The No. 4 UCLA beach volleyball team came away from this weekend’s East Meets West Invitational undefeated after earning victories over four highly ranked East Coast schools.
What appeared to be a challenging opportunity for the Bruins to improve and grow after a solid start to their campaign instead proved to be a statement showing for the Bruins.
No. 4 UCLA (6-2) defeated No. 10 LSU (2-5) 3-2 and No. 12 FIU (5-5) 4-1 Saturday.
The team was then able to carry over momentum from its impressive start on Sunday, as UCLA earned its final two victories over No. 7 Georgia State (6-4) in dominant fashion winning all five matches before defeating No. 2 Florida State (4-2) 3-2 .
With a sweep of the eastern schools, particularly its underdog victory over Florida State, UCLA knows it is a team that’s capable of competing against anyone.
“This weekend proves that we can compete against the nation’s best and beat anybody” said coach Stein Metzger.
Still, Metzger acknowledges that the team is not its best but, nonetheless, is heading in the right direction.
“We have to continue to work as other teams will do so throughout the year but we’re making strides.” Metzger said.
The Bruins avenged last season’s loss to FSU in the NCAA beach volleyball tournament semifinals while simultaneously earning their first win against the Seminoles in program history.
The stars of the show for UCLA were once again sophomores Megan and Nicole McNamara, who, according to Metzger, are the cornerstone for the team. The McNamara twins went undefeated in their duels this weekend, pushing their record to 7-1 overall in matches this year.
“It feels amazing to finally beat FSU for the first time after losing to them in a few matches last season,” said Megan McNamara. “(The FSU victory) was a great way to finish off a successful weekend, but we aren’t going to stop here.”
Collectively the team continues to maintain its focus of improving day by day, while gaining a boost of confidence that it can compete against anyone.
“We have high hopes for this season and can’t wait to keep competing,” said Megan McNamara.
The season continues next weekend as UCLA heads north for the Monterey Invitational to face a number of teams from the northern region of the West Coast. UCLA will battle Portland (2-0), San Jose State (3-1) and San Francisco (0-5) Friday before facing off against Grand Canyon (8-2) and Saint Mary’s (4-2) on Saturday.