No. 1 USC Takes Down No. 3 Pepperdine in 3-2 Victory

    Meg Norton helped deliver the clinching point in USC's 3-2 win over Pepperdine.

    USCSandVBall on Twitter  USCSandVBall on Facebook  USCSandVBall on Instagram

    Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCSandVBall

    Box Score (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader

    March 24, 2015

    LOS ANGELES - The top-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team (7-0) went the distance with a trio of three-set matches in order to defeat No. 3 Pepperdine (6-2) in a dual, 3-2, at Merle Norman Stadium on Tuesday, March 24. The Women of Troy stayed undefeated and earned just their second dual victory against the Waves in nine meetings.

    Before a live national television audience, the Trojans scored the first two points with wins at court four and five, respectively. Sophomores Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler got the job done first with a 21-19, 21-16 win over Sophie Asprey and Taylor Racich at four.

    Despite a 23-21 loss in the first set, senior Bria Russ and freshman Jenna Belton fought back to tie the score with a 21-16 win in the second over Katie Messing and Corinne Quiggle. Belton and Russ came through with a 15-12 win in the third to post a 2-0 Trojan lead.

    The Waves got on the board with a win at the top court where Kelley Larsen and Kellie Woolever defeated sophomores Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, 21-17, 21-17. At court two, sophomore Sophie Bukovec and junior Alexa Strange had the upper hand with a 21-17 win in the first, but let up in a 21-16 second-set loss to Lara Dykstra and Becca Strehlow. The Wave duo put pedal to metal and earned a 15-11 win in the third set to even the dual at 2-2.

    On court three, seniors Eve Ettinger and Meg Norton fell, 21-17, to Emily Cook and Delaney Knudsen in the first set, but were dominant in the second to win, 21-14. Ettinger and Norton continued to hold court in the third and completed their three-set win, 15-9, to seal the 3-2 dual victory for the Trojans.

    Pepperdine's loss marks the first time in four seasons that the Waves have lost more than a single match in the same season. Last year, USC handed Pepperdine its only loss of 2014 before the Waves went on to win the AVCA title. In 2013, Pepperdine was 20-0 before it lost in the title match.

    At 7-0, the Trojans are off to the best start in program history. USC looks to extend that streak on Thursday (March 26) when it hosts Bakersfield (6-2) at 3 p.m. PT and Saint Mary's College (3-4) at 4:30 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson and Holly McPeak on the call.

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

    No. 1 USC 3, No. 3 Pepperdine 2
    Merle Norman Stadium | Los Angeles, Calif.
    Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    Records: USC (7-0), Pepperdine (6-2)
    1. Kelley Larsen/Kellie Woolever (PEPP) def. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC); 21-17, 21-17
    2. Lara Dykstra/Becca Strehlow (PEPP) def. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC); 17-21, 21-16, 15-11
    3. Eve Ettinger/Meg Norton (USC) def. Emily Cook/Delaney Knudsen (PEPP); 17-21, 21-14, 15-9
    4. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Sophie Asprey/Taylor Racich (PEPP); 21-19, 21-16
    5. Jenna Belton/Bria Russ (USC) def. Katie Messing/Corinne Quiggle (PEPP); 21-23, 21-16, 15-12
    Order of finish: 4, 5, 1, 2, 3*