No. 1 USC Breaks Seal on 2017 with 3-2 Win Over No. 3 Bruins|
Follow, Like, Instagram, Periscope, and Snap with @USCBeach
March 4, 2017
MALIBU, Calif. -- The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (1-0) opened defense of its back-to-back national titles with a 3-2 win over No. 3-ranked crosstown rival UCLA (2-2) on the sands of Zuma Beach in the Pepperdine Kick-Off on Saturday, March 4. The Trojans ran their record winning-streak to 31 consecutive duals and remained undefeated against the Bruins with a 6-0 all-time mark.
The two rivals put in hard-fought first sets across the board, but the Trojans went ahead first when seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes completed a 21-19, 21-12 win over Megan and Nicole McNamara at the top court. The No. 1 USC duo ran their winning streak to 74 straight. Last year, Claes and Hughes dropped just one set all year, and it was to the McNamaras at Zuma Beach.
Moments later, USC seized a 2-0 lead in the dual when the newly formed pair of junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin took down Savvy Simo and Torrey Van Winden at court three with a 21-16, 21-18 victory. UCLA fired back to get a win at court four where Izzy Carey and Elise Zappia earned a 21-19, 21-15 win against sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis.
Courts two and five each went the distance, but the decision was put in by the Trojans' junior duo of Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer as they defeated Chanti Holroyd and Lily Justine, 21-18, 17-21, 15-11. With the match clinched for the Trojans, the Bruins claimed one more point at court two when Kamila Tan and Madi Yeomans defeated seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler in three sets, 16-21, 21-17, 15-11.
The Trojans have a short rest before they take on No. 4-ranked tournament host Pepperdine (1-0) on the sands at Zuma Beach. Last year, on the opening day of the season, the Waves defeated the Trojans. It was one of just two USC losses all season.
For more information on the two-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat.
No. 1 USC def. No. 3 UCLA, 3-2