Softball is back, and in a big way. (Photo Credit: Associated Press/Sue Ogrocki)
It's Monday, which for most of us, means we're back at work (except you lucky few who get Lincoln's birthday off). Fortunately, by the time you read this, it'll be at least the late afternoon (here on the west coast) and you'll either be in the home stretch or home. So, with that, let's take a look at how UCLA's non-revenue sports fared this past week:
- Let's start with Coach Al Scates and his #1-ranked men's volleyball team. The men only had one match in the last week since our prior non-revenue roundup, but they made it a good one, dropping UC Santa Barbara on the road, 3-1. The Bruins got double-digit performances from Jeremy Casebeer (15 kills, 5 digs), Weston Dunlap (13 kills), Kyle Caldwell (43 assists, 3 digs), and Evan Mottram (10 assists, 15 digs). The Bruins got solid games from Thomas Amberg (8 kills) and Gonzalo Quiroga's near double-double (8 kills, 8 digs). With the road win over the Gauchos, the Bruins extend their winning streak to 10 games and now stand at 12-1 overall and 7-0 in conference play.
- With spring soon upon us, Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and the #13-ranked women's softball team returned to action, starting with their opening match of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament at Easton Stadium against #18-ranked Kentucky on Thursday. The Bruins got their season started right, dropping Kentucky 7-1. Sophomore Jessica Hall took the hill for UCLA, going the full 7 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 run, while striking out 7. On the offensive side, UCLA was led by Ally Carda's 1-4, 2 RBI performance and Samantha Camuso's 2-2, 2 RBI game.
- The Lady Bruins went right back into action the following day, taking on the Wildcats again, this time blowing Kentucky out, 12-0, on the strength of home runs from Samantha Camuso, Katie Schroeder, and Stephany LaRosa. Needing just five innings before the slaughter rule ended the game, UCLA got great pitching performances from Ally Carda (3.0 innings pitched, 0 hits allowed, 0 runs allowed, 2 walks given, 5 strikeouts), who picked up the win, and Destiny Rodino (2.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts) to combine to one-hit the Wildcats.
- Coach Inouye-Perez's squad went right back into action the next day, starting off their double-header day against the Pacific Tigers. Once again, the Bruins had no problem dispatching their opponents, blowing out the Tigers 10-2, once again bringing the game to an early end by way of the mercy rule in the sixth inning. Three Bruins went deep, with Samantha Camuso adding her second homer in as many days, joined by Andrea Harrison and Dani Yudin. Jessica Hall pitched a strong opening three innings, striking out 4, all while not allowing a single hit and issuing just one walk; Destiny Rodino picked up the back three innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, but preserving the UCLA big win to notch her first win of the season.
- Following their victory over Pacific, the Bruins took on the Kentucky Wildcats for the third time in three days, and once again the Wildcats could not figure out the Bruins, falling 6-2. Ally Carda (4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 2 K) pitched well enough to pick up the victory, while Jessica Hall (3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 K) shut the door on Kentucky to pick up her first save on the year. On the offensive side, the Bruins were led by Dani Yudin's 2-3, 2 RBI day. With the big weekend victories, the Bruins find themselves standing tall at 4-0.
- Turning to Coach Valorie Kondos-Field's #7-ranked gymnastics squad, the ladies traveled to Chicago on Friday to compete in the IGI/Chicago Style NCAA Invitational. Despite being understrength, the Bruins got to work, with a UCLA gymnast winning on each of the four events (Olivia Courtney's 9.925 on the vault and her 9.900 on the uneven parallel bars, Mattie Larson's 9.850 on the balance beam, and Alyssa Pritchett's 9.900 on the floor exercise). With the strong performance, the Bruins finished top with a score of 196.850 to edge out second-place Boise State's 196.025. For the first time this year, despite the UCLA win, the Bruins did not have the top all-around gymnast, with Samantha Peszek's 39.275 coming up just short to Missouri's Mary Burke's 39.375.
