Claes and Hughes wins all-USC Pac-12 beach volleyball pairs final
TUCSON, Ariz. - Defending champion Kelly Claes and Sarah Hughes of USC won the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships pairs tournament for the second-straight year on Saturday at the Arizona Beach Volleyball Courts on the campus of the University of Arizona. The top duo in the country with just one loss in nearly two years defeated teammates Allie Wheeler and Sophie Bukovec in the title match.
Claes and Hughes have been dominant all tournament, also leading the Trojans to victory in the team championship for the second-straight year on Friday. The pair went 4-0 in the pairs tournament without giving up a set and only once allowing more than 15 points to an opponent. The duo also did not give up a set in the four matches in the team bracket.
Unlike the first day of the pairs tournament where there were no upsets, the second day began with three of the four quarterfinal matches resulting in upsets. Most notably, the bottom half of the bracket saw the No. 2 (Kamila Tan/Madi Yeomans, UCLA) and No. 3 (Bianca Arellano/Whitney Follette, ASU) seeds go down at the hands of No. 7 seed Kathryn Plummer and Jenna Gray from STANFORD, and sixth-seeded Bukovec and Wheeler of USC, respectively. Both matches went to three sets, Plummer and Gray taking the third set to break the 1-1 tie (15-21, 21-18, 15-11). In each of Bukovec and Wheeler’s three sets, each was decided by two points, the duo staving off elimination in the second set before outlasting the ASU pair in the third to win by two points (19-21, 21-19, 16-14).
In the top half of the bracket, Claes and Hughes cruised to the semifinal round, winning a decisive 2-set decision (21-12, 21-14). The ARIZONA pair of Madison and McKenna Witt pulled off the 4/5-upset, also easily winning in two sets (21-13, 21-14).
The Witt sisters nearly forced a third set in the semifinal against Claes and Hughes, but the defending champion from USC closed out the second set to secure a spot in the championship match (21-15, 21-18).
Next up for teams is the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships which takes place May 5-7 at Gulf Shores Public Beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. The announcement of the eight teams participating in the postseason event will be on Sunday, April 30 at 4 p.m. PT on NCAA.com. Eight teams in total makeup the championship field, including three from the West Region, three from the East Region and two at-large selections.
For all the results and bracket from the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships, visit the championships page on pac-12.com - /beach-volleyball/championships.
2017 PAC-12 BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
PAIRS TOURNAMENT • TUCSON, ARIZ.
Match 11: #1 Claes/Hughes, USC def. #8 Zappia/Van Winden, UCLA, 21-12, 21-14
Match 12: #5 Witt/Witt, ARIZ def. #4 Scambray/Jones, WASH, 21-13, 21-14
Match 13: #6 Bukovec/Wheeler, USC def. #3 Arellano/Follette, ASU, 19-21, 21-19, 16-14
Match 14: Gray/Plummer, STAN def. Tan/Yeomans, UCLA, 15-21, 21-18, 15-11
Match 15: #1 Claes/Hughes, USC def. #5 Witt/Witt, ARIZ, 21-15, 21-18
Match 16: #6 Bukovec/Wheeler, USC def. #7 Plummer/Gray, STAN, 18-21, 21-18, 15-13
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH/Match 17: #1 Claes/Hughes, USC def. Bukovec/Wheeler, USC, 21-6, 21-11
Match 1: #16 Campbell/Anderson, CAL def. #17 Trueman/Choy, UTAH, 21-10, 22-20
Match 2: #15 Bark/Rodberg, CAL def. #18 Agost/Raskie, ORE, 21-14, 21-15
Match 3: #6 Bukovec/Wheeler, USC def. #11 Berridge/Okaro, ASU, 21-16, 26-24
Match 4: #7 Plummer/Gray, STAN def. #10 Hallaran/Mcdonald, ARIZ, 21-16, 21-14
Match 5: #8 Zappia/Van Winden, UCLA def. #9 Anae/Barton, UTAH, 13-21, 21-18, 15-11
Match 6: #3 Arellano/Follette, ASU def. #14 Vander Weide/Van Sickle, ORE, 21-13, 21-19
Match 7: #4 Scambray/Jones, WASH def. #13 Chang/Vanjak, STAN, 21-11, 21-16
Match 8: #5 Witt/Witt, ARIZ def. #12 Strickland/Schwan, WASH, 21-11, 21-14
Match 9: #2 Tan/Yeomans, UCLA def. #15 Bark/Rodberg, CAL, 21-18, 21-13
Match 10: #1 Claes/Hughes, USC def., #16 Campbell/Anderson, CAL, 21-5, 21-7