2017 NCAA BEACH CHAMPIONSHIPS
Day 1 of the 2017 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships has wrapped up from Gulf Shores, Alabama, and the second round of the Winner’s bracket has gone the way of the Pepperdine Waves.
The windy conditions favor teams like Pepperdine who are used to practicing and playing on natural beaches, where winds tend to be higher. Sustained winds nearing 20 miles per hour are expected to die down on Saturday, though, into the 10-12 mile-per-hour range, which could shift the favor of the tournament.
Editor’s Note: The tournament is a double-elimination championship, so teams that lose still have an opportunity to play their way back into the championship.
Winner’s Bracket – #3 Pepperdine def. #2 UCLA 3-1
The UCLA women won the first result of the day at the 1-line, where the McNamara twins beat Delaney Knudsen and Maddy Roh at the 1 line 21-16, 21-16.
But then, the Waves rolled in, and in a matter of about 2 minutes, they finished off wins at the 2, 4, and 6 lines, all 2-set sweeps, to seal the tournament.
The biggest among those was a 4-line win where Anika Wilson and Deahna Kraft beat UCLA’s Lily Justine and Savvy Simo 2-0. Justine/Simo had only lost 1 other time the entire season as a pair.
Pepperdine thrived in the winds, which are similar to those that they are used to on the hallowed sands of Zuma Beach. While UCLA was the 2 seed and Pepperdine the 3 seed in this tournament, Pepperdine did win the only regular-season matchup between the two, taking a 3-2 decision in the season’s opening weekend.
Pepperdine now plays #1 USC at 4 Eastern on Saturday for a fast-pass to Sunday’s championship game. UCLA drops down to the contenders bracket, where they play #4 Florida State. The loser of that match will be eliminated.
- McNamara/McNamara (UCLA) def. Roh/Knudsen (Pepperdine) 2-0 (21-16, 21-16)
- Quiggle/Howard (Pepperdine) def. Tan/Yeomans (UCLA) 2-0 (21-17, 21-17)
- Caputo/Dyer (Pepperdine) DNF Van Winden/Zappa (UCLA) 17-21, 21-16, 3-0* (Match did not conclude)
- Wilson/Kraft (Pepperdine) def. Carey/Anderson (UCLA) 2-0 (21-18, 21-16)
- Seiber/Lyons (Pepperdine) def. Simo/Justine (UCLA) 2-0 (21-19, 21-19)
#WinningWaves .. this is what a #MellowMalibu dog pile looks like! #NCAABeachVB #WavesUp pic.twitter.com/tobkvOCqRV
— Pepperdine Beach VB (@WavesBeachVB) May 5, 2017
Winner’s Bracket – #1 USC def. #5 Hawaii 3-0
Hawaii’s Cinderella run stalled on Friday afternoon in Gulf Shores when their opening round upset of Florida St. was followed by a quick 3-0 win at the hands of USC in the Winner’s Bracket 2nd round.
Fittingly, the team’s #1 pair of Kelly Claes and Sarah Hughes, who have only lost 1 match in the last two years, finished the day with a hard-earned win over Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker from Hawaii.
USC has now won 8 straight over Hawaii.
USC will play UCLA in the semi-finals, while Hawaii drops down to the contender’s bracket, where they’ll play 7-seeded LSU at 3:10 Eastern on Saturday.
 No. 1 USC def.  No. 5 Hawai’i, 3-0
2017 NCAA Championship • Winner’s Bracket Semifinal
The Hangout • Gulf Shores, Ala.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Records: USC (36-1), Hawai’i (26-6)
1. Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes (USC) def. Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker (UH); 21-17, 22-20
2. Sophie Bukovec/Allie Wheeler (USC) vs. Ka’iwi Schucht/Nikki Taylor (UH); 12-21, 21-10, 6-3 DNF
3. Terese Cannon/Nicolette Martin (USC) def. Emily Maglio/Laurel Weaver (UH); 21-19, 21-13
4. Abril Bustamante/Joy Dennis (USC) def. Ari Homayun/Carly Kan (UH); 21-18, 25-23
5. Jenna Belton/Jo Kremer (USC) vs. Amy Ozee/Hannah Zalopany (UH); 21-12, 15-21 DNF
Order of finish: 3, 4, 1*
Come for the stellar @uscbeach interview and insight.
STAY for the stellar videobomb. ? #NCAABeachVB pic.twitter.com/SQTJqZWDRA
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 5, 2017