NCAA beach volleyball kicks off conference tournaments
The GIST: Five of the eight beach volleyball conferences, including the CUSA and OVC, will dig into their tourneys this week, delivering some early sand and sun before final exams. Grab that SPF — you’ll be on the beach all week.
How it works: Matchups are structured just like they are in the regular season, but now there’s more than bragging rights on the line: Conference champs earn automatic bids to the 16-team national tournament, which starts on May 5th.
- There will also be eight committee-selected at-large bids up for grabs, but five teams would love to join Stetson, Long Beach State, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in punching their tickets here and now.
- Some conferences boast clear-cut leaders — for example, No. 5 LMU is heavily favored to lock down the WCC, which starts their tourney tomorrow, but two others are so packed with talent that they’re sure to make major waves.
Pac-12: Only two schools have ever won the natty — they both compete in the Pac-12. No. 1 UCLA and No. 3 USC are the undeniable beach queens, but expect No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 Cal to give them a run for their money when this double-elimination standoff starts today at 11:30 a.m. ET. Really loving this season of The Californians.
CCSA: This conference also has four Top-10 teams, led by No. 2 TCU. They’ll likely battle No. 4 Florida State (last year’s natty runner-up) in the final unless No. 6 LSU or No. 7 Grand Canyon have something to say about it. With a double-elimination bracket, there will be double the chaos when the gals kick off tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET. Lucky us.