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USC Beach Volleyball Will Defend Its NCAA Championship as the No. 1 Seed

The NCAA selection committee announced on Saturday, April 30, that the No. 1-ranked USC beach volleyball team (32-1) has been awarded the top seed in the upcoming 2022 NCAA Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama (May 4, 6-8).

The Trojans, who were recently named Pac-12 champions for the fourth time, got one of eight automatic bids and will face 16th-seeded University of Tennessee at Martin (17-8) of the Ohio Valley Conference in the opening round on Wednesday, May 4. The NCAA field will be enlarged to 16 teams for the first time this year. In the first round, single-elimination duals will be held.

All championship matches will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks, with additional coverage accessible on WatchESPN.com. The Women of Troy are making their sixth NCAA championship tournament appearance. USC won the NCAA Championship for the first time in 2016 and repeated in 2017. UCLA, the Trojans’ crosstown foe, won the 2018 and 2019 crowns. In 2020, no tournament was held because of the COVID-19 epidemic. USC was seeded second in the 2021 tournament and won its fourth national championship and third NCAA championship.

USC is 18-4 in dual matches and 58-25 in individual matches in the NCAA tournament, with an 18-0 record on the top court. On Gulf Shores Beach, the Trojans are 25-8 all-time, including competitions in the AVCA Championships (2013-15). The Trojans won their fourth Pac-12 title yesterday (April 29) under the supervision of third-year head coach Dain Blanton, securing the program’s first-ever automatic trip into the NCAA tournament. USC is presently on a 31-game winning streak — the second-longest in team history — and has beaten seven top-five opponents this spring.

Tina Graudina and Hailey Harward, the Trojans’ top pair, and Megan Kraft and Sammy Slater, the Trojans’ second pair, were chosen to the AVCA All-America teams last week. Graudina became the fourth player in college beach volleyball history to be named to the first team All-America four times.

 

 

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