USC Sand Volleyball Set to Kick Off 2014 With Alumni Match

    USC alumnae and Olympic beach volleyball silver medalists Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.

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    March 5, 2014

    LOS ANGELES - The USC women's sand volleyball program will kick off the 2014 season with its alumni match on Thursday (March 6) at Merle Norman Stadium. The exhibition matches are set to begin at 6:30 p.m. PT. USC greats and 2012 Olympic silver medalists Jennifer Kessy and April Ross will be present among alumnae scheduled to appear and play.

    The Women of Troy opened the Merle Norman Stadium a year ago and christened the sand with the alumni match. The Trojans went 7-3 in home matches in 2013 and finished with a 16-8 overall record. USC advanced to the AVCA team championship semifinals before falling to eventual champion Long Beach State.

    Senior captain Kirby Burnham and partner Stevi Robinson claimed USC's first-ever sand volleyball pairs title in Gulf Shores, Ala., and were named AVCA All-Americans; also USC's firsts.

    USC welcomes several strong newcomers to the lineup, this season. Phenom Sara Hughes and early-enrollee Kelly Claes headline a vaunted freshman class. The Trojans also bring in Allie Wheeler and Nicolette Martin who are expected to contribute immediately. USC's squad also features several strong returners including co-captain Sam Hirschmann, Natasa Siljkovic, Brooke Fournier, Eve Ettinger, and Bria Russ.

    The regular season gets started on Saturday (March 8) when the second-ranked Trojans head to Zuma Beach to face the Cal State Northridge (the nation's newest collegiate sand volleyball program) in an 11 a.m. PT match hosted by Pepperdine. Following their match with the Matadors, the Trojans take on the top-ranked Waves at noon PT. Pepperdine holds an astonishing 34-1 mark in dual matches and lost its only contest to Long Beach State in the 2013 national title match.

    USC will appear in live broadcasts by the Pac-12 Networks on two dates, this season. First on March 27 and again on April 3. All other home matches at Merle Norman Stadium will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Networks' portal. Please visit for more information and a complete schedule.