USC Beach Volleyball Signs Transfers Caroline Schafer and Sunny Villapando
LOS ANGELES – The defending NCAA champion USC beach volleyball team has signed transfer student-athletes Caroline Schafer (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte HS) from California and Sunny Villapando (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS) from Stanford head coach Dain Blanton announced on Friday, July 30.
"Caroline and Sunny are fantastic additions to our program," said Blanton. "They are each proven athletes on the sand and scholars in the classroom. We're familiar with their abilities having had to face them as conference opponents and are quite excited to bring them into the fold and to have them play on our side of the net for the Cardinal and Gold. We expect them both to arrive and make an immediate impact on the court and on our program."
Schafer is a two-time All-Pac-12 performer (2019 second team, 2021 first team) and a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection. She graduated from Cal with a degree in business administration and finished with 66-career wins (66-33 overall) for the third-highest win total in program history. Her .667 winning percentage ranks seventh among all-time Golden Bears. As a freshman, she went 25-7 overall with Mia Merino at the No. 4 position. During her senior season, she paired with Mima Mirkovic at the top court to go 20-8, collected 10 victories over ranked opponents, and was chosen as the Pac-12 Pair of the Week (April 21).
Villapando was chosen to the AVCA All-America first team as a senior at Stanford in 2021 and received Volleyball Magazine All-America honorable mention as a freshman in 2018. As a senior, she was a Pac-12 all-conference second-team choice and earned her second Pac-12 All-Academic team nod. Villapando completed her career on the Farm with the most wins in program history and a 67-38 overall record. She was a member of the Pac-12's All-Freshman Team in 2018 and was 23-7 overall. As a senior, she went 22-11, which included a 19-10 mark at the top court when paired with Charlie Ekstrom and Xolani Hodel.
The USC beach volleyball team captured the program's fourth national championship (third NCAA crown) with a win over crosstown rival UCLA in the 2021 NCAA Championship dual. Under second-year head coach Dain Blanton, USC went 30-4 and had winning streaks of 13 and 12 matches during the season. The Trojans finished as the Pac-12 runner-up and produced the league's Pair of the Year in Tina Graudina and Megan Kraft. Graudina was also named Pac-12 Player of the Year and Kraft was the conference's Freshman of the Year. Both were named first-team AVCA All-Americans and were joined on the first team by Julia Scoles and Sammy Slater.
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.