Is this an image we'll see again this year? So far, the results seem to suggest so. Photo Credit: Pac-12 Conference
Without football to capture the attention of the wider Bruin Nation, our non-revenue sports were the only UCLA athletics action this weekend and several national title contending squads kept their strong runs going, headlined by the reigning national champion women's golf team and the #3-ranked men's water polo team's big weekends in the Bay Area.
With that, let's take a look at how other Bruin teams fared this past week:
- Despite the crazy successful off-season Patrick Cantlay had, his team hasn't fared so well (by UCLA standard) to start of their campaign. As mentioned last week, the #3-ranked Bruins started the season in Ohio at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational, wrapping up the tournament on Tuesday, coming in fifth place. Following the tournament, the men (without top-ranked amateur Cantlay) took on Northwestern, losing to the Wildcats in match play by the score of 3.5 to 1.5. The men followed it up with the Windon Memorial Classic in Skokie, Illinois (hosted by Northwestern) and currently find themselves in fourth place in the middle of the second round. The tournament's second and third rounds will wrap up today: hopefully, our guys can make a push and come out with a win.
- Jorge Salcedo's #9-ranked soccer team, on the other hand, seemed to have banished their early season demons, earning a tough 2-0 win at home against the #22-ranked San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday evening. Chandler Hoffman was the point-man for the Bruins, scoring twice (in the 70th and 84th minutes), to give UCLA another win. The Aztecs put up a fight, out-shooting the Bruins, who were bailed out by the heroics of goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who made five saves to keep another clean sheet for UCLA. The Bruins improved to 10-3-1 for the season and remain undefeated at 5-0 in Pac-12 play.
- Turning to women's golf, the national champs once again showed why they are ranked #1 and considered the odds-on favorite to repeat and bring another banner to Westwood, winning the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament by three shots this weekend. Even more impressive is that the ladies did so without three-time first-team All-American senior Stephanie Kono, who played in the tournament as an individual, finishing second in the individual standings, finishing two strokes behind Washington's Soo Bin Kim.
- The #3-ranked men's water polo team also had a huge weekend trip to the Bay Area, starting with a tough test at #1-ranked Stanford. The Bruins squeaked out a huge 7-6 win in the hostile waters of Palo Alto, led by Griffin White's hat trick and Josh Samuels' brace. In a big match that was the NCAA's website's lead water polo story, the big win marks the first victory for UCLA in Palo Alto since 1999 to give Bruins in and around Palo Alto a reason to smile (maybe football will figure it out eventually and/or Stanford will return to being...well, Stanford). Coach Adam Wright's team finished their Bay Area road trip with a non-conference match against #14-ranked Santa Clara, dropping the Broncos 12-9, getting goals from practically the entire roster. On their return to Westwood, the Bruins improved to 13-3 overall and 2-1 in conference play for the year.
- The men's volleyball team got their first big exhibition tune-up in this weekend, taking part in four matches as part of the U$C Tournament on Saturday. The Bruins started strong, beating the Pacific Tigers 2-1, before falling to Cal State Northridge 1-2. UCLA got back to their winning ways by beating host and hated rival U$C 2-1 and wrapping up the day with a win over Lewis College 2-1. The men will next host an exhibition alumni game at the Wooden Center next Saturday as part of their pre-season tune-up.
- The #5-ranked women's soccer team were unable to shake the Stanford beatdown, struggling in their sole match in Pullman. Despite dominating the match (to the tune of 29 shots to only 8 for the Lady Cougars, with UCLA goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland making exactly one save in 110 minutes of action), the Bruins failed to find the back of the net, tying Washington State 0-0 after two overtime periods. In a disappointing stumble, the Bruins came within inches in the dying minutes of the second OT, with senior sensation Sydney Leroux rattling the woodwork. Obviously, this raises some issues around B.J. Snow's squad and their inability to be ruthless finishers in front of net. The ladies will have a week to sort out those issues before they take on the Arizona
MildcatsWildcats this coming Friday night. For the season, the women now stand at 10-1-3 overall and 3-1-2 in Pac-12 play.
- Finally, the #6-ranked women's volleyball team kicked off their Breast Cancer Awareness weekend with a 3-0 clean sweep of the Oregon State Beavers at Wooden Center on Friday. The ladies debuted their special edition pink breast cancer awareness uniforms (being auctioned by the official site, with proceeds going to help breast cancer research) and were led by a trio of new Bruins in junior transfer Tabi Love and freshmen Zoe Nightingale and Priscilla Duke-Ezeji. The ladies completed their weekend by beating the #16-ranked Oregon Ducks on Saturday, needing an extra set to put down the Lady Ducks, 3-1. The Bruins pulled out the win, led by familiar faces in senior Lauren Van Orden (with another double-double) and junior Rachael Kidder. The big weekend sweep brings the Lady Bruins to 16-3 overall and 9-2 in Pac-12 conference play.
That's it for the weekend round-up of non-revenue action. Big weekend for a couple of the squads, although some troubling results (women's soccer and men's golf) raise questions on whether a couple of teams will be in the hunt for a national title or will come back to Westwood empty-handed.
Fire away with your non-revenue thoughts, comments, and takes in the thread.