No. 1 USC Fights Off No. 4 Florida State For 3-2 Win

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    March 16, 2017

    HONOLULU -- USC beach volleyball seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes earned their 79th straight victory to clinch a 3-2 win for the No. 1-ranked Trojans (6-0) over No. 4 Florida State (4-3) at Queen's Beach on Thursday, March 16. The Women of Troy extended their winning streak to 36 straight duals and remain undefeated on the season. It is also USC's third straight over the Seminoles.

    Claes and Hughes sealed the win for the Trojans with a 21-14, 21-15 win over Leigh Andrew and Brooke Kuhlman at the top court. The win was key as the clincher in the dual, but was magnified even more after the Seminoles completed straight set wins at courts two and three following the dual decision.

    At No. 3, Macy Jerger and Victoria Paranagua claimed narrow victories in both sets to take down junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin, 22-20, 21-19. On the second court, FSU's Vanessa Freire and Francesca Goncalves defeated seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler, 21-19, 21-17, for the second Seminole point.

    The Trojans gutted out a pair of tough matches at four and five to take a 2-0 lead in the dual. Sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis needed 24 points to complete a 21-18, 24-22 win over Molly McBain and Sierra Sanchez at court four. At five, juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer cruised to a 21-13 win in the first, but dropped a 21-15 decision in the second set to Katie Horton and Eva Torruella. The junior tandem went point-for-point with the Seminoles in the third, and overcame a 14-13 deficit to win, 16-14.

    In a non-counting exhibition match, freshman Cammie Dorn and sophomore Katrina Kernochan defeated Ali Eager and Danielle Pennington, 21-15, 21-17.

    USC is back in action tomorrow (March 17) and will play the first two of five matches in the 2017 Outrigger Hawai'i Invitational. The Trojans start things off with a rematch against Nebraska at 11:30 a.m. HT (2:30 p.m. PT). Then, USC tangles with the newest Pac-12 beach volleyball team in a head-to-head with Utah at 3:15 p.m. HT (6:15 p.m. PT). The Trojans play three more on Saturday to complete the grueling tournament. Live scores will be available at through links on the beach volleyball schedule page.

    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 Florida State, 3-2
    Queen's Beach | Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Thursday, March 16, 2017
    Records: USC (6-0), Florida State (4-3)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman (FSU); 21-14, 21-15
    2. Vanessa Freire/Francesca Goncalves (FSU) def. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC); 21-19, 21-17
    3. Macy Jerger/Victoria Paranagua (FSU) def. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC); 22-20, 21-19
    4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Molly McBain/Sierra Sanchez (FSU); 21-18, 24-22
    5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Katie Horton/Eva Torruella (FSU); 21-13, 15-21, 16-14
    Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 3, 2
    Exh: Cammie Dorn/Katrina Kernochan (USC) def. Ali Eager/Danielle Pennington (FSU); 21-15, 21-17