NCAA volleyball: UCLA opens with beach win, big men’s victory for PFW

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Nicole McNamara-UCLA beach-NCAA volleyball2/22/2019
Nicole McNamara dives for the high line shot/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Top-ranked UCLA kicked off the NCAA women’s beach volleyball season with a 5-0 sweep of visiting No. 6 Cal Poly, while a light night in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball saw a minor MIVA upset.

NCAA BEACH
UCLA, the defending NCAA champion, won three of the five matches in two sets but had to grind to get the team victory.

Twins Megan and Nicole McNamara beat Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden 21-16, 24-22.

At No. 2, Lily Justine and Sarah Sponcil had to go three to beat Tiadora Miric and Crissy Jones 17-21, 21-9, 15-13. 

Abby Van Winkle and Zana Muno defeated Macy Gordon and Vanessa Roscoe 17-21, 21-17, 15-10. Van Winkle, a freshman from San Clemente, is the lone new starter for the Bruins.

“I started off a little nervous, it was my first match ever playing for UCLA, but it was more of an excited nervous,” Van Winkle said. “The first game was a little rough, but we came back and won the next two. It was so fun. I want to play again. Right now.”

At No. 4, Mac May and Savvy Simo downed Elenore Johanssen and Jayelin Lombard 21-14, 21-9. 

The No. 5 match saw Izzy Carey and Megan Muret beat Brayden Gruenewald and Heather Pembroke 21-16, 21-15.

“Cal Poly is a great team,” UCLA coach Stein Metzger said. “I’ve got to tell you, I was a little nervous coming into this, because I know that (Cal Poly coach) Todd (Rogers) is doing great things with them, he teaches a lot of the things that we do as well, I think we can play each other well, we match up well against each other, and he had a great game plan against Lily and Sarah when they came out, and we had to make some adjustments to pull that one out.

Metzger said a lineup change has helped.

“The big difference that we started with is splitting up Zana and Savvy. We did that because they’re both amazing at defense and then on top of that transitioning and putting that ball away. When we have them together we’re splitting half their time. If we can put them with blockers we can have them playing defense full time and transitioning every ball that can only help.

“That’s what different about us this year, and we’re fortunate that we’re deep enough to have that option. It worked today, we’ll see how it works (this weekend) in Hawai’i.”

For complete look at Friday’s schedule, see our story from earlier this week.

NCAA MEN
MPSF: The only MPSF match Friday has No. 4 Pepperdine at Grand Canyon, which is coming off being swept Thursday at No. 8 Stanford.

Jordan Ewert and Jaylen Jasper led Stanford (10-5, 3-2) with 12 kills each in the 25-11, 25-19, 25-15 victory. Stephen Moye added eight kills in nine errorless attacks to hit .889 and had five digs and six blocks, two solo.

While Stanford hit .385, Grand Canyon hit .035.

MIVA: There were three matches in the MIVA on Thursday, including No. 15 Purdue Fort Wayne sweeping No. 12 Ball State, No. 7 Loyola going four to beat McKendree, and No. 10 Lewis going getting past Ohio State in five.

Purdue Fort Wayne (9-7, 3-2) won at Ball State (7-8, 1-4) 25-21, 26-24, 25-20. Pelegrin Vargas had 19 kills and hit .444, while Colton Stone and Kade Bontrager had eight kills each. Matt Szews led Ball State with 10 kills.

Loyola (12-3, 5-0) maintained its lead atop the league with Lewis by winning at McKendree (6-6, 3-2) 16-25, 25-20, 25-19, 26-24. Will Tischler led with 16 kills, and Collin Mahan had 14 and hit .433 to go with eight digs and four blocks. Will Frank had 13 kills for McKendree.

Lewis (12-4, 5-0) rallied at Ohio State (5-10, 1-4) 25-21, 18-25, 24-26, 25-17, 15-11. Ryan Coenen led with 14 kills, seven digs, two aces and two blocks. TJ Murray had 11 kills, hit .667, and had eight blocks. Tyler Alter led the Buckeyes with 19 kills, nine digs and three blocks.

Big West: The only match Friday has UC San Diego playing a non-league match at UC Santa Cruz.

EIVA: The EIVA has been off all week. Its only ranked team, No. 13 George Mason, is home for Penn State. Princeton goes to Harvard, NJIT is at Sacred Heart and Saint Francis is at Charleston.

Penn State and Princeton lead the league at 3-0, Mason is 3-1, and Harvard is 2-1.

ConfCarolinas: There are three matches involving Conference Carolinas teams, but only one in the league.

Limestone goes to North Greenville, while Mount Olive goes to Queens and Erskine plays host to Coker.

Barton holds a half-game lead at 6-1 over King, which is 6-2. North Greenville is 5-2.

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