No. 1 Trojans Outpace Panthers for 4-1 Win

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    March 11, 2017

    MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- Despite fielding a modified starting lineup, the No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (3-0) took down No. 12-ranked Florida International (5-2) by a 4-1 score at the East Meets West Invitational held at the Manhattan Beach Pier hosted by UCLA on Saturday, March 11. The Women of Troy remained undefeated on the season and extended their record winning streak to 33 consecutive victories.

    USC fired first and took a point at court three where senior Sophie Bukovec teamed with sophomore Abril Bustamante to defeat Morgan Crawley and Kari Peterson, 21-15, 21-11. At the top court, the steady senior pair of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes earned a 21-9, 21-16 win over Federica Frasca and Katie Hogan to put the Trojans on top, 2-0. For the duo, it was a 76th consecutive win.

    The Women of Troy put the match on ice when senior Nicolette Martin and junior Terese Cannon knocked off Lina Bernier and Natalia Giron, 21-16, 21-10, at the No. 2 position. With the dual decided, the Panthers earned a point at court four where Estefanie Bethancourt and Anabela Sataric defeated USC's duo of freshman Joy Dennis and junior Jo Kremer, 21-18, 21-15.

    In the only match to go to three sets, junior Jenna Belton and sophomore Katrina Kernochan dropped a 21-18 first-set decision to Margherita Bianchin and Taija Thomas at court five, but came back to win a tight 23-21 second set before seizing momentum for a big 15-7 win in the third.

    The Trojans are back in action later in the day when they take on Louisiana State (1-3) for the first time. Match time was originally set for 12:30 p.m. PT.

    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. 12 Florida International, 4-1
    East Meets West Invitational
    Manhattan Beach Pier | Manhattan Beach, Calif.
    Saturday, March 11, 2017
    Records: USC (3-0), FIU (5-2)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Federica Frasca/Katie Hogan (FIU); 21-9, 21-16
    2. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Lina Bernier/Natalia Giron (FIU); 21-16, 21-10
    3. Sophie Bukovec/Abril Bustamante (USC) def. Morgan Crawley/Kari Peterson (FIU); 21-15, 21-11
    4. Estefanie Bethancourt/Anabela Sataric (FIU) def. Joy Dennis/Jo Kremer (USC); 21-18, 21-15
    5. Jenna Belton/Katrina Kernochan (USC) def. Margherita Bianchin/Taija Thomas (FIU); 18-21, 23-21, 15-7
    Order of finish: 3, 1, 2*, 4, 5