No. 1 USC wins inaugural Pac-12 Beach Volleyball team championship
LOS ANGELES - Top seeded and No. 1 nationally ranked USC completed an unbeaten run through the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championship and captured the league's inaugural team title on Sunday.
USC (30-2) held off a strong challenge from second-seeded rival and No. 4 nationally ranked UCLA, 3-2, in the Winner's Bracket semifinal, then swept the first three matches from third seeded and No. 6 ranked ARIZONA in the Championship Match to hoist the hardware on its home sand at Merle Norman Stadium. The victories run USC's dual win streak to 26 consecutive matches.
The Trojans, Bruins and Wildcats will now await likely selections to the first-ever NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship, to be held May 6-8 in Gulf Shores, Ala. The eight-team field will be announced Sunday night at 7 p.m. PT on NCAA.com.
ARIZONA (19-5) won a pair of Contender's Bracket contests to reach the title match, sweeping past seventh seeded WASHINGTON (5-6) before upsetting UCLA (19-6), 3-2, for the Wildcats' first-ever victory over the Bruins.
USC's top pair of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, who won the first-ever Pac-12 Pairs title on Friday, clinched the team title with a 21-10, 21-14 victory over ARIZONA's Madison Witt and McKenna Witt.
Both Claes, Hughes and the Witt twins were named to the All-Tournament Team in a vote by the league's head coaches. They were joined by Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara, and Zana Muno and Jessyka Ngauamo of UCLA, Bianca Arellano and Whitney Follette of Arizona State, and Crissy Jones and Tia Scambray of Washington.
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