UCLA’s softball team earned the 12th seed in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. By receiving a top-16 spot, the Bruins earn the opportunity to host a regional. Play starts this Friday with the first game between Cal State Fullerton and Fresno State. UCLA and CSU Bakersfield will play after, no sooner than 6 p.m. The regional is double elimination where the last team standing advances to super regionals the following weekend.
The Bruins finished the 2016 season with a 35-13-1 regular-season record, finishing second place in the Pac-12, behind the Oregon Ducks. Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton were given automatic bids by winning their respective conferences. CSU Bakersfield earned its automatic bid by winning the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
The McNamara twins, Megan and Nicole, racked up a pair of impressive accolades recently. A hugely successful freshman season for UCLA led to AVCA All-American honors. Then, on Monday, competing for Canada at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland, they picked up bronze medals.
In the third-place match against American pair Sarah Sponcil and future Bruin Torrey Van Winden, the twins snatched a come-from-behind victory. After dropping the first set and fighting off three points in the second set, UCLA’s No. 1 duo got the better of their American opponents.
The bronze medal is Canada’s third at the U21 level and echoes the twins’ results at the 2014 U19 World Championships in Porto, Portugal. They collected their first international medal at that tournament with a third place finish.