The Bruins claimed back-to-back victories in their first home games of the season.
No. 4 UCLA beach volleyball (7-3) defeated No. 3 Hawai’i (4-2) with a final score of 4-1 and swept No. 17 Loyola Marymount (4-4) five sets to none at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center on Thursday.
“I thought they showed up big against (Hawai’i),” said coach Stein Metzger. “(Hawai’i defeated us) when we were out there in Hawaii that first day. … So even though we beat them the following day, we still felt like we had something to prove.”
Junior Sarah Sponcil and sophomore Lily Justine defeated Hawai’i’s Emily Maglio and Ka’iwi Schucht in straight sets 21-18, 21-14 after losing to the pair the last two times the Bruins faced the Rainbow Warriors.
“(Sponcil and Justine) were really wanting to show that they can compete against that team,” Metzger said. “They showed up and played unbelievably well. … They executed perfectly, and that was really telling of how the day went.”
Junior Izzy Carey and freshman Megan Muret, who had also lost their two matches against Hawai’i, came back today to defeat Ari Homayun and Amy Ozee of the Rainbow Warriors in straight sets 21-19, 21-18.
“(The pair has) a good mix of craftiness and a girl who can swing really well,” Carey said. “So we definitely had to make sure that we adjusted to what we learned from them, playing them in Hawaii.”
The newly formed pair of sophomore Savvy Simo and junior Zana Muno also defeated Hawai’i in straight sets 21-9, 21-15. On court one, juniors Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara won against Hawai’i’s Carly Kan and Laurel Weaver in three sets, producing a back-to-back victory against the duo after a loss in their first match against Hawai’i.
Senior Elise Zappia and sophomore Madi Yeomans, who went 1-1 against Hawai’i’s Morgan Martin and Lea Monkhouse the last two games, took the first set 21-15. However, the Rainbow Warriors forced a third set that they won 15-12.
While they were the only pair to fall to the Rainbow Warriors, Zappia and Yeomans defeated their LMU opponents in two sets in UCLA’s second match of the day.
“I think the difference was tough serving and being able to execute on transition ball, being able to dig forward, set to the net, put the ball down,” Zappia said. “I think we did a lot better job of that in the (Loyola Marymount) game than the Hawai’i game.”
With a sweep of the Lions, Carey said that the Rainbow Warriors were the tougher competitors of the day.
“Hawai’i was obviously a 3-4 ranking matchup,” Carey said. “But we still managed to come into (Loyola Marymount) really strong and know that this is the one that we really needed to win.”
The Bruins now have a 2-1 advantage over Hawai’i on the season.
“I think we have to take what we did here today and build on our confidence,” Metzger said. “We can go into this weekend and perform well at a high level, and that’s what we want to do.”