No. 1 USC Locks Up Lions For 5-0 Sweep

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    March 22, 2017

    LOS ANGELES -- The top-ranked USC beach volleyball team (12-0) dispatched of long-time rival Loyola Marymount (6-7) in a 5-0 sweep at Merle Norman Stadium on Wednesday, March 22. The Women of Troy moved to 16-0 in all-time matches against the Lions and extended their overall winning streak to 42 consecutive duals.

    The Trojans got on the board with a point from court four where sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis took a 21-16, 25-23 win over Emma Doud and Veronica Nederend. It took three sets, but juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer put an 18-21, 21-17, 15-12 win in the books over Kristen Castellanos and Erin Williams for a 2-0 USC lead.

    USC's pair of junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin secured the dual decision when they defeated Brittnay Estes and Kekai Whitford, 21-15, 21-15, at court three. With the dual decided, sophomore Katrina Kernochan and senior Allie Wheeler teamed for the first time to post a 21-11, 21-19 win over Sara Kovac and Jessie Prichard at the No. 2 position.

    At the top court, seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes dropped their first set, 21-18, to Savannah Slattery and Sarah Sponcil, but came back with a vengeance to score a 21-10 win in the second and a 15-3 win in the third for their 85th consecutive victory. In an exhibition match, freshmen Cammie Dorn and Lainy Thomas delivered a 21-12, 21-13 win over Kameryn Hill and Tatiana Schlange.

    Following the dual, the two teams engaged in a pairs' tournament where Claes and Hughes picked up two more wins: one over Belton and Kremer, 21-15, 21-10; the other over Cannon and Martin, 21-11, 21-18. The two victories pushed their streak further to 87 straight wins. The Trojans ended up putting two teams into the finals. Kernochan and Wheeler used three sets in the semifinals to knock off the top LMU pair of Slattery and Sponcil, 21-15, 16-21, 15-10. In the final, the Trojans opted to play an exhibition match, which Cannon and Hughes won, 21-14, 21-18, over Kernochan and Wheeler.

    Up next, the Trojans head to Columbia, S.C., for the Gamecock Grand Slam -- Dan Apol Memorial tournament hosted by the University of South Carolina at Wheeler Beach. USC faces No. 4 Florida State, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 9 Georgia State, and No. 13 Stetson on Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26. The USC-USC dual will have portions shown on SEC+.

    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. Loyola Marymount, 5-0
    Merle Norman Stadium | Los Angeles, Calif.
    Wednesday, March 22, 2017
    Records: USC (12-0), Loyola Marymount (6-7)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Savannah Slattery/Sarah Sponcil (LMU); 18-21, 21-10, 15-3
    2. Katrina Kernochan/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Sara Kovac/Jessie Prichard (LMU); 21-11, 21-19
    3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Brittnay Estes/Kekai Whitford (LMU); 21-15, 21-15
    4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Emma Doud/Veronica Nederend (LMU); 21-16, 25-23
    5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Kristen Castellanos/Erin Williams (LMU); 18-21, 21-17, 15-12
    Exh: Cammie Dorn/Lainy Thomas (USC) def. Kameryn Hill/Tatiana Schlange (LMU); 21-12, 21-13
    Order of finish: 4, 5, 3*, 2, 1

    USC vs. LMU PAIRS TOURNAMENT
    Merle Norman Stadium | Los Angeles, Calif.
    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    FIRST ROUND
    Exh: Cammie Dorn/Avery Hazelrigg (USC) def. Kameryn Hill/Tatiana Schlange (LMU); 21-16, 21-17
    Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Emma Doud/Veronica Nederend (LMU); 21-18, 21-17
    Joy Dennis/Lainy Thomas (USC) def. Kristen Castellanos/Erin Williams (LMU); 21-17, 21-18

    QUARTERFINALS
    Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Sara Kovac/Jessie Prichard (LMU); 21-18, 21-13
    Savannah Slattery/Sarah Sponcil (LMU) def. Joy Dennis/Lainy Thomas (USC); 21-13, 21-14
    Katrina Kernochan/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Brittnay Estes/Kekai Whitford (LMU); 21-11, 21-15
    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC); 21-15, 21-10

    SEMIFINALS
    Katrina Kernochan/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Savannah Slattery/Sarah Sponcil (LMU); 21-15, 16-21, 15-10
    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC); 21-11, 21-18

    EXHIBITION FINAL
    Terese Cannon/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Katrina Kernochan/Allie Wheeler (USC); 21-14, 21-18