Four Trojan Pairs Win Pools at Queen of the Beach Challenge|
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March 20, 2015
HONOLULU - Four pairs from the USC women's sand volleyball team won pools on the first day of the 2015 Queen of the Beach Challenge at the Queen's Beach Sandbox on Friday, March 20. The duos will each advance to the gold championship bracket and represent half of the field competing for the crown on Saturday, March 21.
Hosted by the University of Hawai'i, pairs from the host team, USC, California, and Nebraska are playing in the two-day tournament. Eight-team gold, silver, and bronze championship brackets will be played on the UH campus at the new T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
The Trojans' pairs of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, Eve Ettinger and Meg Norton, Sophie Bukovec and Alexa Strange, and Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler each went 2-0 in pool play to earn spots in the gold bracket. USC's freshmen pairs of Olivia Asprey and Marielle Bagnard, and Lorna Brandt and Jo Kremer each split matches to go 1-1 in their respective pools. Senior Bria Russ and freshman Jenna Belton also went 1-1 in their pool.
Claes and Hughes teamed to win Pool B with a 21-10, 21-12 win over the mixed duo of Cal's Sammy Furlan and UH's Kaiwi Schucht. Claes and Hughes also defeated Alexa Ethridge and Kira Larsen of Nebraska in straight sets, 21-5, 21-10. In Pool C, Ettinger and Norton claimed a pair of wins. The first was against Heather Boyan and Lara Schreiber of Hawai'i, 21-17, 21-13. The duo then beat Nebraska's Alicia Ostrander and Justine Wong-Orantes, 21-9, 21-13.
In Pool F, Bukovec and Strange logged back-to-back straight-set wins with a 21-10, 21-8 victory over Cal's Sabrina Blackwell and Teya Neff, and a 21-15, 21-18 win against London Chow and Hannah Zalopany of Hawai'i. Martin and Wheeler earned two wins in Pool G where they defeated Gianna Guinasso and Sydney Shinn of Hawai'i, 21-14, 21-11, and then cruised to a 21-11, 21-11 win against Melanie Keil and Amber Rolfzen of Nebraska.
In Pool A, Asprey and Bagnard split matches with a 21-16, 21-14 win over Cal's Ashley Johnson and Katie Regalia, and a 24-22, 21-8 loss to pool winners Nikki Taylor and Brittany Tiegs of Hawai'i. In Pool H, Brandt and Kremer earned a 26-24, 21-14 win over Bryce Bark and Emily Shults of Cal, but dropped a 22-20, 21-10 decision to Nebraska's team of Kelly Hunter and Kadie Rolfzen to go 1-1. Belton and Russ earned a 21-16, 21-16 win over Sarah Cole and Emily Lunt of Cal, but fell to the Rainbow Wahine team of Sammie Brown and Hannah Rooks in three sets, 21-10, 18-21, 16-14.
Bracket championship matches will begin at 9 a.m. HT and conclude at approximately 3 p.m. Following the tournament, the Women of Troy will return to Southern California and prepare to face defending AVCA champion Pepperdine in a 2 p.m. PT match on Tuesday, March 24. The Trojans and Waves will meet in a live broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks with Holly McPeak and Anne Marie Anderson on the call.
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.
2015 QUEEN OF THE BEACH CHALLENGE - POOL PLAY