Harward and Scoles Team to Win AVP America Championship
CLEARWATER, Fla. – USC beach volleyball's Hailey Harward (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Julia Scoles (Mooresville, N.C.) paired up to win the AVPNext Gold/AVP America U.S. Open National Championship at Clearwater Beach on Sunday, Oct. 25. It was the third tournament title for the duo, which also won the Myrtle Beach Open two weeks ago (Oct. 11) and the Waupaca Boatride (July 11).
In pool matches, Harward-Scoles outscored opponents, 84-30, to advance to the playoffs. Harward and Scoles opened the tournament with a dominant 21-6, 21-8 win over McKenna Flaherty and Autumn Strawn; and then defeated the pair of Nicole Robison and Mila Yarich, 21-9, 21-7.
Into the round of 32, Haward-Scoles posted a 21-14, 21-7 win over Chelsey Tekavec and Kristi Tekavec to move ahead. The duo faced Deketa Stubblefield and Tina Toghiyani in the round of 16 and claimed a 21-7, 21-7 win for a spot in the quarterfinals. There, the Trojans defeated Sarah Harper and Christina Matthews in their fifth straight-set victory, 21-11, 21-12.
Harward and Scoles dropped only one set all weekend and had their 11-set win streak snapped in the semifinals. Despite the setback, the duo fought it out for a three-set win over Delaney Mewhirter and Katie Spieler, 21-16, 18-21, 16-14, to make their third appearance in a tournament final together. Harward-Scoles returned to straight-set form in the title match and took down Erica Brok and MacKenzie Morris, 21-16, 21-14, to hoist their third straight championship trophy.
In the men's open tournament, Trojan volleyball alum Andy Benesh (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) won the championship with partner Eric Beranek(Orange Coast College/Redondo Beach, Calif.). The duo defeated Bruno Amorim and Tim Bomgren, 21-17, 21-18, in the title match.
Under first-year head coach Dain Blanton, the Women of Troy went 6-5 in 2020 before the season was cut short and then cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trojans were competitive despite the losses and suffered each defeat by a narrow 3-2 margin. A three-time national champion, USC finished as the NCAA runner-up in 2019 and claimed the program's third Pac-12 Championship with a dramatic 3-2 win over crosstown rival UCLA. 11 different Women of Troy have earned the program's 20 AVCA All-America certificates including returning junior Sammy Slater (2019).
For more information on the three-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.