USC's Tina Graudina, Megan Kraft Earn Pac-12 Pair of the Week Laurels
SAN FRANCISCO – USC beach volleyball junior All-American Tina Graudina (Jurmala, Latvia) and freshman Megan Kraft (San Diego, Calif.) were honored as the Pac-12 Pair of the Week on Tuesday, April 13. The newly-formed Trojan pair also earned national recognition as the AVCA/CollegeBeachVB.com Pair of the Week earlier today.
Graudina and Kraft went 4-0 without dropping a set at the Pac-12 North Invitational in Phoenix, last weekend; and helped the No. 2-ranked Trojans go 4-0 in duals and 19-1 in total matches.
Over the weekend, Graudina-Kraft played together for the first time at the No. 2 position and earned a 21-9, 21-13 win over No. 11 California's Jordan Polo and Ainsley Radell. They then moved to the top court and went 3-0 there. First, they defeated Washington's Chloe Loreen and Shayne McPherson, 21-11, 21-12; then earned a 21-16, 21-17 win over No. 7 Stanford's Charlie Ekstrom and Sunny Villapando; and ended the weekend with a 21-10, 21-13 victory over Arizona State's Katelyn Cartballo and Lexi Sweeney.
The weekly award is the fifth this season won by a USC pair. Graudina and senior All-American Sammy Slater were chosen for the award on March 18 and 24. USC graduate students Hailey Harward and Julia Scoles were tabbed for the award on March 19; and in the season's first week, sophomores Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse earned their first-career Pac-12 Pair of the Week nod from the No. 5 position. In all, USC pairs have won the Pac-12 weekly honor a conference-leading 22 times since its inception in 2016.
Under first-year head coach Dain Blanton, the No. 2-ranked Trojans (18-2) head up the California coast for the Center of Effort Challenge this weekend (April 16-17) at the Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex on the campus of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. USC faces No. 5 Loyola Marymount (20-2), No. 6 Cal Poly (16-5), No. 8 Grand Canyon (16-5), and No. 1 UCLA (19-1) over the two-day event.
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.