No. 1 USC Celebrates Seniors With 60th Consecutive Win|
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April 22, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (30-0) completed the regular season undefeated with a 4-1 victory over crosstown rival No. 2 UCLA (26-3) at Merle Norman Stadium on Saturday, April 22. It was Senior Day for the Women of Troy, who celebrated the careers of Sophie Bukovec, Kelly Claes, Sara Hughes, Nicolette Martin, and Allie Wheeler in pre-match ceremonies as the five Trojans played in their final home matches.
USC snapped a school-record 24-match winning streak held by UCLA. On the other end, the victory extended the Trojans' record winning streak to 60 consecutive matches, including 16 straight on home sand at Merle Norman Stadium. It was also USC's seventh win over the Bruins in as many meetings.
Despite the 4-1 final result, USC battled for every point and needed every last one to complete the win. UCLA claimed the first point in the dual with a straight-set win on court four. Jordan Anderson and Izzy Carey defeated sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis, 21-13, 21-19. It took three sets, but one court over at the No. 5 position, the Trojans' junior tandem of Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer evened the score with their 21-16, 19-21, 15-9 win over Chanti Holroyd and Lily Justine.
USC took its lead in the dual when court two finished. There, seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler earned a 21-13, 21-13 win over Kamila Tan and Madi Yeomans for their fifth straight victory. At the top court, seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes took a decisive 21-15 win in the first set over Megan and Nicole McNamara, but were down two or three points at a time in the second set. The Trojan duo fought back and completed a 22-20 win over the Bruin twins to sew up the dual victory. It was Claes and Hughes' team-high 35th win this season and their 127th overall.
In another three-set match, USC pinned up the final point of the 4-1 win from court three. The Trojan pair of junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin ensured that all of USC's seniors won their matches on Senior Day. After dropping a 21-19 first set, the duo came back to win the second, 22-20, and then took the third set, 15-10, over Torrey Van Winden and Elise Zappia.
The Women of Troy will take their 60-match streak into the Pac-12 Championships hosted by the University of Arizona next weekend (April 27-29) in Tucson, Ariz. The Conference will crown a team champion on Friday and then play a 16-pair tournament to crown pairs champions. The Trojans are the defending league champs and Claes and Hughes are the defending pairs champs.
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. 2 UCLA, 4-1