No. 1 USC Sand Knocks Off Hatters to Open AVCA Run

    USC sand volleyball sophomore Kelly Claes

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    May 1, 2015

    GULF SHORES, Ala. - The No. 1-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team (25-0) earned a 5-0 sweep over Stetson (21-5) in the first match of the 2015 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships on Friday, May 1. The Women of Troy advance to the second round and will face the winner of a match between Pepperdine (10-4) and Georgia State (18-1) at noon CT (10 a.m. PT). USC improved to 3-0 in all-time meetings with the Hatters.

    The Trojans stormed out of the gate and won first sets on all five courts. The first point of the dual came when sophomores Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes completed a 21-12, 21-7 win over Julie Bassett and Kaley Melville at the top court. Claes and Hughes earned 34 of their 42 points with 27 kills, six service aces, and a block in the match. On court two, sophomore Sophie Bukovec and junior Alexa Strange followed suit with their 21-11, 21-9 win over the Hatters' pair of Kristin Lind and Maren Rygh.

    USC's sophomore duo of Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler posted the clinching point from court four with a 21-13, 21-16 straight-set win over Madison Akins and Kaylee Anderson. Martin had a spectacular match with 12 kills, 29 digs, and four service aces for the win. USC added a fourth point from court five where freshman Jenna Belton and senior Bria Russ finished off a 21-8, 21-19 win over Claudia Kalin and Madison Tormey. Belton had 19 kills without an error.

    The Trojans completed the 5-0 sweep with a win on court three where seniors Eve Ettinger and Meg Norton defeated Savannah Byl and Holly Reschke, 21-15, 21-19, thanks to double-doubles from both players. Ettinger had 15 kills, 10 digs, and five aces; Norton finished with 11 kills and 15 digs.

    For more information on the USC sand volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit and follow @USCSandVBall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    MATCH #25: No. 1 USC 5, No. 9 Stetson 0
    2015 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships - First Round
    Gulf Shores, Ala.
    May 1, 2015
    Records: USC (25-0), Stetson (21-5)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Julie Bassett/Kaley Melville (STET); 21-12, 21-7
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC) def. Kristin Lind/Maren Rygh (STET); 21-11, 21-9
    3. Eve Ettinger/Meg Norton (USC) def. Savannah Byl/Holly Reschke (STET); 21-15, 21-19
    4. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Madison Akins/Kaylee Anderson (STET); 21-13, 21-16
    5. Jenna Belton/Bria Russ (USC) def. Claudia Kalin/Madison Tormey (STET); 21-8, 21-19
    Order of finish: 1, 2, 4*, 5, 3