USA Volleyball Features USC, Pepperdine Go 3...

USC, Pepperdine Go 3-0 at Challenge

By BJ Evans | April 12, 2014, 10:30 p.m. (ET)

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2014) – The USC and Pepperdine sand volleyball teams each went 3-0 on Saturday at the USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

USC, ranked No. 1 in the United States by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) dropped only one match on the day in defeating No. 6 UCLA (5-0), Loyola Marymount (4-1) and Santa Clara (5-0). The Trojans’ one loss came against Loyola Marymount at No. 3 where Rachelle Suaava and Taylor Akana beat Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic (21-18, 6-21, 15-13).

No. 2 Pepperdine swept its pool, defeating No. 3 Hawaii (5-0), Arizona (5-0) and Bakersfield (5-0).

The competition will continue at 9 a.m. on Sunday with the pairs competition. Each school’s No. 1 pairs team will compete in the gold bracket. No. 2 and No. 3 teams will compete in the silver bracket and No. 4 and 5 teams will compete in the bronze bracket.

The USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge is one of the last sand tournaments before teams and pairs will be chosen for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Championships on May 3-5 in Gulf Shores, Ala. Coaches were glad their team had an opportunity to play in cool and windy conditions.”

“On the whole, winning is great,” USC Head Coach Anna Collier. “I think we did an OK job. I just really want to play more in the elements.”

The wind proved to be a challenge for UCLA, which finished 1-2, Head Coach Stein Metzger said.

I’d like to get them more opportunity to train in the wind,” he said. “Today, we had some pretty decent side wind. I felt like we learned a ton between our first match and our third match. But it certainly affected us.”

Pepperdine Head Coach Nina Matthies was glad her team saw some new competition.

“I thought we were challenged by some programs that are just coming in like Arizona and Bakersfield so it was good to play them,” she said. “Hawaii of course is fantastic. It’s always a battle with them.”

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