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Beach Volleyball Champs Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes of USC selected 2017 Sportswomen of the Year

Collegiate beach volleyball champions Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes of USC have been selected 2017 Sportswomen of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council.

Claes (pronounced CLAYS) and Hughes will be honored at the 13th Annual LA Sports Awards, to be held on Tuesday, February 6 at The Beverly Hilton.

Last May, the elite student-athletes helped the Trojans capture a third consecutive national team title by defeating Pepperdine in the final of the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Claes and Hughes were honored as the No. 1 pair on the NCAA All-Tournament team.

A week later the unstoppable duo won the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Pairs Championship at the Hermosa Beach Pier.

The most dominant duo in the history of college beach volleyball and with the potential to be the future of American women’s beach teams, the pair finished their 2017 senior seasons at USC with a 55-1 overall record.

The Orange County natives have since graduated college and now compete on the professional circuit. In September, they became the youngest team ever to win an AVP tournament when they captured the season-ending AVP Championships in Chicago, one of four AVP Top 10 finishes they had in 2017. They also had 4 Top 10 finishes in international FIVB events and Hughes was named the FIVB Rookie of the Year.

The LA Sports Awards are presented annually by the Sports Council to celebrate the greatest moments of the year in sports in the Los Angeles/Orange County area.

The ceremony also will feature the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement award to Bob Miller, plus presentations to the Sportsman Coach, and Sports Executive of the Year, and a countdown of 2017's Top Ten moments. The awards banquet will be televised on Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket (air dates TBA).

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