Volleyball

USC beach volleyball picks up four wins at the Pac-12 North Invitational

The Trojans continued to dominate and extended their win streak to 22.

Megan Kraft is in the air about to serve the ball. Sammy Slater is crouching on the left side.

USC women’s beach volleyball entered the Pac-12 North Invitational this weekend ranked No. 1 and validated their ranking. The team picked up four wins, extending their win streak to 22 and overall record to 23-1.

USC kicked off the weekend by going up against the host, Stanford, on Saturday.

Stanford came into the match ranked No. 9 but was no match for the Trojans. USC won the duel 5-0 and only dropped a single set between all pairs.

The only pair to lose a set was junior Mollie Ebertin and graduate Sunny Villapando. The tighter matches may have been a result of Villapando transferring from Stanford. The Cardinal appeared more familiar with her game, but Ebertin and Villapando still pulled out the win, 25-27, 21-11, 15-9.

USC improved to 11-0 all-time against Stanford with Villapando being on the winning team for a change.

The Trojans’ next opponent on Saturday was No. 12 Cal. This match was against another familiar foe as graduate Caroline Schafer spent four years of her career with the Golden Bears.

Unfortunately for the Trojans, the duo of Schafer and senior Sammy Slater was the only USC team to go down as they lost 21-16, 21-17.

However, it didn’t matter at the end of the day as the four other pairs for USC were dominant and the Trojans won the matchup 4-1.

USC continued their momentum into Sunday and swept both of their opponents. This was the 14th and 15th sweep for the Trojans this season.

USC opened Sunday facing off against No. 17 Arizona. Once again the Trojans only dropped one set.

The first match to end had sophomore Megan Kraft and Slater on court two winning convincingly 21-11, 21-9.

Over on court four, juniors Audrey and Nicole Nourse took care of business with a 24-22, 21-16 win.

The clinching point for the Trojans came from senior Tina Graudina and graduate Hailey Harward winning 21-16, 21-16.

USC took on Oregon in the Trojans’ final match of the weekend. The Ducks put up a fight but were outmatched. USC didn’t drop a single set and won the duel 5-0.

The Trojans struck first with the Nourse twins rolling to a 21-11, 21-8 win.

Graudina and Harward played the next match on court one, winning 24-22, 21-11. They were quickly followed by Kraft and Slater putting the match on ice with a 21-12, 21-14 win on court two.

Sophomore Delaynie Maple and graduate Julia Scoles continued their dominant season and didn’t drop a set all weekend. They haven’t lost a match all season and are currently sitting at 24-0 as a pair.

USC’s next matches will be at San Luis Obispo this Friday and Saturday for the Center of Effort Challenge.