USC Washes Away Waves in 3-0 NCAA Sweep

    USC junior Nicolette Martin and her partner Allie Wheeler earned their 35th win of the season in a 3-0 sweep of Pepperdine.

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    May 6, 2016

    GULF SHORES, Ala. -- The top-ranked and No. 2-seeded USC beach volleyball team (32-2) completed a 3-0 sweep of third-seeded No. 3 Pepperdine (20-4) in the second round of the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship on the sands of Gulf Place on Friday, May 6. The win was the Trojans' second of the day and advanced the Women of Troy to the winner's bracket semifinal where they will face No. 2-ranked and top-seeded Florida State (31-1) at 3 p.m. CT (1 p.m. PT) in a dual that will be televised by truTV.

    USC collected its 28th consecutive win to match a school-record winning streak set last season when the Trojans went 28-0 to capture the AVCA title. The last team to beat the Women of Troy was the Seminoles on March 11, in a narrow 3-2 decision at Merle Norman Stadium in Los Angeles.

    Like they did in the early dual, the Trojans scored points from courts one, three, and five. The first came from the third position where juniors Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler posted a 21-17, 21-19 win over Skylar Caputo and Corinne Quiggle. The Trojan duo reached 35 wins on the season with the victory and set off a chain reaction of USC wins that clinched the dual within minutes.

    At court five, sophomore Jo Kremer and senior Zoe Nightingale came from behind in the first set to take down Samantha Cash and Sarah Seiber, 21-19. They then walked out to an 18-13 lead in the second and topped the Waves, 21-17, to complete the straight-set win for a 2-0 lead in the dual. It was Kremer and Nightingale's 15th straight win and their 30th of the year. At the top court, juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes finished off Heidi Dyer and Taylor Racich, 21-12, 21-13, for the 3-0 win. Claes and Hughes pushed their season record to 46-0 with a 71-match winning streak going.

    With the dual decision in the books, play was stopped at courts two and four. At the second position, junior Sophie Bukovec and senior Alexa Strange won their first set over Kaity Bailey and Delaney Knudsen, 21-13, and had a 12-9 lead in the second when they were called off. On four, sophomore Jenna Belton and freshman Abril Bustamante dropped a 21-17 decision in the first and were down, 14-10, to Madelyn Roh and Anika Wilson when they were stopped.

    For more information on the USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat. For more information on the inaugural NCAA beach volleyball championship, please visit

    [2] No. 1 USC 3, [3] No. 3 Pepperdine 0
    2016 NCAA Championship • Second Round
    Gulf Place and The Hangout • Gulf Shores, Ala.
    Friday, May 6, 2016
    Records: USC (32-2), Pepperdine (20-4)
    1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Heidi Dyer/Taylor Racich (PEP); 21-12, 21-13
    2. Sophie Bukovec/Alexa Strange (USC) vs. Kaity Bailey/Delaney Knudsen (PEP); 21-13, 12-9 DNF
    3. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC) def. Skylar Caputo/Corinne Quiggle (PEP); 21-17, 21-19
    4. Jenna Belton/Abril Bustamante (USC) vs. Madelyn Roh/Anika Wilson (PEP); 17-21, 10-14 DNF
    5. Jo Kremer/Zoe Nightingale (USC) def. Samantha Cash/Sarah Seiber (PEP); 21-19, 21-17
    Order of finish: 3, 5, 1*