USC Beach Volleyball's Tina Graudina, Megan Kraft, Julia Scoles, and Sammy Slater Named AVCA All-Americans
LEXINGTON, Ky. – USC beach volleyball's No. 1 pair of junior Tina Graudina (Jurmala, Latvia) and freshman Megan Kraft (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) and its No. 2 pair of graduate Julia Scoles (Mooresville, N.C./South Iredell HS) and senior Sammy Slater (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS) were named AVCA All-Americans on Wednesday, May 12.
Graudina-Kraft was chosen to the first team by the committee appointed by the American Volleyball Coaches Association; and Scoles-Slater was tabbed for second-team honors in the first time the AVCA has separated the award into two teams. It previously (2012-19) honored only one team and had honorable mention designees. It is the fourth time that four Trojans have received All-America laurels in the same season (2015, '17, '19).
As first-time selections, Kraft and Scoles up USC's All-American count to 13 players who account for 24 all-time certificates.
Graudina receives her third All-America honor (2018, '19) and is the program's third three-time All-American as she joins Kelly Claes (2015-17) and Sara Hughes (2014-17). Hughes is one of only three players to hold the incredible distinction as a four-time All-American. Slater is now a two-time All-American and the seventh Trojan to be chosen more than once. Kraft's selection makes her only the third Trojan freshman ever to receive All-America honors alongside Graudina (2018) and Hughes (2014).
As a pair, Graudina and Kraft produced a 15-1 overall record--and dropped just two sets--with a 14-1 mark at the No. 1 position. The duo ended the season on an eight-match winning streak and delivered the dual-clinching point six times. Individually, Graudina was 27-4 overall, which also included a 12-3 record with Slater at the No. 1 spot. Kraft went 30-3 and was the only Trojan to reach the 30-win mark.
Scoles and Slater finished the season with a 15-3 overall record and had a 13-2 mark at the No. 2 position. Individually, Slater was 27-6 overall with matches at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions. Scoles was 25-4 overall. The tandem was responsible for delivering the clinching point in the 3-1 dual victory over UCLA in the NCAA Championship.
Both Graudina-Kraft (April 13) and Scoles-Slater (May 11) were chosen once each as the AVCA/CollegeBeachVB.com National Pair of the Week this spring. For Graudina, it was her third-career national weekly award. Both pairs were also named the to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team following the Trojans' victory for the program's fourth national title.
The initial AVCA Division I Collegiate Sand All-America Team was comprised of 10 players in 2012. The team was expanded to include 14 players for the 2013 season. From 2014-15, the 16 players that reached the quarterfinals of the AVCA Pairs Championship were automatically named All-Americans. From 2016-19, the team remained at 16 players (eight pairs) chosen by a committee.
The Trojans captured the program's fourth national championship with a win over crosstown rival UCLA in the NCAA Championship final. Under second-year head coach Dain Blanton, USC went 30-4 and had winning streaks of 13 and 12 duals during the season.
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.