No. 3 USC Completes 5-0 Trifecta With Wins Over Nebraska and California

    USC senior Bria Russ teamed with freshman Jenna Belton to win all three of their dual matches in Hawaii.

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    March 19, 2015

    HONOLULU - The third-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team (6-0) maintained its unblemished record with a pair of 5-0 victories over Nebraska (0-1) and California (3-4) at the Queen's Beach Sandbox on Thursday, March 19. Through three duals, the Women of Troy went 15-0 in individual matches and will now turn their attention to playing in the Queen of the Beach Challenge hosted by the University of Hawai'i.

    The Trojans started the day with Nebraska and made the first mark with a win at court four where sophomores Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler completed a 21-10, 21-17 win over Kelly Hunter and Kadie Rolfzen. USC went up, 2-0, with a point from No. 5 as freshman Jenna Belton and senior Bria Russ took out Annika Albrecht and Cecilia Hall, 21-18, 21-19. USC clinched the victory from the top court as sophomores Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes came through with a 21-17, 21-11 win over Alicia Ostrander and Justine Wong-Orantes.

    At court two, sophomore Sophie Bukovec and junior Alexa Strange produced a 29-27, 21-14 win over Melanie Keil and Amber Rolfzen to push the Trojans ahead, 4-0. Seniors Eve Ettinger and Meg Norton sealed the 5-0 win from court three with their 21-8, 21-14 victory against Alexa Ethridge and Kira Larson. With the win, USC improved to 3-0 in all-time duals with the Cornhuskers. The Trojans won, 3-2, in 2013, and 5-0 in 2014.

    Facing California for the first time in program history, USC went the way it did with Nebraska and claimed its first three points in succession from courts four, five, and then one. Martin and Wheeler took a 21-17, 21-11 win over Ashley Johnson and Katie Regalia on four before Belton and Russ won, 21-10, 21-13, against Sabrina Blackwell and Teya Neff at the No. 5 position.

    Claes and Hughes earned the clincher for the second straight dual as they beat Sarah Cole and Emily Lunt, 21-15, 21-15, at the top court. Ettinger and Norton went 21-14, 21-10 over Inanna Eshoo and Allison Leong at court three to give USC its fourth point. Bukovec and Strange put a cap on the 5-0 win with a 21-13, 21-13 victory against Bryce Bark and Emily Shults at No. 2.

    The Women of Troy will conclude their trip to the islands with the Queen of the Beach Challenge hosted by the University of Hawai'i. USC will face pairs from Hawai'i, Nebraska, Cal, Hawai'i Pacific, and Chaminade Friday and Saturday (March 20-21). Pool play (Mar. 20) will take place at the Queen's Beach Sandbox in Waikiki before bracket play (Mar. 21) will move to the T.C. Ching Complex on the UH campus.

    For more information on the USC sand volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCSandVBall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    No. 3 USC 5, Nebraska 0
    Queen's Beach Sandbox | Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Thursday, March 19, 2015
    Records: USC (5-0), Nebraska (0-1)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Alicia Ostrander/Justine Wong-Orantes (NEB); 21-17, 21-11
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Melanie Keil/Amber Rolfzen (NEB); 29-27, 21-14
    3. Eve Ettinger/Meg Norton (USC) def. Alexa Ethridge/Kira Larson (NEB); 21-8, 21-14
    4. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Kelly Hunter/Kadie Rolfzen (NEB); 21-10, 21-17
    5. Jenna Belton/Bria Russ (USC) def. Annika Albrecht/Cecilia Hall (NEB); 21-18, 21-19
    Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 2, 3

    No. 3 USC 5, California 0
    Queen's Beach Sandbox | Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Thursday, March 19, 2015
    Records: USC (6-0), California (3-4)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Sarah Cole/Emily Lunt (CAL); 21-15, 21-15
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Bryce Bark/Emily Shults (CAL); 21-13, 21-13
    3. Eve Ettinger/Meg Norton (USC) def. Inanna Eshoo/Allison Leong (CAL); 21-14, 21-10
    4. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Ashley Johnson/Katie Ragalia (CAL); 21-17, 21-11
    5. Jenna Belton/Bria Russ (USC) def. Sabrina Blackwell/Teya Neff (CAL); 21-10, 21-13
    Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 3, 2