No. 2 UCLA Captures 2021 Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championship
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LOS ANGELES -- No. 2 UCLA (28-3) upset top-seeded and top-ranked USC twice on Saturday, including a 3-2 victory in the championship dual, to claim the 2021 Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championship at Mapes Beach. It marks the second time in the five-year history of the event the Bruins have claimed the crown (2018, 2021).
Also the No. 2 seed, the Bruins went a perfect 4-0 over the three days of the championship to claim the league trophy. It marked the fourth-straight championship that the rival Bruins and Trojans have met in the dual for the crown.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead after Joy Dennis and Delaynie Maple won in straight sets 21-16, 21-16 on court four over UCLA's Megan Muret and Jacqueline Quade.
But the Bruins' court two pair of Lea Monkhouse and Devon Newberry tied the dual at 1-1 with a come-from-behind win over Sammy Slater and Julia Scoles, 15-21, 21-12, 15-13.
USC regained the lead after Tina Graudina and Megan Kraft defeated the Bruins' Savvy Simo and Lexy Denaburg 21-19, 21-17 on court one.
Needing to win both of the next matches, UCLA's Abby Van Winkle and Lindsey Sparks began the comeback with a comeback of their own, rallying to defeat Hailey Harward and Haley Hallgren, 11-21, 21-15, 15-13 on court three to tie the dual at 2-2.
It all came down to court five where UCLA's Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh took down the Trojans' duo of Audrey and Nicole Nourse, 21-17, 23-21. Powers made the deciding block that caught the tape to clinch the match, dual and title for the Bruins.
At the conclusion of the Championship, six pairs were named to the Pac-12 Championship All-Tournament Team and UCLA's Abby Van Winkle and Lindsey Sparks from court three and Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh from court five made the list.
The Bruins now wait for the NCAA selection show to find out their seed, which will be announced Sunday, May 2 at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. PT on NCAA.com. The 2021 NCAA Women's Beach Volleyball Championship will be held at Gulf Shores Beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 7-9.
PAC-12 BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY (HOST SCHOOL)
2021 - UCLA (UCLA)
2020 - No Competition
2019 - USC (USC)
2018 - UCLA (STAN)
2017 - USC (ARIZ)
2016 - USC (USC)
No. 2 UCLA def. No. 1 USC, 3-2
Mapes Beach • Los Angeles, Calif.
2021 Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championship
Saturday, May 1, 2021
RECORDS: UCLA (28-3), USC (26-4)
1. Tina Graudina/Megan Kraft (USC) def. Savvy Simo/Lexy Denaburg (UCLA); 21-19, 21-17
2. Lea Monkhouse/Devon Newberry (UCLA) def. Julia Scoles/Sammy Slater (USC); 15-21, 21-12, 15-13
3. Abby Van Winkle/Lindsey Sparks (UCLA) def. Hailey Harward/Haley Hallgren (USC); 11-21, 21-15, 15-13
4. Joy Dennis/Delaynie Maple (USC) def. Megan Muret/Jacqueline Quade (UCLA); 21-16, 21-16
5. Rileigh Powers/Jaden Whitmarsh (UCLA) def. Audrey Nourse/Nicole Nourse (USC); 21-17, 23-21
Order of finish: 4, 2, 1, 3, 5*