Burnham and Hughes Win Gold Bracket at USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge

    USC freshman Sara Hughes teamed with senior Kirby Burnham to win the Gold Bracket at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge

    USCWomensVolley on Twitter  USCWomensVolley on Facebook  USCWomensVolley on Instagram

    Follow, Like, and Insta with @USCSandVBall

    April 13, 2014

    LOS ANGELES - USC women's sand volleyball senior Kirby Burnham and freshman Sara Hughes teamed up to claim three wins and take the Gold Bracket title at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge on Sunday April 13. Sophomore Alexa Strange and freshman Kelly Claes got four wins as a pair in the Silver Bracket to win the crown there. Burnham and Hughes won their 19th straight match together and pushed their record as a duo to 27-3 while Claes and Strange won their 12th straight match as a pair and are now 24-4 overall.

    Burnham and Hughes worked their way through the top pairs at the tournament as the top seed. In the first round, they defeated Taylor Milton and Nikki Hess of Santa Clara, 21-10, 21-7, with ease. The duo got a little scare in the semifinals up against a familiar opponent in Litara Keil and Betsi Metter of Loyola Marymount. The two teams were facing each other for the fourth time this spring. The Lions took a 21-15 win in the first set, but Burnham and Hughes came to life to claim a 21-9 win in the second before fighting off Keil and Metter for a 15-13 win in the third. In the championship match, Burnham and Hughes defeated Kellie Larsen and Kellie Woolever of Pepperdine, 21-15, 21-18, to claim the Gold Bracket title.

    As the top seed in the Silver Bracket, Claes and Strange earned a 21-10, 21-18 win over Rachel Rhoades and Sarah Seiber of Arizona in the first round. The two cruised in the quarterfinals for a win against Pepperdine's team of Caitlin Racich and Delaney Knudsen, 21-14, 21-13. Claes and Strange faced Ginger Long and Ali Longo of Hawaii in the semifinals and took a 21-13, 21-19 win to advance to the championship match. Taking on their second straight Hawaii opponent, Claes and Strange stood up to the test to take out Katie Spieler and Nikki Taylor in three sets, 21-13, 14-21, 15-13, and claim the Silver Bracket crown.

    Seniors Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic were seeded 10th in the Silver Bracket and won, 21-19, 21-18, over Arizona's Madi Kingdon and Ronni Lewis in the first fround, but fell, 21-19, 21-13, to Pepperdine's second-seeded pair of Lara Dykstra and Becca Strehlow in the quarterfinals.

    In the Bronze Bracket, USC juniors Eve Ettinger and Bria Russ held the top seed with freshmen Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler at the 10th seed and freshman Paige Hines and senior Brooke Fournier as the 15th seed. Ettinger and Russ defeated Santa Clara's Lacey Maas and Katy Schatzman, 21-15, 21-9, in the first round, but struggled with Pepperdine's ninth-seeded duo of Victoria Adelheim and Sophie Asprey in the quarterfinals to fall, 21-15, 21-18.

    Martin and Wheeler earned a 21-7, 21-10 win over seventh-seeded Taylor Arizobal and Allie Cook of Arizona in the first round but were edged by the bracket's second-seeded team of Emily Cook and Katie Messing of Pepperdine in three sets, 21-18, 14-21, 15-12, in the quarterfinals. Fournier and Hines went the distance but couldn't get out of the first round as they fell to Cook and Messing, 21-18, 23-21.

    The Trojans will host the first-ever Pac-12 Invitational tournament at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday-Sunday (April 19-20). USC, Loyola Marymount, Bakersfield, Arizona, Arizona State, and Cal Poly will play down a six-team dual tournament on Saturday before pairs from USC, Bakersfield, Arizona and ASU play a 20-pair single-elimination tournament on Sunday. For more information, please visit USCTrojans.com.

    Hermosa Beach, Calif.
    April 12-13, 2014

    GOLD | Quarterfinals
    [1] Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. [8] Nikki Hess/Taylor Milton (SCU); 21-10, 21-7
    [4] Litara Keil/Betsi Metter (LMU) def. [5] Jessyka Ngauamo/Kamila Tan (UCLA); 21-13, 21-15
    [3] Karissa Cook/Brittany Tiegs (UH) def. [6] Debora Araujo/Molly O'Hagan (CSUB); 21-12, 21-11
    [2] Kelley Larsen/Kellie Woolever (PEPP) def. [7] Madison Witt/McKenna Witt (ARIZ); 21-9, 21-12

    GOLD | Semifinals
    [1] Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. [4] Litara Keil/Betsi Metter (LMU); 15-21, 21-9, 15-13
    [2] Kelley Larsen/Kellie Woolever (PEPP) def. [3] Karissa Cook/Brittany Tiegs (UH); 21-12, 13-21, 15-10

    GOLD | Final
    [1] Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. [2] Kelley Larsen/Kellie Woolever (PEPP); 21-15, 21-18

