Women’s Beach Volleyball | April 26, 2023
STANFORD, Calif. – The second-seeded and No. 3-ranked USC beach volleyball team (27-3) claimed a 3-0 win over seventh-seeded Arizona (19-11) in the winner’s bracket quarterfinal round of the 2023 Pac-12 Championship at Stanford’s Beach Volleyball Stadium on Wednesday, April 26. The win is the 100th-career victory for fourth-year head coach Dain Blanton. He is now 100-13 all-time.
The Women of Troy improved to 12-0 all-time against the Wildcats and to 23-5 in Pac-12 tournament duals. USC also goes to 17-2 in matches played in Stanford.
Played in two flights and beginning with the third and fifth pairs, the Trojans’ even-numbered pairs didn’t finish before a decision was reached. USC scored the first dual point from the No. 3 position where twin seniors Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse claimed a 21-11, 21-14 win over Grace Cook and Alana Rennie to go to 23-6 on the season and 85-16 all-time; now just six wins from second all-time at USC.
Junior Olivia Bakos and freshman Gabby Walker went to three sets at the No. 5 spot but wrapped up their 11th win together on a 21-10, 17-21, 15-8 win over Miranda Erro and Annie Kost to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead in the dual.
The clinching point came from the top court where juniors Megan Kraft and Delaynie Maple recorded a 21-19, 21-15 win over Sarah Blacker and Alex Parkhurst to improve to 23-1 on the season. It was the 13th straight win for Kraft-Maple.
Graduate Madison Shields and freshman Madison White held a 25-24 lead in their first set; and freshman Delaney Karl and graduate Ashlyn Rasnick-Popeled, 16-15, in their opening frame when play was stopped.
USC will face either third-seeded California (25-8) or sixth-seeded Arizona State (11-11) in the winner’s bracket semifinal at 8:30 a.m. PT on Thursday, April 27. The dual will be shown live on Pac-12 Networks and is available via the Pac-12 Now app.
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.
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