While the Women of Troy have struggled to win the team national championship each of the past two seasons, the No. 1 pair of Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes dominated the field in the doubles tournament earlier this month in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
For Kirby Burnham, the two-time All-American and reigning national champion, the Newport, Calif. native just completed quite the prolific career not only on the sand but also as a two-year starter on the Indoor Women's Volleyball team.
Following in the footsteps of her sports hero and Trojan April Ross, Burnham carried the No. 1 pairs tandem along with rising freshman sensation Sara Hughes to a near perfect record on the sand, both at home and on the road.
USC head coach Anna Collier was named the 2014 AVCA National Coach of the Year, while Burnham and Hughes each were named AVCA All-American first team performers. Last year, Burnham and Robinson were USC’s first-ever women’s sand volleyball All-Americans and Burnham now becomes the program’s first two-time All-American.
In the final, Burnham’s huge block and Hughes’ uncanny digs thwarted any offense Cook and Tiegs might have had. On offense, the USC duo mixed thundering kills with precision cut shots throughout the match.
#4 Kirby Burnham/Sara Hughes (USC1) def. #3 Brittany Tiegs/Karissa Cook (HAW1) 21-15, 21-13. That dominant final supplied USC Sand Volleyball with a prominent championship they desperately wanted to claim this season.