No. 1 USC Bounces Back, Advances to Pac-12 Championship Final

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    April 28, 2017

    TUCSON, Ariz. -- The top-seeded and No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (33-1) bounced back against seventh-seeded Washington (11-7) in the contender's bracket final at the 2017 Pac-12 Championships, defeating the Huskies 5-0 and advancing to the title game set for later today (April 28) at Bear Down Beach. The win was USC's 16th sweep of the season and their third in four games. The Trojans will now play in their second-consecutive Pac-12 Championship final against No. 2-ranked and second-seeded UCLA (29-3) at approximately 1 p.m. this afternoon.

    USC fired the first shot of the dual with a win on court five, as juniors Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer posted a 21-18, 21-11 win over Washington's Anna Crabtree and Lindsay Chalmers. The next Trojan point came by way of court three, as junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin won their match in two sets over Cassie Strickland and Carly DeHoog, 21-13, 21-14, to give USC a 2-0 lead.

    It then became a race to see which USC pair would clinch the dual. Courts one, two, and four all reached match point at the same time, but it was the senior duo of Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler who scored the clincher with a 21-18, 21-19 win over Courtney Schwan and Destiny Julye on court two. Just seconds later, seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes won their match at court one over Crissy Jones and Tia Scambray by a 21-17, 21-15 score to make it 4-0 in the dual. The final point was scored by sophomores Abril Bustamante and Katrina Kernochan, who posted a 21-12, 21-19 win on court three.

    Next up, the Women of Troy will have a rematch against second-seeded UCLA (29-3) in the Pac-12 Championship final. The championship dual is set for 1 p.m., with the Trojans looking to win their second consecutive Pac-12 title. Following the team championship, an 18-team pairs championship will begin, with Claes-Hughes and Bukovec-Wheeler scheduled to participate at 6 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

    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. [7] Washington, 5-0
    2017 Pac-12 Championship | Contender's Bracket Final
    Bear Down Beach • Tucson, Ariz.
    Friday, April 28, 2017
    Records: USC (33-1), UW (11-7)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Crissy Jones/Tia Scambray (UW); 21-17, 21-15
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Courtney Schwan/Destiny Julye (UW); 21-18, 21-19
    3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Cassie Strickland/Carly DeHoog (UW); 21-13, 21-14
    4. Abril Bustamante/Katrina Kernochan (USC) def. Melanie Wade/Shayne McPherson (UW); 21-12, 21-19
    5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) def. Anna Crabtree/Lindsay Chalmers (UW); 21-18, 21-11
    Order of finish: 5, 3, 2*, 1, 4