UCLA’s McNamaras Named Pac-12 Pair of the Year, USC’s Graudina Rookie

  0 volleymob | May 03rd, 2018 | College - Beach, News, Pac-12

Courtesy: Pac-12 Conference

SAN FRANCISCO – UCLA junior Nicole McNamara was voted Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Player of the Year and is part of the duo that was voted Pac-12 Pair of the Year with her twin sister Megan McNamara, the Conference office announced today. USC’s Tina Graudina was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year while UCLA’s Stein Metzger was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the second-straight year.

The McNamara twins have posted a 31-7 record at the No. 1 pairs position this season, leading UCLA to its first 30-win season and first Pac-12 title last week. The Vancouver, BC, Canada, natives defeated USC’s top pair of Tina Graudina and Abril Bustamante in the championship dual to clinch the conference crown, 3-1. The McNamara’s 31 wins are the most of any pair in the country while leading the Bruins to their first No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Championship. They were named Pac-12 Pair of the Week on March 20 and were voted to the Pac-12 Championship All-Tournament team last week. The duo is the first Bruin tandem to win the Pac-12 Pair of the Year honor and Nicole is also the first Bruin to win the Pac-12 Player of the Year recognition.

Graudina has made an immediate impact on the Trojan squad, going 28-2 at the No. 1 position with all of her wins coming with partner Abril Bustamante. Since being permanently paired with Bustamante on March 3, Graudina put together a nine-match win streak and then a 19-match win streak, losing only to top pairs from Hawai’i and UCLA, both teams that earned NCAA berths. A native of Jurmala, Latvia, has helped two-time defending national champion USC earn its third-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. She, along with Bustamante, were tabbed the Pac-12 Pair of the Week on March 27 and were named to the Pac-12 Championship All-Tournament team.

For the second-straight year, UCLA’s Metzger is voted the coach of the year by his league peers, leading UCLA to the program’s first conference title, and first No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Championship and upcoming NCAA Championship. The team has won a program-record 35 wins, winning a team-record 30 in a row, a streak they carry into the NCAA Championship this week. Suffering just three losses this season, the setbacks have been to teams ranked in the top five in the country and are participating in the eight-team national championship, their last loss coming on March 8. Three Bruin tandems were named to the Pac-12 Championship All-Tournament team after the Bruins defeated USC for the conference title, 3-1.


In addition to the McNamaras, two other Bruins earned Pac-12 first team honors: Lily Justine and Sarah Sponcil. Abril Bustamante and Terese Cannon joined Graudina representing USC on the first team.


All-Pac-12 Beach First Team

Abril Bustamante, USC

Terese Cannon, USC

Tina Graudina, USC

Lily Justine, UCLA

Megan McNamara, UCLA

Nicole McNamara, UCLA

Mima Mirkovic, Cal

Kathryn Plummer, Stanford

Sarah Sponcil, UCLA

Courtney Schwan, Washington


Second Team

Adora Anae, Utah

Jordan Anderson, Washington

Dani Barton, Utah

Courtney Bowen, Stanford

Haley Hallgren, USC

Morgan Hentz, Stanford

Destiny Julye, Washington

Iya Lindahl, Cal

Savvy Simo, UCLA

Sammy Slater, USC


All-Freshman Team

Tina Graudina, USC

Mac May, UCLA

Mima Mirkovic, Cal

Sammy Slater, USC

Sunny Villapando, Stanford

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