Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes capped off their USC careers with a national title and the #1 rank in NCAA beach volleyball and have now been named the 2017 Sportswomen of the Year by the LA Sports Awards.
The pair will be honored at the 13th Annual LA Sports Awards that will take place on Tuesday, February 6 at The Beverly Hilton.
Claes/Hughes dominated the sand during the collegiate careers, helping the Trojans to their third consecutive national team title as they defeated Pepperdine at the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama in May. In the end of season awards, the duo was honored as the #1 pairing on the NCAA All-Tournament team. They followed up that performance with a USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Pairs title at the Hermosa Beach Pier.
Following their collegiate careers, they moved straight into professional volleyball by joining both the AVP Tour and the FIVB World Tour, looking to continue their success internationally and on the domestic circuit. Their first tournament as professionals was a four-star World Tour event in Rio de Janeiro. In all, the pairing finished in the top-10 four times in the FIVB World Tour and ended the AVP Tour as the youngest champions at the event in Chicago along with four top-10 finishes in that league.
At the end of the FIVB season, Hughes was named as the FIVB Rookie of the Year.
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