Top-seeded UCLA advanced to Sunday’s championship dual of the NCAA beach volleyball championship with a 3-0 victory over fifth-seeded Loyola Marymount.
The Bruins will face second-seeded USC (29-4) in the championship dual, set to begin at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The match will be televised by ESPN2. Live streams from individual courts will be available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
UCLA’s victory in Sunday’s elimination bracket final was its third straight in the modified double-elimination tournament following Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Lions that ended a 12-match winning streak over LMU that began in 2015.
The Bruins defeated Cal Poly, 3-0, and LSU, 3-2, on Saturday.
UCLA (32-4) won in straight sets in both of the first two matches to be completed against Loyola Marymount (31-8).
Lindsey Sparks and Abby Van Winkle defeated Jessie Prichard and Savannah Slattery, 21-17, 21-18 on Court 3. Seconds later, freshmen Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh completed a 21-16, 21-17 victory over Emma Doud and Madi Firnett on Court 5.
The Bruins were assured of the victory when graduate student Savvy Simo and freshman Lexy Denaburg defeated Iya Lindahl and Megan Rice, 21-19, 21-12 on Court 1
The Lions were making their first appearance in the NCAA beach volleyball championship. The championship has been held annually since 2016, except in 2020 when it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Each edition of the championship has been held in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The match between USC and UCLA will be the sixth of the season between the crosstown rivals. The Trojans lead the series, 3-2, but the Bruins won the two most recent meetings, both May 1 in the Pac-12 Championship.
USC will be playing in the championship dual of the NCAA beach volleyball championship for the fourth time in the five years it has been held. The Trojans were the 2016 and 2017 champion, runner-up to UCLA in 2019 and lost to the eventual champion Bruins in an elimination bracket semifinal in 2018.
USC advanced to the 2021 championship dual with a 3-1 victory over LMU in the winner’s bracket final Saturday.
Trojans took a 1-0 lead when Julia Scoles and Sammy Slater were 24-22, 21-14 winners over Selina Marolf and Reka Orsi Toth on Court 2.
The Lions got their only victory of the duel when Prichard and Slattery defeated Haley Hallgren and Hailey Harward, 22-20, 21-19, on Court 3.
Twins Audrey Nourse and Nicole Nourse defeated Doud and Firnett, 21-18, 21-19, on Court 5 to give USC a 2-1 lead. The Trojans clinched the match seconds later when Tina Graudina and Megan Kraft completed a 21-14, 21-18 victory over Iya Lindahl and Megan Rice on Court 1.
The other match was tied when play was suspended. USC’s Joy Dennis and Delaynie Maple defeated LMU’s Darby Dunn and Jacinda Ramirez, 27-25, in the first set on Court 4, but lost the second, 24-22. The score was tied, 7-7, was play was suspended.
The Trojans are 23-0 against the Lions, including a 4-1 victory April 16.
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