UCLA’s Megan McNamara spikes the ball against Florida State at the NCAA tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Kamp Fender)
UCLA’s run at a national title ended Saturday morning as No. 4 Florida State handed the Bruins a 3-1 defeat in the contenders’ bracket at the NCAA beach volleyball tournament in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Against the Seminoles, Elise Zappia and Torrey Van Winden earned UCLA’s only dual point with a straight set win on court No. 3.
With the second seed, UCLA (30-6) mustered only one victory in the NCAA tournament. Head coach Stein Metzger called Pepperdine and Florida State “two freight trains” that ended UCLA’s best season in school history prematurely. In each of their two losses this weekend, the Bruins lost three of the five first sets and couldn’t recover from slow starts against top competition.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Metzger told Pac-12 Networks. “We’ve grinded all year long and we made great strides in the past two years. We just want to be in the conversation every year and i think we were this year.”
UCLA set school records in dual wins (30) with a 24-match winning streak this season.
A 3-1 loss to No. 3 Pepperdine knocked second-seeded UCLA into the losers’ bracket at the NCAA tournament on Friday in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The Bruins, who defeated No. 7 seed LSU 3-0 in the first round, will face No. 4 Florida State on Saturday at 11 a.m. PT to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. The match will be live streamed on NCAA.com.
UCLA (30-5) lost three of the five first sets against Pepperdine and got its only point in the dual match from Megan and Nicole McNamara, who won 21-16, 21-16 on court No. 1.
“Our team has remained confident all year long and we have time to regroup and prepare for tomorrow,” UCLA head coach Stein Metzger told reporters after the loss. “I’m sure FSU will come out with fire and it will be a good matchup. However, I’m more than confident in my team and their abilities and look forward to competing tomorrow.”
LSU and Hawai’i are in the other contenders’ bracket match, while No. 1 USC will face Pepperdine in the winners’ bracket final to advance to the championship match.
UCLA beach volleyball head coach Stein Metzger (left) and sophomore Megan McNamara will lead the Bruins into the NCAA tournament his weekend. (Photo by UCLA Athletics)
The UCLA beach volleyball team starts its championship chase Friday with the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Led by sophomore twins Megan and Nicole McNamara, the Bruins (29-4) face seventh-seeded LSU in the first round at 9 a.m. PT.
The McNamaras were voted to the All-Pac-12 first team with a 26-6 record as UCLA’s No. 1 pair this season. Head coach Stein Metzger was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
Kamila Tan and Madi Yeomans were named second-team All-Pac-12, while Torrey Van Winden was voted to the all-freshman team along with Yeomans.
No. 1 USC leads the tournament field. Three of UCLA’s four losses this year have come to the Trojans. No. 3 seed Pepperdine handed UCLA its other loss.
The NCAA tournament will be televised live on truTV on Friday and Saturday from 12-3 p.m. PT. The championship match will air on TBS on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT. Every match is also available to live stream on NCAA.com.
UCLA beach volleyball’s No. 1 pair, Megan and Nicole McNamara,earned All-American status Wednesday as the duo was named one of the top eight pairs in the country by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
They are the first-ever all-freshman pair to earn All-American honors, and the second and third beach volleyball All-Americans from UCLA. Kelly Reeves (2013) was the first UCLA beach All-American.
Beach volleyball finished as the third team in the nation, losing to Florida State in the final of the consolation bracket at the NCAA championships on Sunday. USC took the inaugural beach volleyball national championship with a 3-1 win over the Seminoles.
Softball dominated a rain-shortened series with Utah, winning Game 1 15-7 in five innings and winning Game 2 8-0 in six innings before Sunday’s finale was rained out. With a bye next week, the Bruins finish the regular season at 35-13-1 (16-5-1 Pac-12) and await their postseason destination, which will be announced May 15 in the NCAA Selection Show.
Baseball shook off a Friday loss to UC Irvine to win a three-game series against the Anteaters. The Bruins won 4-1 on Saturday and 5-1 on Sunday to clinch the series. UCLA had a midweek game against Long Beach State on Tuesday and won 11-10.