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No. 1 USC Beach Volleyball Reaches Fifth NCAA Championship Dual

May 7, 2022

GULF SHORES, Ala. – The top-seeded and No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (36-1) took down third-seeded No. 2-ranked UCLA (34-8) in the 2022 NCAA Championship Winner's Bracket Final at Gulf Shores Beach on Saturday, May 7, to advance directly to the championship dual set for 3 p.m. CT (1 p.m. PT) on Sunday, May 8.
USC will make its fifth appearance in the NCAA championship dual as it extends the winning streak to 35 duals—the second longest streak in program history. The defending champion Women of Troy seek their fifth national title and back-to-back NCAA crowns for the second time (2016-17).
The Trojans improved to 21-14 all-time against the Bruins and push their winning streak over UCLA to five duals. USC also improves to 22-4 all-time in duals at the NCAA Championship and to 29-8 in matches played in Gulf Shores.
The No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup marked the 26th time that USC has participated in such a match. The Trojans improved to 15-11 in those matches; 8-8 when they are ranked No. 1 and 7-3 when ranked No. 2.
Played in two separate flights, pairs two and four played to completion first. USC scored the first point of the dual at the No. 2 spot where Megan Kraft and Sammy Slater shook off a loss from earlier in the day to get a dominant 21-13, 21-18 win over Devon Newberry and Jaden Whitmarsh. Kraft-Slater improve to 26-1 on the season with the win.
The Trojans went on top, 2-0, in the dual with a win at the No. 4 position where Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse collected their ninth straight win by beating Marlie Monserez and Rileigh Powers, 21-17, 21-13, to improve to 25-4 on the season.
With all three of the odd-numbered pairs on court, it was a race to the finish as the Trojans claimed first-set wins at all positions. The clinching point belonged to USC's top pair of Tina Graudina and Hailey Harward, which won, 21-16, 21-13, over Lexy Denaberg and Abby Van Winkle. It was the 29th straight win for Graudina-Harward, as the duo improves to 30-1 overall and now owns the second-longest win streak by a pair in school history (103 by Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes).
Play was suspended at the corners following the clincher. On court three, Delaynie Maple and Julia Scoles were nursing an 18-19 score in the second set after winning the first, 21-14, over Lea Monkhouse and Jessie Smith. At the No. 5 position, Mollie Ebertin and Sunny Villapando claimed a 21-18 win over Sophie Moore and Natalie Myszkowski in the first set and trailed the Bruins, 13-12, in the second.
All remaining duals at the NCAA Championship will be shown live on ESPN2. Live streams of all courts can be found at
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.
[1] No. 1 USC def. [3] No. 2 UCLA, 3-0
NCAA Championship · Winner's Bracket Final
Gulf Shores Beach · Gulf Shores, Ala.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
RECORDS: USC (36-1), UCLA (34-8)
1. Tina GRAUDINA/Hailey HARWARD (USC) def. Lexy DENABERG/Abby VAN WINKLE (UCLA); 21-16, 21-13
2. Megan KRAFT/Sammy SLATER (USC) def. Devon NEWBERRY/Jaden WHITMARSH (UCLA); 21-13, 21-18
3. Delaynie MAPLE/Julia SCOLES (USC) vs. Lea MONKHOUSE/Jessie SMITH (UCLA); 21-14, 18-19 DNF
4. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Marlie MONSEREZ/Rileigh POWERS (UCLA); 21-17, 21-13
5. Mollie EBERTIN/Sunny VILLAPANDO (USC) vs. Sophie MOORE/Natalie MYSZKOWSKI (UCLA); 21-18, 12-13 DNF
Order of finish: 2, 4, 1*