Bruin beach volleyball washes Pepperdine Waves away with 5-0 sweep
Freshman Lindsey Sparks played her second consecutive dual on court five alongside senior Izzy Carey. The duo swept Pepperdine’s Nikki Lyons and Katie Gavin to put UCLA beach volleyball up 3-0 to eventually clinch the dual victory 5-0. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)
By Jack Perez
March 7, 2019 1:10 am
The Bruins won for the first time ever at Zuma Beach in record-breaking fashion.
No. 1 UCLA beach volleyball (10-0, 1-0 Pac-12) swept No. 3 Pepperdine (6-2) 5-0 in Malibu, California, on Wednesday afternoon. The Bruins won without dropping a set, and handed the Waves their first-ever 5-0 loss in program history.
“I expected it to be a war,” said coach Stein Metzger. “They’re known for being very good in their environment, which is typically windy. We’ve been working on our weather volleyball IQ for years now, so this is just a really special win for the program.”
Freshman Lindsey Sparks and senior Izzy Carey clinched the match for the Bruins with a 21-11, 21-10 win on court five. Sparks said the team had high expectations for this dual, and still came out of it feeling satisfied with its performance.
“We feel confident, but not cocky,” Sparks said. “Coming in, we just know we need to play to our own standards. That builds our own confidence.”
Junior Savvy Simo and sophomore Lea Monkhouse first won their match 21-17, 21-17 on court four to give UCLA a 1-0 lead. This was a redemption match for Simo, as she was part of the only duo to lose to Pepperdine in Hawaii on Feb. 24.
The Bruins followed that up with a 21-17, 21-18 win on court two a few minutes later. Junior Lily Justine and senior Sarah Sponcil won in straight sets against the Waves for the second time this year.
Metzger said he believed in his team’s ability coming into the season as reigning national champions, but is pleasantly surprised by his team’s consistency in its win streak.
“I knew we were capable of winning against anybody in the country,” Metzger said. “I wasn’t certain we would be able to do it consistently. There’s still a lot of the season left. But certainly we are in a good spot so far.”
Freshman Abby Van Winkle and senior Zana Muno gave the Bruins their fourth win on court three, defeating the Waves 21-15, 21-18. Muno spiked it to the right to put the Bruins on the verge of the sweep.
Seniors Megan and Nicole McNamara finished off the victory, winning 21-15, 21-16 on court one as Nicole McNamara ended the day with a kill to the left side. This was the twins’ second win over the Waves’ partnership of Brook Bauer and Heidi Dyer in two weeks, although the first time went to a third set.
Simo won the first point for the Bruins with a block that the Waves could not reach. She said the team seeks out opportunities to practice in nonideal conditions in order to be ready for any type of situation like the one against the Waves.
“Whenever there’s rain at UCLA, we practice in it. We travel out to Santa Monica to get some wind practice in,” Simo said. “They play here all the time, but our coaches do a really good job of putting the wind game into our minds.”