STANFORD, Calif. – Utah Beach Volleyball picked up its first win at the Pac-12 Championships since 2018, defeating Oregon in the opening round on Wednesday. The Utes moved on to face top-ranked UCLA and fell to the Bruins to close out the first day of action at the Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium.
Utah started the Pac-12 Championship against Oregon for the fifth year in a row on Wednesday. The third and fifth pairs got the match started as both of the Ute pairs were able to pick up a win in the first set. On court three, Grace Andrews and Chloe Narancich maintained a lead in the second set and after leading 15-14, the duo jumped out to a late 19-16 win and later took the 21-18 victory for Utah’s first dual point.
Azure McOmber ad Sonja Wessel dropped their second set and narrowly trailed in the start of the third set. McOmber and Wessel went on a quick run to pull ahead 7-4, and took control the rest of the way to win 15-10 in the third set and give Utah the 2-0 lead as the rest of the courts began to get underway.
Needing just one more win to clinch the match, Utah’s top pair of Amaya Messier and Katie McAlister went to work on court one and picked up a competitive 21-19 victory in the first set. Meanwhile, Oregon managed to take a first-set win on court two and four to put pressure on the Utes. Messier and McAlister dropped another close set 21-19, forcing the duo to play a third set with the match on the line.
Oregon got on the board with a 21-16, 21-18 win on court two after holding off Bella Vezzani and Abby Karich’s late rally efforts in the second set, while the Ducks on court four also had control of their second set. Messier and McAlister trailed 12-8 in the third set, but picked up steam late. After a timeout where Oregon led 12-10, Messier and McAlister continued their run of points and later went on to win a dramatic 15-13 third set to clinch the 3-1 victory for Utah.
Moving on in the winner’s bracket, Utah was set to face the nation’s top-ranked team in the UCLA Bruins. The 3s and 5s began the match once again for the Utes, but the Bruins quickly jumped ahead in the first sets on both courts. Utah’s pairs couldn’t overcome the UCLA duos and fell on each court, trailing the match 2-0.
Messier and McAlister battled UCLA’s top duo in a competitive match where they led 9-8 early on….
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