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UCLA beach volleyball looks to beat Pepperdine for third time this season

Sophomore transfer Lea Monkhouse has now gone 6-2 alongside junior Savvy Simo on court four. UCLA beach volleyball will take on Pepperdine at home for their third meeting of the season. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)

By Jacqueline Dzwonczyk

March 15, 2019 3:46 pm

The Bruins have faced the Waves 12 times in program history – and each school has split the victories.

The tie will be broken this weekend.

No. 1 UCLA beach volleyball (14-0) will host No. 5 Pepperdine (11-4) on Saturday at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center in its second home dual of the season. The Bruins will face the Waves for a third time this season after winning the first two meetings 4-1 and 5-0.

“(Pepperdine’s) back is against the wall,” said UCLA coach Stein Metzger. “They’ve had more losses at this point in the season than any other year – is my assumption – and so my expectation is that they’re going to put everything that they’ve got into their next match against us.”

Pepperdine has lost just five matches in each of its last three seasons –but this time around its already lost 4 matches only 15 games into this year’s slate. The Bruins have handed the Waves two of the losses in 2016 and two in 2017.

Pepperdine is 9-4 against ranked teams this season, including two losses already to UCLA.

“I think we can expect that they will show up and play a lot better than they did because I think (the last meeting) was a disappointing finish for them,” said senior Nicole McNamara.

The Bruins’ most recent victory over the Waves was a 5-0 sweep at Zuma Beach – where UCLA had never won a match before. The dual was also the first time Pepperdine had ever been swept 5-0, and the Bruins didn’t even drop a set.

Sophomore transfer Lea Monkhouse and junior Savvy Simo brought their record as a pair to 4-0 on court four during the last match with Pepperdine. But the duo went 2-2 last weekend, falling to No. 6 LSU and No. 4 FSU.

“We made unforced errors (and) we had a bit of passing trouble too,” Monkhouse said. “In practice, I’m definitely going to be working on my passing – getting the ball to the net.”

UCLA will face Pepperdine following a five-day break – its longest break since starting the season on Feb. 21.

“I think we’ll just keep grinding this week in practice,” Nicole McNamara said. “Since we don’t play until Saturday, we’ll get a couple good lifts in, which we haven’t been able to do.”

The top-five showdown will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center.

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Jacqueline Dzwonczyk | Sports senior staff
Dzwonczyk is currently a Sports senior staff writer. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball, men's golf and women's golf beats. Dzwonczyk was previously a staff writer on the women's soccer, beach volleyball and women's tennis beats.
Dzwonczyk is currently a Sports senior staff writer. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball, men's golf and women's golf beats. Dzwonczyk was previously a staff writer on the women's soccer, beach volleyball and women's tennis beats.
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