Beach volleyball defeats Utah, takes each match in straight sets
Sophomore Lily Justine and partner junior Sarah Sponcil defeated their Utah opponents in straight sets Thursday in the Bruins’ win over the Utes. No. 1 seed UCLA will now move on to face No. 4 seed Stanford in the quarterfinal of the Pac-12 tournament. (Habeba Mostafa/Daily Bruin)
By Joy Hong
April 26, 2018 7:05 p.m.
Lily Justine took care of business on the sand, but she had to switch gears quickly.
The sophomore and junior Sarah Sponcil trounced the Utes 21-11, 21-7 to put the Bruins up 4-0 – just in time for Justine to take her genetics midterm.
In the midst of its midterm season, No. 1 seed UCLA beach volleyball (32-3) swept No. 8 seed Utah (5-11) on Thursday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinal of the Pac-12 championship. All five matches concluded in straight sets, extending the Bruins’ win streak to 27.
UCLA clinched the dual on a straight-set win from its pair on court one. At just 5 feet 9 inches, junior Megan McNamara leapt for back-to-back blocks for the match and dual points to clinch the Bruins’ victory.
In the best-of-five dual, the Bruins’ jumped out to a 2-0 lead with wins on courts four and five, both in straight sets.
On court four, Utah kept the second set close, trailing just 13-12. However, the Bruins rallied for a 8-3 run to close out the match.
UCLA’s No. 5s also dominated to win 21-15, 21-13 as junior Izzy Carey cashed in with a kill off Utah’s Lauren Sproule’s overpass for the match point.
Sophomores Savvy Simo and Madi Yeomans escaped playing a third set, winning 21-14, 24-22.
The Utes knocked off the No. 9 seed Oregon Ducks before falling to the Bruins in the former’s second match of the day. However, because the tournament follows a double-elimination format, Utah will now have another chance in the contenders bracket.
UCLA will face No. 4 seed Stanford on Friday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. Stanford defeated No. 5 seed Arizona on Thursday afternoon.