no. 1 USC Beach Volleyball Racks Up Pair or 5-0 Sweeps to Close Battle for LA

Women’s Beach Volleyball | March 06, 2022

LOS ANGELES – the no. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (4-1) collected a pair of 5-0 victories over No. 8 Stanford (4-4) and No. 14 Long Beach State (1-7) to conclude the Battle for LA Invitational at Merle Norman Stadium on Sunday, March 6.

The win is the Trojans’ third straight to make USC 3-0 at home and pushes the program’s record in 5-0 results to 115-2 all-time, which now includes a 36-0 mark on home sand. The Women of Troy also improve to 116-14 all-time when they hold the AVCA’s No. 1 ranking.

USC scored its victory over the Cardinal with four straight-set wins. Megan Kraft and Sammy Slater opened the scoring with a 21-18, 21-16 win over Charlie Ekstrom and Kate Reilly at the No. 2 position. At court four, junior twins Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse fought back after dropping their first set to get a 23-25, 21-14, 15-10 win over Emma Morris and Taylor Wilson.

The clinching point came from the top court when Tina Graudina and Hailey Harward delivered a 21-15, 21-16 victory against Xolani Hodel and Maddi Kriz. Mollie Ebertin and Sunny Villapando teamed up to get a 21-17, 21-16 win over Maddie Dailey and Jordan McKinney at the No. 5 position for a 4-0 USC lead.

Delaynie Maple and Julia Scoles tallied a 21-9, 21-9 win over Maya Harvey and Emmy Sharp to put a stamp on the 5-0 sweep. In a non-scoring match, Caroline Schafer and Shannon Scully got a 21-14, 21-16 win against Ellie Gamberdella and Serena Turner.

Against Long Beach State, Scully moved to the No. 4 position to pair with Nicole Nourse and got a 21-12, 13-21, 15-10 win over Emily Mattoon and Jillian Rodriguez. Kraft-Slater finished seconds later for a 2-0 USC lead on a 21-14, 21-17 win against Katie Kennedy and Nicci Reinking at court two.

As they did in the first dual, Graudina and Harward posted the clinching point from the top court, this time on a 21-9, 21-14 win over Skyler Germann and Alice Pratesi. USC’s fourth point was won by Ebertin and Villapando who got a 21-12, 21-10 win over Christine DeRoos and Sophie Major.

The sweep was sealed from court three when Maple-Scoles got a 21-11, 21-18 win over Holland Jackson and Sydney Stevens. In a non-scoring match, Paige Dreeuws and Paige Hammons split sets with Leah Black and Haley Carrington with a 19-21 loss in the first set and a 21-16 win in the second.

The Women of Troy head to the southeast next weekend for six duals. First, USC goes to DeLand, Fla., for the Stetson Sun-N-Sand Invitational (March 12-13) to take on Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Tampa, and the host Hatters. The Trojans then head to Miami for the FIU Surf & Turf Invitational (March 16) with a pair of duals against host Florida International and Florida Gulf Coast.

For more information on the USC beach volleyball team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCtrojans.com/beach. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCBeach.

no. 1 USC final. no. 8 Stanford, 5-0

Battle For LA Invitational
Merle Norman Stadium Los Angeles, Calif.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
RECORDS: USC (3-1), Stanford (4-4)
1. Tina GRAUDINA/Hailey HARWARD (USC) def. Xolani HODEL/Maddi KRIZ (STAN); 21-15, 21-16
2. Megan KRAFT/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Charlie EKSTROM/Kate REILLY (STAN); 21-18, 21-16
3. Delaynie MAPLE/Julia SCOLES (USC) def. Maya HARVEY/Emmy SHARP (STAN); 21-9, 21-9
4. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Emma MORRIS/Taylor WILSON (STAN); 23-25, 21-14, 15-10
5. Mollie EBERTIN/Sunny VILLAPANDO (USC) def. Maddie DAILEY/Jordan McKINNEY (STAN); 21-17, 21-16
Exh. Caroline SCHAFER/Shannon SCULLY (USC) def. Ellie GAMBERDELLA/Serena TURNER (STAN); 21-14, 21-16
Order of finish: 2, 4, 1*, 5, 3

no. 1 USC final. no. 14 Long Beach State, 5-0

Battle For LA Invitational
Merle Norman Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
RECORDS: USC (4-1), Long Beach State (1-7)
1. Tina GRAUDINA/Hailey HARWARD (USC) def. Skyler GERMANN/Alice PRATESI (LBSU); 21-9, 21-14
2. Megan KRAFT/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Katie KENNEDY/Nicci REINKING (LBSU); 21-14, 21-17
3. Delaynie MAPLE/Julia SCOLES (USC) def. Holland JACKSON/Sydney STEVENS (LBSU); 21-11, 21-18
4. Nicole NOURSE/Shannon SCULLY (USC) def. Emily MATTOON/Jillian RODRIGUEZ (LBSU); 21-12, 13-21, 15-10
5. Mollie EBERTIN/Sunny VILLAPANDO (USC) def. Christine DeROOS/Sophie MAJOR (LBSU); 21-12, 21-10
Exh. Paige DREEUWS/Paige HAMMONS (USC) vs. Leah BLACK/Haley CARRINGTON (LBSU); 19-21, 21-16
Order of finish: 4, 2, 1*, 5, 3

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