A Blossoming Tradition: The Rose Cup Returns

    Freshman tennis player Gabby Smith prepares to hit a backhand during the Rose Cup held at Marks Stadium on Sunday.
    Oct. 12, 2014

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Trojan athletes did their part through participation in the third-annual Rose Cup tournament last Sunday.

    The Rose Cup was first held in 2012, in support of USC tennis player Kaitlyn Christian and her mother Rose, who suffered from breast cancer. Teammate Giuliana Olmos, who spearheaded the planning of each previous Rose Cup, directed this year's program. Generous contributions from Steve Holwell and many team families ensured the event was a success.

    The third installment of the Rose Cup did not disappoint, featuring more than 70 USC athletes from Golf, Tennis, Women's Basketball, Women's Lacrosse, Baseball and Sand Volleyball.

    Marks Stadium's center courts were the sites for a competitive tournament, while less intense tennis games like "King of the Court" and "Jail" were played elsewhere. Baseball players could be seen using tennis rackets to hit line drives, while athletes from other sports tried returning serves from the National Champion men's tennis team.

    The gripping final match of this year's tournament was decided by a tiebreaker, with Athletics staff members Dan Shell and Tyler Hornacek of Sports Properties ultimately emerging victorious. Last year, Track and Field athletes Will Robinson and Oluwakemi Olonade hoisted the trophy.

    Each team paid a $10 entry fee to the tournament, and pink shirts were sold to those in attendance. Donations were also accepted, and all proceeds from the event were passed on to the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Research Center . In total, the day raised nearly $5,000 for research, increasing the event's three year gift to more than $10,000.