No. 1 Trojans Cruise Past Arizona and Boise State

    USC freshman Nicolette Martin

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    April 26, 2014

    TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 1-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team ran its school-record winning streak to 21 straight matches with a pair of 5-0 sweeps over Arizona (7-12) and Boise State (4-7) at the Arizona Sand Volleyball Courts on Saturday, April 26. The Women of Troy conclude their regular season with a 22-1 overall mark and will now turn their attention to the 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships set for May 2-4 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

    Of the Trojans' 22 victories, 17 have gone into the books as clean 5-0 sweeps. In fact, the Women of Troy have now shut out their opponent in each of their last five outings and in 13 of their last 14 dual matches.

    In the day's first match, the Trojans upended Arizona for the second time this season. The Wildcats started the dual down a point as they forfeited the match at court five. Seniors Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic got the team started with a 21-17, 21-18 win from court three over Rachel Rhoades and Sarah Seiber to give USC a 2-0 lead. The clinching point came from court four where freshman Paige Hines and junior Alexa Stonish turned in a 21-18, 21-18 win against Taylor Arizobal and Allie Cook to make the score 3-0. Hines and Stonish are 5-0 in matches together this season.

    At the top court, senior Kirby Burnham and freshman Sara Hughes combined to take out Madi Kingdon and Ronni Lewis, 21-6, 21-14. On court two, USC's duo of freshman Kelly Claes and sophomore Alexa Strange produced a 21-14, 21-18 win over Madison and McKenna Witt to complete the 5-0 sweep.

    Facing first-year program Boise State for the first time, the Trojans were less than hospitable as their freshman tandem of Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler upended Izzy Miller and Taylor Murphey, 21-5, 21-14, to tack up the first point of the dual. One court over, juniors Eve Ettinger and Bria Russ claimed a 21-18, 21-9 win over Katelyn Kinghorn and Casey Rose on court four. The win made Ettinger and Russ the third USC duo to reach the 25-win mark this season.

    Burnham and Hughes held the clinching point at the top court where they knocked off Sarah Baugh and Sarah Horton, 21-14, 21-15, to run their winning streak to 28 straight matches. Burnham and Hughes will enter the AVCA championships with a 36-3 overall record. At the No. 2 position, Claes and Strange took a 21-10, 21-13 win over Aly Duffin and Maddy O'Donnell for their 31st of the year. The duo is the second Trojan pair to cross the 30-win plateau this season. Hirschmann and Siljkovic topped off USC's 5-0 sweep with a 21-16, 21-6 win over Alyssa Gammel and Brittany Reardon.

    The Women of Troy hold the top seed in the upcoming AVCA National Championships. With a bye in the first round, USC will meet the winner of a match between fourth-seeded Hawaii and fifth-seeded Florida International at noon CT on Friday, May 2. For more information and a complete schedule, please visit

    No. 1 USC 5, Arizona 0
    Arizona Sand Volleyball Courts | Tucson, Ariz.
    Saturday, April 26, 2014
    Records: USC (21-1), Arizona (7-12)
    1. Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Madi Kingdon/Ronni Lewis (ARIZ); 21-6, 21-14
    2. Kelly Claes/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Madison Witt/McKenna Witt (ARIZ); 21-14, 21-18
    3. Sam Hirschmann/Natasa Siljkovic (USC) def. Rachel Rhoades/Sarah Seiber (ARIZ); 21-17, 21-18
    4. Paige Hines/Alexa Stonish (USC) def. Taylor Arizobal/Allie Cook (ARIZ); 21-18, 21-18
    5. USC def. Arizona; forfeit
    Order of Finish: 3, 4*, 1, 2

    No. 1 USC 5, Boise State 0
    Arizona Sand Volleyball Courts | Tucson, Ariz.
    Saturday, April 26, 2014
    Records: USC (22-1), Boise State (4-6)
    1. Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Sarah Baugh/Sarah Horton (BSU); 21-14, 21-15
    2. Kelly Claes/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Aly Duffin/Maddy O’Donnell (BSU); 21-10, 21-13
    3. Sam Hirschmann/Natasa Siljkovic (USC) def. Alyssa Gammel/Brittany Reardon (BSU); 21-16, 21-6
    4. Eve Ettinger/Bria Russ (USC) def. Katelyn Kinghorn/Casey Rose (BSU); 21-18, 21-9
    5. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Izzy Miller/Taylor Murphey (BSU); 21-5, 21-14
    Order of Finish: 5, 4, 1*, 2, 3