Trojans Set to Face Georgia State at NCAA Championship

    USC beach volleyball sophomore Jenna Belton

    USCBeach on Twitter  USCBeach on Facebook  USCBeach on Instagram  About Periscope  Snapchat logo

    Follow, Like, Instagram, Periscope, and Snap with @USCBeach

    NCAA Championship Home Page

    NCAA Bracket

    USC Beach Volleyball Postseason Guide Get Acrobat Reader

    May 3, 2016

    MATCH #33
    2016 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP • First Round
    [2] No. 1 USC (30-2) vs. [7] No. 7 Georgia State (25-8)
    Gulf Place • Gulf Shores, Ala.
    Friday, May 6 • 11 a.m. CT (9 a.m. PT)
    Series History: USC leads, 1-0
    Last Meeting: W, 4-1 (Apr. 1, 2016 • South Beach, Fla.)
    TV: truTV (Anne Marie Anderson & Holly McPeak)
    Live Web Stream: NCAA.com
    Opponent Web: www.GeorgiaStateSports.com

    WATCH LIVE on NCAA.COM
    FRIDAY, MAY 6 • 11 a.m. CT
     
    Court 1
     
    Court 2
     
    Court 3
     
    Court 4
     
    Court 5
    SATURDAY, MAY 7 • 12 p.m. CT
     
    Court 1
     
    Court 2
     
    Court 3
     
    Court 4
     
    Court 5
    SUNDAY, MAY 8 • 11:30 a.m. CT
       
    Court 1
     
    Court 2
     
    Court 3
     

    BARE E-SAND-SHELLS

    • The Women of Troy are the defending national champions. USC won the school's 123rd team title by claiming the 2015 AVCA crown.
    • The Trojans won the inaugural Pac-12 Championship by defeating No. 6 Arizona.
    • USC has won 26 consecutive duals; the second longest winning streak in program history (28 in 2015).
    • The Trojans are seeded No. 2 in the inaugural NCAA championship tournament. Georgia State is the seventh seed. USC is 1-0 all-time against the Panthers.
    • The Women of Troy faced all seven of the other teams in the NCAA bracket this season and went 12-2 against them; 3-2 losses to Pepperdine and Florida State.
    • Fifth-year head coach Anna Collier was the 2014 AVCA National Coach of the Year and has a 104-17 overall record with USC. She is the first collegiate beach volleyball coach to reach 100 career victories.
    • The Trojans are trying to repeat history. The USC indoor women's volleyball team won the first NCAA title in 1981. In the previous year, that squad (under the direction of Chuck Erbe) won the 1980 AIAW crown, which was the final non-NCAA championship. The USC beach team won the final non-NCAA title (2015 AVCA) and are now trying to become the first-ever NCAA beach volleyball champions.
    • Defending AVCA Pairs National Champions Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes won the inaugural Pac-12 Pairs Championship.
    • Four Trojan duos won Pac-12 Pair of the Week honors this season. Juniors Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler were the first-ever winning tandem (March 7). Juniors Claes and Hughes were selected March 21, April 11, and April 25. Sophomore Jenna Belton and freshman Abril Bustamante won March 28. Junior Sophie Bukovec and senior Alexa Strange won the award on April 18.
    • Claes and Hughes have dropped just one set and have a 44-0 record this season. The tandem has won 69 straight matches dating back to April 2, 2015.
    • USC's pairs of Martin and Wheeler and Claes and Hughes share the school record for wins by a pair with 88 all-time each.

    LOS ANGELES -- The No. 1-ranked defending national champion USC beach volleyball team (30-2) received the No. 2 seed in the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship and drew seventh-seeded No. 7 Georgia State (25-8) in the first round. The Women of Troy and the Panthers will meet on Friday, May 6, on the sands of Gulf Shores, Ala., in an 11 a.m. CT match (9 a.m. PT).

    The Trojans are coming off a weekend in which they claimed the first-ever Pac-12 Championship and extended their dual winning streak to 26 consecutive matches. Juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes became the first Pac-12 Pairs Champions and maintained their unblemished record. The dynamic duo moved to 44-0 on the year, and have now won 69 straight matches.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC4
    Georgia State1
    April 1, 2016
    South Beach, Fla.
    No. 2 Trojans Push Past No. 8 Panthers to Start FIU Surf and Turf
    The No. 2-ranked USC beach volleyball team (12-2) earned a 4-1 win over No. 8 Georgia State (16-3) in its first match of the fourth-annual FIU Surf and Turf Invitational at Lummus Park on Friday, April 1. The victory was the eighth straight for the Women of Troy, who earned victories at all but the No. 4 position.

