The Lady Bruins got their season started off right: hopefully 2012 will end with a national title instead of second-place (Photo credit - Chris McGrath, Getty Images)
It's Monday morning (well noon for those of you on the East Coast) and we're creeping closer to the finale of this year's college football season. While it means another long eight months until September 1 and the kick-off of the 2012 season, it does mean it's the time of the year where we transition into a new season for many of our non-revenue sports.
So before we get to the SEC love-fest tonight, let's take a quick few minutes to recap how our non-revenue sports fared this past week, including a few that got their seasons underway:
- Starting with our women's basketball team, the ladies went down to the desert for a weekend road trip against the Arizona schools, beginning with the Arizona Lady
MildcatsWildcats on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Coach Cori Close's team came up short, falling to Arizona 74-66. The Bruins were led by Markel Walker's double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds), got good games from Thea Lemberger (17 points, 5 assists, 1 steal), Rebekah Gardner (12 points, 8 rebounds), and a just-short-of-a-double-double performance by Corinne Costa (8 points, 7 rebounds), but it was all for naught as the Wildcats ran out of the buildings with the win.
- The ladies followed up Thursday's disappointing loss by following in their male counterpart's shoes, blowing out the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe, 64-48. Markel Walker picked up another double-double (15 points, 13 rebounds), while Thea Lemberger lit up the scoreboard with 22 points. Rebekah Gardner had an outstanding night, contributing 16 points and 8 rebounds in the UCLA winning effort. With the weekend split, the ladies now stand at 7-8 for the season and 2-2 in Pac-12 play. They'll next be in action against hated U$C on Saturday, Jan. 14.
- Before we jump to the programs that got underway, let's take a quick second and check in on former UCLA goal-machine Chandler Hoffman, who left UCLA early to make the leap to MLS on a Generation Adidas contract. At the first MLS Combine game, Hoffman was the hero, scoring the game winning goal in the 80th minute to snatch a 3-2 victory for his side in the combine game. Why am I not surprised that Hoffman is scoring goals?
- Now, turning to the sports getting their seasons underway, we start with the #3-ranked men's volleyball team, which got its season started in Santa Barbara at the UCSB/Asics Invitational. On Friday, the Bruins started strong, winning their opening match against Cal State Northridge 3-1. Against the Matadors, the Bruins were led by Weston Dunlap (14 kills), Jack Polales (13 kills), Thomas Amberg (9 kills), and Jeremy Casebeer (9 kills). The men followed up Friday morning's victory with a sweep win over the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes, 3-0. Against the champs, the Bruins spread around the wealth, with the team led by Jack Polales' 9 kills, with Gonzalo Quiroga (8 kills), Thomas Amberg (7 kills), Jeremy Casebeer (7 kills), and Weston Dunlap (6 kills).
- Unfortunately, UCLA's luck was limited to the first day of the tournament as the Bruins took on UC Irvine in the tournament championship match, falling to the Anteaters 3-1 to give Irvine the tourney crown. Despite double-digit efforts from Weston Dunlap (11 kills), Thomas Amberg (10 kills), Kyle Caldwell (42 assists), Evan Mottram (13 digs), and Jeremy Casebeer (13 kills), the Bruins just could not stop their Orange County opponent. With the tourney coming to an end, the Bruins' start off their 2012 campaign 2-1 overall. They'll next be on their way to Hawaii (lucky bastards) to take part in the Outrigger Hotels Invitational, starting off with a Jan. 12 match against Lewis College.
- Finally, the #1-ranked women's gymnastics team got their 2012 march toward national title redemption started with a thin 196.075-196.025 victory over the #5-ranked Utah Utes. The Bruins were strong on the vault and uneven bars, scoring a team score of 49.550 and 49.275 (both out of 50), respectively, but struggled on the balance beam and floor exercise, giving Utah an opening. Fortunately, the Bruins were able to do just enough to hold off Utah, with sophomore Samantha Peszek taking the top overall score (39.450 out of 40), finishing .125 points ahead of Utah's sensational senior three-time All-American Stephanie McAllister (39.325). Tauny Frattone grabbed top score on the vault (9.950) and Aisha Gerber finished top on the uneven bars (9.900) as part of a Bruin clean sweep of the event (grabbing the top 6 spots, while Utah finished on the bottom 6). On the beam, Peszek finished top for UCLA (9.825), falling .025 points short of Utah's McAllister, while on the floor exercise, Frattone and Peszek each scored 9.875, just .025 short of Utah's Georgia Dabritz and in a four-way tie with Utah's Corrie Lothrop and Stephanie McAllister. The ladies will be back in action in one week, taking on the California Golden Bears in Berkeley on Sunday, Jan. 15.
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Another split weekend for Cori Close as her squad struggles to find consistency and reach .500 for the season, in an otherwise exciting week with the return of men's volleyball (despite their loss to UC Irvine) and women's gymnastics.
Fire away with your thoughts, comments, additions, or analysis in the thread. If you're waiting for the BCS championship game, sit tight: the open thread will be up later this afternoon.