Two Southern California powerhouses claim volleyball hardware
The GIST: Grads weren’t the only ones celebrating this weekend: Volleyball’s jam-packed seasons came to a dramatic end as two Southern California powerhouses took some serious hardware back home to LA.
🏐 Men’s volleyball: Two titans of the men’s court faced off for the national title Saturday, and it was exactly as thrilling as you’d expect. Sets were won by razor-thin margins, but the top-seeded UCLA Bruins came out on top — defeating the defending champs No. 2 Hawaii 3-1 to bag their 20th trophy and first ’ship since 2006. Eight-freaking-clap.
🏖️ Beach volleyball: The No. 1 seed Bruins weren’t so lucky on the sand — they fought back from an early deficit but ultimately lost the natty to crosstown rival No. 3 USC yesterday. After UCLA eliminated them from the Pac-12 tourney last month, the Trojans took championship-level revenge, hoisting their third straight national trophy. Can you say dynasty?
Zooming out: UCLA and USC’s 2022 bombshell announcement that they’d defect from the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten in 2024 sent shockwaves through the college sports landscape and left the Pac-12 scrambling to save face. One consolation for West Coasters? Their beach queens will be sticking around the Pac-12 for the long haul.
- These LA schools are the sport’s only champs since the national tourney began in 2016. So despite the upheaval, the Pac-12 still has two viable championship contenders in at least one sport on its roster. Small comforts.