    SILVER | Round of 16
    [1] Kelly Claes/Alexa Strange (USC) def. [16] Rachel Rhoades/Sarah Seiber (ARIZ); 21-10, 21-18
    [9] Delaney Knudsen/Caitlin Racich (PEPP) def. [8] Sabrina Clayton/Danielle Rottman (SCU); 21-16, 23-21
    [12] Ginger Long/Ali Longo (UH) def. [5] Zoe Nightingale/Madie Smith (UCLA); 21-16, 21-18
    [4] Avery Bush/Kathleen Luft (LMU) def. [13] Julia Bowen/Hazel Perrens (CSUB); 21-16, 21-19
    [3] Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. [14] Taylor Formico/Karsta Lowe (UCLA); 21-5, 21-14
    [11] Taylor Akana/Rachelle Suaava (LMU) def. [6] Lisa Bartch/Shayna Guitare (CSUB); 21-14, 21-16
    [10] Sam Hirschmann/Siljkovic (USC) def. [7] Madi Kingdon/Ronni Lewis (ARIZ); 21-19, 21-18
    [2] Lara Dykstra/Becca Strehlow (PEPP) def. [15] GiGi Cresto/Taylor Dayton (SCU); 21-10, 21-6

    SILVER | Quarterfinals
    [1] Kelly Claes/Alexa Strange (USC) def. [9] Delaney Knudsen/Caitlin Racich (PEPP); 21-14, 21-13
    [12] Ginger Long/Ali Longo (UH) def. [4] Avery Bush/Kathleen Luft (LMU); 21-16, 21-19
    [3] Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. [11] Taylor Akana/Rachelle Suaava (LMU); 21-20, 21-12
    [2] Lara Dykstra/Becca Strehlow (PEPP) def. [10] Sam Hirschmann/Natasa Siljkovic (USC); 21-19, 21-13

    SILVER | Semifinals
    [3] Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. [2] Lara Dykstra/Becca Strehlow (PEPP); 21-14, 21-15
    [1] Kelly Claes/Alexa Strange (USC) def. [12] Ginger Long/Ali Longo (UH); 21-13, 21-19

    SILVER | Final
    [1] Kelly Claes/Alexa Strange (USC) def. [3] Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH); 21-13, 14-21, 15-13

    BRONZE | Round of 16
    [1] Eve Ettinger/Bria Russ (USC) def. [16] Lacey Maas/Katy Schatzman (SCU); 21-15, 21-9
    [9] Victoria Adelhelm/Sophie Asprey (PEPP) def. [8] Madison Dutra/Sarah Vaccaro (SCU); 21-12, 21-10
    [5] Karly Drolson/Rachel Inouye (UCLA) def. [12] Sarah Mendoza/Mikayla Tucker (UH); 21-15, 21-14
    [4] Caitlin DeWitt/Hannah Tedrow (LMU) def. [13] Sara Little/Star Tucker-Campbell (CSUB); 21-17, 21-18
    [14] Skylar Dykstra/Jennie Frager (UCLA) def. [3] London Chow/Tayler Higgins (UH); 21-17, 21-18
    [6] Sophie Flemion/Sydney Haynes (CSUB) def. [11] Ashley Maxfeldt/Anne Marie Taylor (LMU); 21-15, 16-21, 15-9
    [10] Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. [7] Taylor Arizobal/Allie Cook (ARIZ); 21-7, 21-10
    [2] Emily Cook/Katie Messing (PEPP) def. [15] Brooke Fournier/Paige Hines (USC); 21-18, 23-21

    BRONZE | Quarterfinals
    [9] Victoria Adelhelm/Sophie Asprey (PEPP) def. [1] Eve Ettinger/Bria Russ (USC); 21-15, 21-18
    [5] Karly Drolson/Rachel Inouye (UCLA) def. [4] Caitlin DeWitt/Hannah Tedrow (LMU); 21-18, 21-16
    [6] Sophie Flemion/Sydney Haynes (CSUB) def. [14] Skylar Dykstra/Jennie Frager (UCLA); 21-10, 17-21, 15-11
    [2] Emily Cook/Katie Messing (PEPP) def. [10] Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC); 21-18, 14-21, 15-12

    BRONZE | Semifinals
    [9] Victoria Adelhelm/Sophie Asprey (PEPP) def. [5] Karly Drolson/Rachel Inouye (UCLA); 21-18, 21-16
    [2] Emily Cook/Katie Messing (PEPP) def. [6] Sophie Flemion/Sydney Haynes (CSUB); 21-14, 21-8

    BRONZE | Final
    [9] Victoria Adelhelm/Sophie Asprey (PEPP) def. [2] Emily Cook/Katie Messing (PEPP); 21-17, 21-18

    COPPER | Semifinals
    [5] Julie Consani/Natalie Miller (UCLA) def. [1] Mary Buckingham/Alexa Stonish (USC); 21-15, 11-21, 15-13