No. 3 Beach Splits Two Matches at No. 1 USC

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, April 6, 2021

LOS ANGELES – The No. 3 LSU Beach Volleyball team split two matches under sunny skies at Merle Norman Stadium against No. 1 USC Sunday, winning the first match, 3-2, before dropping the second, 2-3.

“Across the board there is improvement that needs to be made and every weekend that is evident,” said head coach Russell Brock. “This weekend was extra important for that feedback because you’re playing against the teams that matter most in the landscape of our sport.”

The Tigers showed great fight in the sand Sunday, rebounding after dropping two tightly contested matchups Saturday at No. 4 UCLA.

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“I think that that’s the character of our team,” said Brock. “We played better today against a team that is really strong and deep. I think we still left a bit on the table, but I’m glad it’s in the middle of the season and not in Gulf Shores in May.”

No. 3 LSU and No. 2 FSU both made the journey from the East to LA this weekend and both went 1-1 against No. 1 USC and 0-2 against No. 4 UCLA.

“Clearly we knew it was going to be tight matches across the board in every round this weekend,” said Brock. “That’s what we expected that every match on every court was going to be tight and it was going to be really good volleyball played at a really high level.”

Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss remained undefeated, taking down future Olympian Tina Graudina and All-American Sammy Slater in two battles on Court 1. They are the only undefeated Court 1 pair remaining in the nation.

In the first match at Merle Norman Stadium, the Tigers started by splitting matches on Courts 4 and 5. Olivia Ordonez and Kahlee York came close in the first set on Court 5, but ultimately fell, 23-21, before dropping the second set, 21-13. Jess Lansman and Sydney Moore played great beach volleyball on Court 4, winning both sets 21-19 to even the overall match at one.

Claire Coppola and Kelli Greene-Agnew fell on Court 2 in straight sets, 21-18 and 21-13. Ashlyn Rasnick-Popeand Toni Rodriguez picked up Court 3 though, 21-18 and 21-13, to once again even the match.

All eyes turned to Court 1 where Kloth and Nuss won the first set, 21-12, but dropped the second, 21-19, to force a third. The third set was back and forth and neither pair could create much separation, but ultimately the Tigers came out on top, 15-13, to give No. 3 LSU the victory over No. 1 USC.

The second match began nearly 30 minutes after Kloth and Nuss clinched the first match. Lansman and Moore were unable to win back-to-back matches on Court 4 and fell in the second match, 21-17 and 21-14.

On Court 5, Ordonez and York fell in the first set in a heated battle, 27-25, but responded 21-14 in the second to force a third. The pair from LSU could not clinch and fell, 15-10, as sisters Audrey and Nicole Nourse remained perfect on the season.

Kloth and Nuss made quicker work in the second set, taking down Graudina and Slater in straight sets, 24-22 and 21-15. Both Courts 2 and 3 needed three sets to be decided.

Coppola and Greene-Agnew lost the first set on Court 2, 21-12, but took 21-17 in the second set. They ultimately dropped the third set, 15-11, as USC clinched the second match. Moments later Rasnick-Pope and Rodrgiez finished on Court 3. The LSU duo won the first set, 21-18, before USC took the second, 21-15. Rasnick-Pope and Rodriguez prevailed in the third set, 15-10, but USC took the overall match, 3-2.


No. 3 LSU def. No. 1 USC, 3-2       

1. Taryn KLOTH/Kristen NUSS (LSU) def. Tina GRAUDINA/Sammy SLATER (USC); 21-12, 19-21, 15-13

2. Hailey HARWARD/Megan KRAFT (USC) def. Claire COPPOLA/Kelli GREEN-AGNEW (LSU); 21-15, 21-18

3. Ashlyn RASNICK-POPE/Toni RODRIGUEZ (LSU) def. Mollie EBERTIN/Haley HALLGREN (USC); 21-18, 21-13

4. Jess LANSMAN/Sydney MOORE (LSU) def. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC); 21-19, 21-19

5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Olivia ORDONEZ/Kahlee YORK (LSU); 23-21, 21-13

Exh. Paige DREEUWS/Maja KAISER (USC) vs. Lara BOOS/Ellie SHANK (LSU); 15-21, 22-20


No. 1 USC def. No. 3 LSU, 3-2

1. Taryn KLOTH/Kristen NUSS (LSU) def. Tina GRAUDINA/Sammy SLATER (USC); 24-22, 21-15

2. Hailey HARWARD/Megan KRAFT (USC) def. Claire COPPOLA/Kelli GREEN-AGNEW (LSU); 21-12, 17-21, 15-11

3. Ashlyn RASNICK-POPE/Toni RODRIGUEZ (LSU) def. Paige DREEUWS/Haley HALLGREN (USC); 21-18, 15-21, 15-10

4. Joy DENNIS/Delaynie MAPLE (USC) def. Jess LANSMAN/Sydney MOORE (LSU); 21-17, 21-14

5. Audrey NOURSE/Nicole NOURSE (USC) def. Olivia ORDONEZ/Kahlee YORK (LSU); 27-25, 14-21, 15-10

Exh. Reilly ALLRED/Grace SEITS (LSU) def. Maja KAISER/Josannah VAZQUEZ (USC); 23-21, 21-15