Tina Graudina, Megan Kraft Headline USC Beach Volleyball Pac-12 Awards
SAN FRANCISCO – USC beach volleyball junior Tina Graudina (Jurmala, Latvia) and freshman Megan Kraft (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) were chosen as the Pac-12 Conference Pair of the Year as announced by the league on Friday, May 21. Separately, Graudina was named the Pac-12 Player of Year and Kraft was chosen as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Stanford's Andrew Fuller, a former USC assistant, was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
Graudina and Kraft were each chosen to the Pac-12 All-Conference first team and joined by graduate Julia Scoles (Mooresville, N.C./South Iredell HS) and senior Sammy Slater (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS). Graduate Hailey Harward (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference second team and Delaynie Maple (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) was named to the All-Freshman Team alongside Kraft.
Graudina is the Pac-12's Player of the Year for the second straight year (2019) as no awards were handed out in the shortened 2020 season. Her selection for the honor also makes her the second Trojan to be chosen twice (Kelly Claes: 2016, '17) and gives USC four of the first five Pac-12 Player of the Year awards. It is also Graudina's second time chosen as part of the Pair of the Year. She and Abril Bustamante were selected for the same honor in 2019 and again makes this the fourth time (of five) a Trojan pair has received the award (Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes: 2016, '17).
Kraft is the second USC player to be named for the Pac-12's Freshman of the Year award. Graudina is the other (2018).
The Trojans' five selections to the All-Conference Team give USC 26 all-time all-conference certificates (17 first team; nine second team) among 14 different Women of Troy. Scoles, Kraft, and Harward are each first-time choices. Kraft and Maple's appointments to the All-Freshman Team bring the Trojans' total all-freshman selections to seven all-time.
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.
Harward was 24-7 individually with a 15-2 record at the No. 2 position and 9-5 at the No. 3 spot. She was 15-2 when paired with Kraft and Scoles at the second court and 9-5 with Haley Hallgren at court three. Maple went 26-3 overall and played exclusively at the No. 4 position. She was 25-3 with senior Joy Dennis and 1-0 with Kraft.
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.