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USC Beach Volleyball All-American Tina Graudina Claims Second European Championship Gold

Aug 21, 2022

MUNICH, GERMANY – Four-time USC beach volleyball All-American and Olympian Tina Graudina (Jurmala, Latvia) paired with Anastasija Kravcenoka to win the 2022 CEV (Confederation of European Volleyball) European Championship at the Königsplatz on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Representing their native Latvia, Graudina and Kravcenoka fought through storm delays and won gold at the European Championship for the second time. They first claimed the top spot on the EuroBeachVolley podium in 2019 and later went on to become the first-ever Latvian women's pair to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Graudina (24) and Kravcenoka (25) came from behind to take down the defending champion Swiss pair of Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli in the championship match, 18-21, 21-15, 15-11. Graudina-Kravcenoka finished fourth in 2021 but responded a year later to deliver Latvia's fourth gold medal in the tournament and became the first Latvian pair to earn multiple gold medals at the event.
Latvia's other women's gold medalists were Inese Jursone and Inguna Minusa in 2009. Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins won the men's tourney in 2015.
Graudina-Kravcenoka dropped just one set on the way to a 6-0 tournament record and took down three adversarial pairs, downing bronze medalists Karla Borger and Julia Sude of Germany in the quarterfinals, the runner-up duo of Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam of the Netherlands in the semifinals and the Swiss champions in the gold medal match.
Graudina—now the owner of two European titles and a fourth-place finish in the Olympics—claimed her first-career AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) championship just three weeks ago at the Fort Lauderdale Open with collegiate partner and fellow USC All-American Hailey Harward (Phoenix, Ariz.).
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.