Wednesday, 7 June 2023

International Volleyball

NCAA beach volleyball: Rain, Stanford scores lone upset, more rain

NCAA beach volleyball: Rain, Stanford scores lone upset, more rain

Long Beach State’s Maria Molina has to focus through the rain on this dig against Cal/Matt Smith photo

GULF SHORES, Alabama — The NCAA’s National College Beach Volleyball Championship is never boring. 

If it’s not the weather, it’s the matches.

Neither disappointed here Friday.

There was rain that delayed the action for an hour, 40 minutes, some serious wind that was quite a factor all day, a minor upset, and, as you would expect, some wonderful action in the single-elimination tournament.

And then weather again, which kept 11th-seeded Hawai’i and No. 6 Loyola Marymount from playing their match.

Now, Hawai’i-LMU will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by:

Cal’s Alex Young-Gomez is soaked and ready to serve/Matt Smith photo

— No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 8 Cal. UCLA swept Cal just a week ago in their only meeting this season.

— No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 5 LSU. FSU beat LSU 3-2 on two occasions in March and 4-1 in early April, but LSU won 3-1 last week in the CCSA tournament.

— No. 2 TCU vs. No. 10 Stanford. This will be the first meeting between the teams.

— No. 3 USC vs. Hawai’i-LMU winner. The last match of Friday got held up 

The semifinals follow with the championship match on Sunday.

The tournament started just after 9 a.m. Friday, but by then it was overcast and bad weather was imminent. By the time UCLA finished sweeping Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, everyone was pretty wet.

UCLA coach Stein Metzger was thrilled not only to win and win quickly, but also beat the weather. 

“No question,” he said. “We get to sit back and other people have to wonder, ‘When am I up? Am I up? What’s the day gonna look like?’ The longer you sit around the more it kind of turns around in your mind about what’s gonna happen in the game.

“To be able to get up and to and finish that match was great for us.”

UCLA clinched with victories on No. 1 (Lexy Denaburg-Maggie Boyd) No. 2 (Abbie Van Winkle-Peri Brennan) and No. 4 (Marlie Monserez-Jess Smith) and  in about 40 minutes.

UCLA’s Jade Whitmarshx/Mark Rigney photo

“You never know how your team is going to come out for the first match,” Metzger said. “I thought they took care of business. We certainly didn’t take that team lightly. That team had a good match yesterday and we came out up and ready to rock and roll and people played free, which is you want to see.”

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, which won the Southland Conference’s automatic bid, won a…

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