Top-Ranked USC Beach Volleyball Triumphs Over UCLA in 2024 Season Opener

In a rematch of the 2023 NCAA championship dual, the three-time defending national champion and top-ranked USC beach volleyball team (1-0) triumphed over crosstown rival No. 2 UCLA (0-1) with a 4-1 victory to kick off the 2024 season on Queen’s Beach at the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic in Honolulu on Thursday, February 22.

The Women of Troy extended their undefeated streak in season openers to 13-0 and now hold a 24-17 advantage in all-time meetings with the Bruins. Additionally, USC improved its all-time record on the Hawaiian Islands to 24-2, marking their first dual in the Aloha State since the 2018 season. The Trojans maintain an impressive 135-14 record when ranked No. 1.

USC secured the first point of the dual as senior All-Americans Megan Kraft and Delaynie Maple defeated UCLA’s No. 1 pair, Maggie Boyd and Lexy Denaburg, in straight sets (21-18, 21-14) on the top court. This win marked their 29th victory as a pair, placing them 19th all-time in school history.

The Trojans continued their dominance as graduate transfers Maddi Kriz and Grace Seits claimed the second point with a straight-set win at the No. 3 court (21-12, 21-17) over Tessa Van Winkle and Jaden Whitmarsh. UCLA managed to secure its only dual point on court five, where Natalie Myszkowski and Ensley Alden defeated USC’s Ashley Pater and Ainsley Radell in straight sets (21-15, 21-15).

Trojan sophomores Gabby Walker and Madison White clinched the victory for USC from court four. After dropping the first set, they rallied back to secure a three-set win (21-19, 15-13) over Kenzie Brower and Jessie Smith.

With the dual result confirmed, USC secured a fourth point as twin graduates Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse sealed a three-set victory over Peri Brennan and Devon Newberry (25-23, 17-21, 15-7) at the No. 2 position. This win marked their ninth consecutive victory since the end of the 2023 season and propelled them to second place all-time at USC with 92 victories.

Next, USC will face No. 7 Stanford at 2 p.m. HT (4 p.m. PT) on Queen’s Beach, followed by duals against No. 5 Loyola Marymount and host No. 9 Hawai’i on Friday, February 23.

For additional information on the USC beach volleyball team, including the complete schedule and results, please visit Fans can also follow the Women of Troy on Instagram and X @USCBeach.

Match Summary:
No. 1 USC defeats No. 2 UCLA, 4-1
Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic
Queen’s Beach ยท Honolulu, Hawai’i
Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
RECORDS: USC (1-0), UCLA (0-1)

Match Results:
1. Megan KRAFT/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Maggie BOYD/Lexy DENABURG (UCLA); 21-18, 21-14
2. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Peri BRENNAN/Devon NEWBERRY (UCLA); 25-23, 17-21, 15-7
3. Maddi KRIZ/Grace SEITS (USC) def. Tessa VAN WINKLE/Jaden WHITMARSH (UCLA); 21-12, 21-17
4. Gabby WALKER/Madison WHITE (USC) def. Kenzie BROWER/Jessie SMITH (UCLA); 8-21, 21-19, 15-13
5. Natalie MYSZKOWSKI/Ensley ALDEN (UCLA) def. Ashley PATER/Ainsley RADELL (USC); 21-15, 21-15
Order of finish: 1, 3, 5, 4*, 2

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