Seniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes win their 100th collegiate match together; 81st in a row
2017 Two-time All-American and three-time national champion Kelly Claes enters her final season of action at USC.
2016 As a junior, Claes went undefeated on the season with partner Sara Hughes to lead USC to the first-ever NCAA beach volleyball national championship… named an AVCA All-American for the second consecutive year… won the inaugural Pac-12 Player of the Year award and garnered Pac-12 All-Conference First Team honors… tabbed DiG Magazine All-America First Team… played exclusively at the No. 1 spot alongside fellow All-American Hughes as the nation’s indisputable top pair… sported a perfect 48-0 overall record and a 36-0 mark in dual matches, dropping a total of just one set on the season… provided the dual-clinching point thirteen different times throughout the season and all four clinching points in the NCAA tournament… three-time Pac-12 Pair of the Week honoree with Hughes (March 21, April 11, April 25)… took first in the Hawai’i Invitational gold bracket championship, the Aloha Invitational gold bracket championship, and the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge championship… named the first-ever Pac-12 Pair of the Year with Hughes and captured the inaugural Pac-12 Pairs Championship… tallied the national championship-winning kill to give USC the 3-0 sweep over Florida State in Gulf Shores, Ala. … chosen to the NCAA All-Tournament Team as the pair from the No. 1 position.
2015 As a sophomore, Claes was named an AVCA All-American… won the AVCA Pairs National Championship with partner Sara Hughes… went 44-3 overall with Hughes including a 19-0 mark in tournaments to win titles in the USC Tournament, the Queen of the Beach Challenge Gold Bracket, the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge Gold Bracket, and Pac-12 Invitational Gold… went 25-3 in dual matches and produced the clinching point in USC’s AVCA Championship dual victory over Long Beach State… ended the season on a 25-match winning streak… played exclusively at the top court in all 28 of USC’s dual matches… won the fall 2014 EVP Winter Series Tournament with Hughes in Huntington Beach, Calif.
2014 Claes joined USC for the 2014 spring semester after graduating a semester early from high school… completed her first season with a 34-7 overall individual record… went 33-7 with partner Alexa Strange primarily at court two where they were 22-3 in dual matches… advanced to the quarterfinals of the USC tournament and to the semifinals of the Rainbow Wahine Spring Challenge… won the silver flight of the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge with Strange… advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-12 Invitational… earned an invitation to the AVCA Pairs Championship field; lost in the round of 16… had a 18-match winning steak from March 27 through April 20.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE Paired with Sara Hughes to win two 2015 NORCECA Beach Qualifiers in Hermosa Beach… advanced to the semifinals at AVP NYC with Hughes before falling to champions Emily Day and former Trojan Jennifer Kessy… took bronze with Hughes at the 2015 NORCECA Ontario North Bay Tour Stop… finished ninth with Hughes in the 2015 AVP Manhattan Beach Open… teamed with Hughes to win a silver medal at the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Cyprus… won the 2014 NORCECA silver medal in Boqueron, Puerto Rico… captured bronze at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Portugal… the duo also won gold at the USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Championships and the USA Volleyball Junior Beach Tour Santa Monica Open in 2013.
HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB Claes was a 2014 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection and tabbed the top sand volleyball recruit in the nation… earned All-CIF Division 1A and Orange County Register All-Orange County first team honors as a 2013 senior setter at El Dorado High in Placentia (Calif.)… set a school record with 39 kills in a single match… as a junior opposite hitter in 2012, she was All-CIF Division 1A and Orange County Register All-Orange County first team as she helped her team advance to the CIF Division 1A final… played for Impact VBC for three years and for the SoCal Juniors club for two years… member of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Indoor Junior National Training Team.
PERSONAL Kelly Marie Claes was born on Sept. 18, 1995, in Fullerton, Calif.… parents are Paul and Quincy Claes… father Paul played baseball for two years (1984-85) at San Diego State… has two brothers, Ben and Danny, and one sister Kristi… lists Karch Kiraly as her biggest sports hero… majoring in sociology.