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Pac-12 pair of the week Claes, Hughes dominant for USC in Hawai'i

Mar 21, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO - The continued dominance of juniors Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes propelled USC to a dominant spring break in Hawai’i and earned the tandem the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week award.

Claes and Hughes, the defending AVCA national champion pair, won all seven of their matches this week in straight sets, guiding the Women of Troy to a 4-0 dual match record as well as the team titles of the Hawai’i Invitational dual and pairs tournaments.

No. 3 USC (9-2) beat both No. 5 Hawai’i and Nebraska twice in a span of four days, with Claes and Hughes allowing more than 16 points in a set only once, to claim the Hawai’i Invite dual tournament title. The duo then swept opponents from Nebraska, Loyola Marymount and teammates from USC to capture the Gold Flight crown of the Invite’s pairs tournament.

With their seven victories this week, Claes and Hughes are a perfect 14-0 so far this season and have won 39 straight matches dating back to April 2, 2015.

Pac-12 beach volleyball, the league’s 23rd sport, remained steady with a national-best three teams in the top seven of the latest AVCA Top 10 poll - No. 3 USC (9-2), No. 4 UCLA (4-3) and No. 7 ARIZONA (5-1).

USC and ARIZONA headline this week’s schedule with doubleheaders set to be televised on Pac-12 Networks. The Women of Troy host No. 6 Long Beach State and CALIFORNIA (9-4) on Tuesday starting at 12:30 p.m. PT, while the Wildcats welcome CSU Bakersfield and New Mexico on Friday beginning at 2 p.m. PT. ARIZONA STATE (5-5) and UCLA are also in action this week.

Week of Pair of the Week
March 7 Nicolette Martin & Allie Wheeler, USC
March 14 Julie Consani & Laurel Weaver, UCLA
March 21 Kelly Claes & Sara Hughes, USC