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UCLA’s McNamara twins boost Bruins to upsets to earn Pair of the Week

Apr 4, 2016
UCLA Athletics

SAN FRANCISCO - UCLA freshmen Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara posted a perfect 3-0 record, including deciding victories in a pair of Top 5 upsets for the Bruins, to earn the Pac-12 Conference Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week award.

The top-flight twins from Vancouver recorded thrilling three-set triumphs against opponents from No. 1 Pepperdine and No. 4 Hawai’i along with a sweep versus ARIZONA STATE to lift UCLA to a 3-0 week and extend its win streak to five straight matches.

The McNamaras began the week on Wednesday by edging Heidi Dyer and Taylor Racich, 2-1, in the clinching match of UCLA’s come-from-behind 3-2 upset of previously undefeated Pepperdine, marking the program’s first-ever win against the Waves and over a Top 3 ranked opponent.

On Saturday, the Bruins blanked their Pac-12 rival Sun Devils, 5-0, before outlasting the host Rainbow Wahine, 3-2, to capture the Outrigger Beach Volleyball Challenge title on Queen’s Beach in Honolulu. The McNamara twins swept ASU’s Bianca Arellano and Whitney Follette before coming back from a set down to defeat Nikki Taylor and Lara Schreiber, 2-1, and earn the decisive third point in UCLA’s upset of Hawai’i.

With the head-to-head victory, No. 4 UCLA (12-4) traded its national ranking with No. 5 Hawai’i in this week’s AVCA poll, joining No. 2 USC (17-2) and No. 7 ARIZONA (10-3) in the Top 10, with CALIFORNIA (9-7) also receiving votes.

The most recent DiG Magazine Top 20 poll released on March 29 mirrors last week’s AVCA rankings with USC, UCLA and ARIZONA checking in at Nos. 2, 5 and 6, while CALIFORNIA climbed to a program-best No. 16 and STANFORD (4-4) and WASHINGTON (0-0) received votes.

All eight of the league’s programs will be in action this week, starting with rivals STANFORD and CALIFORNIA meeting in a Pac-12 Network broadcast in Palo Alto on Tuesday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m. PT. WASHINGTON is slated to open its season this weekend in Sacramento with matches against San Jose State, CSU Bakersfield and Sacramento State.

ALSO NOMINATED: Madison Witt & McKenna Witt, ARIZ; Taylor Agost & Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE; Payton Chang & Hayley Hodson, STAN; Sophie Bukovec & Alexa Strange, USC.

Week of Pair of the Week
March 7 Nicolette Martin & Allie Wheeler, USC
March 14 Julie Consani & Laurel Weaver, UCLA
March 21 Kelly Claes & Sara Hughes, USC
March 28 Jenna Belton & Abril Bustamante, USC
April 4 Megan McNamara & Nicole McNamara, UCLA