In a weekend tournament that featured both team competition and pair bracket play, one Bruin duo on the sand volleyball team stood out among the rest.
UCLA’s No. 1 pair of juniors, Meg Norton and Kelly Reeves, led the team throughout the weekend in both formats.
During Saturday’s team play, they were the only duo able to take undefeated Pepperdine to three sets, which they ultimately lost, 15-11.
They also swept their opponents from Santa Clara, as did each of the other four UCLA duos.
Overall in Saturday’s team competition, No. 6 UCLA went 1-2, dropping matches against Pepperdine and Hawaii after besting Santa Clara.
The day featured little surprise as, for the second time in a week, UCLA found itself unable to steal even a set from No. 1 Pepperdine. The team did, however, fall just one match short of upsetting No. 5 Hawai’i.
Sunday’s pair competition gave Norton and Reeves, as well as the duo of senior Bojana Todorovic and sophomore Karsta Lowe, another chance to shine.
Both teams finished third in their brackets, with Norton and Reeves competing in the gold bracket, featuring the top two teams from each school, and Todorovic and Lowe playing in the silver bracket against third and fourth ranked teams.
This weekend held particular significance for Norton and Reeves, as well as the Bruins’ No. 2 pair of freshmen Becca Strehlow and sophomore Zoë Nightingale.
With UCLA likely falling short of a bid to nationals as a team, the top two squads are the only hope for representation at the national championships the Bruins have left.
Nightingale and Strehlow dropped both of their gold bracket matchups, leaving them unlikely to be considered for a bid, but Norton and Reeves defeated Hawai’i’s No. 2 team in straight sets – an accomplishment coach Stein Metzger said last week would likely help get the committee’s attention.
The selection committee will release the list of those participating in next month’s national championship on Monday.
Compiled by Liz Schneider, Bruin Sports senior staff.