Tina Graudina and Sara Hughes, who were going to be partners in the match.
Next I took a picture of my sister Patti, brother-in-law Dudley Poon and friend Jerry Ensom.
Later, Jerry returned the favor and took this picture of Jim and me.

It was time for the program now. Jim went into the stands to take a video of the program, and I stood on the sand to take pictures and videos.

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My first video shows A.D. Mike Bohn talking about the USC Beach Volleyball program greatness.
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My second video shows Head Coach Dain Blanton speaking about some alumnae and the current team.
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In my third video Leland Waters introduces our 2022 Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Team and the USC Beach Volleyball alumnae.
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The last video (taken by Jim) shows another view of Coach Blanton talking about the team and Leland Waters introducing the current team and alumnae.