Before starting her competitive Beach Volleyball career, Candelas was a middle blocker at the University of Southern California and served as the captain of Mexico's Women's Volleyball National Team. She joined Mexico's Women's Volleyball National Team in 1997 at the age of 14.
Candelas was named the `Best Blocker' at the 1999 NORCECA in Mexico and the MVP of the NORCECA Tournament held in Havana in 2000. She was the `Best Blocker' at the 2002 Senior Pan America Cup held in Tijuana, Mexico, as she helped lead Mexico to a fourth-place tourney finish. On a local level, she competed with the state of Coahuila and led the team to four consecutive (1998-2001) national championships. In 2001 she earned MVP honors at Mexico's national tournament.
Candelas matriculated to USC in 2002, and became a full-time starter in 2003 when she was considered to be one of the two best middle blockers in NCAA women's Volleyball and helped lead her team to a NCAA championship. During the summer of 2003, she returned to the Mexican National Team and competed at the Pan-American Games in the Dominican Republic.
Candelas finished her USC career in 2005 with her third straight All-America and Pac-10 selections. At 6-foot-5, she is one of the four tallest players to ever play for USC - the group includes 6-5 All-American Cica Baccelli (1991-92), 6-5 Amber Oliver (1996-99) and 6-6 former All-American teammate Emily Adams. In the summer of 2005, she earned most valuable player honors for her Bameso club team at the 2005 U.S. Open Nationals (Women's Open Division) and at the NORCECA qualifying tournament. She also played with Mexican National Team, which qualified for the 2006 World Championships.
Candelas, who played in her first Beach Volleyball competition when she was 10, teamed with Paula Gentil of the University of Minnesota to win the first-ever United States Collegiate Beach Volleyball Tournament in 2006 at Reno, Nev.
Born in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, Candelas attended Preparatoria Luzac in Torreon and Colegio Ponceño in Puerto Rico. The daughter of Juan Antonio and Martha Ramírez, Candelas has two brothers (Jorge and Luis) and a sister (Martha). Her sister played collegiate basketball in Mexico at Tec de Monterrey. While at USC, Candelas was a communication major.