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    USC, UCLA will rematch in NCAA beach volleyball final
    • May 5, 2024

    The crosstown rivals are running it back on the beach.

    One year after USC vanquished UCLA for its third consecutive NCAA beach volleyball championship, the Trojans and Bruins will do it again Sunday in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

    The Trojans and Bruins are scheduled for first serve at 8 a.m. PT live on ESPN.

    Led by American Volleyball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year Dain Blanton, the top-seeded Trojans (36-5) swept eighth-seeded Loyola Marymount on Saturday morning and then fifth-seeded Cal Poly to advance to the final.

    The second-seeded Bruins (35-6), under the guidance of first-year coach Jenny Johnson Jordan, swept seventh-seeded Cal in the morning before dispatching of 11th-seeded Florida State – which stunned third-seeded Stanford in five sets in the quarterfinals – in four sets in the semifinal.

    The victories set up a seventh meeting in the championship dual between the archrivals, who split six regular-season and Pac-12 tournament contests.

    Their last showdowns came April 26 in the Pac-12 Tournament. UCLA pulled off a reverse sweep to shock USC and send it to the contender’s bracket before the Trojans stormed back to sweep the Bruins in the final for their fifth conference championship.

    The Trojans (2016, 2017, 2021, 2022, 2023) and Bruins (2018, 2019) are the only teams to have ever won an NCAA beach volleyball title.

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    USC leads the all-time series 26-20 over UCLA. In the championship dual, USC has a 2-1 edge and is 3-2 over its rival at the NCAA Tournament.

    This will be the last NCAA final at Gulf Shores, Alabama, before it moves to Huntington Beach in 2025 and 2026.

    ​ Orange County Register