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UCLA Beach Volleyball Tames the Tigers, Faces the Waves in Round 2

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After a slow start this morning, the Bruins fought back to claim a 3-0 victory over LSU in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. This afternoon, #2 UCLA will battle #3 Pepperdine for the right to advance to the semifinal to play the winner of Southern Cal vs. Hawai'i.

@UCLABeachVB

#2 UCLA Beach Volleyball (30-4)

Round 1 Opponent: #3 Pepperdine (25-3)

When: 2:00 PM PT, Friday, May 5, 2017

Where: Gulf Shores Public Beach, Gulf Shores, AL

Video: NCAA Live Stream

Official Match Preview | NCAA Tournament Bracket

The Bruins started slow but finished fast in defeating LSU in an early morning first round NCAA Tournament match. UCLA lost three of the first five opening sets, including first set losses by the McNamaras on court 1, Zappia/Van Winden on court 3, and Anderson/Cary on court 4. When the Bruins are behind on courts 1, 3 & 4, they're generally in a lot of trouble.

But UCLA came out strong in the second frames on each of those courts. Megan and Nicole McNamara handily won the second set on court 1 (21-11), Zappia/Van Winden won comfortably on court 3 (21-16), and Jordan Anderson & Izzy Carey did enough on court 4 (21-18).

Meanwhile, Lily Justine and Savvy Simo wrapped up a two-set victory on court 5 (21-18, 21-16) to give UCLA its first point. And when the McNamara twins grabbed a 15-10 win in set 3, the Bruins were up 2-0. Kamila Tan and Madi Yeomans then nailed down a three-set victory on court 2 to give UCLA a 3-0 victory.

Up next is #3 Pepperdine. The Waves advanced to the second round of the winners bracket with a 3-0 win over #6 Long Beach State.

UCLA and Pepperdine faced each other on the first weekend of the season. The Waves got the best of the Bruins that day, and the 3-2 final scoreline shows how close the match was. However, given that Coach Metzger is using three different partnerships now than he used back in March, the Bruins should fare better this time around.

If the Bruins beat Pepperdine, they'll be back in action tomorrow against the winner of Southern Cal vs. Hawai'i; if they lose, they'll drop into the "elimination bracket" and have to fight their way through several additional rounds to get to the final.

UCLA should be able to get past Pepperdine this afternoon though it will be a tough match. The Bruins have grown a lot as a team this season and are peaking at exactly the right time.

Go BRUINS!