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No. 1 USC Beach Volleyball Faces Four Top-15 Match-Ups in Battle For L.A.

Mar 4, 2022

LOS ANGELES – The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (1-0) will take on four top-15 opponents as part of the Battle for L.A. Invitational this weekend, including a match-up with No. 2-ranked crosstown rival UCLA (5-0) at Mapes Beach. The Trojans and the Bruins will clash for the 30th time in the rivalry—a rematch of the 2021 NCAA championship dual—on Saturday morning (March 5) at 10 a.m. PT. USC then plays its first home match of the spring as host to No. 7 Grand Canyon (3-0) in a 3 p.m. afternoon dual at Merle Norman Stadium. The Trojans host No. 8 Stanford (2-2) and No. 14 Long Beach State (1-3) on Sunday (March 6) at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively to complete the weekend.

BATTLE FOR L.A. INVITATIONAL
Mapes Beach & Merle Norman Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.
Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6

MATCH #2 • Saturday, March 5 10 a.m. PT
No. 1 USC (1-0) at No. 2 UCLA (5-0)
Mapes Beach • Los Angeles, Calif.
SERIES HISTORY: USC leads, 16-13 (.552)
STREAK: Won 1 • LAST 10: 5-5
LAST MEETING: W 3-1 (May 9, 2021 • Gulf Shores, Ala.)
OPPONENT WEBSITE: UCLABruins.com

MATCH #3 • Saturday, March 5 3 p.m. PT
No. 1 USC (1-0) vs. No. 7 Grand Canyon (3-0)
Merle Norman Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.
SERIES HISTORY: USC leads, 8-1 (.889)
STREAK: Won 1 • LAST 10: 8-1
LAST MEETING: W 5-0 (April 17, 2021 • San Luis Obispo)
OPPONENT WEBSITE: GCULopes.com

MATCH #4 • Sunday, March 6 12 p.m. PT
No. 1 USC (1-0) vs. No. 8 Stanford (2-2)
Merle Norman Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.
SERIES HISTORY: USC leads, 9-0 (1.000)
STREAK: Won 9 • LAST 10: 9-0
LAST MEETING: W 3-0 (May 1, 2021 • Los Angeles, Calif.)
OPPONENT WEBSITE: GoStanford.com

MATCH #5 • Sunday, March 6 3 p.m. PT
No. 1 USC (1-0) vs. No. 14 Long Beach State (1-3)
Merle Norman Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.
SERIES HISTORY: USC leads, 11-5 (.688)
STREAK: Won 10 • LAST 10: 10-0
LAST MEETING: W 5-0 (Feb. 24, 2022 • Long Beach, Calif.)
OPPONENT WEBSITE: LongBeachState.com

BARE E-SAND-SHELLS

  • Defending NCAA champion USC owns four beach volleyball national championships including the first-ever NCAA title in 2016 (AVCA '15, NCAA '17, '21).
  • The Women of Troy also own three Pac-12 crowns (2016, '17, '19).
  • Third-year head coach Dain Blanton took the helm for the Women of Troy in July 2019 and is 37-9 overall.
  • USC is ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll and the CBVB.com Poll. It is the 78th time (of 78) the Trojans are ranked by the AVCA; USC's 77th time in the top 5. It is also the 45th time that the Women of Troy hold the No. 1 ranking.
  • The Trojans are 9-1 (.900) all-time in home openers and have won three straight.
  • The Women of Troy are 66-11 (.857) all-time in matches at Merle Norman Stadium.
  • USC defeated Long Beach State in a 5-0 sweep to open the season last week (Feb. 24) for the program's 113th all-time 5-0 victory.
  • 13 different Women of Troy have received AVCA All-America notice for a total of 24 certificates. USC returns four All-Americans in 2022 including captains Julia Scoles, Sammy Slater, and Tina Graudina, and So. Megan Kraft.
  • Jr. Audrey Nourse and Jr. Nicole Nourse won their 37th career match as a pair last week. The twin duo is two victories from moving into USC's top 10 for career victories by pairs and would tie Eve Ettinger and Bria Russ (39-18).
  • The Women of Troy welcome three transfers to the 2022 roster, all of whom have experience at the No. 1 positions at their previous schools: Emily Hansen (CSU Bakersfield), Caroline Schafer (California), and Sunny Villapando (Stanford).