NCAA Beach Championships: Selections & Analysis of the Field

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 29th, 2018 | College - Beach, News

At 7 p.m. ET Sunday, the NCAA announced the eight teams selected to compete at the 2018 NCAA Beach Championship.

For a look at how the field is selected, check out our interview with the NCAA’s Director of Championships and Alliances Kristin Fasbender, here.

For our best guess of who would be in and out, check out our final NCAA Bracketology, here.

We missed one of the two at-large choices as the NCAA split the field evenly East and West, keeping Long Beach State and Cal Poly out of the tournament.

Just released from the NCAA is how the field hashed out. Interesting that LSU was the at-large selection, not Florida International as many predicted, yet LSU received a higher seed.

VolleyMob will have more on that decision and others in an upcoming interview with NCAA Beach Selection Committee chair Kelcey Roegiers either later tonight or Monday morning.

Up front, we knew eight teams named to the double-elimination tournament field, including three will be from the East Region and three from the West. The two at-large selections could have come from either region.

The Championships will take place May 4-6 in Gulf Shores, Alabama, at Gulf Beach Place. matches will be aired on ESPNU, ESPN2 and ESPN.

USC won the first two NCAA titles, besting Florida State in 2016 and Pepperdine in 2017. All three teams likely will be in this year’s field.

The four teams who have made the semifinals the last two years are all among the field in 2018: USC, UCLA, Florida State and Hawaii. And all were basically locks to make the field.

Re-watch the selection show on here.


The Field:

From the West

#1 Seed UCLA

  • Pac-12 Champions
  • 35-3
  • 27-3 vs. Regional opponents

No surprises here as UCLA was the No. 1 team nationally for much of the season and the Bruins won the Pac-12 running away on Saturday.


#2 seed Pepperdine

  • 2017 NCAA runnerup
  • West Coast Conference champions
  • 24-3
  • 14-3 vs. regional opponents

Pepperdine was No. 2 in the AVCA rankings and sealed their bid with the WCC Title last week.


#3 seed Hawaii

  • Big West Champions
  • 35-3
  • 22-3 vs. Regional Opponents

Hawaii has been on a tear, winning its last 30 matches, and taking the Big West title with back to back wins over sixth-ranked Long Beach State.


#5 seed USC

  • Two-time defending NCAA Champion
  • Pac-12 Finalists
  • 25-12
  • 21-11 vs. regional foes


From the East

#4 Florida State

  • CCSA Champion
  • 30-6
  • 28-0 vs. regional foes

FSU was clearly the top pick out of the East, dominating regional foes and securing its third-straight CCSA title last week with six straight wins in the league tournament, including a 4-1 win over LSU in the finals.


#6 South Carolina

  • CCSA Semifinalists
  • 26-12
  • 21-17 vs. regional foes

The Gamecocks fell to LSU in the semifinals of the CCSA Tournament.


#7 LSU

  • CCSA Finalist
  • 26-12
  • 21-7 vs. Regional foes

The Tigers were the CCSA runnerup and built a resume including wins over USC (4-1) and Cal Poly (3-2).


#8  Florida International

  • CCSA Semifinalists
  • 23-10
  • 22-5 vs. Regional Foes

FIU ended the CCSA season in the tournament semifinals, falling to eventual champion Florida State 5-0.


The Bracket/Schedule

Friday, May 4

  • 9 a.m. – #1 UCLA vs. #8 FIU
  • 10 a.m.  – #5 USC vs. #4 Florida State
  • 11 a.m. – #2 Pepperdine vs. #7 LSU
  • Noon – #3 Hawaii vs. #6 South Carolina

The full NCAA bracket, including dates and times for second round and elimination bracket matches all the way through to the finals is here and below.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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