- In the pool, Coach Brandon Brooks and his #3-ranked women's water polo team kept up their winning ways, dropping Cal-Baptist by the score of 11-5 on Saturday. The Lady Bruins got hat tricks from KK Clark and Hannah Sebenaler, while Caitlin Dement stood tall in goal, notching 10 saves. With the win, the ladies improve to 7-1 on the season.
- Turning to women's golf, the #1-ranked squad came up a bit short in the Arizona desert, finishing second in the Arizona Wildcat Invitational this past Tuesday. Naturally, Arizona, with the home course advantage ran away with the win, finishing 12 shots ahead of second-place UCLA. The ladies have since returned to Southern California and are currently in action in the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes.
- In tennis news, the #8-ranked men's tennis team had no problem notching an easy victory on Thursday afternoon, sweeping the San Diego State Aztecs, 7-0. With the doubles point in hand, the Bruins got a clean sweep in singles, with Nick Meister, Clay Thompson, Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, Maxime Tabatruong, and Dennis Mkrtchian all picking up wins. With the win, the Bruins improve to 7-0 on the year.
- Turning to Coach Cori Close and her women's hoops squad, it was a bad weekend for the Lady Bruins, as they traveled north to the Bay Area, where things did not go well. Starting with Thursday's game against Cal in Berkeley, the Lady Bruins saw their four-game streak in Berkeley come to an end, falling to the Golden Bears 67-58. Despite getting double-digit games from three players (Markel Walker, Thea Lemberger, and Rebekah Gardner), UCLA came up short. Walker led all scorers (18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals), while Lemberger (10 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds) and Gardner (16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals) had good games, but not enough.
- On Saturday, things didn't get any better for Coach Close, as her Lady Bruins were blown out by the #4-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 82-59. The usual suspects (Walker, Lemberger, and Gardner) had solid games for UCLA, with Rebekah Gardner notching her 1,000th point in her UCLA career, but it was too little against one of the nation's best teams. Walker led the Bruins with a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, to go with 3 assists and 3 steals), while Lemberger (13 points) and Gardner (15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals) continued their strong seasons in an otherwise lost season for UCLA in the first year of the post-Nikki Caldwell era. With the pair of Northern California losses, the Bruins fall to 12-12 for the season and 7-6 in conference play.
- Finally, turning to #4-ranked women's tennis team, the ladies got their trip at the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville off to a good start on Friday, beating #13-ranked Georgia Tech 4-2. Despite falling behind 0-2, the Bruins clawed their way back on the strength of their singles performances, with Robin Anderson, Pamela Montez, Skylar Morton, Kaitlin Ray, and Chanelle Van Nguyen all notching wins.
- The ladies were back in action on Saturday, advancing to the tournament semi-final by dispatching #12-ranked Northwestern in the quarterfinal 4-0. For the Bruins, it was a complete sweep, with all three Bruins' pairs picking up wins to easily take the doubles point, while all six UCLA singles players took care of their Northwestern counterpart to make it an easy day for the Bruins.
- Waiting for the Bruins in the semi-final was none other than hated cross-town rival #16-ranked U$C, but Sunday's match proved to be no different than Saturday's, as UCLA easily dropped the Trojans, 4-0. With the Bruins picking up the doubles point with two out of three Bruin pairs winning, while the Bruin singles swept the Trojans, with Skylar Morton, Chanelle Van Nguyen, and Kaitlin Ray all picking up completed victories.
- Finally, earlier today, the ladies took on #3-ranked Duke in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, and despite being the underdogs, the ladies picked up a huge win, dropping the Blue Devils, 4-0. The Bruins, once again, picked up the doubles point, while the singles were another UCLA sweep, with Robin Anderson, Chanelle Van Nguyen, and Kaitlin Ray picking up completed victories to propel UCLA to the grab the ITA National Team Indoor title. Let's hope this bodes well when the NCAA championships come around.
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Great start of the season for our women's softball team, fantastic display of dominance by our men's tennis and volleyball squads, and all-in-all, a lot of hope for multiple Bruin squads to bring home national titles to Westwood.
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