Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes Win Gold at Bibione Volleyball Marathon

    Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes won gold at the Bibione Volleyball Marathon

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    May 17, 2015

    BIBIONE, Italy - USC sand volleyball sophomores Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes won the gold medal at the Bibione Beach Volleyball Marathon in Italy on Saturday (May 16), finishing atop a 256-team field of women's pairs teams from around the world, including former Olympians and other top beach players.

    The competition is part of USC's European tour, that includes tournaments in Slovenia and sightseeing stops in Venice, Verona, and Vienna.

    USC entered eight pairs in the Bibione tourney and five of them finished among the top 17 squads. Seniors Meg Norton and Eve Ettinger won the bronze medal, while the teams of Alexa Strange and Sophie Bukovec and Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler tied for seventh, and Emily Young and Marielle Bagnard tied for 17th.

    Hughes and Claes defeated Italy's Greta Cicolari, a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Olympics, and Francesca Giogoli, 22-23, 21-19, 15-11, in the title match. The first two sets were capped at 23 points.

    USC's other three pairs consisted of Paige Hines and Alexa Stonish, Jenna Belton and Jo Kremer, and Lorna Brandt and Olivia Asprey.