Jacqueline Dzwonczyk, Daily Bruin staff
Half of UCLA beach volleyball’s starting lineup and coach Stein Metzger earned All-American recognition following the Bruins’ championship season.
Metzger was named the VolleyballMag.com national coach of the year for the second consecutive season. The former Bruin indoor volleyball player started the beach volleyball program in 2013 and spent two seasons splitting his time between coaching beach and serving as an indoor volleyball assistant.
Just six years later, UCLA beach volleyball has two NCAA titles.
Freshman Abby Van Winkle earned recognition as the national freshman of the year after her title-clinching kill in the national championship. Van Winkle consistently played on court three with senior Zana Muno and the pair ran a 25-5 record this season.
The Bruins’ court one pair of seniors Nicole and Megan McNamara and court two pair of senior Sarah Sponcil and junior Lily Justine were named to the All-American first team.
The McNamaras went 30-4 on court one, with their only losses coming to USC’s Tina Graudina and Abril Bustamante – who were the 2018 and 2019 VolleyballMag.com national college beach pair of the year.
Sponcil and Justine earned second-team honors last season with a 33-8 record. This year, the duo went 26-5 this season to clinch a spot on the first team.
Nicole and Megan McNamara and Sponcil are now competing internationally, but UCLA will return both Van Winkle and Justine next year.
Jason Maikis, Daily Bruin reporter
Four Bruins were selected to represent Team USA for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
UCLA men’s volleyball setter Micah Ma’a, middle blocker Mitch Stahl and outside hitter Garrett Muagututia made the 25-man roster to compete in VNL matches, with coach John Speraw leading the team from the bench. Only 14 players can be chosen to compete in each preliminary round, as well as the final round in Chicago from July 10-14.
Speraw has been the coach of the U.S. men’s national team since March 2013 and led the team to a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. At UCLA, Speraw has accrued 120 wins in six seasons as the head coach, as well as a national title game appearance in 2016.
Ma’a finished his senior season at UCLA this year, leading the Bruins to a 19-9 record. He set the UCLA career record of 208 aces and was voted a first-team All-American.
Both Stahl and Muagututia have finished their careers playing in Westwood. Stahl was a four-year starter from 2014-2017 and Muagututia earned multiple All-American nods during his time as a Bruin from 2007-2010.
Although the U.S. team has automatically qualified because they host the final round, the national team still has five opportunities to tune up its game. Each of the five preliminary rounds will be played in five consecutive weekends.
The first chance the Bruins have at VNL play is the first preliminary round in Poland starting May 31.
Jared Tay, Daily Bruin reporter
Coach Ryan Jorden has rounded out his coaching staff.
The addition of former Bruin Eric Reed and retention of assistant coach Matt Taylor have finalized the coaching staff for UCLA men’s soccer, Jorden announced Tuesday.
Reed and Taylor are both graduates of the program and played on the same squad in 2002 and 2003. The two helped the Bruins win the 2002 NCAA championship, defeating Stanford 1-0 for the Bruins’ fourth program title.
Reed was a three-year starter for the Bruins and posted three shutouts in five games during the 2006 NCAA tournament. UCLA finished as the national runner-up to UC Santa Barbara that year.
Reed most recently held the head coaching position at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. The Division II Pioneers posted a 6-10-1 record in 2018, up from one win the previous year.
Reed served as assistant coach for Bowling Green State University for four seasons. In 2017, his last year, he coached the Falcons to a 7-9-1 record.
Taylor will return for his second year on the Bruins’ coaching staff. In 2018, UCLA qualified for the NCAA tournament but was eliminated by Portland in its first round by a score of 1-0. Two Bruins who were coached by Taylor in the 2018 season were drafted in the first round of the MLS Draft.
During his time as a Bruin, Taylor was named Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2003. His offensive capabilities set multiple program records – Taylor still maintains the program record for number of hat tricks while also being top-five in multigoal games, game-winning goals and consecutive games with a goal.