This morning, after they fell behind 0-2 to LSU, Southern Cal came back and won each of pairs one, two, and three to defeat the Tigers, 3-2, and advance to the National Championship Dual against the Bruins.
That sets up what should be an epic battle for the national championship.
The Bruins won the first two of five meetings between these teams this season. The first meeting was in February when the teams met at Southern Cal. The Bruins won this match by winning on courts two, four and five. But, only courts one and two feature the same pairs for the Bruins as we’ll see today.
The second meeting came just over a month ago on April 3 at Sunset Rec. The Bruins won this match with nearly the same lineup that we’ll see today. The McNamaras won in two sets on court one as did Lily Justine and Sarah Sponcil on court two and Zana Muno and Abby Van Winkle on court three. Over on court four, Savvy Simo was paired with Lea Monkhouse, who I believe will be required to remain out of the lineup today after falling ill on Friday. This pair was actually the first pair to finish. The only pair to lose in this match was Izzy Carey and Lindsey Sparks on court five. They won their first set and dropped two close sets to lose to the Trojans.
Then, suddenly, the momentum shifted.
Just four days after that 4-1 win at home, Southern Cal beat UCLA for the first time, 3-2, In this match, the Trojans won on courts one and two while the Bruins won on courts four and five. Southern Cal then won the match by winning on court three in three sets.
At the Pac-12 Tournament, Southern Cal was the host and the Trojans won the first of two meetings, 3-2. In this match, the Bruins won on court five, lost on court four, and won on court two. Needing to win on just one of the final two courts, UCLA was unable to close out the match and lost on both court three and court one.
In the Pac-12 Championship match, UCLA won on courts five and four before losing on courts three, one and two to fall, 3-2.
The three losses to Southern Cal cost the Bruins the number one seed heading into this weekend’s tournament, but everything worked itself out for UCLA.
The Bruins clearly had a better day on Saturday than they did on Friday. Now, the question is: Can they repeat yesterday’s success today?
If they can, UCLA should capture the school’s 117th NCAA title. If they look more like the team which almost lost to Hawai’i on Friday, then it would be the worst of all possible outcomes because, not only would the Bruins have failed to defend their national championship, but they would be dethroned by their crosstown rivals.
Here’s to hoping that the ladies remember that today’s opponent is “just $c.”
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Southern Cal Trojans NCAA Beach Volleyball national championship open thread.
Go Bruins!!! Beat $c!!! Bring home NC #117!!!