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No. 4 USC Beach Volleyball Hosts No. 10 Pepperdine to Open 2021 Season

Feb 24, 2021

@USCBeach on Twitter | USC Beach Notebook (Feb. 24) | 2021 USC Schedule

LOS ANGELES – The fourth-ranked USC beach volleyball team will play its first duals in 350 days when the Women of Troy (0-0) open the 2021 season with two matches against Pepperdine (0-0) at Merle Norman Stadium on Thursday, Feb. 25.
The last time the Trojans played on their home sand was March 11, 2020, before the COVID-19 world pandemic forced the pause and eventual cancellation of NCAA championship sports. USC also faced Pepperdine that day and claimed a 4-1 victory over its longest-standing rival.
This USC roster looks quite different from it did one season ago. The Trojans welcome back a familiar face in two-time AVCA All-American and the 2019 DiG Magazine National Player of the Year Tina Graudina. Graudina spent the 2020 season away from the team to prepare for the Olympic Games after she qualified to represent her native Latvia. The Women of Troy also welcome graduate transfers Julia Scoles and Bo Chulo and bring in a six-athlete freshman class.
USC returns junior All-American Sammy Slater and senior Haley Hallgren. Graduates Hailey Harward and Joy Dennis also return to the sand after the COVID stoppage. Head coach Dain Blanton guides the defending Pac-12 champion Trojans and looks improve on the team's 6-5 mark from a season ago.
TRACK THE TROJANS: Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCBeach on Twitter for score updates during home matches and select road matches; and on Instagram for exclusive content and a behind-the-scenes look at the team.


  • USC owns three beach volleyball national championships including the first-ever NCAA title in 2016 (AVCA, 2015).
  • The Trojans have won three Pac-12 crowns (2016, '17, '19).
  • Second-year head coach Dain Blanton took the helm for the defending Pac-12 champions following the retirement of two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year Anna Collier in July 2019.
  • USC opens the 2021 season ranked No. 4 in the AVCA Coaches Preseason Poll. It is the 65th time (of 65 polls) that the Trojans are ranked.
  • USC players have received AVCA All-America notice 20 times. The Trojans return All-American Sr. Sammy Slater and All-American Jr. Tina Graudina following a hiatus season during which she qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games.
  • It will have been 350 days since the Women of Troy last played a dual match following the suspension and cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

NOTE: All home USC beach volleyball competitions at Merle Norman Stadium will be conducted in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee health and safety recommendations and guidelines, available at
For more information on the USC beach volleyball team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCBeach.