Burnham and Hughes Win Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Spring Challenge
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March 22, 2014
HONOLULU - USC women's sand volleyball senior Kirby Burnham and freshman Sara Hughes won four matches at the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Spring Challenge to claim the tournament title on a 21-18, 21-16 victory over host Hawaii's top pair of Karissa Cook and Brittany Tiegs at the Queen's Beach Sandbox on Saturday, March 22. Burnham was named the tournament's best blocker while Hughes was chosen for best defense. Cook earned the best offense award and Arizona's Madi Kingdon took home the Aloha Spirit Award.
The Women of Troy put three pairs into the semifinals including Burnham and Hughes. The championship tandem needed three sets but defeated juniors Eve Ettinger and Bria Russ, 19-21, 21-12, 15-11, in their semifinal match. Sophomore Alexa Strange and freshman Kelly Claes were on the other side of the semifinal bracket but fell, 21-16, 21-17, to Cook and Tiegs.
It was a little bit of dog-eat-dog in the tournament as Burnham and Hughes had to take out USC's freshman duo of Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler in the quarterfinals with a 21-10, 21-14 win. Burnham and Hughes beat Amanda Moriarty and Samantha Rummans of Hawaii Pacific University, 21-9, 21-4, in the round of 16.
In other quarterfinals matches, Claes and Strange beat Hawaii's Tayler Higgins and London Chow, 21-16, 21-16, and Ettinger and Russ claimed a 21-18, 21-19 win over the top Nebraska duo of Mel Kiel and Justine Wong-Orantes. Ettinger and Russ took out UH's Katie Spieler and Nikki Taylor, 12-21, 21-10, 18-16, in the first round before advancing all the way to the semifinals. Claes and Strange beat Nebraska's Mary Pollmiller and Kelsey Fien, 21-15, 21-13, while Martin and Wheeler earned a 22-20, 21-18 win over Hawaii's Ginger Long and Ali Longo. USC seniors Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic dropped a heartbreaking three-setter to Kiel and Wong-Orantes in the first round, 18-21, 21-16, 18-16.
In the silver bracket, senior Brooke Fournier and junior Kati Duddridge teamed up to advance to the semifinals before they fell to Mikayla Tucker and Sydney Shinn of Hawaii, 15-21, 21-16, 15-11. On the way, they defeated Kira Larson and Alicia Ostrander of Nebraska, 21-18, 25-23, in the quarterfinals and Emily Kiser and Laura Larson of Arizona, 21-16, 21-14, in the round of 16.
Junior Alexa Stonish and senior Mary Buckingham earned a 21-10, 22-20 win over Arizona's Allie Cook and Penina Snuka in the round of 16, but fell, 21-12, 21-14, to Hawaii's Karlee Riggs and Hannah Rooks in the quarterfinals. Freshmen Paige Hines and Alexx Murphy went the distance in the first two sets against Olivia Urban and Sarah Mendoza of Hawaii before falling in the round of 16, 20-22, 22-20, 15-5.
The Women of Troy (7-1) return to the mainland with a six-match dual winning streak for a rematch against No. 1 Pepperdine (7-0) on Tuesday (March 25) at Merle Norman Stadium at 5 p.m. PT. Admission is free to the general public. For a complete USC schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com.
Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Spring Challenge | Bracket Play
Best Offense: Karissa Cook, Hawai‘i
GOLD BRACKET | ROUND OF 16
Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Amanda Moriarty/Samantha Rummans (HPU); 21-9, 21-4
GOLD BRACKET | QUARTERFINALS
Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Nicolette Martin/Allie Wheeler (USC); 21-10, 21-14
GOLD BRACKET | SEMIFINALS
Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Eve Ettinger/Bria Russ (USC); 19-21, 21-12, 15-11
GOLD BRACKET | CHAMPIONSHIP
Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Brittany Tiegs/Karissa Cook (UH); 21-18, 21-16
GOLD BRACKET | CONSOLATION MATCHES
Ally Wheeler/Paige Hines (USC) def. Mary Pollmiller/Kelsey Fien (NEB); 21-14, 18-21, 15-13
SILVER BRACKET | ROUND OF 16
Ronni Lewis/Taylor Arizobal (ARIZ) def. Sophia Blaszyk/Marie Fujii (HPU); 21-12, 21-6
SILVER BRACKET | QUARTERFINALS
Olivia Urban/Sarah Mendoza (UH) def. Ronni Lewis/Taylor Arizobal (ARIZ); 18-21, 21-18, 15-10
SILVER BRACKET | SEMIFINALS
Karlee Riggs/Hannah Rooks (UH) def. Olivia Urban/Sarah Mendoza (UH); 21-10, 21-16
SILVER BRACKET | CHAMPIONSHIP
Karlee Riggs/Hannah Rooks (UH) def. Mikayla Tucker/Sydney Shinn (UH); 21-11, 22-20