Saturday, 3 June 2023

NCAA Beach Volleyball

Top-Seeded UCLA Advances to NCAA Championship

Top-Seeded UCLA Advances to NCAA Championship

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GULF SHORES, Ala. — No. 1 UCLA (40-3) has advanced to the NCAA Championship dual with a 3-0 win over No. 4 Florida State (32-9) on Saturday afternoon in the Semifinals of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship at Gulf Beach Place. UCLA improved to 14-8 all-time against the Seminoles. The Bruins avenged their loss to FSU in the contender’s bracket final from a year ago.

Graduate student Marlie Monserez and sophomore Jessie Smith put the Bruins on the board first with a 21-14, 21-16 win on court four over Florida State’s Audrey Koenig and Caitlin Moon.

UCLA’s court one pair of senior Lexy Denaburg and freshman Maggie Boyd made it 2-0 with a 21-18, 24-22 win over Maddie Anderson and Paige Kalkhoff.

The Bruins’ graduate student Abby Van Winkle and junior Peri Brennan clinched the victory with a 21-14, 21-18 win on court two over the Seminoles’ Anna Long and Jordan Polo.

Graduate student Jaden Whitmarsh and senior Devon Newberry were leading 21-17, 22-22 on court five over Alexis Durish and Makenna Wolfe when time was called.

Graduate student Haley Hallgren and senior Rileigh Powers were trailing 19-21, 20-17 on court three to FSU’s Raelyn White and Morgan Chacon when the final horn sounded.

UCLA will face the two-time defending NCAA Champion No. 3 USC (31-5) in the title match at 11:00 p.m. CT/9:00 a.m. PT today on ESPN. The Bruins are 3-1 against the Trojans this year. USC won the first meeting (Mar. 5) at USC, 3-2, but the Bruins defeated USC, 3-2, at the Center of Effort Challenge title match (Apr. 15), then won 4-1 on Senior Day at Mapes Beach (Apr. 20), and then swept the Trojans, 3-0, in the Pac-12 Championship Contender’s Bracket Semifinal (Apr. 28).

NOTES: UCLA has 25 sweeps on the year (five at the Pac-12 Championship and two at the NCAA Championship), which is the most in program history (old record was 23 by the 2019 NCAA Championship squad) … Abby Van Winkle, the UCLA all-time career leader in wins, now has 128 … the Bruins improved to 14-8 all-time against the Seminoles … Lexy Denaburg posted her 99th career victory against Florida State … UCLA’s 40 wins so far this season ties the UCLA, Pac-12, and NCAA record set by the 2018 NCAA Championship squad (40-4).

No. 1 UCLA def. No. 4 Florida…

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