No. 1 USC Beach Grinds Out 4-1 Win Over Gaels to Win USAV Challenge

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    April 8, 2017

    MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (25-0) grabbed a 4-1 win over Saint Mary's College (16-6) to win the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge at the Manhattan Beach Pier on Saturday, April 8. Despite gale-force-like winds, the Women of Troy remained undefeated and improved their winning streak to 55 consecutive duals.

    While one streak stayed alive, another ended as seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes were handed their first loss of the season and their first loss in almost two years. The incredible Trojan duo had their 103-match winning streak snapped in a 13-21, 21-18, 17-15 loss to Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund at the top court. The dual point was the only scored by the Gaels, but was inconsequential to the final result as the Trojans had already clinched the victory.

    USC won all four of its other matches in straight sets and got started with a swift victory by sophomore Katrina Kernochan and freshman Lainy Thomas at court five. The duo defeated Alex O'Sullivan and Madi Wilkerson, 21-16, 21-8, to get things started. On court four, juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer won their seventh straight and improved to 27-3 on the season with a 21-12, 21-8 win over Lindsey Calvin and Alexsa Parker.

    At court two, junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin knocked off Emily Bible and Sarah Chase in a 21-19, 21-12 win to seal the dual for the Women of Troy. USC's fourth point came from court three where freshman Joy Dennis and senior Allie Wheeler picked up a 21-18, 21-16 win over Mary Hernandez and Alexis Salmons.

    The Trojans have more than a week between matches and will be back in action on Tuesday, April 18, in a dual at Stanford. USC and the Cardinal will meet for the first time on The Farm and be shown live on Pac-12 Network, 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. Saint Mary's College, 4-1
    USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge
    Manhattan Beach Pier | Manhattan Beach, Calif.
    Saturday, April 8, 2017
    Records: USC (25-0), Saint Mary's College (16-6)
    1. Lindsey Knudsen/Payton Rund (SMC) def. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC); 13-21, 21-18, 17-15
    2. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Emily Bible/Sarah Chase (SMC); 21-19, 21-12
    3. Joy Dennis/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Mary Hernandez/Alexis Salmons (SMC); 21-18, 21-16
    4. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Lindsey Calvin/Alexsa Parker (SMC); 21-12, 21-8
    5. Katrina Kernochan/Lainy Thomas (USC) def. Alex O'Sullivan/Madi Wilkerson (SMC); 21-16, 21-8
    Order of finish: 5, 4, 2*, 3, 1