Sophomore Savvy Simo slammed a cross-court kill to clinch the Bruins’ first dual of the NCAA championship.
No. 1-seeded UCLA beach volleyball (36-3) dominated No. 8-seeded Florida International (23-11) 3-0 to advance to the second round in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
On court three, junior Zana Muno played with Simo for the first time since suffering a knee injury in April against Cal Poly. The pair won 21-16 and 21-14 to clinch the victory and extend the Bruins’ win streak to 31 consecutive duals.
The Bruins won three first sets over the Panthers to open the dual.
After leading 15-6 on court one, juniors Megan and Nicole McNamara were the first to take an opening set, winning 21-10.
UCLA’s other opening set wins came from senior Elise Zappia and freshman Mac May on court four and Simo and Muno on court three.
Zappia and May opened the set trailing 5-0. The duo rallied to take an 11-10 lead and led the rest of the set en route to a 21-15 victory. In the second set, the pair never trailed as Zappia hammered a high line kill on match point to put the Bruins up 1-0.
Despite a back-and-forth second set, the McNamara duo notched a cross-court kill and forced an FIU block out of bounds to close out the match, leading the dual 2-0.
Both UCLA’s courts two and five dropped their respective first sets but bounced back to even it up in the second. However, the two matches would conclude unfinished.
The Bruins will face the winner of No. 5-seeded USC (25-12) and No. 4-seeded Florida State (30-6) in the next round of the double-elimination tournament Friday at 3 p.m.