Here at Bruins Nation, we attempt to provide coverage of as many UCLA sports programs as we possibly can.
Unfortunately, we sometimes have to make some decisions as to which sports we’re just unable to cover on a regular basis and beach volleyball is one program we haven’t been able to cover at all this season.
Yet, the Bruin beach volleyball team has marched through their season and represents one of this spring’s best chances to win another national championship, considering that the team is currently ranked #1 in the nation for the third consecutive week with just this afternoon’s contest remaining in the regular season.
After starting off 5-3, with losses to Hawai’i, Southern Cal and Pepperdine, the Bruins have won 25 matches in a row.
A large part of that success has to do with the Megan and Nicole McNamara. The twins, who hail from Vancouver, Canada, are 27-8 this year and are the Bruins’ pair on court one. They have won 20 of their last 21 matches.
Meanwhile, on court two, UCLA features a familiar name. Sarah Sponcil, who also plays for the UCLA Women’s Volleyball team is paired with sophomor Lily Justine. This duo has won 10 straight matches and are 26-7 this season.
Court three has seen UCLA pair Savvy Simo with her women’s volleyball teammate Zana Muno. This duo was moved to court three from court four about a month ago and they’ve gone 18-2 since the upgrade, but Muno was injured during the Stanford West Coast Classic and it remains to be seen if she will be healthy enough to play today. If not, look for Mac May to be paired with Simo as she was against Pacific and Stanford.
If Muno is healthy, look for Head Coach Stein Metzger to pair May with Elise Zappia on court four, but, if Muno is still hurt, expect Madi Yeomans to get the pairing with Zappia since the pair won both of their matches together a few weeks ago.
Rounding out the starting lineup on court five should be Izzy Carey and Megan Muret. Carey and Muret are 24-5 overall, which is UCLA’s best overall record on the team.
Long Beach State is coming off a loss to Southern Cal on Tuesday. Prior to Tuesday’s loss, the 49ers had won five matches in a row including two against Utah since they lost to the Bruins on April 4th.
When the Bruins faced the 49ers in Westwood, UCLA swept the match, 5-0. In that match, Long Beach State won only one set with their only set win coming on court two against Sponcil and Justine.
Today’s match should prove to be a good tune-up for UCLA heading into next weekend’s Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships.