No. 1 USC Beach Volleyball Takes Down No. 2 UCLA in 3-2 Road Victory
LOS ANGELES – The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (23-2) collected a 3-2 win over crosstown rival No. 2 UCLA (24-3) and won its 10th straight dual to conclude the regular season schedule at Mapes Beach on Thursday, April 22.
The Trojans beat the Bruins in Westwood for the first time in four all-time visits and improved to 3-0 against UCLA this spring. USC improves to 15-11 in 26 all-time meetings with UCLA.
Graduate Joy Dennis and freshman Delaynie Maple scored the first dual point for the Women of Troy with a 21-19, 21-18 win over Cami Sanchez and Jacqueline Wade at the No. 4 position. The Trojans' pair won its 10th straight match and Dennis racked up her 99th-career win as an individual.
With All-American Tina Graudina out of the lineup to participate in the FIVB Cancun event for Latvia, the Trojans re-tooled their lineup at the top three pairs. Graduate Hailey Harward and freshman Megan Kraft pushed the Trojans to a 2-0 lead in the dual with their 21-19, 23-21 win at the No. 2 spot. The duo—playing together for the sixth time—improved to 5-1 overall.
UCLA earned dual points at the Nos. 1 and 3 positions. In the three spot, seniors Haley Hallgren and Paige Dreeuws went three sets with Megan Muret and Abby Van Winkle, but fell, 21-16, 10-21, 15-11. Seconds later, in another tight finish, UCLA evened the dual score with a 21-19, 23-21 win at No. 1 where Lexy Denaberg and Savvy Simo defeated graduate Julia Scoles and senior Sammy Slater.
At the same time, sophomore twins Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse were pushed to a third set after splitting with Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh. The Trojans' duo went ahead by two several times before posting the clinching point with a 21-19, 16-21, 15-13 win at the No. 5 position. The win is the sixth straight for the Nourse sisters and makes them 24-1 to conclude the regular season and 33-3 over the last two seasons, which moves them into a tie for 11th all-time in total wins in program history.
In an exhibition match, junior Mollie Ebertin and sophomore Harper Hallgren split sets with Hannah Phair and Maggie Walters, 19-21, 24-22.
The Women of Troy will return to Mapes Beach next weekend (April 29-May 1) set to defend their 2019 Pac-12 Championship. While no fans will be permitted to attend the championship, all duals will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks.
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. 1 USC def. No. 2 UCLA, 3-2
Mapes Beach • Los Angeles, Calif.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
RECORDS: USC (23-2), UCLA (24-3)
1. Lexy DENABERG/Savvy SIMO (UCLA) def. Julia SCOLES/Sammy SLATER (USC); 21-19, 23-21
2. Hailey HARWARD/Megan KRAFT (USC) def. Lea MONKHOUSE/Devon NEWBERRY (UCLA); 21-19, 23-21
3. Megan MURET/Abby VAN WINKLE (UCLA) def. Paige DREEUWS/Haley HALLGREN (USC); 21-16, 10-21, 15-11
4. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Cami SANCHEZ/Jacqueline QUADE (UCLA); 21-19, 21-18
5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Rileigh POWERS/Jaden WHITMARSH (UCLA); 21-19, 16-21, 15-13
Exh. Mollie EBERTIN/Harper HALLGREN (USC) vs. Hannah PHAIR/Maggie WALTERS (UCLA); 19-21, 24-22
Order of finish: 4, 2, 3, 1, 5*