The only two home matches of the season ended in victories for UCLA beach volleyball.
The No. 3 Bruins (21-2) defeated Cal Poly (10-12) 4-1 first before overcoming Loyola Marymount (8-9) 5-0 at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on Wednesday.
Despite the convincing score, coach Stein Metzger said that it wasn’t the team’s most outstanding performance.
“Today shows that we have the resiliency and the depth to not play our best day of volleyball but still survive,” Metzger said.
He also said that the team came out flat against Cal Poly but more confident versus LMU. UCLA’s only loss of the day came when the pair of graduate student Kamila Tan and freshman Madi Yeomans fell to Cal Poly 21-18, 21-18.
After an ace by Yeomans tied the score at 12-12 in the second set, UCLA pulled ahead at 17-15, forcing the Cal Poly pair to call a time out. But it was the Mustangs who earned the game point.
Tan said the day was bittersweet because it was her last home match for UCLA and the only one this season, which caused her to feel some anxiety in the first match.
“It’s a lot of pressure since many people came to watch me, and knowing it was my last time here,” Tan said. “I wanted to perform really well, but I didn’t.”
However, the pair bounced back in their next match of the day against LMU, winning 22-20, 21-19.
Tan said she thought she had a good reset in the second game. She mentioned the team’s volunteer assistant coach, Sean Fallowfield, and his emphasis on gratitude that puts her back on the right track when she gets hard on herself or her teammates.
“I was a lot calmer,” Tan said. “Once I get back to the mindset of gratitude, that helps me to be calm and happy.”
The UCLA duo was initially trailing 19-16 in the second set, but a trick shot by Yeomans stole the lead at 20-19 and the Bruins went on to take the set point.
In another tight game, sophomores Megan and Nicole McNamara of UCLA beat Cal Poly 21-17, 19-21, 15-6.
The McNamara twins agreed that it was their aggressive serving that helped them to succeed in both their Cal and LMU matchups. They defeated LMU 21-13, 23-21.
Although there were a couple of service errors toward the end of both sets against LMU, the McNamaras registered several aces throughout both matches.
Metzger commended the team for knowing how to come out on top in tight conditions.
“They’re a pretty astute group,” he said. “They realized that they came up a little flat and they made adjustments.”
Metzer also expressed his desire to play more matches at home.
“It’s a beautiful location,” Metzer said. “If we played here regularly, we would have a pretty fun and rowdy crowd.”