Claes and Hughes Win Bronze at Ontario NORCECA Stop|
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Aug. 9, 2015
NORTH BAY, Canada -- USC beach volleyball All-Americans Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes took third place on the sand of the Canor Manors Sand Centre during the third stop of the 2015 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour on Sunday, Aug. 9. Representing Canada, junior Sophie Bukovec teamed with Claudia Seguin to take sixth in the tournament while USC indoor volleyball All-American Bibiana Candelas took second place representing Mexico with partner Ana Rios.
Claes and Hughes, who have won a pair of NORCECA qualifies this summer, earned three victories to win their pool. In the quarterfinals, the Trojan tandem defeated Gina Flores and Kerube Euceda of Honduras, 21-5, 21-4, to advance to the semis where they would face Candelas and Rios. Claes and Hughes won their first set, 21-15, but were edged, 21-19, in the second, and fell, 15-12, in the third. The two Women of Troy bounced back to win their third-place match, 19-21, 21-19, 15-9, over Canada's duo of Julie Gordon and Brandie Wilkerson.
Bukovec and Seguin went 2-1 in their pool and fell to Candelas and Rios in the quarterfinals, 21-17, 17-21, 15-13. They defeated Flores and Euceda, 21-5, 21-6, in the losers semifinals to earn a spot in the fifth-place match, but dropped a 21-13, 21-15 decision to Canada's pair of Kacie MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker to finish in sixth. Candelas and Rios fell to Irene Hester and Caitlin Ledoux in the final, 21-13, 21-15, to finish second.
The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team went undefeated (28-0) to claim the program's first team championship and the 123rd overall team national title in the school's history. Claes and Hughes completed the collegiate season with a 44-3 record and won the AVCA Pairs Championship to mark the third straight year that a Trojan pair won the national crown.
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