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Southern California in position to capture America collegiate championships

Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal winner and USC assistant coach Dain Blanton (left) walks with Women of Troy players Jenna Belton (center) and Jo Kremer at Saturday's American Beach Volleyball Collegiate Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Gulf Shores, Ala., USA, May 5, 2017 - Defending national champions Southern California will be challenged by either Pepperdine or Hawai’i for the NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball title after the Women of Troy posted their 37th victory in 38 contests this season here Saturday to complete a successful run through the winner’s bracket at the 2017 collegiate finals.

Coach Anna Biller-Collier’s USC quintet of Beach Volleyball pairs posted a 3-0 win over Pepperdine to advance to Sunday afternoon’s national championship match as the Trojans’ third-straight win of the national finals led by their No. 1 tandem of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes.

In defeating Pepperdine’s Delaney Knudsen/Madalyn Roh 2-0 (21-18, 21-9), Claes and Hughes improved their three-season collegiate record of 139-3.  The pair led USC to the 2016 NCAA team title along with winning the pairs national championship.  Claes and Hughes are 44-1 this season.

The Trojan win over Pepperdine was their fifth straight over the Waves and pushed USC's streak of consecutive wins in Gulf Shores to 11.  The Women of Troy improved to 9-8 all-time against Pepperdine and now hold winning records against all all-time opponents.  USC has now also won 99 of its last 102 contests and improved its single-season program record for wins to 37.

Despite the defeat, Pepperdine (26-4) remained in the competition in the double elimination event where the Waves will play Hawai’i (28-6) in the consolation finals after the Rainbows ousted LSU (27-8) and Florida State (29-9) in Saturday’s two consolation round matches.  Florida State advanced to the consolation semi-finals by eliminating UCLA (30-6) in an opening contest Saturday morning.

For all championship site match times and more information about the national finals, log on to www.ncaa.com/beachvolleyball.

2017 NCAA Championship
Saturday, May 6, 2017, The Hangout - Gulf Shores, Ala.

Consolation bracket quarter-finals

No. 4 Florida State (29-8) def. No. 2 UCLA (30-6), 3-1
1. Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman (FSU) def. Nicole McNamara/Megan McNamara (UCLA), 21-19, 16-21, 17-15
2. Vanessa Freire/Victoria Paranagua (FSU) def. Kamila Tan/Madi Yeomans (UCLA), 21-18, 16-21, 15-10
3. Torrey Van Winden/Elise Zappia (UCLA) def. Sierra Sanchez/Macy Jerger (FSU), 21-13, 21-13
4. Katie Horton/Francesca Goncalves (FSU) def. Isabelle Carey/Jordan Anderson (UCLA), 21-18, 21-18
5. Hailey Luke/Eva Torruella (FSU) vs. Lily Justine/ Savvy Simo (UCLA), 20-22, 21-19, DNF

No. 5 Hawai'i (27-6) def. No. 7 LSU (27-8), 3-0
2. Schucht/Taylor (UH) def. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon (LSU), 21-15, 21-13
3. Maglio/Weaver (UH) def. Olivia Powers/Katie Lindelow (LSU), 21-16, 21-12
4. Homayun/Kan (UH) def. Cati Leak/Callan Molle (LSU), 21-12, 21-13
1. Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker (UH) vs. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU), 19-21, 11-13, DNF
5. Ozee/Zalopany (UH) vs. Riley Young/Morgan Davenport (LSU), 19-21, 16-16, DNF

Championship bracket finals

No. 1 USC (37-1) def. No. 3 Pepperdine (26-4), 3-0
1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Delaney Knudsen/Madalyn Roh (PEP); 21-18, 21-9 
3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Skylar Caputo/Heidi Dyer (PEP); 21-16, 21-14 
4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Deahna Kraft/Anika Wilson (PEP); 21-12, 22-20 
2. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC) vs. Brittany Howard/Corinne Quiggle (PEP); 26-28, 10-4 DNF 
5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) vs. Nikki Lyons/Sarah Seiber (PEP); 21-23, 15-12 DNF 

Consolation bracket semi-finals

No. 5 Hawai'i (28-6) def. No. 4 Florida State (29-9), 3-2
1. Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman (FSU) def. Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker (UH), 21-14, 15-21, 17-15
2. Vanessa Freire/Victoria Paranagua (FSU) def.  Ka'iwi Schucht/Nikki Taylor (UH), 18-21, 21-19, 15-12
3. Emily Maglio/Laurel Weaver (UH) def. Sierra Sanchez/Macy Jerger (FSU), 21-16, 20-22, 15-7
4. Ari Homayun/Carly Kan (UH) def. Katie Horton/Francesca Goncalves (FSU), 21-14, 22-20
5. Amy Ozee/Hannah Zalopany (UH) def. Hailey Luke/Eva Torruella (FSU), 21-17, 18-21, 27-25

Sunday, May 7, 2017 Schedule (all times central)

Consolation bracket finals
11 a.m. - Pepperdine (26-4) vs. Hawai'i (28-6)

2 p.m. - USC (37-1) VS. Pepperdine/Hawai'i winner.

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