The USA’s Nicolette Martin and Terese Cannon, former USC teammates, won the Shenzhen International Festival in China in an all-USA finals against former Pepperdine teammates Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle. The invitational event, part of the Dapeng International Outdoor Carnival, featured teams from the USA, Canada and China.

“I’m so happy to be a part of the High Performance CBNT and beyond grateful for the training opportunities they provide such as these,” Cannon told USA Volleyball.

“Traveling to China for my first international tournament was such an awesome experience,” she said. “I have learned so much and met so many incredible people. The opportunity to travel, see a new culture and play the sport I love is something that I will cherish forever.”

The international competition was also Martin’s first.

“This was my first time representing the U.S. overseas,” Martin said. “It was such an honor to be able to compete with athletes from the other side of the world and embrace the Chinese culture. I think this trip has definitely better prepared me on my journey in pursuing professional beach volleyball.”

Tulane-Green Wave-Beach Volleyball-volleyball-NCAA beach volleyball
Tulane went 2-0 at the Green Wave Invitational/Tulane athletics

Green Wave Invitational: Tulane, Houston Baptist, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham participated in the fall pre-season tournament. The Green Wave defeated Houston Baptist 4-1 and swept UAB 5-0. Houston Baptist edged UAB 3-2.

“For nearly two months, our players have worked tirelessly to grow as a team and improve their skills, so it was particularly wonderful to see them enjoy a lot of success,” Tulane coach Wayne Holly said. “We were mentally sharp and physically strong throughout the day, and we played as well as we have all fall. I’m very proud of the people we have and the team we’re becoming.”

Court 1: Madeline Mertz/Anna Chin (Tulane) def. Saili Napolitano/Kenley Adams (UAB) – 21-12, 21-13
Court 2: Tarin Mergener/Ashley Delgado (Tulane) def. Tressa Buckland/Kaylee McClure (UAB) – 23-21, 21-7
Court 3: Rio Frohoff/Lan Nguyen (Tulane) def. Erin Bognar/Rachel Evans (UAB) – 21-12, 21-16
Court 4: Addison Hermstad/Gabriella Becerra (Tulane) def. Morgan Smith/Gabbi Moreno (UAB) – 21-12, 21-19
Court 5: Forfeited by UAB
Court 1: Tori Hinojosa/Kayla Armer (HBU) def. Saili Napolitano/Kenley Adams (UAB) def. – 21-17, 21-19
Court 2: Tressa Buckland/Kaylee McClure (UAB) def. Danielle Wheeler/Brennan Miller (HBU) def. – 23-21, 14-21, 15-11
Court 3: Kali Fluke/Meagan Carter (HBU) def. Erin Bognar/Rachel Evans (UAB) def. – 21-18, 21-19
Court 4: Morgan Smith/Gabbi Moreno (UAB) def. Jordyn Miller/Katya Silveira (HBU) def. – 22-20, 19-21, 15-8
Court 5: Forfeited by UAB
Court 1: Madeline Mertz/Anna Chin (Tulane) def. Tori Hinojosa/Kayla Armer (HBU) – 21-10, 21-13
Court 2: Tarin Mergener/Ashley Delgado (Tulane) def. Danielle Wheeler/Brennan Miller (HBU) – 21-13, 21-10
Court 3: Rio Frohoff/Lan Nguyen (Tulane) def. Jordyn Miller/Aeriel Horton (HBU) – 21-19, 21-14
Court 4: Addison Hermstad/Gabriella Becerra (Tulane) def. Kali Fluke/Katya Silveira (HBU) – 21-19, 21-16
Court 5: Meagan Carter/Aeriel Horton (HBU) def. Briana Correa/Kendyl Brennan (Tulane) – 16-21, 21-19, 15-12

Early signings:  South Carolina signed current Creighton setter Lydia Dimke and outside hitter Cadie Bates of Duke for the 2018 season, as well as 2018-19 recruits Jordan Smith and Abby Carroll.

