USC Beach Ranked No. 1 in AVCA and DiG Magazine Preseason Polls

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    2017 AVCA Coaches Preseason Poll

    Feb. 24, 2017

    LOS ANGELES -- The two-time defending national champion USC beach volleyball team will begin the 2017 season ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Top 15 preseason poll released on Feb. 20 and the DiG Magazine Top 20 preseason poll published on Feb. 23.

    The Women of Troy won the inaugural Pac-12 and NCAA championships in 2016 and have won their last 30 consecutive contests. USC finished 34-2 last season to capture the sport's first-ever NCAA crown and was 28-0 in 2015 to win the last AVCA title.

    Sixth-year head coach Anna Collier became the first collegiate head coach to reach the 100-win mark and is 108-17 in five seasons at Troy for an .864 winning percentage. Seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes went undefeated in 2016 with a 48-0 record and dropped just one set all season. The duo is on an active 73-match winning streak. They were each named AVCA All-Americans and won the first-ever Pac-12 Pairs championship.

    In the AVCA poll, the Trojans were followed in order by the same two teams that finished behind them at the end of last season: No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 UCLA. Pepperdine checks in at No. 4 and Hawai'i is No. 5. Arizona is ranked No. 6 to give the Pac-12 three teams in the top 10. The Wildcats are followed by No. 7 Long Beach State and No. 8 Georgia State. Stetson is ranked No. 9 and Louisiana State fills out the top 10 at No. 10.

    The DiG Magazine Poll deviates slightly, but features the same 10 teams among the top half of the 20-team poll. There, USC is followed by UCLA at No. 2 and Florida State at No. 3. Pepperdine, Hawai'i, and Arizona are fourth, fifth, and sixth as they are in the AVCA poll, but Stetson is No. 7 and is followed by No. 8 Georgia State, No, 9 Louisiana State, and No. 10 Long Beach State.

    USC opens defense of its titles this weekend (Saturday, March 4) at the Pepperdine Kick-Off on the sands of Zuma Beach in Malibu, Calif. The Trojans take on No. 3 UCLA at 11:15 a.m. PT and No. 4 Pepperdine at 12:30 p.m. Both matches will be carried live on FloVolleyball.com.

    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.