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UCLA beach volleyball concludes regular season with loss to USC

Senior Lea Monkhouse receives the ball in a dual. Monkhouse was one of two UCLA beach volleyball senior athletes to be honored Wednesday. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

Sport


No. 4 Loyola Marymount4
No. 3 UCLA1
No. 3 UCLA2
No. 1 USC3

By Nick Darrow

April 23, 2022 6:44 p.m.

Neither Senior Day was spoiled in the Bruins’ final two regular season matches.

Closing out the regular season in Los Angeles, No. 3 UCLA beach volleyball (28-5, 7-0 Pac-12) beat No. 4 Loyola Marymount (26-7, 4-0 WCC) on Wednesday at Mapes Beach but lost to No. 1 USC (28-1) on Friday at Merle Norman Stadium. Both the Bruins and Trojans celebrated their respective Senior Days on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

In the regular season’s penultimate dual, the Bruins took on a top-five Lions team they had previously lost to earlier in the season. After taking a 3-2 defeat in the two teams’ first meeting of the year, UCLA came out with a quick victory Wednesday, winning the opening set on three out of five courts.

The Bruins continued their spurt with triumphs through the first four matches en route to a 4-1 victory. UCLA’s first pair of points came from three-set tiebreaker wins on courts two and four.

On Wednesday, Lea Monkhouse was UCLA’s lone senior starter to be honored as part of the day’s festivities and nabbed a 21-18, 21-16 win on court three with her partner, freshman Jessie Smith.

Monkhouse said her four years as a Bruin had a large impact on her life.

“I never thought I would grow so much as a person, and I have always had the greatest support from my teammates,” Monkhouse said. “I have full faith in every single one of my teammates, and I am glad to see what we are going to do in the tournament.”

UCLA faced USC on Friday, marking the third time these two programs have played this year. In the season series rubber match, the Trojans came away with the 3-2 victory.

The Bruins entered the latter half of matches down 0-2. UCLA would grab two wins on courts three and five, but by then, it had already lost the match with a 21-17, 21-10 on court one.

Coach Stein Metzger said there are a few things the Bruins need to work on to get to the next level.

“We just need to be a little more consistent and play 10% better, which is definitely doable,” Metzger said. USC is a dang good team, but if we come out there and play our game, I think that we can get it done.”

Behind two match wins on court five this week, graduate student Marlie Monserez and sophomore Rileigh Powers led UCLA to one dual win. Since becoming a partnership nine contests prior, Monserez and Powers are now undefeated as a team.

Having previously been paired with Monkhouse, Powers said there is a learning curve to overcome when playing with a new partner.

“Usually it takes a while to adjust with a new partner, but I feel like me and Marlie have clicked from the start,” Powers said. “We both have really good energy and bring a lot of fire to the court, so we make a good team.”

The Bruins will begin the three-day Pac-12 championship on Wednesday in Tucson.

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Nick Darrow | Sports reporter
Darrow is currently a Sports reporter on the men's soccer beat. He was previously a contributor on the women's tennis, men's volleyball and men's soccer beats.
Darrow is currently a Sports reporter on the men's soccer beat. He was previously a contributor on the women's tennis, men's volleyball and men's soccer beats.
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