Beach Volleyball
    USC Sand Volleyball Ranks Second in AVCA Preseason Poll

    USC sophomore Kelly Claes

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    Feb. 18, 2015

    LOS ANGELES - The USC women's sand volleyball team received enough votes to rank second in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll released on Monday, Feb. 16. The Women of Troy trailed only defending champion Pepperdine in the first poll of the spring. USC started last season ranked No. 2 as well, and was No. 3 in the first-ever preseason poll released before the 2013 season.

    The Trojans have appeared in the AVCA national championship semifinals in each of the last two seasons and have produced each of the last two title-winning pairs. Kirby Burnham and Stevi Robinson claimed the pairs' crown in 2013 before Burnham and Sara Hughes won the championship in 2014.

    The coaches' poll ranked Florida State No. 3, and rounded out the top five with No. 4 Hawai'i and No. 5 Long Beach State. The Seminoles and the Wahine were each participants in last year's national championships. Loyola Marymount came in at No. 6 with UCLA at No. 7, Saint Mary's College at No. 8, and Florida International at No. 9. FIU was also a 2014 championship quarterfinalist. Georgia State holds the final spot among the top 10 teams in the country.

    USC will hold its annual Spring Kickoff event on March 5, in conjunction with the Cardinal and Gold alumni match. Merle Norman Stadium and the Women of Troy will play host to the USA Beach National Team for a scrimmage on March 7 as a final tune-up before the season officially begins on March 12 (Thursday) as TCU visits for the spring's first dual.

    The Trojans play 10 home matches in 2015 including seven set to be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks. USC will also play in Hawai'i, and participate in the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge (April 11-12) in Hermosa Beach, Calif. For the second year in a row, the Trojans will host the Pac-12 Invitational (April 18-19) in Santa Monica, Calif. The AVCA hosts its fourth national championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 1-3.

    For more information on the USC sand volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCSandVBall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.