The NCAA beach volleyball season is under way with some big tournament action on both coasts. They’re up and running in Fort Lauderdale at the Florida International Beach Invitational where the field includes FIU, LSU, New Orleans and Jacksonsville. Here’s the link to the FIU story. The Arizona Invitational includes not only No. 9 Arizona, but Cal, Loyola Marymount, Cal Poly, New Mexico and Grand Canyon. Here is the preview from the Cal student paper. But the big one is in Pepperdine on Saturday. The UCLA student paper, the Daily Bruin, has a good preview and you can read about it here. The field is loaded, with No. 1 USC, No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 3 Hawai’i, No. 4 Long Beach State and No. 6 UCLA. We caught up with the coaches of both Long Beach and UCLA this week and some UCLA players. Start with Long Beach coach Mike Campbell, the former UCLA player who is excited about his team, which could be called Beach Beach. UCLA has another former Bruin great at the helm in Stein Metzger, who thinks his team is primed to be pretty good this season. We also visited with two Bruins, sophomore Elise Zappla and Nicole McNamara, a freshman from Vancouver whose identical twin Megan will be her partner.
Lots of NCAA men’s action
That includes West Coast teams stepping out of MPSF to go East. For example, Long Beach State plays Mount Olive at Penn State andCal State Northridge plays the Nittany Lions. Here’s the preview from Penn State. UCLA returns the Wednesday match at UC Santa Barbara and BYU hopes to make back-to-back at Hawai’i. There’s a big one in Columbus with Loyola at Ohio State. Here is the Ohio State preview. Lewis comes in next, so a lot is on the line this weekend. The big surprise of the men’s season, Ball State, is on a Western swing, playing at Grand Canyon on Friday and Saturday before going to UCLA on Monday. Here’s the Ball State story.
FIVB beach update in Rio
Here is the FIVB release that will get you up to date. Hey, it’s got a Switzerland dateline, but it is what it is.