February 14, 1995
Costa Mesa, CA
5' 10"

Sara Hughes

Before turning pro in June 2017, Hughes competed in sand volleyball at Southern Cal after becoming the first high school player to declare that she will play sand volleyball exclusively in college. Her freshman season she won the AVCA National Championship with partner Kirby Burnham, finishing with a 42-4 match mark including 28 straight wins. Hughes was named AVCA All-American that season (2014). As a sophomore she again won the AVCA National Championship, playing with Kelly Claes. They finished 44-3, winning the last 25 matches of the season, and Hughes once again was named as an AVCA All-American. Hughes completed a perfect junior season, finishing 48-0 in matches and losing just one set with Claes.  They won the National Championship again and for the third straight year Hughes as named AVCA All-American. Hughes comes from a volleyball family, as her older brother Connor was a two-time NCAA Champion outside hitter at UC Irvine, and her older sister Lauren played volleyball at Fairfield. She is the daughter of Rory and Laura, a former volleyball player as well. A four-year letterwinner at Mater Dei High School as a setter and right side hitter, Hughes was chosen first-team all-league three times. In 2012 she was the All-Orange County Player of the Year and a Volleyball Magazine High School All-American second team.

Career Highlights

#1 ranked team in USA
#9 ranked team in the World
FIVB World Tour, Gold Medal, Moscow
FIVB World Tour, Bronze Medal, Portugal
FIVB World Tour, Bronze Medal, China
AVP Tour, New York City, 1st Place
AVP Tour, Hermosa Beach, 1st Place
AVP Tour, Chicago, 2nd Place
AVP Tour, Hawaii, 2nd Place
2017 FIVB World Tour Rookie of the Year
2017 AVP Chicago Open Championships, Gold
2017 World Series of Beach Volleyball, Bronze Medalist
Won the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championship with USC
AVCA All-American Honors for the fourth straight year
Hughes and Claes Named Pair of the Year
Made her official professional debut, post graduation, at the 2017 FIVB Rio 4 Star event, tying for fifth on May 20 with Kelly Claes
Won the first ever NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championship
Hughes sported an undefeated match record with partner Kelly Claes
AVCA All-American honors for the third straight year
Named to the inaugural Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
DiG Magazine National Player of the Year
Produced an impressive 48-0 overall record with a 36-0 mark in dual matches, dropping just one set all season
Pac-12 Pair of the Year with Claes
Named an AVCA All-American
Won the AVCA Pairs National Championship with partner Kelly Claes
Went 44-3 overall with Claes including a 19-0 mark in tournaments to win titles in the USC Tournament, the Queen of the Beach Challenge Gold Bracket, the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge Gold Bracket, and Pac-12 Invitational Gold
As a freshman, Hughes paired with Kirby Burnham to win the AVCA Pairs National Championship
Named AVCA All-American
Paired with Burnham the entire season, the duo set a new USC record with 42 wins and finished the season 42-4… went 21-4 at the top court in dual matches and was 21-0 in tournament matches
Won the USC Pairs Tournament (Mar. 15), the Rainbow Wahine Spring Challenge (Mar. 22), the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge (Apr. 13), and the Pac-12 Invitational (Apr. 20
Regarded as the top sand volleyball recruit in the 2013 class
Selected to the 2013 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 list and became first high school player to declare that she will only play sand volleyball collegiately
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