Wednesday, July 18

Around the League: Baseball teams maintain ranks, women’s tennis misses second-seed chance


Long Beach State, the No. 1 seed in the MPSF tournament, swept No. 4 seed UC Irvine in the semifinals, and then took out No. 3 seed Hawai’i in four sets in the championship. The 49ers earned the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA championships. (Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)

Long Beach State, the No. 1 seed in the MPSF tournament, swept No. 4 seed UC Irvine in the semifinals, and then took out No. 3 seed Hawai’i in four sets in the championship. The 49ers earned the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA championships. (Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)


While Bruin athletes continue competing in Westwood, here’s a look at some of the biggest news from the rest of the Pac-12 and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Baseball
David Gottlieb, assistant Sports editor

After suffering just its third loss of the season to UCLA on Saturday, Oregon State held onto the No. 1 spot in D1Baseball.com’s top 25 this week. Only three Pac-12 teams show up in those rankings, as the Beavers are joined by No. 12 Arizona and No. 20 Stanford.

With the exception of Oregon State, the list is almost antithetical to the Pac-12 standings. Two unranked teams are holding on to the second and third place spots in the conference: California and UCLA, respectively.

The Cardinal are in a tie for fourth place, and the Wildcats’ .500 conference record puts them at sixth.

The Beavers’ 16-2 conference record gives them a very comfortable five-game lead in a conference which Utah won by only two games last season.

Women’s tennis
Hanson Wang, assistant Sports editor

With a win against USC on Saturday combined with Stanford’s victory over Cal, UCLA women’s tennis would have clinched the second seed for the Pac-12 tournament.

But after falling 4-3 to the Trojans, the Bruins fell into a tie for third place with the Arizona State Sun Devils. UCLA ended up receiving the No. 4 seed in the bracket since it lost the teams’ head-to-head matchup two weekends ago. Stanford went undefeated in conference play and earned the top seed, so the Cardinal will face either No. 8-seeded Utah or No. 9-seeded Arizona. The winner of that dual match will face the winner of UCLA versus No. 5 seed Oregon on Friday.

On the other side of the bracket, either No. 6 USC or No. 11 Washington State will face No. 3 Arizona State, and either No. 7 Washington or No. 10 Colorado will take on No. 2 Cal.

This year marks the first time the Pac-12 women’s tennis championship will determine which school earns the conference’s automatic qualifier into the national championship. Previously, the tournament consisted of individual singles and doubles brackets. A Bruin won the singles title every year from 2013 to 2015, and then-senior Catherine Harrison lost in the finals in 2016.

Men’s volleyball
Grant Sugimura, assistant Sports editor

Long Beach State head coach Alan Knipe was named MPSF Coach of the Year.

Knipe is in his 14th season with Long Beach State and led the 49ers to the school’s first-ever MPSF championship in any sport this season as well as driving them to an MPSF-high 27 wins.

At the MPSF tournament, No. 2 seed BYU took on No. 3 seed Hawai’i in the semifinal.

The Rainbow Warriors upset the Cougars, taking the game in straight sets.

The victory was Hawai’i’s fourth MPSF tournament title appearance, but its first since 2002.

In the other semifinal game, No. 1 seed Long Beach State faced No. 4 seed UC Irvine. The result was the same – another sweep.

Finally, in the tournament championship, the 49ers defeated the Rainbow Warriors in four sets.

Notching the MPSF championship means that Long Beach State has an automatic bid to the NCAA championship.

Along with Long Beach State, Hawai’i and BYU also received bids, albeit ones at-large.

Hawai’i will take on Penn State and BYU will face Barton in the first round of the tournament, while Long Beach State has a bye.

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