Happy Friday everyone.
For the third time this year, the No. 7 UCLA women’s tennis team toppled crosstown rival, 10th-ranked USC, defeating the Trojans by a score of 4-0.
The only thing that changed was the stage on which they accomplished the feat – the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
Coming into the match, the Bruins knew they’d be in for a battle, and the Women of Troy made sure to give them just that.
"It was a real fight," UCLA coach Stella Sampras Webster said. "We knew they weren’t going to come out flat, so we had to be ready for that."
From the opening moment, the match had little room for separation between the two squads, as the doubles point came down to the wire with the Bruins finally clinching it at court No. 2.
Bruins will now take on Arkansas, which pulled off a huge upset against second seeded Georgia. Here is to the ladies keeping up their hot streak. Also on the tennis front, the men’s team is going to have its own Sweet-16 matchup today against number 14 Florida State.
Meanwhile, speaking of championships, the softball team is gunning for title number 12 starting today at Easton:
Easton Stadium doesn’t have varnished wood like Pauley Pavilion. It doesn’t seat 100,000 like the Rose Bowl. It doesn’t sit in the middle of campus like Drake Stadium. It doesn’t host concerts like the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
It’s at the top of the Hill, almost past the gates of Bel Air.
Past the ivy-covered walls and the 1,300 bleacher seats, past the manicured clay infield and grassy outfield is a sun-bleached blue wall. There are 22 numbers in faded gold on that wall – a series of dates from 1979 to 2004, and the numbers 1 to 11.
That’s the legacy of the most dominant program in college softball. Today, UCLA softball begins its journey to Oklahoma City – the Women’s College World Series – where it hopes to gain a record-setting 12th national championship. […]
"It’s helpful to stay at home and be able to play on the field that (we have) practiced on for the past year," senior Krista Colburn said.
Hosting an opening round tournament has become almost a tradition for the Bruins, who have hosted one every year since 2004. This weekend, the second-seeded Bruins (45-7) host Nevada (42-16), Purdue (34-21) and Cal State Fullerton (27-26-1).
Bruins will be taking on CSUF this afternoon (sometime around 5 pm?). You can read the full write up here.
If you are going to make it over to Easton for the softball game you might also want to consider dropping by at Jackie Robinson stadium for a huge baseball series against Washington State. The official site has the series notes/preview against the Cougars:
Washington State enters this weekend's series with a 28-22 overall record and a 6-12 mark in the Pac-10 Conference. Scott Suttmeier leads Washington State with a .331 average in 47 games. Jim Murphy has totaled a team-leading 13 home runs and 56 RBI, starting all 50 games. Washington State's pitching staff is led by left-handers Matt Way (3-3, 3.79, 59.1 IP) and Jayson Miller (7-1, 4.24, 85.0 IP).
Tim Murphy will open up the series for our boys tonight. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 pm PST. Tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 1:30 pm, and it will be broadcast live on FSN. I will put up an open thread around 7 pm EST tonight for folks who may want to follow all these games online. However if any of my colleagues wants me to beat to it, go for it!
Lastly, we will end the Friday walk with the latest on Morgan via the LA Times:
UCLA should "be optimistic" that J'Mison Morgan will soon make it official he will play for the Bruins next season, his family said Thursday.
Morgan, a 6-foot-11 center from Dallas who will be a freshman in the fall, was released from his scholarship by Louisiana State earlier this week.
Morgan's mother, Bianca, said, "I'm not saying anything until it's official. We haven't gotten the release yet, but I know it's been granted." Morgan's grandmother said she was hoping that J'Mison would head to UCLA, adding that she had grown fond of UCLA assistant coach Donny Daniels.
The same report on Morgan also has these encouraging notes re Mike Roll:
Michael Roll, a junior who was sidelined Dec. 31 with a left foot injury, is back working out with teammates, according to his mother, Joyce.
Joyce Roll said, "He is coming along well. He still experiences some soreness after a vigorous workout. It will take some time for the soreness to diminish."
Getting Mike back in full health will be a huge boost to our team. The youngsters coming in will really benefit from having yet another steady veteran on the team, who is well versed on the ins and outs of Ben Ball.