USC claims top seed at Pac-12 beach volleyball championships
The second-annual Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships are set to begin this week on the campus of the University of Arizona, Thursday-Sunday, April 27-29. Defending Pac-12 and NCAA Champion USC is the top seed in the team bracket, while Trojan pair Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes are the top-seed in the pairs tournament.
The championships opens with the team tournament on Thursday with the Trojans looking to continue to dominate, carrying a season-long 30-0 win streak. USC has not lost a head-to-head matchup since March 11 of last season, a span of 60 matches. The Trojans’ top pair of Claes and Hughes won 100-consecutive matches before dropping their first match in almost two years. However, since then, the duo has won five straight.
All nine teams are seeded for the upcoming championship. UCLA is the No. 2 seed and is also the second-ranked team in the nation. Eighth-ranked ARIZONA is the No. 3 seed (eighth in the country), ARIZONA STATE is the No. 4 seed and STANFORD is the fifth seed. CALIFORNIA was tabbed the No. 6 seed in the team bracket, followed by No. 7 WASHINGTON and UTAH, which is making its inaugural appearance in the championship, is the eighth seed, with OREGON rounding out the tournament as the No. 9 seed.
The Wildcats were the runner-up in last year’s team championship. Claes/Hughes defeated UA’s twin sisters Madison and McKenna Witt in the pairs final to claim the pairs crown. Six of the nine teams in this week’s tournament are ranked in DiG Magazine’s top 20 and three are in the AVCA’s top 15.
The tournaments will be played at the Arizona Beach Volleyball Courts. Completed in December 2013, the facility features five championship courts which contain 18-inch deep, beach quality, high-end sand. Located at the corner of Enke Drive and Campbell Avenue at Jimenez Field, the Arizona Beach Volleyball Courts are centrally located to campus as they are adjacent to McKale Center and directly south of Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. Admission is free to the event.
All 12 matches of the team championship will be televised live on Pac-12 Network with Anne Marie Anderson, Holly McPeak, Kevin Wong and Kevin Barnett calling all the action.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thurs., April 27 Team Championship Opening Rounds 9 a.m.
Fri., April 28 Team Championship play continues 9 a.m.
Team Championship Awards Ceremony 12:30 p.m.
Pairs Championship Opening Rounds 1 p.m.
Sat., April 29 Pairs Championship play continues 9 a.m.
Pairs Champion Awards Ceremony 2 .m.
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