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UCLA Beach Volleyball Falls to Southern Cal in Title Match
The Bruins couldn't get past a very good Trojan squad.
Bruin fans will have to wait for NC #120. The UCLA beach volleyball team fell to Southern Cal today, 3-1, in the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship Dual, ending the Bruins’ hopes for a threepeat.
The Championship Dual began with Courts Three and Five playing first. Southern Cal picked up the first point when Harper Hallgren and Hailey Harward defeated Abby Van Winkle and Lindsey Sparks in straight sets, 21-14, 21-17.
The Bruins bounced back on Court Five where Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh beat Audrey and Nicole Nourse, 21-13, in the first set. While the Bruins won the second set, the set was extended until UCLA had a two-point lead for a 26-24 final.
With the dual now tied one point each, play began on Courts One, Two and Four. Southern Cal picked up their second point of the dual when Tina Graudina and Megan Kraft defeated UCLA’s Savvy Simo and Lexy Denaburg in straight sets, 21-16, 21-17.
That left the Bruins needing to win on the two remaining courts. UCLA had won the first set on Court Four where Megan Muret and Jacqueline Quade beat Joy Dennis and Delaynie Maple, 24-21, but Southern Cal took the second set, 21-16.
Meanwhile, over on Court Two, Julia Scoles and Sammy Slater took the first set from Lea Monkhouse and Devon Newberry, 26-24. In the second set, with the pairs on Court Four tied 4-4 in their third set, Scoles and Slater led the Bruins, 20-15. Then, an ace serve from Southern Cal which landed on the tape scored the dual-winning and championship-winning point for the Trojans.
While certainly disappointing for the Bruins, the Trojans certainly seemed to be the best team in beach volleyball over the course of the season. UCLA was unable to beat them in three regular season meetings and it wasn’t until the Bruins took two matches last weekend at the Pac-12 Championships last weekend that it seemed like UCLA could beat the Trojans.
The good news, if there is any, is that this year’s team is very young and will almost certainly be back again next year looking to take the title back to Westwood.