Beach volleyball falls to Florida State in NCAAs, enters elimination bracket
Junior Nicole McNamara won the Bruins’ only match against Florida State with her sister and partner junior Megan McNamara. UCLA will now enter the elimination bracket and face LSU on Saturday. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Joy Hong
May 4, 2018 4:07 pm
Last season, the Seminoles knocked the Bruins out in the NCAA championship for the second straight year.
That same script played out again.
No. 1-seeded UCLA beach volleyball (36-4) fell to No. 4-seeded Florida State (32-6) 3-1 in the second round of the NCAA championship, but the Bruins’ chances at a national title are still alive as they enter the elimination bracket.
The Seminoles led on all five courts 15-13 in the first set to open the dual, and took the first set on four out of the five courts.
Florida State jumped out to a 1-0 lead as junior Izzy Carey and freshman Megan Muret fell 21-16 and 21-19 on court five. The No. 1-ranked fives pair strung together a school-record 28-match win streak throughout the season, but has since then dropped three consecutive matches.
On court one, juniors Nicole and Megan McNamara won in both sets 21-19 to knot the dual up at 1-1.
However, in the matter of seconds, junior Zana Muno and sophomore Savvy Simo dropped their second straight set on court three to give Florida State a 2-1 lead.
After losing the first set 21-18 on court four, senior Elise Zappia and freshman Mac May had the opportunity to take the second as they held a 20-19 lead for match point.
The pair had seven match point chances, but the Seminoles tied it seven times. May dove after a floater from Florida State’s Brooke Kuhlman in an attempt to keep the Bruins’ 31-dual win streak alive, but the Seminoles took the match 28-26 to clinch the dual.
Almost simultaneously, the Florida State pair on court two defeated sophomore Lily Justine and junior Sarah Sponcil in straight sets.
Justine and Sponcil were unable to defeat the No. 2 twos pair of Katie Horton and Hailey Luke this season. The duo is now 19-0 for the Seminoles.
The Bruins will now have to play an extra dual in the contenders bracket for a shot at the title game and will face No. 7-seeded LSU on Saturday.