A chronicle of USC sand volleyball's European tour through the players' and coaches' eyes.
The Women of Troy beat Europe, 25-23.
The Women of Troy had four players honored by the AVCA for All-American status
A USC sand volleyball pair has won the pairs national title three years in a row
The Women of Troy went 28-0 to capture the program's first team national championship
The Women of Troy completed a 5-0 sweep over Saint Mary's College to cap a 2-0 week in Northern California.
Anna Biller Collier, who coached women's beach volleyball teams in a pair of Olympics, is in her fifth season (2015-16) as USC's first-ever head coach of the women's beach volleyball team and has compiled a 74-15 overall record.
Collier, a USC graduate, led the Women of Troy to the program's first team national title with a 28-0 record as the Trojans won the 2015 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship. In the previous year, entering the national tournament with a 22-1 record, Collier was named the 2014 AVCA National Coach of the Year.
She has also coached three different USC pairs to consecutive individual titles. Kirby Burnham and Stevi Robinson teamed to win the 2013 championship and became the program's first-ever AVCA All-Americans. The duo finished 25-4 overall. In 2014, Burnham and Sara Hughes went 42-4 and brought Troy a second pairs' championship on the sand. Hughes claimed her second national crown as she and Kelly Claes went 44-3 en route to the 2015 AVCA Pairs National Championship.
Collier has coached six different players to AVCA All-America laurels, including repeat honorees Burnham and Hughes. In addition to Claes and Robinson, Sophie Bukovec and Alexa Strange were chosen in 2015 for a total of eight All-America certificates garnered by Women of Troy.
She coached the Trojans to a 23-3 record in 2014 and a second-consecutive third-place finish in the team portion of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship. In 2013, she guided USC to a 16-8 mark and a third-place finish at the AVCA Championships. The Trojans had a 7-4 record in 2012, the sport's inaugural season as an NCAA-sponsored "emerging" sport, and sent two USC duos to the pairs championship of the first AVCA pairs tourney (Sara Shaw-Geena Urango and Burnham-Kelly Irvin both advanced to the quarterfinals).
In addition to her three collegiate pairs champions, she has led two U.S. teams to fifth-place finishes at the Olympics: Holly McPeak and Nancy Reno in the 1996 Atlanta Games and Annette Davis and Jenny Johnson in the 2000 Sydney Games.
Collier has coached beach volleyball since 1990, including working with such standouts as Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Nicole Branagh, Rachel Wacholder, and Angie Akers.
As head coach for the U.S. Senior A2 Beach National Team, she led American teams to first- and fifth-place finishes at the 2012 World University Championships in Brazil. She coached U26 and U23 A2 U.S. squads at the 2010 Team FISU World University Championships in Turkey. She coached the U26 U.S. squads at the 2011 Team FISU World University Championships in China. She also served as coach of Team USA at the 2013 Summer World University Games in Russia.
On top of her duties, she is a USAV High Performance coach and a founder member of the USAV Beach Coaching Accreditation Program Cadre.
She is currently a faculty member (teaching a variety of kinesiology classes) at Santa Monica (Calif.) Junior College, where she has spent the past 35 years. She began as the women's cross country and track and field coach, winning three California State championships. She previously was the chair of the kinesiology and athletics department.
Collier played professionally on the beach for seven seasons between 1978 and 1989, posting 10 Top-10 finishes among her 20 tournament appearances (including third place at the 1979 San Clemente Open and a pair of ninth-place finishes at the legendary Manhattan Beach Open in 1987 and 1988).
She attended USC, where as Anna Biller, she was on the track and field, volleyball, and swimming teams. She was a two-time All-American in track as a member of the Women of Troy 800-meter (1975) and 400-meter (1977) relay teams. She earned her degree in physical education from USC in 1977.