USC Women's Sand Volleyball Advances To AVCA Championship Tourney Final Four
May 3, 2013
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GULF SHORES, Ala. - The No. 4-ranked USC women's sand volleyball team won two of its three first-day matches on Friday (May 3) to advance to the Final Four of the team competition at the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala.
USC (16-7), the tourney's No. 4 seed, opened the day's play by posting a 4-1 win over fifth seed North Florida (16-5). The Women of Troy then fell 4-1 to undefeated No. 1 Pepperdine (19-0), the defending national champion. USC closed out the day with a tight 3-2 win over sixth seed Louisiana-Monroe (7-5) in a loser's bracket semifinal.
USC now will face No. 2 Long Beach State (18-3) on Saturday (May 4) at noon CT, with the winner advancing to the tourney's championship match at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The other semifinal match will feature Pepperdine versus third seed Florida State (17-3) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
USC breezed through most of its opening match against North Florida, posting sweeps in all 4 of its pairs wins. Kati Duddridge-Brooke Fournier got the first point with a 21-17, 21-14 victory over Cameron McGuire-Paige Pridgeon, followed by Kirby Burnham-Stevi Robinson over Carolyn Jenkins-Cari Whitmire, 21-16, 21-15, Eve Ettinger-Bria Russ over Emily Strack-Anna Wagner, 21-15, 21-19, and Sam Hirschmann-Natasa Siljkovic over Britt Claessens-Julie Trembley, 21-16, 21-19. Anna Budinska-Dagnija Medina got the Ospreys' only point with a 21-18, 19-21, 15-12 win over Katie Fuller-Cinnamon Sary.
In windy conditions against Pepperdine, Burnham-Robinson gave USC its only point with a 21-11, 21-13 victory over Lilla Frederick-Jazmine Orozco. The Waves then took the lead with sweeps at No. 4 (Victoria Adelhelm-Taylor Racich over Duddridge-Fournier, 21-11, 21-12) and then No. 3 (Kelley Larsen-Kellie Woolever over Ettinger-Russ (21-16, 21-15). The final two duals went three sets, but Pepperdine prevailed in both as Lara Dykstra-Caitlin Racich beat Fuller-Sary, 21-12, 19-21, 15-12, and Emily Cook-Katie Messing downed Hirschmann-Alexa Stonish, 21-15, 18-21, 15-10.
With a steady rain falling throughout most of the Louisiana-Monroe match, USC got quick wins from Burnham-Robinson over Zuzana Markova-Tetiana Sukach, 21-11, 21-18, and Hirschmann-Siljkovic over Alannah Cullum-Iren Marinova, 21-18, 21-10. After Blanca Ocana-Kylie Parks got ULM on the board with a 22-20, 22-20 victory over Duddridge-Fournier, the match came down to a pair of 3-setters. Fuller-Sary clinched the Trojan win with a 21-16, 17-21, 15-4 victory at the No. 2 spot, much needed as the Warhawks' Marcela Araya-Maria Garcia soon after defeated Ettinger-Russ at No. 3, 22-20, 9-21, 15-7.
The tourney concludes with a pairs championship on Sunday (May 5) at 8 a.m. CT, with the duos of Burnham-Robinson and Fuller-Sary competing for the Women of Troy.
USC 4, North Florida 1
Pepperdine 4, USC 1
USC 3, Louisiana-Monroe 2