Two USC Pairs Advance to USAV Collegiate Championship Semifinals

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    May 12, 2017

    HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. -- USC's senior duo of Kelly Claes (Fullerton, Calif.) and Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and its tandem of senior Nicolette Martin (Anaheim, Calif.) and junior Terese Cannon (Pittsford, N.Y.) each advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 USAV Collegiate Beach Championships at the Hermosa Beach Pier on Friday, May 12.

    Claes and Hughes will face Pepperdine's team of Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle in one semifinal while Cannon and Martin take on Delaney Rohan and Chelsea Ross of Georgia State in the other. Both semifinal matches are set to begin at 9:30 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 13. A third-place match will be contested for final classification at noon before the championship match is played at 3 p.m., and set for a live broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.

    In the round of 16, Claes and Hughes earned a 21-12, 21-16 win over Florida State's duo of Vanessa Freire and Victoria Paranagua to move ahead to the quarterfinals. Cannon and Martin stunned the top Pepperdine tandem of Delaney Knudsen and Madalyn Roh with a straight-sets 21-19, 21-19 win. Claes-Hughes continued their march through the tournament with a 21-17, 21-18 win over Loyola Marymount's Sarah Sponcil and Savannah Slattery, but it was Cannon-Martin that provided the fireworks with another upset win over Arizona's top pair of twin sisters Madison and McKenna Witt, 20-22, 21-19, 15-12, to claim the last semifinal spot.

    Claes and Hughes went 3-0 in their pool and didn't drop a set to advance to the round of 16. The two Trojan seniors defeated Hannah Hubbard and Emily Sonny of Cal Poly, 21-15, 21-17, to open the tournament. They then took down UCLA's Jordan Anderson and Kamila Tan, 22-20, 21-11, to complete the first day of play. Claes-Hughes closed pool play by defeating Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund of Saint Mary's College, 21-16, 21-18, to avenge their only loss of the season. They are now 53-1 this season.

    Out of Pool D, Cannon and Martin started out with a three-set win over Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers of Louisiana State, 24-22, 21-23, 15-9; but dropped a match to Leigh Andrew and Brooke Kuhlman of Florida State, 26-24, 21-10. The dynamic USC duo came back to take down Rachel Nieto and Kobi Pekich from Long Beach State, 16-21, 21-15, 15-11, in three sets for a 2-1 mark in pool matches. Cannon and Martin improved to 40-9 on the season.

    In Pool C, the Trojans' duo of sophomore Abril Bustamante (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and freshman Joy Dennis (Cypress, Calif.) dropped three matches and were eliminated from play. USC's junior pairing of Jenna Belton (Aptos, Calif.) and Jo Kremer (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) couldn't advance out of Pool E after finishing with a 0-3 record as well.

    On the men's side, USC senior Lucas Yoder is also in the semifinals with his partner Michael Saeta of UC Irvine. Saeta-Yoder will face Nathan Vander Meer (Davenport) and Logan Webber (Cincinnati Christian) at 8:30 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 13. Saeta and Yoder went 2-0 in pool matches and then won their quarterfinal match in straight sets to advance.

    The USC beach volleyball team won its third consecutive national championship as the Women of Troy finished 38-1 to capture back-to-back NCAA crowns. The Trojans also won their second of back-to-back Pac-12 titles. Head coach Anna Collier--the winningest head coach in the history of the sport--guided her team to an NCAA record 62 consecutive wins during the season. Claes and Hughes won back-to-back Pac-12 Pairs championships and had a 103-match winning streak at one point during the spring. The duo was named the Pac-12 Pair of the Year while Claes was tabbed Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.

    For more information on the three-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat.

    Hermosa Beach Pier • Hermosa Beach, Calif.
    Thursday, May 11 • Pool Play
    Friday, May 12 • Pool Play, Play-In Matches, Round of 16, Quarterfinals
    Saturday, May 13 • Semifinals, Final

    POOL A
    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Hannah Hubbard/Emily Sonny (CP); 21-15, 21-17
    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Jordan Anderson/Kamila Tan (UCLA); 22-20, 21-11
    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Lindsey Knudsen/Payton Rund (SMC); 21-16, 21-18

    POOL C
    Madi Yeomans/Lily Justine (UCLA) def. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC); 21-17, 21-16
    Crissy Jones/Tia Scambray (WASH) def. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC); 24-22, 21-15
    Delaney Knudsen/Madalyn Roh (PEP) def. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC); 21-15, 24-26, 15-13

    POOL D
    Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Katie Lindelow/Olivia Powers (LSU); 24-22, 21-23, 15-9
    Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman (FSU) def. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC); 26-24, 21-10
    Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Rachel Nieto/Kobi Pekich (LBSU); 16-21, 21-15, 15-11

    POOL E
    Delaney Rohan/Chelsea Ross (GSU) def. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC); 21-13, 21-13
    Adrianna Culbert/Katie Smith (SC) def. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC); 21-17, 21-15
    Brittany Howard/Corinne Quiggle (PEP) def. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC); 21-19, 21-14

    ROUND OF 16
    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Vanessa Freire/Victoria Paranagua (FSU); 21-12, 21-16
    Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Delaney Knudsen/Madalyn Roh (PEP); 21-19, 21-19

    Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Sarah Sponcil/Savannah Slattery (LMU); 21-17, 21-18
    Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Madison Witt/McKenna Witt (ARIZ); 20-22, 21-19, 15-12