No. 1 Trojans Wash Away No. 4 Waves For 2-0 Start

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    March 4, 2017

    MALIBU, Calif. -- The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (2-0) improved its school-record winning streak to 32 consecutive matches with a 4-1 win over No. 4-ranked Pepperdine (1-1) at the Pepperdine Kick-Off on Saturday, March 4. The win pulled the Trojans even with the Waves at eight-all in the all-time series history and was the 110th all-time win for USC's sixth-year head coach Anna Collier. The Women of Troy have now won 64 of their last 66 contests.

    After suffering a three-set loss to the No. 2 UCLA pair, seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler rebounded to get a 21-15, 21-18 win over Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle at court two and set the Trojans up with the first point of the dual. At the top court, seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes took down Delaney Knudsen and Madalyn Roh, 21-12, 21-13, for USC's second point in the dual. The win increased Claes and Hughes' incredible winning streak as a pair to 75 straight matches dating back to April 2, 2015.

    The clinching point came from court four where sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis brushed off a loss to the Bruins earlier in the day to come up with a win over Deahna Kraft and Anika Wilson, 21-13, 25-23. The second set went deep into extra points before a winner decided, but Bustamante and Dennis stayed the pace with their Wave counterparts to secure the dual for USC.

    With the dual decided, the Waves got their only point at court three where Skylar Caputo and Heidi Dyer put together a 22-20, 21-14 win over junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin. Cannon and Martin had a 19-17 lead in the first set, but the Waves fought through to get the victory. In a similar first set on court five, juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer dropped a 22-20 decision to Gigi Hernandez and Katty Workman, but came back to win, 21-16, in the second. The pairs went back and forth to begin the third, but Belton and Kremer pulled away for a 15-11 win and secured the Trojans' fourth point of the dual.

    USC is back in action next weekend (Saturday, March 11) at the East Meets West Invitational hosted by UCLA at the Manhattan Beach Pier in Manhattan Beach, Calif. The Trojans will face No. 11 Florida International at 10:30 a.m. PT and then take on No. 10 Louisiana State at 12:30 p.m. On Friday, March 10, the Women of Troy host an international exhibition at Merle Norman Stadium against pairs from Poland, China, and Team USA. First serve is set for 11 a.m. PT and admission to the event is free to the public.

    For more information on the two-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat.

    No. 1 USC def. No. 4 Pepperdine, 4-1
    Zuma Beach | Malibu, Calif.
    Pepperdine Kick-Off
    Saturday, March 4, 2017
    Records: USC (2-0), Pepperdine (1-1)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Delaney Knudsen/Madalyn Roh (PEP); 21-12, 21-13
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Brittany Howard/Corinne Quiggle (PEP); 21-15, 21-18
    3. Skylar Caputo/Heidi Dyer (PEP) def. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC); 22-20, 21-14
    4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Deahna Kraft/Anika Wilson (PEP); 21-13, 25-23
    5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Gigi Hernandez/Katty Workman (PEP); 20-22, 21-16, 15-11
    Order of finish: 2, 1, 4*, 3, 5