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Beat SC! #2 UCLA Aims to Upset #1 USC in Pac-12 Tournament Semifinal

The Bruins beat Washington and #8 Arizona yesterday to advance to today's Pac-12 Tournament winners bracket semifinal against the Trojans.


#2 UCLA Beach Volleyball (28-3)

Opponent 1: #1 Southern Cal (32-0)

When: 9:00 AM PT, Friday, April 28, 2017

Opponent 2: TBD


Where: Arizona Sand Volleyball Courts, Tucson, AZ

Video: Pac-12 Networks

Official Match Preview

The #2 Bruins and #1 Trojans have already played twice this season. On both occasions, the Bruins came up short. Today UCLA will get a third chance to hand Southern Cal its first loss of 2017 on day 2 of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Both the Bruins and Trojans advanced comfortably through the first two rounds of the tournament. UCLA beat Washington 4-1 in the first round with the Huskies only point coming on court 2 where senior Kamila Tan and freshman Madi Yeomans fell in three sets. The Bruins then defeated #8 Arizona with Tan/Yeomans earning a narrow victory on court 2 and the freshman pair of Lily Justine and Savvy Simo losing on court 5.

The Bruins' other pairs (McNamara/McNamara, Van Winden/Zappia, Carey/Anderson) won their matchups in straight sets.

Southern Cal swept its first and second round matches, winning every set on every court. That level of dominance isn't surprising given that the Trojans are the reigning national champions, the top-ranked team in the nation, and have a 62-match winning streak.

Having watched Southern Cal play a few times this season, I can say that they aren't unbeatable, but the Bruins will have to play their best match of the season to have a shot at the upset. That almost certainly means that the McNamara twins will have to find a way to defeat USC's top team of Kelly Claes and Sarah Hughes. Seniors Claes and Hughes are 127-4 in the past three seasons as a duo.

Whichever team wins will advance to the tournament championship at 1 PM. The loser will drop into the contenders bracket semifinal which is scheduled for 11:30 AM. Either way, it's very likely that the Bruins and Trojans will play more than once today.