No. 3 USC Faces First Road Tests in Hawai'i|
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March 18, 2015
2015 Queen of the Beach Challenge
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team (3-0) will play its first road matches when the Women of Troy head to the islands to face No. 1 Hawai'i (4-0), Nebraska (0-0), and California (3-3). The Trojans will also participate in the 2015 Queen of the Beach Challenge hosted by the University of Hawai'i.
USC and the Rainbow Wahine will meet on the UH campus at the T.C. Ching Complex for a 5 p.m. HT dual match on Wednesday (March 18). The dual will be broadcast live on OC16. The Trojans then take to the sand at Queen's Beach in Honolulu for a 10 a.m. HT match against the Cornhuskers on Thursday (March 19). USC will also play the Golden Bears for the first time in program history at noon HT the same day. Exhibition matches against pairs from Hawai'i Pacific and Chaminade will also be played intermittently throughout the afternoon.
Following the three duals, pairs from USC, Hawai'i, Nebraska, California, HPU, and Chaminade will take part in the 2015 Queen of the Beach Challenge hosted by UH. Pool play begins at 8 a.m. HT on Friday, March 20. Bracket match play will take place at the Ching Complex on Saturday, March 21, beginning at 8 a.m. HT. Matches are schedule to end at approximately 4 p.m. each day.
TRACK THE TROJANS: Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCSandVBall on Twitter for score updates during home matches and select road matches. The Trojans are also active on Instagram (USCSandVBall) and on Facebook (USCSandVBall).
POLL POSITION: USC opened the season ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Top 10 poll and was tabbed No. 3 in the first-ever DiG Magazine Top 20 poll. The Trojans received their first-ever No. 1 ranking in 2014 and maintained the position for much of the season, before the they fell to eventual AVCA champion Pepperdine in the national semifinals. In 2013, USC started the season ranked third and finished in fourth.
TROJANS IN TV LAND: The Women of Troy will appear on television in eight matches this spring. USC's match at Hawai'i will be broadcast live on Honolulu's OCSports/OC16 channels. At home, the Trojans' matches at Merle Norman Stadium will be carried live by the Pac-12 Networks on March 24 and 26, and on April 2 and 9. USC holds the distinction as having appeared in the first-ever live broadcast of a women's collegiate dual match on Thursday, March 27, 2014, when USC hosted Cal State Northridge.
ALL-AMERICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: The Trojans have celebrated four AVCA All-Americans and have produced the last two AVCA Pairs National Champions. Kirby Burnham teamed with Stevi Robinson to produce a 25-4 record and won the 2013 pairs title. They were each later named the first-ever sand volleyball All-Americans in USC history. In 2014, Burnham returned to Gulf Shores, Ala., and reclaimed her crown with Sara Hughes after the duo completed a remarkable 42-4 campaign including a perfect 21-0 in tournament matches. Burnham repeated as an All-American while Hughes received her first distinction; USC's fourth overall.
SCOUTING REPORT: The Rainbow Wahine are undefeated (4-0) this season and took the top ranking from defending national champion Pepperdine after they earned a 3-2 win over the Waves on March 6. Hawai'i also defeated Loyola Marymount, 4-1, in a home dual and claimed wins over Grand Canyon (4-1) and TCU (5-0) at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge in Chula Vista, Calif., over the weekend. The Cornhuskers will play their first match of 2015 when they line up against the Trojans. Nebraska was 3-2 overall in 2014 including a loss to USC in Honolulu. The Golden Bears are in their second year as a program and bring a 3-3 overall mark to the islands. Cal has wins over San Jose State (4-1 and 5-0) and Sacramento State (5-0), and has lost to Pacific (4-1 and 5-0) and San Francisco (3-2). The Trojans and the Bears have a long history on the indoor court but will meet for the first time on the sand.
LAST TIME OUT: The Women of Troy opened the 2015 campaign with three dual victories last week. The season started with a resounding 5-0 win against TCU and continued with a pair of 4-1 results over No. 4 Florida State and No. 6 Loyola Marymount. The Trojans also hosted a 20-team single-elimination tournament on Saturday (March 14). USC's sophomore duo of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes won the day with four victories to claim the USC Tournament crown. Seniors Eve Ettinger and Meg Norton won all three of their dual matchups and advanced to the semifinals for the USC tourney.