While the UCLA Men’s Volleyball team was advancing to the NCAA Championship match last night, the UCLA Beach Volleyball team was preparing to start their own journey which, hopefully, will end with their own NCAA Championship.
That journey begins this morning at 7 am PT when the Bruins face the Florida International Panthers in the opening match of the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament in Gulf Shores, AL. Because this is a double elimination tournament, it will continue with a second game either at 1 pm PT if they beat FIU or at 10 am PT if they should lose.
As long as they stay in the winner’s bracket, UCLA will only have to play one game tomorrow and Sunday. If they should drop into the loser’s bracket, they will have to play twice Saturday and twice Sunday to make it to the title match.
Regardless of whether or not you can watch the tournament matches on TV, you may want to opt for watching them on WatchESPN.com instead. That’s because ESPN is offering the option to watch the action on a specific court online instead of bouncing between courts as I’m sure they will do with the TV broadcasts. This will allow you to focus in on the McNamara twins on Court 1 if you like or on any of UCLA’s four other pairs like Lily Justine and Sarah Sponcil or Savvy Simo and Madi Yeomans.
The Bruins enter this morning’s match on a rather amazing 30 match winning streak. They haven’t lost since March 3rd when they dropped a pair of matches to Southern Cal and Pepperdine at Zuma Beach. Their only other loss of the season came against Hawai’i in Honolulu on the first day of the season.
There’s no reason to believe that the Bruins won’t continue their winning ways and bring home a national championship. Really, the only question that exists in my mind is whether it will be #116 or #117.
But, of course, that depends on whether the men’s volleyball team beats Long Beach State tomorrow night.
This is your NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament Day 1 open thread.
Go Bruins!! Bring a trophy home!