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UCLA beach volleyball sweeps ranked opponents at Death Volley Invitational

Redshirt freshman Kenzie Brower rises to make a kill. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Cecilia Schmitz

March 31, 2024 4:10 p.m.

This post was updated April 2 at 10:14 p.m.

The Bruins added to their resume of 14 ranked wins in their first – and only – trip east until a potential national title bid in May.

No. 2 UCLA beach volleyball (19-4, 1-0 Pac-12) traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to compete in the Death Volley Invitational, sweeping the ranked slate of No. 5 Florida State (20-5), No. 3 TCU (19-5, 4-0 Big 12), No. 17 Florida Atlantic (12-11, 2-2 AAC) and No. 10 LSU (13-8).

The Bruins opened the four-game weekend against the Seminoles on Friday morning, two weeks after facing them at the East Meets West Invitational.

UCLA came out on top early and defeated Florida State 4-1. The victory was sealed by junior Natalie Myszkowski and redshirt freshman Ensley Alden, who are in their first season competing as partners.

Myszkowski and Alden continued their winning ways in UCLA’s second game Friday against TCU during the Bruins’ 5-0 win.

The court five pair, alongside junior Jessie Smith and redshirt freshman Kenzie Brower on court three, continued its record of winning duals with a 2-0 sweep to top off the first day of the tournament.

Brower said Smith’s experience as a starter since her freshman year helped integrate their partnership.

“She’s had two years of experience already, and me coming in, I haven’t played collegiately yet, ” Brower said. “She’s helped me so much with her experience and her knowledge and really taking me under her wing.”

Her pairing with Smith is another of UCLA’s newest partnerships in the 2024 campaign.

Coach Jenny Johnson Jordan said the team’s close-knit dynamic helped solidify duos.

“Our team’s at an advantage because there is such great chemistry with a lot of different people,” Johnson Jordan said. “That makes making partnerships a lot easier.”

Building off their first day, the Bruins continued their winning streak into Saturday to claim two additional victories.

UCLA first took on Florida Atlantic on Saturday, once again emerging victorious by a score of 4-1 before recording its second sweep of the weekend over the Tigers later in the day.

With four more ranked wins on its road trip, UCLA has defeated ranked opponents 18 times, including 11 top-10 wins.

“We like to continue to take that underdog mentality and be ready and prepared for everyone to play their best games against us,” Johnson Jordan said. “We welcome that challenge, because it only makes us better.”

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Cecilia Schmitz | Assistant Sports editor
Schmitz is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the women’s soccer, beach volleyball, women’s golf and cross country beats. She was previously a contributor on the women’s soccer and beach volleyball beats and a staffer for the Outreach section. She is also a third-year political science and communication student.
Schmitz is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the women’s soccer, beach volleyball, women’s golf and cross country beats. She was previously a contributor on the women’s soccer and beach volleyball beats and a staffer for the Outreach section. She is also a third-year political science and communication student.
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