No. 1 Trojans Top Hatters for 4-1 Win

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    March 26, 2017

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (15-0) defeated No. 13 Stetson (7-9), 4-1, in its third dual at the Gamecock Grand Slam on the sands of Wheeler Beach on Sunday, March 26. The victory for the Women of Troy extended their winning streak to 45 consecutive dual victories.

    The Hatters scored first but got only one point in the dual. Stetson's No. 2 and No. 4 pairs each won first sets in their matches. At court two, USC seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler were narrowly defeated, 24-22, in their first set with Darby Dunn and Kristin Lind, but came back to notch a 21-12 win in the second. The Hatters fought tooth and nail in the third to come up with a 16-14 win and tacked up a 1-0 lead in the dual.

    At court four, sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis dropped a close 21-19 decision in the first set to Tiffany Creamer and Rachel Boble, but the Trojan tandem came back to win, 21-19, in the second and then went extra points to win, 21-19, in the third to even the dual score at one point apiece.

    With the odd-numbered courts to play, the Trojans scored a second point from court five where juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer came away with a 14-21, 21-13, 15-8 win over Carly Perales and Sunniva Helland-Hansen. The clinching point came from the top court where seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes dialed up a 21-13, 21-14 win over Samantha Harris and Maggie Skjelbred. The Trojan tandem won their 90th consecutive match together. With the dual decided, junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin added the fourth point with a 21-14, 21-9 win over Kaylee Anderson and Emily Carroll.

    In a non-counting match, sophomore Katrina Kernochan and freshman Lainy Thomas put together a 21-17, 22-20 win over Lauren Durham and Juie Varga. Up next, the Trojans face No. 9 Georgia State to conclude the 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. 13 Stetson, 4-1
    Gamecock Grand Slam -- Dan Apol Memorial
    Wheeler Beach | Columbia, S.C.
    Sunday, March 26, 2017
    Records: USC (15-0), Stetson (7-9)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Samantha Harris/Maggie Skjelbred (STET); 21-13, 21-14
    2. Darby Dunn/Kristin Lind (STET) def. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC); 24-22, 12-21, 16-14
    3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Kaylee Anderson/Emily Carroll (STET); 21-14, 21-9
    4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Tiffany Creamer/Rachel Noble (STET); 19-21, 21-19, 21-19
    5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Carly Perales/Sunniva Helland-Hansen (STET); 14-21, 21-13, 15-8
    Exh: Katrina Kernochan/Lainy Thomas (USC) def. Lauren Durham/Julie Varga (STET); 21-17, 22-20
    Order of finish: 2, 4, 5, 1*, 3