Sara Hughes

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Sara Hughes
20170731 Beach Volleyball WM Vienna 5465.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  United States
Born (1995-02-14) February 14, 1995 (age 23)[1]
Long Beach, California[2]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Beach volleyball information
Current teammate
Years Teammate
2018- Summer Ross[3]
Previous teammates
Years Teammate
2013-18 Kelly Claes

Sara Elizabeth Hughes[2] (born February 14, 1995) is an American professional beach volleyball player.

Early life[edit]

Hughes grew up in Costa Mesa, California. When she was 8, she began her beach volleyball training in Huntington Beach under local youth coach Bill Lovelace.[4][5] She grew up near her childhood idol Misty May-Treanor and would watch, and sometimes join, May-Treanor's training sessions.[6][7] She played indoor volleyball for Mater Dei High School and was named the Orange County indoor player of the year as a senior.[5][6]


Hughes played beach volleyball for the USC Trojans and graduated in 2017 with a degree in business administration.[8] She led the Trojans to consecutive NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in 2016 and 2017.[9][10] With her partner Kelly Claes, Hughes won 103 consecutive collegiate matches between her sophomore and senior years, setting an NCAA record.[11][12] The duo have an overall 147-4 win-loss collegiate record.[13]


Hughes and longtime partner Kelly Claes first competed together in the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships. The pair continued playing together through college and then on the professional beach volleyball circuit upon graduating from college in 2017.[13] In July 2017, Hughes and Claes came in third at the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, California, beating Germany's Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig in the bronze-medal match.[14] In September 2017, Hughes and Claes won their first Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) title at the Chicago Open, becoming the youngest pair to win an AVP tournament.[13][15]

Hughes turned down a beach volleyball partnership with three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2017.[10] In 2018, Hughes left her previous partner Claes to team up with Summer Ross,[3] who she previously played with in the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships.[16]




  • FIVB Rookie of the Year: 2017[18]
  •'s Rookie of the Year: 2017[19]
  • LA Sports Awards' Sportswomen of the Year: 2017 (with Kelly Claes)[20]


  1. ^ a b "AVP Athletes: Sara Hughes". Association of Volleyball Professionals. Retrieved October 8, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "2017 USC Beach Volleyball Roster: Sara Hughes". Retrieved October 8, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Mewhirter, Travis (March 12, 2018). "Beach shakeup: Sara Hughes to partner with Summer Ross". 
  4. ^ Lev, Michael (May 13, 2015). "Sara Hughes, Kelly Claes get it together for USC sand volleyball team". Orange County Register. 
  5. ^ a b Faulkner, Barry (August 8, 2013). "Beach Volleyball: Hughes next in line". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ a b Faulkner, Barry (June 30, 2016). "Beach Volleyball: Hughes taking flight". Daily Pilot. Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Shultz, Alex (May 2017). "Sara Hughes & Kelly Claes: Set to Become The Next Superstars of Beach Volleyball". Orange Coast. 
  8. ^ "American Collegiate Champion Hughes Breaks Through With Claes". Fédération Internationale de Volleyball. September 13, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Beach volleyball championship: USC wins back-to-back NCAA titles in 3-2 win over Pepperdine". May 7, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Rubinroit, Seth (July 31, 2017). "The beach volleyball player who turned down Kerri Walsh Jennings". NBC Sports. 
  11. ^ Bolch, Ben (May 12, 2017). "USC beach volleyball standouts Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes have post-graduation sights set on Olympics". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Hawthorne, Jonathan (May 4, 2017). "NCAA beach volleyball pioneers Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes look to finish what they started". ESPN. 
  13. ^ a b c Villa, Walter (March 2, 2018). "This duo could be the next 'Golden Girls' of beach volleyball. And they are in town". Miami Herald. 
  14. ^ Kaplon, Megan (July 15, 2017). "Biggest Finish To Date For Kelly Claes And Sara Hughes". FloVolleyball. 
  15. ^ DeMarque, Carly (September 3, 2017). "Claes/Hughes Become Youngest Pair to Win AVP Event At Chicago Finals". 
  16. ^ "Summer and Hughes to team up". Beach Volleyball Major Series. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  17. ^ "American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Collegiate Beach All-America History (through 2017 season)" (PDF). American Volleyball Coaches Association. Retrieved October 15, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Ludwig Voted World Tour's Most Outstanding Player". September 5, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Dalhausser, Ross dominate All-Pro Beach Awards". October 14, 2017. 
  20. ^ "LA Sports Awards: USC beach volleyball standouts Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes named 2017 Sportswomen of the Year". Fox Sports. December 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
 Eduarda Lisboa (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Top Rookie"
Succeeded by