    The Women of Troy are trying to copycat some school history this weekend. In 1980, head coach Chuck Erbe led the USC indoor women's volleyball team to the AIAW championship (46-4). It was the final non-NCAA championship. In 1981, his squad returned to claim the first-ever NCAA-sponsored crown as USC (27-10) claimed back-to-back titles. The USC beach volleyball team is the holder of the final non-NCAA championship as winners of the 2015 AVCA title and is now trying to become the first-ever NCAA beach volleyball champion.

    The first NCAA beach volleyball tournament will be contested in the same place each of the last four AVCA titles was won: Gulf Shores, Ala. In an eight-team double-elimination bracket, teams will determine a champion this weekend (May 6-8). Portions of the national championship will be broadcast by truTV. The championship dual (1 p.m. CT) on Sunday, May 8, will be broadcast live by TBS. All non-televised matches will be shown live via a web stream on NCAA.com.

    LAST TIME OUT: The Women of Troy won the first-ever Pac-12 Championship by claiming four dual victories at Merle Norman Stadium. USC defeated Oregon (5-0) in the first round and then took out California (5-0) in its second match. The Trojans faced crosstown rival No. 4-ranked UCLA in the winner's bracket semifinal and earned a 3-2 win over the Bruins. In the final match of the tournament, the Women of Troy took down No. 6-ranked Arizona, 3-0, to claim the title. The four wins increased USC's win streak to 26 matches. Juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes maintained their unblemished record and improved to 44-0 on the season with four wins in pairs play. The duo became the first-ever Pac-12 Paris Champions and extended their incredible winning streak to 69 straight matches.

    SCOUTING REPORT: The Trojans met all seven of the teams from the inaugural NCAA championship field this season and went 12-2 in those meetings. Florida State (29-1), out of the east, received the top seed. Pepperdine (19-3) is No. 3 and UCLA (19-6) is No. 4. At-large selections Arizona (19-5) and Hawai'i (16-8) are seeded fifth and sixth, and are both out of the west. Georgia State (25-8) is seeded No. 7 and Stetson (26-7) is No. 8. The Trojans' only losses were to Florida State and Pepperdine; 3-2 each time. The Women of Troy and the GSU Panthers met for the first time earlier this season as part of the Florida International Surf and Turf Invitational in South Beach, Fla. The Trojans claimed a 4-1 win at Lummus Park and got straight-set victories at the top three courts. The Panthers won a three-set match at court four and USC took a three-set win at court five.

    OH, SO SIXY: Trojan pairs won Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week six times (out of eight weeks) in the conference's inaugural championship season. Led by its top pair of juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes--three-time winners--four different USC pairs have claimed the weekly award. Juniors Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler formed the first-ever duo to be named Pair of the Week on March 7, following a 4-0 record on the Trojans' opening weekend. On March 21, Claes and Hughes were chosen after a 7-0 mark in Hawai'i during which the duo claimed the Hawai'i Invitational gold title. They later reclaimed the award on April 11 and April 25. Sophomore Jenna Belton and freshman Abril Bustamante were named Pair of the Week on March 28; and junior Sophie Bukovec and senior Alexa Strange became the fourth pair to win the award on April 18.

    HOME, SWEET, HOME: The Women of Troy are 34-4 at Merle Norman Stadium since the venue's opening in 2013. The Trojans won 19 straight home matches between 2014 and 2016; and went 10-0 in 2015 and 8-0 in 2014 on MNS sand. Only three teams have ever come to Merle Norman Stadium and beaten the Trojans: Florida State (twice), Long Beach State, and Pepperdine.

    ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: On Saturday, April 23, USC defeated Hawai'i, 3-0, to make head coach Anna Collier the first collegiate beach volleyball coach to reach the 100 career victories mark. She is currently 104-17 all-time at Troy.

    JUNIOR CITIZENS: The Trojans' junior pairs of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, and Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler are the winningest pairs in the program's history. They share the all-time mark for wins by a pair at 88. Martin and Wheeler are 88-14 all-time. The duo has played together since their arrival on campus in 2014. Claes and Hughes began playing together in 2015 and notched the all-time single season record for wins by a pair with a 44-3 record. They matched that mark this season (44-0) and are now 88-3 all-time.

    LET'S GO STREAKING: Juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes have won 69 straight matches dating back to April 2, 2015. During that streak, the two Trojans have lost just six sets (only one this season). The dynamic duo won 25 straight matches to close the 2015 season as AVCA National Pairs Champions and finished with a final mark of 44-3.