Trojans Take Down Ducks in First Round of Pac-12 Championship

    USC senior Alexa Strange

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    April 29, 2016

    LOS ANGELES -- The top-seeded and No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (27-2) defeated eighth-seeded Oregon (2-9) in a 5-0 sweep to open the 2016 Pac-12 Championship at Merle Norman Stadium on Friday, April 29. The victory pushed the Trojans' winning streak to 23 and was the team's 17th clean sweep of the season, the seventh in a row.

    The Trojans got started with a win at court five where sophomore Jo Kremer and senior Zoe Nightingale knocked off Haley McLaren and August Raskie, 21-14, 21-11. It was Kremer-Nightingale's 10th win in a row (25th of the year). On court four, sophomore Jenna Belton and freshman Abril Bustamante also reached 25 wins this season with a 21-9, 21-19 win over Lauren Page and Maddy Silberger-Franek.

    Newly-crowned Pac-12 Pairs' Champions juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes provided the clinching point over the Ducks with a 21-8, 21-12 victory over Liz Brenner and Kacey Nady at the top court. It was their 66th straight win and makes them 41-0 on the season.

    At court two, USC's duo of junior Sophie Bukovec and senior Alexa Strange added a fourth point for the Trojans on their 21-12, 21-13 win over Martenne Bettendorf and Lindsey Vander Weide. In the only match to go three sets, juniors Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler got their eighth straight win on a 21-11, 19-21, 15-9 victory against Amanda Benson and Taylor Agost at the No. 3 position.

    Next up, the Women of Troy will face either fourth-seeded California (16-9) or fifth-seeded Arizona State (11-11) in the second round at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 30. The Ducks moved into the Contender's Bracket and will face the loser of the Cal-ASU match at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday.

    For more information on the USC beach volleyball team, please visit and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, and Snapchat.

    [1] No. 1 USC 5, [8] Oregon 0
    2016 Pac-12 Championship • First Round
    Merle Norman Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.
    Friday, April 29, 2016
    Records: USC (27-2), Oregon (2-9)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Liz Brenner/Kacey Nady (ORE); 21-8, 21-12
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Martenne Bettendorf/Lindsey Vander Weide (ORE); 21-12, 21-13
    3. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Amanda Benson/Taylor Agost (ORE); 21-11, 19-21, 15-9
    4. Jenna Belton/Abril Bustamante (USC) def. Lauren Page/Maddy Silberger-Franek (ORE); 21-9, 21-19
    5. Jo Kremer/Zoe Nightingale (USC) def. Haley McLaren/August Raskie (ORE); 21-14, 21-11
    Order of finish: 5, 4, 1*, 2, 3