Obviously, the big news is that our women's volleyball team grabbed NCAA championship #108 for UCLA on Friday night, winning a tough fight against Illinois. It also highlighted something interesting: our in-game thread for last night's match against Illinois was rocking, getting way more commentary and generating a lot more excitement than the men's basketball program (which has just finished demolishing UC Davis). As I mentioned in yesterday's Bruin Bites, UCLA fans are desperate for a winner. Seriously, look at how pumped people got for Rachael Kidder and Co. last night.
Again, if there was anything that shows why Chancellor Gene Block and Vice Chancellor Rhea Turteltaub need to throw Chianti Dan out of Morgan Center (setting aside the increasing mountain of evidence that he is an incompetent, tone-deaf, self-centered bureaucrat without a clue), it's the passion that Bruins showed for the women's volleyball team last night. Could you imagine what it would be like if our football program could be a consistent winner? Can you imagine the crazy euphoria if the Bruins could find some gridiron glory in the Rose Bowl (instead of playing in the Rose Bowl)?
So, are you willing to commit to being a winner Gene? These Bruins want one desperately. And it would be so easy to make happen: fire Dan Guerrero, cut Bob Field out of the picture, sever Terry Donahue's input, and bring in a fresh face who is committed to turning UCLA into a winner on the football field.
With that, let's take a look at how our non-revenue sports fared this past week after the jump.
- Starting with Westwood's newest national champs, Ralph Irvin caught up with the ladies as they arrived back in Southern California. Great stuff (and BTW, when compared to Ralph, these ladies are tall!) and congrats again to Coach Michael Sealy and the volleyball ladies.
- Speaking of women's volleyball, the official website has a full recap of the match here for those who missed it on ESPN2. If you want to check out more on the action, there is a photo gallery by Jeff Huehn here, with the AP gallery here.
- Turning to women's basketball, Coach Cori Close's squad did not have a good week. Starting on Tuesday, the Bruins faced off against their old coach, Nikki Caldwell, and her LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. Despite the return of Markel Walker, who led UCLA with 11 points, the Bruins had no chance as Nikki Caldwell had her old team's number, easily handling the Bruins 58-41. Caldwell's defense was tough and kept her old charges, especially Atonye Nyingifa and Rebekah Gardner, in check (leading to UCLA shooting only 31.5% on the night, a season-low).
- The lady hoopsters returned to more friendly confines at Wooden Center on Saturday to take on Pat Summit's #6-ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers. Unfortunately, the result was the same as it was in Baton Rouge: Cori Close's squad was simply not good enough as the Lady Vols ran all over the Bruins, taking them down in Westwood 85-64. Despite having four Bruins score in double digits (Rebekah Gardner - 24 points; Markel Walker - 11 points; Thea Lemberger - 11 points; Atonye Nyingifa - 10 points), UCLA's offense just couldn't keep pace with Tennessee. With the pair of losses, UCLA drops to 5-4 on the season.
- Finally, even though we are still in the middle of the winter in 2011, UCLA baseball is already well underway. In case you missed it, the official site has a full fall recap which includes a video recap by Ralph Irvin with Coach John Savage. And, if you didn't get a chance to make it out to Jackie Robinson Stadium this fall, there is a photo gallery with photographs from this fall's Blue-Gold World Series. Good stuff, although kind of sad how cheap the practice jerseys look. You'd think Adidas could do a bit better than something that looks like we borrowed it from the West Los Angeles Little League.
Alright folks, that's your non-revenue roundup for the past week. Outstanding week for the women's volleyball team, albeit it the same week that our women's basketball team showed it's not ready to take the next step to join the elite ranks in women's college hoops.
Fire away with your thoughts, takes, analysis, and opinions in the comment thread.