Wednesday, January 23

Around the League: Men’s golf enter regionals, UCLA and USC beach volleyball earn awards

Coach Stein Metzger took home Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors as announced Thursday afternoon. Metzger led the No. 2 Bruins to a 29-4 overall record, including an upset of No. 1 USC in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals last week. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Coach Stein Metzger took home Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors as announced Thursday afternoon. Metzger led the No. 2 Bruins to a 29-4 overall record, including an upset of No. 1 USC in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals last week. (Daily Bruin file photo)

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 the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Beach volleyball
TuAnh Dam, Sports editor

USC and UCLA beach volleyball teams will play for the NCAA championship this weekend, but both squads have already picked up several accolades before competing in Alabama.

Coach Stein Metzger earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors after leading UCLA to a 29-4 record, including an upset of No. 1 USC at the Pac-12 tournament.

The Trojans’ Kelly Claes was named the Player of the Year, as well as Pair of the Year along with teammate Sara Hughes.

USC and UCLA, who are seeded No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the NCAA Tournament, have a combined 12 players earning All-Pac-12 honors.

The Bruins’ No. 1 team of sophomores Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara picked up first-team honors for the second straight year after going 26-6 this season.

UCLA and USC, the defending champions, will kick off the tournament Friday afternoon in a double elimination bracket against LSU and South Carolina, respectively.

Men’s golf
TuAnh Dam, Sports editor

Six Pac-12 schools earned spots in the NCAA men’s golf team tournament Thursday afternoon, with USC and Stanford earning No. 1 seeds in the Sammamish, Washington, and Stanford regionals, respectively.

Defending NCAA champion Oregon, who won the conference title last week, will be the No. 2 seed in the Louisiana regional, while Colorado will begin the tournament in the West Lafayette, Indiana, section of the draw.

Washington will be joining USC in Sammamish, while ASU rounds out the conference representatives in the Austin, Texas, regional.

Play will begin May 15 with the top five teams from each regional advancing to the NCAA finals in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The finals will be held from May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms, where the team and individual medalist titles will be decided.

UCLA did not qualify for the team tournament, but will send two golfers to compete for an individual title.

Freshman Hidetoshi Yoshihara and sophomore Cole Madey will be in the field of five individual players in Sammamish. The lowest score from those five will advance to compete in Illinois.

The UCLA men’s golf team failed to qualify for the NCAA team competition, but will send two players to the individual tournament – freshman Hidetoshi Yoshihara and sophomore Cole Madey, pictured.
(UCLA Athletics)

Track and field
Michael Hull, assistant Sports editor

The nearly month-long track and field postseason begins this weekend when heptathletes and decathletes from around the conference will head up to Corvallis, Oregon, for the Pac-12 combined events championships.

UCLA is sending sophomore Christina Chenault, senior Monique Van and junior Kendall Gustafson to compete in the heptathlon, but will not have any men entered in the decathlon.

Chenault put together her first full heptathlon at the Mt. SAC Relays a month ago, and the score ranks as the 19th-best heptathlon score in the nation, and the second best score in the Pac-12. Her 5,438 mark is 178 points short of the conference leader, Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson.

Van’s 5,096 mark, 51st in the country, also came at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Gustafson, however, is the reigning UCLA headliner in the event. The junior, who transferred from Duke two years ago, had a score of 4,517 last year at the conference championships – without having any points from the 800 meters, which she did not finish.

UCLA begins the track and field postseason this weekend with the heptathlon and decathlon. Junior Kendall Gustafson will compete along with teammate sophomore Christina Chenault. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Her high jump clearance was good enough to earn her a berth in the NCAA Western Preliminary Round, but she failed to make the next round for the heptathlon itself. Her 5,442-point heptathlon score last year secured her the 10th spot on the UCLA all-time heptathlon record board, but was just the 36th highest score in the nation.

Gustafson hasn’t compiled a complete heptathlon this year yet, but should she have a similar performance, that score would displace her teammate Chenault for 19th.

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Senior staff

In addition to serving as an assistant Sports editor from 2016-2017, Hull covered men's water polo and track and field from 2015-2017 and women's water polo team in the spring of 2017.

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