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USC alum (2017, bachelor’s degree in sociology) 

Placentia, CA (El Dorado HS) 


Sept. 18, 1995 


  • She helped USC to three straight national champs (2015 AVCA and 2016 and 2017 NCAA) 

  • She was an All-American first teamer in 2015, 2016 and 2017 

  • She was the 2016 and 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year 

  • She and partner Sara Hughes were the 2016 and 2017 Pac-12 Pair of Year, as well as the 2017 National Pair of Year 

  • They won a national-record 103 consecutive matches 

  • They went 44-3 in 2015, 48-0 in 2016 and 55-1 in 2017 

  • They won the 2015 AVCA and 2017 USAV National Pairs titles 

  • They were 2017 Los Angeles Sports Council Sportswomen of the Year 

  • The won the 2016 World University Game event 


  • In a unique Trojan-Bruin pairing, her current partner is UCLA alum Sarah Sponcil 

  • Claes (25) and Sponcil (24) are the youngest U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team ever 

  • They moved into position to make the Olympics in the penultimate FIVB qualifying tournament (May 29 in Sochi), knocking Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat from their long hold on the second USA spot (needing to medal to do so, Claes/Sponcil won their first FIVB World Tour event and along the way defeated for their first time in nine tries the top USA team of Ross and Alix Klineman) 

  • Since partnering, Claes and Sponcil have 25 Top 10 finishes in 29 FIVB and AVP events, winning 10 medals (1 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze) 

  • She and college partner Hughes became the youngest team to win an AVP event when they won the 2017 Chicago AVP tourney, a season when they had four AVP Top 10 finishes and four FIVB Top 10 finishes 

  • When Hughes decided to play with a different partner after the 2017 season, Claes played pro events with several players--including Ross and Walsh Jennings—before partnering with Sponcil in late 2018 (placing third at the FIVB Qinzhou tourney in their first event together) 


  • As a teenager, she fractured her spine and underwent a cardiac ablation to treat supraventricular tachycardia 

  • She is a self-proclaimed “geek” and likes video games, Comic Con, anime and Dungeons & Dragons 

  • She wore a Tokyo 2020 necklace while at USC 

  • She is instantly recognizable with her bright red hair 

  • Her father, Paul, played baseball at San Diego State 

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