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No. 2 USC Beach Volleyball Stomps Out Two Wins at Center of Effort Challenge

Apr 16, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The No. 2-ranked USC beach volleyball team (20-2) collected a pair of wins on the first day of the Center of Effort Challenge at the Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex on Friday, April 16. The Trojans took down No. 5 Loyola Marymount (20-5) by a 4-1 count to open the day and then swept No. 6-ranked host Cal Poly (16-6) for their 13th clean sweep of the spring.
USC—playing in its first matches in San Luis Obispo—extended its winning streak to seven consecutive duals. The Trojans improved to 22-0 all-time against the Lions and to 5-0 against the Mustangs.
At the No. 1 position, the reigning Pac-12 Pair of the Week of junior All-American Tina Graudina and freshman Megan Kraft went 2-0 without dropping a set by defeating LMU's Iya Lindahl and Megan Rice, 21-12, 21-13; and then by holding on to get a 21-10, 23-21 win against Macy Gordon and Emily Sonny of Cal Poly. The Trojans' top duo delivered the clinching point against LMU with its straight-set win.
Graduate Julia Scoles and senior Sammy Slater needed three sets to seal a win over the Lions' Selina Marolf and Reka Orsi Toth at the No. 2 position, 23-25, 21-17, 15-9; but went quickly for a 21-14, 21-17 win against Jayelin Lombard and Amy Ozee of Cal Poly for the clinching point in the second dual.
On court four, graduate Joy Dennis and freshman Delaynie Maple claimed a 21-9, 21-17 win against Darby Dunn and Sydnie Herrmann of Loyola Marymount; and took a 21-13, 21-15 victory over Vanessa Roscoe and Josie Ulrich of Cal Poly. It was the seventh straight win for Dennis-Maple and increased their season record to 18-2 overall. Individually, Dennis racked up her 96th-career win to move into a tie for 10th all-time in program history with Kirby Burnham (2012-14).
Sophomore twins Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse became the first USC duo to cross the 20-win mark this season with a pair of victories at the No. 5 position. The Nourse sisters defeated Emma Doud and Madi Firnett, 21-18, 21-15 in the dual against LMU and then got a 21-14, 21-15 win over Hannah Rogers and Sam Strah of Cal Poly to improve to 21-1 this season and to 30-3 all-time. Their 30 wins ties for 15th most all-time among Trojan pairs with Jenna Belton and Bria Russ (30-5).
Senior Haley Hallgren and graduate Hailey Harward battled for three sets with LMU's Jessie Prichard and Savannah Slattery, but fell, 17-21, 21-17, 15-13, in their first dual. The duo returned to the sand and got a 21-12, 21-19 win over Tia Miric and Mariah Whalen to wrap the day.
The Women of Troy complete play at the Center of Effort Challenge on Sunday (April 17) with a 3:30 p.m. PT dual against No. 8 Grand Canyon (16-6) and a final 6:30 p.m. match-up with No. 1 UCLA (21-1). A live stream will be available for the No. 1 position.
For more information on the three-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
No. 2 USC def. No. 5 Loyola Marymount, 4-1
Center of Effort Challenge
Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Friday, April 16, 2021
RECORDS: USC (19-2), Loyola Marymount (20-5)
1. Tina GRAUDINA/Megan KRAFT (USC) def. Iya LINDAHL/Megan RICE (LMU); 21-12, 21-13
2. Julia SCOLES/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Selina MAROLF/Reka ORSI TOTH (LMU); 23-25, 21-17, 15-9
3. Jessie PRICHARD/Savannah SLATTERY (LMU) def. Haley HALLGREN/Hailey HARWARD (USC); 17-21, 21-17, 15-13
4. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Darby DUNN/Sydnie HERRMANN (LMU); 21-9, 21-17
5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Emma DOUD/Madi FIRNETT (LMU); 21-18, 21-15
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 2, 3
No. 2 USC def. No. 6 Cal Poly, 5-0
Center of Effort Challenge
Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Friday, April 16, 2021
RECORDS: USC (20-2), Cal Poly (16-6)
1. Tina GRAUDINA/Megan KRAFT (USC) def. Macy GORDON/Emily SONNY (CP); 21-10, 23-21
2. Julia SCOLES/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Jayelin LOMBARD/Amy OZEE (CP); 21-14; 21-17
3. Haley HALLGREN/Hailey HARWARD (USC) def. Tia MIRIC/Mariah WHALEN (CP); 21-12, 21-19
4. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Vanessa ROSCOE/Josie ULRICH (CP); 21-13, 21-15
5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Hannah ROGERS/Sam STRAH (CP); 21-14, 21-15
Order of finish: 5, 4, 2*, 3, 1