“This class will continue to fit into and enhance what we’re been doing the last couple of years,” South Carolina coach Moritz Moritz said. ” … Cadie and Lydia have been major contributors at high-level programs, and we’re excited to bring their physical skill set and incredible leadership qualities to our program.

“Both of these young women should bring an instant impact to our program’s culture as well as our skill level on the sand.”

Pepperdine signed Rosie Ballo and Savana Greene for 2018-19. Ballo, a Laguna Niguel resident, played club for both the 949 and TStreet clubs, earning a bronze medal in 2017. Greene, a Punahou product, was ranked No. 1 in Hawai’i on the beach.

Hawai’i signed Tamarack Beach volleyball club Kylin Loker for the 2018-19 season. Loker finished first at the U18 GNBV Long Beach WSOBV as well as the CBVA U18 in Ocean Beach.

“We are very excited that Kylin will join an already talented roster,” Hawai’i coach Jeff Hall said. “She’s proven to be one of the top beach volleyball players in the country and works extremely hard at her craft.”

Cal signed Francesca Gettings for 2018-19. Gettings, 6-foot-2, is from Calabasas and played at the Elite Beach Volleyball Club.

“Frenchie is just an all-around delight to be around,” Cal coach Meagan Owusu said. “Physically, she will add to our size. She’s a blocking player that is relatively new to the game, so she definitely has a huge upside. But she will make an impact right away.”

Other signings include Emily Anderson, Lauren Weintraub and Tabitha Keever to Arizona State, Chloe McDaniels to Missouri State, and Jenna Johnson to Florida State.

Many programs have opted not to release national letter of intent signings yet, due to a variety of reasons, including waiting for class enrollment and compliance issues. Some colleges are also preferring to release their new recruiting classes together in the spring semester, so this is a small portion of the overall recruiting class.

Maddison McKibbin-AVP-Wilson-beach volleyball-Fear the Beard-San Francisco
Maddison McKibbin hits a jump serve at the AVP finals in San Francisco/Ed Chan,`

Maddison and Riley McKibbin named members of Wilson’s Advisory Staff: The McKibbin brothers added Wilson to their sponsor list, joining athletes like Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Jose Altuve.

“Growing up playing beach volleyball we’ve always known of the iconic AVP Wilson beach volleyball. It’s a huge honor to be chosen as one of their partners,” Maddison McKibbin said.

He was asked if their Wilson sponsorship was a tribute to Castaway, where Tom Hanks grew a McKibbin brothers-like beard after being stranded on a desert island and painted a face on a volleyball he subsequently called Wilson.

“I don’t think we got the partnership because we resemble Tom Hanks in Castaway,” Maddison said. “I don’t think they’re trying to relaunch their iconic ball from Castaway. I don’t think they’re related, but you’ll have to ask them.”

SANDCAST No. 3: This week’s SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter presented by Marriott Vacation Club Rentals features Kelly Claes, the former USC great who, along with partner Sara Hughes, won the AVP season-ending championships in Chicago and had a great international season. She talks about her first offseason and her training for next year.

Bruno Schmidt/Brazil

Gold-medalists Schmidt, Santos to partner in Itapema: With Alison Cerutti injured, Bruno Oscar Schmidt will play with Brazilian veteran Ricardo Santos in the third stop of the Brazilian Beach Volleyball tour in Itapema, Santa Catarina starting Friday.

The 31-year-old Schmidt has never played with the 42-year-old Santos, and paid tribute to him in a Swatch Major Series interview.

“When I started my career, Ricardo was an example and an inspiration to me,” Bruno said. “One of my first goals was to beat him for the first time. We’ve been rivals for a while and I had never had the chance to play with him, so this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. It’s a dream to be able to play with someone who means so much for our sport.”

USC Beach heals the Bay: The USC beach team volunteered after practice this past Saturday to pick up trash and assist in keeping the beaches clean near the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.

The team plans two additional clean ups, which will dedicate a portion of the beach to the USC beach team as part of the Adopt-A-Beach program.

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