USC Beach Volleyball Will Defend NCAA Crown as No. 1 Seed
INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (32-1) received the top seed in the upcoming 2022 NCAA Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., (May 4, 6-8), the NCAA selection committee announced on Saturday, April 30.
The newly-crowned four-time Pac-12 champion Trojans earned one of eight automatic berths and will face 16th-seeded University of Tennessee at Martin (17-8) from the Ohio Valley Conference in the opening round on Wednesday, May 4. It is the first year that the NCAA field will feature an expanded 16-team bracket. The first round will feature single-elimination duals.
All matches at the championship are set to be shown live on the ESPN family of networks with streaming available at WatchESPN.com.
The Women of Troy make their sixth appearance in the NCAA championship tournament. USC won the inaugural NCAA Championship in 2016 and repeated in 2017. The Trojans' crosstown rival UCLA claimed titles in 2018 and 2019. No tournament was staged in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USC was awarded the No. 2 seed in the 2021 championship and won its fourth national title and third NCAA crown.
USC is 18-4 overall in duals at the NCAA championship with a 58-25 overall record in individual matches, including a 18-0 mark at the top court. The Trojans are 25-8 all-time on Gulf Shores Beach, a record which includes competitions at the AVCA Championships (2013-15).
Under the direction of third-year head coach Dain Blanton, the Trojans captured the program's fourth Pac-12 championship yesterday (April 29) to secure the first-ever automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. USC is currently on a 31-dual win streak—the second longest consecutive run in program history—and owns seven wins over top-five opponents this spring.
Last week, the Trojans' top pair of Tina Graudina and Hailey Harward and their No. 2 pair of Megan Kraft and Sammy Slater were named to the AVCA All-America teams. Graudina became just the fourth player in the history of collegiate beach volleyball to be chosen for first-team All-America four times.
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.