Bruins ruin FSU's run at title

Michael Hanich, Sports Analysis
Posted 5/8/18

The sun has set on another successful NCAA Women’s Collegiate Beach Volleyball National Championship Tournament on the Hangout beaches of Gulf Shores. The No. 1 seeded UCLA Bruins are champions in the NCAA championship with a 3-1 win over No. 4 seeded Florida State's ...

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Bruins ruin FSU's run at title

Posted

GULF SHORES, Ala. -- The sun has set on another successful NCAA Women’s Collegiate Beach Volleyball National Championship Tournament on the Hangout beaches of Gulf Shores. The No. 1 seeded UCLA Bruins are champions in the NCAA championship with a 3-1 win over No. 4 seeded Florida State's Seminoles in the Championship game. This is after the Seminoles surprising 3-1 win over UCLA in the second round. This is the first time that a team from the elimination bracket came back to claim the National title.

The No. 1 seeded Bruins started off strong by quickly knocking off the No. 8 seeded FIU Panthers 3-0. Then the Bruins suffered a setback with the loss to the Florida. UCLA then had two big wins against the USC Trojans and against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in the semi-final. The Bruins were led by twins Megan and Nicole McNamara, who did not lose a duel. They were the most impressive and athletic pair in the whole Tournament as they were all over the court, kept the games going, defended very well, attacked aggressively, and reacted quickly to difficult attacks from opponents. They were voted as the top One’s pair in the Tournament. The Bruins also had Izzy Carey and Megan Muret as the top voted Five’s pair.

The USC Trojans won the first two NCAA Tournaments in 2016 as well as last year’s tournament. This year, they found themselves in unfamiliar territory with a 25-12 record, winning an at-large bid and dropping into the elimination bracket of the tournament early. The No. 5 seeded USC Trojans lost late Saturday in match No. 12 to their rivals in the UCLA Bruins.

No. 4 seeded Florida State was the surprising team of the tournament by knocking off the Trojans in the first round, the No. 1 seeded UCLA Bruins in the next round and No. 3 seeded Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Saturday. The Bruins, the Seminoles, and the Rainbow Warriors had the most complete teams throughout the five courts. There were other teams who had a great pair on court 1 or court 2 but in a best of 5 duel setting, it did not play well against schools who had more efficient team setting.

In the championship match between the Seminoles and the Bruins, the coaching was very efficient and the intensity was equal for both teams. Florida State got a good start, but the UCLA Bruins were more composed as they pushed through to make more kills and attacks. Each team was versatile throughout the court and continued plays that were hard to defend. Despite the Seminoles having more size and power, the Bruins had the endurance with spikes and set up multiple strikes consistently.

Even though the Bruins just claimed their first national title in the sport of beach volleyball, they are looking right now to repeat as champions with multiple stars coming back.

To see the full bracket and results visit (See Related Link).

For more on events at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also visit Gulfshores.com.