Top-ranked and unbeaten UCLA went to Zuma Beach on Wednesday and swept No. 3 Pepperdine in NCAA beach volleyball in a big early season non-conference matchup.
It was a prelude to a key weekend in NCAA beach volleyball, including the East Meets West Invitational on Manhattan Beach that includes both UCLA, Pepperdine, No. 4 Florida State, No. 6 LSU, No. 9 FIU and No. 19 TCU.
It’s also a time when men’s indoor teams are at point in the schedule when most of the key competitions are out of conference.
There are two men’s matches involving ranked teams on Thursday at Hawai’i.
It starts with fifth-ranked Pepperdine of the MPSF playing No. 15 Ball State of the MIVA, followed by No. 2 Hawai’i facing King of Conference Carolinas. The tournament continues through Saturday.
UCLA sweeps Pepperdine: UCLA of the Pac-12 had never won at Zuma Beach in Malibu, just up the road from Pepperdine, having lost twice each previously to Pepperdine and USC.
But on a cold and rainy Thursday, the Bruins (10-0) continued their early season dominance as the defending NCAA champions didn’t lose a set.
It was the first time that Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference (6-2) had been swept in an NCAA regular-season dual match and only the third time in the program’s history that the Waves lost on Zuma Beach.
1. Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (UCLA) def. Heidi Dyer/Brook Bauer (PEPP); 21-15, 21-16
2. Lily Justine/Sarah Sponcil (UCLA) def. Deahna Kraft/Gigi Hernandez (PEPP); 21-17, 21-18
3. Abby Van Winkle/Zana Muno (UCLA) def. Alexis Filippone/Maddie Dilfer (PEPP); 21-15, 21-18
4. Savvy Simo/Lea Monkhouse (UCLA) def. Jenna Tunnell/Skylar Caputo (PEPP); 21-17, 21-17
5. Lindsey Sparks/Izzy Carey (UCLA) def. Nikki Lyons/Katie Gavin (PEPP); 21-11, 21-10
VolleyballMag.com’s Rob Espero caught up with Pepperdine junior Heidi Dyer, who plays No. 1 for the Waves with Brook Bauer, after the match: