No. 1 Trojans Lock Down 4-1 Win Over No. 5 Long Beach State

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    April 20, 2017

    LOS ANGELES -- The top-ranked USC beach volleyball team (27-0) claimed a 4-1 win over No. 5 Long Beach State (24-6) at Merle Norman Stadium on Thursday, April 20. The Women of Troy stayed undefeated and pushed their record-winning streak to 57 duals. It was also USC's 13th consecutive win on home sand.

    The 49ers are one of just four teams ever to record a win over the Women of Troy, but since starting the series, 1-5, the Trojans have beaten Long Beach State in each of the last five meetings. USC fired the first shot and took a point at court four where sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis put together a 21-7, 21-15 win over Morea Wagner and Heather Weiss. It was the seventh straight win for the Trojan duo.

    LBSU equalized the dual with a win on court five. There, Jenelle Judson and Megan Kruidhof went three sets and came back from losing the first to defeat USC's junior tandem of Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer, 14-21, 21-19, 15-10. The loss snapped an eight-match winning streak held by Belton and Kremer.

    Unfazed, the Trojans' top three courts earned straight-set victories to cement the win. In a photo finish, seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler posted a 21-16, 21-14 win over Sasha Karelov and Kobi Pekich at court two for a 2-1 USC lead. Moments later, junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin put the dual on ice with their 21-14, 21-11 win over Anete Brinke and Hailey Harward at the No. 3 position. It was Cannon and Martin's 25th overall win this spring.

    At the top court, seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes were put to the test by Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto but won the first set, 23-21. Claes and Hughes put it to their 49er counterparts in the second set to claim a 21-13 win and added the fourth and final point to USC's 4-1 victory. In a non-counting match, sophomores Becca Dunn and Katrina Kernochan defeated Ariana Garner and Ciana Wagner, 21-15, 21-10.

    Up next, the Trojans host Bakersfield (1-14). The Road Runners dropped a 5-0 decision to Long Beach State earlier in the day.

    For more information on the two-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat.

    No. 1 USC def. No. 5 Long Beach State, 4-1
    Merle Norman Stadium | Los Angeles, Calif.
    Thursday, April 20, 2017
    Records: USC (27-0), Long Beach State (24-6)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto (LBSU); 23-21, 21-13
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich (LBSU); 21-16, 21-14
    3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Anete Brinke/Hailey Harward (LBSU); 21-14, 21-11
    4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Morea Wagner/Heather Weiss (LBSU); 21-7, 21-15
    5. Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof (LBSU) def. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC); 14-21, 21-19, 15-10
    Exh: Becca Dunn/Katrina Kernochan (USC) def. Ariana Garner/Ciana Wagner (LBSU); 21-15, 21-10
    Order of finish: 4, 5, 2, 3*, 1