The Pac-12 made up 25 percent of the 2018 NCAA beach volleyball tournament this field, and after the first day of competition it still comprises one-third of the teams still alive for the national title.
But both top-seeded UCLA and No. 5 seed USC will have to come out of the loser’s bracket after each losing once during Thursday’s first day of competition in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
UCLA (32-4) cruised to a 3-0 win over No. 8 Florida International in its opening match but then was knocked off 3-1 by No. 4 Florida State in the semifinals to fall to the loser’s bracket. The Bruins will face No. 7 LSU in an elimination match Friday at 12 p.m. PT.
USC (23-11) lost 3-1 to Florida State in the first round but stayed alive with a 3-2 victory over Florida International. The Trojans, who are the two-time defending national champs, will face No. 2 Pepperdine at 11 a.m. PT Friday in an elimination match.
UCLA and USC could meet in an elimination match if both win their first matches on Friday.