HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. — Saint Mary's beach volleyball's Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund split their first two matches of pool play Thursday, positioning themselves to advance to the elimination round after the first day of the 2017 USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championship at Hermosa Beach.
Knudsen and Rund, seeded No. 12 in the 24-pair tournament, played their first two matches of pool play in the top-ranked Pool A Thursday morning. The SMC pair went three sets against UCLA's Jordan Anderson and Kamila Tan before being edged 20-22, 21-12, 13-15. Later in the morning, it swept Cal Poly's Hannah Hubbard and Emily Sonny for the second time this spring, 21-13, 21-17.
The Gaels duo is in second place in Pool A with a 1-1 record and 1.215 points ratio (points for versus points against). They will face top-seeded Claes and Hughes of national champion USC at 8 a.m. Friday to conclude pool play.
The top two teams in each of the six pools, as well as the four third-place teams with the highest points ratio, advance to Friday's single-elimination round. The single-elimination round begins at 12:10 p.m., with quarterfinals starting at 3 p.m. Semifinals and the championship are scheduled for Saturday.
Thursday's action pushed Knudsen and Rund's record on the year to 25-6. They are 1-1 against USC's top pair of Claes and Hughes. After dropping a close match to them on April 2, Knudsen and Rund ended Claes and Hughes' 113-match winning streak on April 8 with a three-set thriller in Manhattan Beach.
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