No. 1 UCLA Falls in NCAA Championship Title Match
GULF SHORES, Ala. -- No. 1 UCLA (32-5) saw the season end with a 3-1 loss to No. 2 USC (30-4) in the title game of the 2021 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship on Sunday afternoon at Gulf Place. With the loss, the Bruins fell to 13-16 all-time against the Trojans.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead on court three after Hailey Harward and Haley Hallgren handed UCLA's duo of Abby Van Winkle and Lindsey Sparks its first loss (21-14, 21-17) as the Bruin pair was 6-0 on the year and 10-0 all-time.
UCLA quickly tied it up at 1-1 when Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh won in two sets over Audrey and Nicole Nourse on court five 21-13, 26-24, their third-straight win over the Trojan twins. The Bruin freshman duo was named to the 2021 NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Court one saw USC take a 2-1 lead after Tina Graudina and Megan Kraft beat UCLA's Savvy Simo and Lexy Denaburg in two sets 21-16, 21-17.
The clinching court was court two where USC's Julia Scoles and Sammy Slater defeated the Bruins' tandem of Lea Monkhouse and Devon Newberry, 26-24, 21-15.
Court four was the only court that went unfinished. UCLA's Megan Muret and Jacqueline Quade won the first set 24-22 but the Trojan duo of Joy Dennis and Delaynie Maple won the second 21-16 to force a third set. The score was tied at 4-4 when the dual was clinched.
No. 2 USC def. No. 1 UCLA, 3-1
Gulf Place • Gulf Shores, Ala.
2021 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship
Sunday, May 9, 2021
RECORDS: UCLA (32-5), USC (30-4)
1. Tina Graudina/Megan Kraft (USC) def. Savvy Simo/Lexy Denaburg (UCLA); 21-16, 21-17
2. Julia Scoles/Sammy Slater (USC) def. Lea Monkhouse/Devon Newberry (UCLA); 26-24, 21-15
3. Hailey Harward/Haley Hallgren (USC) def. Abby Van Winkle/Lindsey Sparks (UCLA); 21-14, 21-17
4. Megan Muret/Jacqueline Quade (UCLA) vs. Joy Dennis/Delaynie Maple (USC); 24-22, 16-21, 4-4 truncated
5. Rileigh Powers/Jaden Whitmarsh (UCLA) def. Audrey Nourse/Nicole Nourse (USC); 21-13, 26-24
Order of finish: 3, 5, 1, 2*