No. 1 USC Blocks Gamecocks For 5-0 Sweep

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    March 25, 2017

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The top-ranked USC beach volleyball team (14-0) logged a 5-0 sweep of tournament host No. 9-ranked South Carolina (11-3) in its second match of the Gamecock Grand Slam on the sands of Wheeler Beach on Saturday, March 25. The Women of Troy remained undefeated on the season and moved their winning streak to 44 straight duals.

    Formatted such that courts two and four played first, the Trojans put the first point up from the No. 2 position as seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler dispatched of Katie Smith and Katie Zimmerman, 21-18, 21-16. It was the duo's seventh straight win together. On four, sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis tacked up a second point with a 21-18, 24-22 win over Macie Tendrich and Shannon Williams.

    The clinching point came from the middle of the lineup where junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin put together a 21-13, 21-12 win over Julia Mannisto and Carly Schnieder for their 10th win of the season. With the dual decided, the Trojans added a fourth point from the top court as seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes punched up a 21-8, 21-18 win over Adrianna Culbert and Ali Denney to extend their winning streak to 89 consecutive matches.

    In the only match to go three sets, juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer came back after dropping their first set against Franky Harrison and Jade Vitt, 21-17, to win, 21-15 and 15-12 to complete the clean sweep. In an non-counting match, sophomore Katrina Kernochan and freshman Lainy Thomas earned a 21-14, 21-14 win over Hannah Edelman and Carolina Skaff.

    Up next, the Trojans will play their third and fourth top-15 ranked opponents of the weekend tomorrow. USC starts the day with a matchup with No. 13 Stetson (7-8) at 9 a.m. ET (6 a.m. PT) and then will face No. 9 Georgia State (11-6) at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) to conclude the Gamecock Grand Slam tournament. USC returns home to Merle Norman Stadium to host California for a dual on Tuesday, March 28. The Trojans and the Golden Bears will be shown live on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Bay Area.

    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. No. 9 South Carolina, 5-0
    Gamecock Grand Slam -- Dan Apol Memorial
    Wheeler Beach | Columbia, S.C.
    Saturday, March 25, 2017
    Records: USC (14-0), South Carolina (11-3)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Adrianna Culbert/Ali Denney (SC); 21-8, 21-18
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Katie Smith/Katie Zimmerman (SC); 21-18, 21-16
    3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Julia Mannisto/Carly Schnieder (SC); 21-13, 21-12
    4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Macie Tendrich/Shannon Williams (SC); 21-18, 24-22
    5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Franky Harrison/Jade Vitt (SC); 17-21, 21-15, 15-12
    Exh: Katrina Kernochan/Lainy Thomas (USC) def. Hannah Edelman/Caroline Skaff (SC); 21-14, 21-14
    Order of finish: 2, 4, 3*, 1, 5