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No. 2 USC Beach Volleyball Uncorks Two Wins For 4-0 Vintage at Center of Effort Challenge

Apr 17, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The No. 2-ranked USC beach volleyball team (22-2) extended to a nine-dual winning streak with a 5-0 sweep of No. 8 Grand Canyon (16-9) and a 3-2 win over crosstown rival No. 1 UCLA (24-2) to conclude the Center of Effort Challenge at the Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex on Saturday, April 17.
 
The Trojans avenged a loss to the Lopes from 2020 to improve to 8-1 all-time against GCU and collected their 14th clean sweep of the spring. USC then took down the Bruins for the second time this season and improved to 14-11 in all-time meetings against its local rival.
 
Quick on the draw from the No. 5 position, the Trojans' sophomore duo of twins Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse stayed undefeated on the weekend with a 21-15, 21-12 win over Natalie Honzovicova and Katie Sarber of GCU and then took down Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh of UCLA, 21-18, 21-14. The sisters finished first in both duals and won their fifth straight matches to improve to 23-1 on the season and 32-3 all-time. Their 32 wins ranks in a tie for 12th most among USC pairs in school history.
 
At court four, graduate Joy Dennis and freshman Delaynie Maple racked up two more wins to improve to 20-2 on the year with a nine-match winning streak. The Trojans defeated Grand Canyon's Taylor Jarzombek and Madi Relaz in three sets, 21-23, 21-12, 15-11, in their first dual and then got a 21-16, 21-18 win over UCLA's Cami Sanchez and Jacqueline Quade. The two wins for Dennis give her 98 in her career and put her squarely in 10th all-time in school history and poised to become the ninth Trojan to cross the 100-career-win plateau.
 
Graduate Julia Scoles and senior All-American Sammy Slater went 2-0 in straight sets and delivered the clinching point in the win over the Bruins. They got a 21-16, 21-18 win over GCU's Teagan DeFalco and Allison Hansen and took down UCLA's Lea Monkhouse and Devon Newberry, 23-21, 21-18. The duo improved to 9-0 together with the four wins this weekend.
 
At the No. 1 position, junior All-American Tina Graudina and freshman Megan Kraft got a 23-21, 21-15 win over Grand Canyon's Bella Bauman and Anaya Evans, but came up short in a marathon battle with UCLA's Lexy Denaberg and Savvy Simo, 33-31, 21-16. Senior Haley Hallgren and graduate Hailey Harward also split matches at the No. 3 spot today. They earned a 21-16, 21-10 win over Paula Hoffmann and Allanis Navas of Grand Canyon, but dropped a 21-16, 21-18 decision to Megan Muret and Abby Van Winkle of UCLA in the second match.
 
The Trojans conclude the regular season with a dual at Mapes Beach against UCLA on Thursday, April 22. The teams will meet once more at 3 p.m. PT ahead of the following weekend's (April 29-May 1) Pac-12 Championship set at the same location.
 
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.
 
No. 2 USC def. No. 8 Grand Canyon, 5-0
Center of Effort Challenge
Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
RECORDS: USC (21-2), Grand Canyon (16-9)
1. Tina GRAUDINA/Megan KRAFT (USC) def. Bella BAUMAN/Anaya EVANS (GCU); 23-21, 21-15
2. Julia SCOLES/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Teagan DeFALCO/Allison HANSEN (GCU); 21-16, 21-18
3. Haley HALLGREN/Hailey HARWARD (USC) def. Paula HOFFMANN/Allanis NAVAS (GCU); 21-16, 21-10
4. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Taylor JARZOMBEK/Madi RELAZ (GCU); 21-23, 21-12, 15-11
5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Natalie HONZOVICOVA/Katie SARBER (GCU); 21-15, 21-12
Order of finish: 5, 2, 3*, 1, 4
 
No. 2 USC def. No. 1 UCLA, 3-2
Center of Effort Challenge
Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
RECORDS: USC (22-2), UCLA (24-2)
1. Lexy DENABERG/Savvy SIMO (UCLA) def. Tina GRAUDINA/Megan KRAFT (USC); 33-31, 21-16
2. Julia SCOLES/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Lea MONKHOUSE/Devon NEWBERRY (UCLA); 23-21, 21-18
3. Megan MURET/Abby VAN WINKLE (UCLA) def. Haley HALLGREN/Hailey HARWARD (USC); 21-16, 21-18
4. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Cami SANCHEZ/Jacqueline QUADE (UCLA); 21-16, 21-18
5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Rileigh POWERS/Jaden WHITMARSH (UCLA); 21-18, 21-14
Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 2*, 1