No. 1 USC Levels Lobos and Lopes In Desert Duals

    USC sophomore Kelly Claes

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    March 27, 2015

    PHOENIX - The No. 1-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team (11-0) extended its streak of dual victories to 11 with a 4-1 win over New Mexico (1-4) and a 5-0 sweep of Grand Canyon (5-4) at the GCU Sand Courts on Friday, March 27. It was the Trojans' fifth dual victory in four days.

    In its neutral-location match with New Mexico, USC scored the first point of the dual with a win at court five where freshman Jenna Belton and senior Bria Russ took out Maddie Mayfield and Sara Weber, 21-4, 21-8. Sophomores Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler produced a 21-15, 21-18 win at court four over Ashley Newman and Lise Rugland to push the Trojans ahead, 2-0.

    The Trojans' other sophomore duo of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes clinched the match from the top court with their 21-11, 21-10 win over Hannah Johnson and Ashley Kelsey. Seniors Eve Ettinger and Meg Norton delivered a fourth point for USC on a 21-11, 21-19 win against Devanne Sours and Chloe Crappell at court three. On court two, sophomore Sophie Bukovec and junior Alexa Strange dropped their first set, 21-17, but came back to win the second, 21-16. The Lobo duo was too much in the third and put away the Trojans, 15-10, to earn New Mexico's only dual point of the day.

    Ettinger and Norton started things off against Grand Canyon with a 21-18, 21-14 win over Alex Green and Brooke Razo at court three. Russ teamed with freshman Jo Kremer at court five for a 21-16, 21-19 win over Alex Goodman and Becca Conrad to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead in the dual.

    The clincher came from court four where Belton and Martin paired up for a 21-17, 21-19 win against Kaitlynn Ausmus and Megan Glennie. At the top court, Claes and Hughes played a close first set with Shannon Dugan and Kenzie Phelp but blew the doors off the match for a 21-18, 21-5 victory and a 4-0 USC lead. The Women of Troy secured the 5-0 sweep when Bukovec and Strange completed their 21-11, 21-19 win against Emilee Erichsen and Molly Turner at court two.

    In non-scoring matches, freshman Lorna Brandt and sophomore Paige Hines defeated New Mexico's Jackie Baro and Sami Reynolds, 21-13, 21-18; and freshman Olivia Asprey and senior Alexa Stonish took out Grand Canyon's Britta Forsythe and Chloe Jenkins in three sets, 14-21, 21-19, 15-6.

    USC remains in the desert and will face Arizona State (3-7) on Saturday (March 28) for a 3 p.m. PT dual at the Pera Club (1 E. Continental Dr., Tempe, Ariz.). 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 4, New Mexico 1
    GCU Sand Courts | Phoenix, Ariz.
    Friday, March 27, 2015
    Records: USC (10-0), New Mexico (1-4)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Hannah Johnson/Ashley Kelsey (UNM); 21-11, 21-10
    2. Julia Warren/Eastyn Baleto (UNM) def. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC); 21-17, 16-21, 15-10
    3. Eve Ettinger/Meg Norton (USC) def. Devanne Sours/Chloe Crappell (UNM); 21-11, 21-19
    4. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Ashley Newman/Lise Rugland (UNM); 21-15, 21-18
    5. Jenna Belton/Bria Russ (USC) def. Maddie Mayfield/Sara Weber; 21-4, 21-8
    Order of finish: 5, 4, 1*, 3, 2
    6. Lorna Brandt/Paige Hines (USC) def. Jackie Baro/Sami Reynolds (UNM); 21-13, 21-18

    No. 1 USC 5, Grand Canyon 0
    GCU Sand Courts | Phoenix, Ariz.
    Friday, March 27, 2015
    Records: Grand Canyon (5-4), USC (11-0)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Shannon Dugan/Kenzie Phelp (GCU); 21-18, 21-5
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Emilee Erichsen/Molly Turner (GCU); 21-11, 21-19
    3. Eve Ettinger/Meg Norton (USC) def. Alex Green/Brooke Razo (GCU); 21-18, 21-14
    4. Jenna Belton/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Kaitlynn Ausmus/Megan Glennie (GCU); 21-17, 21-19
    5. Jo Kremer/Bria Russ (USC) def. Alex Goodman/Becca Conrad (GCU); 21-16, 21-19
    Order of finish: 3, 5, 4*, 1, 2
    6. Olivia Asprey/Alexa Stonish (USC) def. Britta Forsythe/Chloe Jenkins (GCU); 14-21, 21-19, 15-6