NCAA: Beach field to be unveiled, Springfield faces New Paltz for D-III title

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USC's Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes ham it up during a time-out/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest Photography

Who makes the eight-team National Collegiate Beach Championship bracket?

The field will be announced on NCAA.com at 7 p.m. Eastern Sunday.

In the NCAA beach game Saturday, Hawai’i won the Big West tournament title, while USC’s Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes won the Pac-12 pairs championship.

And in NCAA men’s volleyball, there’s a rematch of last year’s title tilt as host Springfield plays defending national-champion SUNY New Paltz in the Division III championship match at 4 p.m. Eastern Sunday.

NCAA beach: Three teams get in from the West, three from the East and then two at-larges.

Barring something unusual when the selection show airs on NCAA.com, the top seed will be top-ranked USC, No. 2 will go to UCLA and the third-spot to Pepperdine.

The East teams will be Florida State, LSU and either Florida International or Georgia State.

The two at-larges will be Hawai’i and Long Beach State, two teams that battled it out in the Big West on Saturday.

Competition starts Friday in Gulf Shores, Ala., and the action will be televised by Turner Sports entities TruTV and TBS.

Sandbows repeat in Big West: Sixth-ranked Hawai’i beat No. 5 Long Beach twice on Pismo Beach to repeat as champions, 3-2, in a winners bracket meeting before taking down the 49ers 4-1, in the title match.

The Rainbow Wahine (26-5) have won 11 of their last 12 matches. The SandBows went through the exact same route as last year’s inaugural title, with an opening day win over Cal Poly and two wins over LBSU.

The No. 3 pair of Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver clinched in both victories Saturday, beating Anete Brinke and Hailey Harward each time to improve to 28-3. Also, for Hawai’i, No. 4 pair Ari Homayun and Carly Kan set a school record with their 13th consecutive victory.

It was also a record-setting day for senior Nikki Taylor, who earned her 103rd overall win to surpass former partner Katie Spieler for the all-time UH mark.

Claes and Hughes reign: A day after USC won the team title at the Pac-12 Championship, No. 1 pair Claes and Hughes won for the second straight year, 21-6, 21-11 over USC teammates Allie Wheeler and Sophie Bukovec in the title match.

Claes/Hughes, USC def. Zappia/Van Winden, UCLA, 21-12, 21-14
Witt/Witt, ARIZ def. Scambray/Jones, WASH, 21-13, 21-14
Bukovec/Wheeler, USC def. Arellano/Follette, ASU, 19-21, 21-19, 16-14
Gray/Plummer, STAN def. Tan/Yeomans, UCLA, 15-21, 21-18, 15-11
Claes/Hughes, USC def. Witt/Witt, ARIZ, 21-15, 21-18
Bukovec/Wheeler, USC def. Plummer/Gray, STAN, 18-21, 21-18, 15-13
Claes/Hughes, USC def. Bukovec/Wheeler, USC, 21-6, 21-11.
Alexander Carpenter (20) and Stevens teammate Gabe Shankweiler struggle with the hit of Springfield's Sean Zuvich/Chris Unger photo
Alexander Carpenter (20) and Stevens teammate Gabe Shankweiler struggle with the ball as Springfield’s Sean Zuvich looks on/Chris Unger photo

Springfield vs. New Paltz again: Top-ranked Springfield beat Stevens Institute 25-21, 25-14, 28-26 to move into the championship match for the eighth consecutive season.

Springfield has played in every NCAA D-III title match since its inception in 2012. The Pride won in 2012, 2013 and 2014 before falling to Stevens in 2015 and New Paltz last year.

This year, Springfield won both their meetings, 3-0 and 3-1.

Springfield, which improved to 28-2, got yet another huge performance from national player of the year Luis Vega. He led with 20 kills and hit .571. Sean Zuvich added nine kills and Ricardo Padilla Ayala had seven and three aces. Their team hit .429.

Stevens, which ended its season 31-6, got 11 kills from David Lehman, who hit .300, and seven from Gabe Shankweiler, who also had three digs and five blocks.

New Paltz, down 2-1 to Wentworth, rallied for a 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12 victory to improve to 27-8.

Steven Woessner was huge, leading with 18 kills while hitting .517. Jake Roessler added 14 kills and hit .400 and Anthony Bonilla added 13 kills, but hit .000 and had six of hits team’s 24 service errors. He had eight digs.

Wentworth, which ended its season 28-7, got 15 kills from Jake Reed, 13 from Sean Mullen and 11 from Jon Roat.

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