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Kelly Cheng and Betsi Flint Claim AVP New Orleans Crown

May 31, 2022

NEW ORLEANS – Three-time USC beach volleyball All-American Kelly Cheng (formerly Claes) partnered with Betsi Flint (formerly Metter) to go 5-0 and claim the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Pro Series New Orleans Open on Sunday, May 29, on Coconut Beach.
The win is Cheng's second-career AVP crown and comes in her 28th AVP event; her second tournament played with Flint. It represents the 61st individual Trojan AVP women's win; the 47th event won by at least one female USC athlete. Between Cheng, April Ross, and Sara Hughes, at least one USC player has won 33 of the last 53 AVP events since the 2014 season.
Cheng-Flint garnered the No. 1 seed in New Orleans and opened with a three-set win over 16th-seeded Brook Bauer and Katie Horton, 18-21, 21-14, 15-12, in the opening round. The duo then went 21-17, 21-18 to get a straight-set victory over Jessica Gaffney and Molly Turner to advance to Saturday.
Cheng and Flint needed three sets to get past the fifth-seeded pair of two-time USC All-American Megan Kraft and Emily Stockman, 25-23, 19-21, 15-11. They then met the sixth-seeded duo comprised of Emily Day and USC All-American Hailey Harward in the semifinals. Cheng-Flint earned a 21-13, 24-22 win over Day-Harward to move directly into the championship match.
In a highly anticipated match-up with the No. 2 seed of Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss, Cheng-Flint seized the win with a 21-15, 21-15 result against the local favorites and to avenge a loss to Kloth and Nuss in the AVP Austin Open final. Kloth-Nuss had to defeat Kraft and Stockman, who fought their way back into the championship semifinals out of the contender's bracket.
Under third-year head coach Dain Blanton, the USC beach volleyball team captured its fourth NCAA Championship (fifth national title) and fourth Pac-12 crown in 2022. The Women of Troy finished the year ranked No. 1 and had a record of 37-1 with a 36-match win streak intact at the end. USC added four AVCA All-Americans to its history books with the four-time selection of Tina Graudina as well as the third-career honor for Sammy Slater. Graudina was named the Pac-12's Player of the Year a third time and earned Pac-12 and AVCA Pair of the Year honors with partner Hailey Harward, who was also tabbed an AVCA All-American along with sophomore Megan Kraft.
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.