Maybe Ben Howland should send his lazy, out-of-shape squad to Cori Close's practices so they can learn to play some Ben Ball style defense from Atonye Nyingifa. Oh, and BTW, don't those throw-back style uniforms look sweet? (Photo Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP)
While this weekend featured a pair of embarrassing, total fail losses for both Rick's hapless squad and Howland's lazy, uninspired unit, the past week featured predominately good results for UCLA's other athletic squads, with a few mixed results, and one weekend sweep.
Despite some of our non-revenue sports putting themselves in prime position for post-season runs, this past weekend was one of the worst weekends in recent UCLA history. We saw Howland's overweight, slow, lazy, entitled squad came out flat and uninspired against a vastly inferior (in terms of talent) Loyola Marymount squad, losing 69-58, while Rick took his hapless team to Salt Lake City, where the Bruins embarrassed themselves with stupid penalties and lazy, unimaginative play, leading to a 31-6 Utah victory.
Although most of our non-revenue sports had a solid week, it doesn't change the need for us to enact wholesale regime change in Westwood.
With that, let's take a look at how our non-revenue programs fared this past week:
- Starting with Jorge Salcedo's squad, the #6-ranked men's soccer team ended the regular season in style, beating San Diego State 2-0, to wrap up a perfect 10-0 run in conference play. The Bruins opened the scoring in the dying seconds of the first half with a Victor Chavez goal and followed it up when Chandler Hoffman scored his 15th goal of the season in the 82nd minute. The Bruins ended the regular season 15-4-1 overall and 10-0 in Pac-12 play. Their next action will be in the NCAA tournament, thanks to their automatic berth as Pac-12 champions.
- Cori Close got her Westwood career off to a good start, as her #22-ranked Lady Bruins won the opening round of the Women's NIT at Wooden Center, defeating McNeese State 67-59. The ladies never trailed, and while playing in some sweet throw-back style uniforms (can someone explain why women's basketball gets cool uniforms, but football has cheap looking piece of s**t uniforms?!), and were led by Atonye Nyingifa's double-double (16 points, 12 boards) and freshman Rhema Gardner's game high 18 points. The ladies built a 21 point lead in the second half before taking their foot off the pedal, giving McNeese State a respectable scoreline.
- Cori's squad followed up Friday's win with another victory on Sunday in the second round of the WNIT at Wooden Center, this time dismantling Tennessee Tech 74-52. This time the Bruins were led by a different Gardner sister, as big sister senior Rebekah Gardner posted a 21 point, 102 rebound double-double, while Atonye Nyingifa kept up her red-hot form, notching another double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds). The ladies are on their way to Waco to take on #1-ranked Baylor in the Thursday WNIT semi-final. Big test at the outset for the new UCLA coach.
- Turning to the #1-ranked men's water polo team, the men kept their winning ways up, starting the weekend early with a 13-10 win over #8-ranked Long Beach State on Thursday night. Josh Samuels was once again the cog in the Bruins attack, leading the team with four goals, while Cullen Hennessy, Cristiano Mirarchi and Griffin White all chipped in with a pair of goals each. The Bruins needed a third-quarter comeback to seize the win over Long Beach State and pick up a tough road win. The squad followed up Thursday's narrow win with another road win, this time beating #9-ranked Pepperdine 9-6 on Saturday. Griffin White had the hot hand, putting in 5 of the Bruins' goals, in a match that UCLA took control of early, forcing the Waves to play catch-up the balance of the match. At the end of the weekend, Adam Wright's men stand at 19-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
- B.J. Snow's squad got their post-season started, with the #2-ranked women's soccer team taking on New Mexico in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at Drake Stadium. With ten Lady Bruins making their first NCAA tournament appearance (in a squad that started six freshman), the ladies ground out a close win, dropping the Lobos 1-0, thanks to a Kylie McCarthy goal in the 65th minute. The ladies get back in action on Friday, taking on San Diego in the second round. If they advance, they'll face the winner of the Miami-Long Beach State match in the third round.
- Getting their conference season underway, the #25-ranked women's swimming and diving team had a bad weekend in Arizona, starting with a 164.5-134.5 loss to #23-ranked Arizona State on Friday. Despite seven event wins, the ladies couldn't keep up with the Sun Devils. The Lady Bruins were led by senior Bianca Casciari and sophomore Cynthia Fascella, who each notched a hat trick of event victories. The ladies got a chance at redemption in the desert on Saturday, but came up short in Tucson, getting handled by #8-ranked Arizona 172-128. After a weekend sweep in the desert, the ladies stand at 1-2 overall and 0-2 in conference play: not exactly an auspicious start to the season.
- In other disappointing news, the #1-ranked women's volleyball team weren't able to pull off a clean sweep in Oregon, starting the weekend with a surprising 3-2 loss to #20-ranked Oregon in Eugene. The ladies started strong, picking up the first two sets, but were unable to close out the match, as the Ducks stormed back to win the final three and steal a victory from UCLA. Despite Rachael Kidder's double-double (15 kills, 10 digs) and Lauren Van Orden's 41 assists and 9 digs, the women could not overcome the Ducks. The ladies got back on track on Saturday, beating Oregon State in four sets, led (once again) by Rachael Kidder's second double-double of the weekend (18 kills, 11 digs) and Tabi Love's 13 kills. The ladies will close out their regular season with the final three games in Westwood and now stand at 23-4 overall and 16-3 in Pac-12 play.
Alright folks, that's your non-revenue roundup for the past week. Great start for Cori Close and an encouraging start for B.J. Snow's team in what we all hope will be a deep march to a national title. But while our non-revenue sports are doing great (as usual), we shouldn't let that be a crutch for Guerrero's Reign of Error, and we have to keep our eye on the ultimate prize to do right by our student athletes: wholesale regime change in Westwood.
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