In a match that took nearly three hours, UCLA struggled past Pepperdine, 5-15, 15-13, 15-13, 14-16, 15-8, in the Reebok volleyball tournament Friday night before 2,120 at Pauley Pavilion.
Fifth-ranked UCLA will meet USC tonight at 8 p.m. in the championship match.
USC beat Penn State, 15-7, 15-10, 15-13.
Pepperdine will play Penn State in the consolation match at 6 p.m.
In the opening game, the top-ranked Trojans had an easier time than was expected in beating the second-ranked Nittany Lions.
After winning the first game with ease, the Trojans seemingly lulled themselves to sleep for much of the rest of the match.
A surge by Penn State in the second game woke up USC, and the Trojans had to come from behind in the final game for the win.