Women of Troy host LMU, UCLA in doubleheader

USC’s No. 1 women’s sand volleyball team will look to outplay unranked LMU and sixth-ranked UCLA in some doubleheader action today at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Merle Norman Stadium.

Sandy and dandy · Senior captain Kirby Burnham, who won the pairs title last year with Stevi Robinson, has led USC on court one this season. - Tucker McWhirter | Daily Trojan

Sandy and dandy · Senior captain Kirby Burnham, who won the pairs title last year with Stevi Robinson, has led USC on court one this season. – Tucker McWhirter | Daily Trojan


The Women of Troy (10-1) are looking to continue their nine-match winning streak and will be honoring five seniors: Mary Buckingham, Kirby Burnham, Brooke Fournier, Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic.

These five seniors and their teammates will look to attack fast and get some quick points up on the board, as they’ve done all season.

USC’s top duo of Burnham and freshman Sara Hughes has achieved 10 straight victories, bringing the pair to an impressive 18-3 on the season. They will look to improve their record this Thursday against two tough top teams in LMU’s Betsi Metter and Litara Keil and UCLA’s Kamila Tan and Jessyka Ngauamo.

On court two, Kelly Claes and Alexa Strange have won the most important point in five of the Trojans’ nine consecutive victories. They are 14-4 together on the season.

USC’s No. 3 pair, Hirschmann and Siljkovic (11-6), and No. 4 pair juniors Ever Ettinger and Bria Russ (12-4) have also been consistent forces for the Women of Troy and will hope to tally two wins tomorrow over the Lions and Bruins.

Freshmen Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler are 11-3 together on court five for the Women of Troy. Martin and Wheeler have proven to be very dangerous both offensively and defensively in their first season at USC, and will be a very successful pair for the Women of Troy heading into their sophomore years.

UCLA (6-3) will come to Merle Norman Stadium ranked No. 6 in the national polls as they look to bump up their ranking and improve on their season record. The Bruins are coming off of a 5-0 win over Stanford, and are likely determined to rack up a win against their crosstown rivals. Before topping Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., the Bruins took a disappointing 5-0 loss to third-ranked Hawai’i.

LMU (4-6) lost the front end of a doubleheader last week in a close 3-2 decision to Long Beach State, but rebounded later that day with a 4-1 win over the Cal State Northridge Matadors.

The Lions will have to bring their A-game to the match if they want to avenge the 5-0 loss they suffered at the hands of the Women of Troy earlier this season.

Both LMU and UCLA are in desperate need of a win as the home stretch of the 2014 season comes closer. The two teams will face off against each other at 3 p.m. in Merle Norman Stadium, in between USC’s two matches.

Last week, the Women of Troy beat No. 1 Pepperdine for the first time in program history, and they are feeling stronger than ever heading in to their matches tomorrow. USC followed up that 4-1 win over the then-top-ranked Waves by beating Cal State Northridge and Oregon, and will hope to that momentum into today’s doubleheader.

The Women of Troy will look to extend their ten-game win streak and come one step closer to the AVCA championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Trojans will face the LMU Lions today at 1:30 p.m. and the UCLA Bruins at 4:30 p.m. in Merle Norman Stadium.

All of today’s matches will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson providing play-by-play and three-time Olympic beach volleyball player Holly McPeak as the color commentator.