USC's Tina Graudina, Sammy Slater Repeat as Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week
SAN FRANCISCO – USC beach volleyball All-Americans Tina Graudina (Jurmala, Latvia) and Sammy Slater (Ventura, Calif.) were chosen as the Pac-12's Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week for the week of March 15-21, the Conference announced on Wednesday, March 24.
It is the second consecutive week that Graudina-Slater has garnered the award and the fourth straight time that a USC pair has earned the league's weekly honor. Individually, it is Graudina's fifth-career award and the third-career honor for Slater.
Despite being newly-formed this season, Graudina and Slater are no strangers to the award. Graudina previously won the award once as a freshman (2018) and twice as a sophomore (2019), each time with fellow All-American Abril Bustamante. Slater was named for the award once in 2019 with partner and fellow All-American Terese Cannon.
Graudina-Slater is undefeated at the Trojans' No. 1 position (10-0) and collected another pair of straight-set victories this week to help the No. 1-ranked Women of Troy improve to 10-0 in duals. The duo defeated CSU Bakersfield's Emily Hansen and Hana Makonova, 21-17, 21-18, on Thursday (March 18) as part of a 5-0 sweep. They then delivered the clinching point in a 4-1 victory over No. 8 Pepperdine with their 21-17, 21-16 win over Melanie Paul and Simone Priebe on Sunday (March 21). In all, seven of Graudina-Slater's wins have been 2-0.
Two weeks ago, USC graduate students Hailey Harward and Julia Scoles were chosen for the Pac-12 Pair of the Week honor; and in the season's first week, sophomores Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse earned their first-career Pac-12 Pair of the Week award from the No. 5 position. USC pairs have won Pac-12 weekly honors all four times in 2021 and a conference-leading 21 times since its inception in 2016.
The top-ranked Women of Troy (10-0) play in the Pac-12 South Invitational this weekend. USC heads to Tucson, Ariz., to face Oregon (2-2) and Utah (2-8) in duals at Bear Down Beach on Saturday (March 27). Both contests will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks.
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 Pac-12.com/health.
For more information on the USC beach volleyball team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit USCTrojans.com/beach. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCBeach.