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No. 1 USC Beach Volleyball Splits Matches on First Day of Battle for L.A. Invitational

Mar 5, 2022

LOS ANGELES – The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (2-1) dropped a narrow 3-2 decision to crosstown rival No. 2 UCLA (6-0) at Mapes Beach and then returned to home sand to claim a 4-1 victory over No. 7 Grand Canyon (4-1) at Merle Norman Stadium on the first day of the Battle for L.A. Invitational on Saturday, March 5.
The Trojans scored points against the Bruins with wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. At two, All-Americans Megan Kraft and Sammy Slater came back from dropping the first set against Lea Monkhouse and Rileigh Powers to get a 16-21, 21-15, 15-8 win. On court three, sophomore Delaynie Maple and graduate Julia Scoles racked up the points in a three-set 21-16, 29-31, 15-10 win over Devon Newberry and Jaden Whitemarsh. Three of five scoring matches went three sets against the Bruins.
In a non-scoring exhibition, senior Mollie Ebertin and graduate Shannon Scully tacked up a 21-14, 21-17 win over Pani Napoleon and Tessa Van Winkle. The dual loss to UCLA drops the Trojans to 16-14 in 30 all-time meetings with their crosstown rival. 
USC turned the corner quickly and scored a 4-1 win over Grand Canyon to push their record in home openers to 10-1 all-time including four straight victories. The Trojans also improved to 67-11 all-time at Merle Norman Stadium while going to 9-1 all-time against GCU.
Kraft-Slater scored the first point of the dual with a 22-20, 21-16 win over Allison Hansen and Allanis Navas at court two. In their first match together, Ebertin and junior Nicole Nourse fought through a three-setter to get a 21-8, 14-21, 15-9 win over Abbie Hughes and Krista Rowan for USC's second point.
The clinching point came from the top court where senior Tina Graudina and graduate Hailey Harward made quick work of Anaya Evans and Jess Vastine for a 21-10, 21-10 victory. The Lopes scored their only point from the fifth court on a straight-set victory, but USC put up the fourth point of the dual when Maple and Scoles completed a 21-12, 24-22 win over Teagan DeFalco and Samaya Morin at court four.
The Trojans are back in action with two duals to conclude the Battle for L.A. Invitational on Sunday (March 6). USC takes on eighth-ranked Stanford (3-3) at noon PT and then wraps the weekend with a 2 p.m. meeting with 14th-ranked Long Beach State (1-5). The Cardinal and 49ers will play the early match at 10 a.m. to start the day. 
For more information on the USC beach volleyball team, a complete schedule, and results, please visit Fans of the Women of Troy can follow the team on Instagram and on Twitter @USCBeach.
No. 2 UCLA def. No. 1 USC, 3-2
Battle For L.A. Invitational
Mapes Beach · Los Angeles, Calif.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
RECORDS: UCLA (6-0), USC (1-1)
1. Lexy Denaburg/Abby Van Winkle (UCLA) def. Tina Graudina/Hailey Harward (USC); 21-17, 21-17
2. Megan Kraft/Sammy Slater (USC) def. Lea Monkhouse/Rileigh Powers (UCLA); 16-21, 21-15, 15-8
3. Delaynie Maple/Julia Scoles (USC) def. Devon Newberry/Jaden Whitmarsh (UCLA); 21-16, 29-31, 15-10
4. Sophie Moore/Natalie Myszkowski (UCLA) def. Audrey Nourse/Nicole Nourse (USC); 21-18, 18-21, 15-10
5. Marlie Monserez/Jessie Smith (UCLA) def. Caroline Schafer/Sunny Villapando (USC); 21-9, 21-19
Exh. Mollie Ebertin/Shannon Scully (USC) def. Pani Napoleon/Tessa Van Winkle (UCLA); 21-14, 21-17
Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 1*, 3
No. 1 USC def. No. 7 Grand Canyon, 4-1
Battle For L.A. Invitational
Merle Norman Stadium, · Los Angeles, Calif.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
RECORDS: USC (2-1), Grand Canyon (4-1)
1. Tina Graudina/Hailey Harward (USC) def. Anaya Evans/Jess Vastine (GCU); 21-10, 21-10
2. Megan Kraft/Sammy Slater (USC) def. Allison Hansen/Allanis Navas (GCU); 22-20, 21-16
3. Delaynie Maple/Julia Scoles (USC) def. Teagan DeFalco/Samaya Morin (GCU); 21-12, 24-22
4. Mollie Ebertin/Nicole Nourse (USC) def. Abbie Hughes/Krista Rowan (GCU); 21-8, 14-21, 15-9
5. Dana Roskic/Cami Sanchez (GCU) def. Caroline Schafer/Sunny Villapando (USC); 21-16, 21-18 
Exh. Harper Hallgren/Paige Hammons (USC) vs. Sarah Dickson/Meagan McCall (GCU); 23-21, 21-23 DNF
Order of finish: 2, 4, 1*, 5, 3