USC, Pepperdine Win Pairs Finals

By BJ Evans | April 13, 2014, 8:47 p.m. (ET)

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2014) – Teams from the University of Southern California and Pepperdine won the pairs titles on Sunday at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach.

The tournament, which USA Volleyball has hosted since 2007, is one of the last major collegiate sand volleyball events before teams and pairs will be chosen for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Championships on May 3-5 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

In the gold bracket, made up of each college’s No. 1 pair, USC’s Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes, seeded No. 1 in the gold bracket, had to survive a semifinal challenge from Loyola Marymount’s No. 4 Betsi Metter and Litara Keil (15-21, 21-9, 15-13).

“It was definitely a nail-biter,” Hughes said. “We were actually behind in the third set. But Kirby and I talked about it and we knew what we had to do. We got some good kills, a couple aces and we got the victory.”

In the final, Burnham and Hughes defeated Pepperdine’s No. 2 Kellie Woolever and Kelley Larsen, 21-15, 21-18.

“Sara and I have been playing really well together,” Burnham said. “It’s fun to just see ourselves improve and play smoother and smoother. We haven’t played that Pepperdine team yet so it was fun to get to play them.”

In the silver bracket, which included each college’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams, USC’s Alexa Strange and Kelly Claes, seeded No. 1, defeated Hawaii’s No. 3 Katie Spieler and Nikki Taylor, 21-13, 14-21, 15-13.

In the bronze bracket, made up of each college’s No. 4 and No. 5 teams, Pepperdine’s Victoria Adelheim and Sophie Asprey, seeded No. 9, defeated their No. 2 seeded teammates Emily Cook and Katie Messing, 21-17, 21-18.

To view full results, click here.

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