Photo Credit: UCLA Athletics' Official Website
Well, if the new Monday morning edition of Bruin Bites wasn't enough to power you through a dreaded case of the Mondays, then fortunately, you have a busy week of non-revenue sports action to keep you going through the first day of a long week (well, it's hard for it not to feel long after last week's four-day cruise).
While many teams had a much more forgiving schedule this week (amazing what the lack of tournament action can do for a team's rest and rehab), the softball team found itself in another tournament, although not with the same results, while other Bruin squads tuned up for either big matches, or post-season play. In any event, let's take a look at how our non-revenue sports fared this past week:
- As always, we're going to start this non-revenue roundup with Coach Al Scates, in the final season of his legendary career, and his #2-ranked men's volleyball squad. The men only had one game in the past week, taking on Cal Baptist on Friday night, and making easy work of the Lancers, sweeping them in three easy sets, 3-0, with set scores being 25-16, 25-19, and 25-15. It took just over an hour for the Bruins to run the Lancers out of Wooden Center, with Nick Vogel (9 kills), Jeremy Casebeer (7 kills, 5 digs), and Kyle Caldwell (6 kills, 25 assists, 9 digs) leading the Bruins. With the easy win, the men now stand at 15-2 overall and 9-1 in conference play.
- Turning to the #8-ranked men's tennis team, the Bruins took on St. Mary's on Saturday, making easy work of the Gaels, notching a clean 7-0 win for UCLA. In a dominating performance, the Bruins swept St. Mary's entirely, winning all three doubles matches to get the doubles point, then following it with a clean 6-0 sweep on the singles side, with Nick Meister, Clay Thompson, Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, Maxime Tabatruong, and Alex Brigham all picking up singles' wins for UCLA. With the easy win, the Bruins now stand at 11-1 on the eve of their Wednesday meeting with hated cross-town rival, the #1-ranked U$C Trojans.
- On the women's side, the #3-ranked women's tennis team took on #5-ranked Cal, and fought back to narrowly avoid defeat and drop the Golden Bears, 4-3. After barely picking up the doubles point, the Bruins fell behind in singles action, with Robin Anderson, McCall Jones, and Skylar Morton all falling to Cal players. Fortunately, Pamela Montez, Chanelle Van Nguyen (the only Bruin to notch a victory in all 11 matches this year), and Kaitlin Ray did just enough to win, giving UCLA a very-close 4-3 win. With the victory, the Bruins keep their perfect season alive, standing tall at 11-0 on the year.
- Well, you knew the perfect season had to come to an end sooner or later, but I don't think anyone suspected it would end in such ugly fashion, with the #5-ranked softball team dropping 4 out of their 5 games this week in the Cathedral City Classic. The perfect season came to an end early against the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday, as the southerners slaughtered the Bruins, 13-4, before the mercy rule brought UCLA's misery to an early end after five innings. Jessica Hall took the hill for UCLA, getting blown away, surrendering 10 runs in just 3 innings, picking up her first loss on the year.
- Saturday didn't prove much better for the ladies, starting with 6-3 loss to Fresno State. The Bruins fell behind early, before scoring 3 in the bottom of the sixth to tie it all up, but Jessica Hall, again on the hill for UCLA, was unable to keep Fresno State from scoring in the top of the seventh, as the Bulldogs put the game out of reach in the final frame. The second-half of the Bruins' doubleheader was a narrow 5-4 loss to #8-ranked Texas, with the ladies' seventh inning rally coming up just short. Ally Carda went the distance for the Bruins, but was unable to hold back the Longhorns' bats, giving up 5 runs and picking up her first loss on the season.
- Yesterday's action in the Cathedral City Classic got off to the same poor start, with the ladies dropping a 7-5 decision to #11-ranked Missouri in a shortened six-inning game called early to allow Missouri to catch a flight home (WTF). While B.B. Bates (2-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR) blasted off twice to lead the Lady Bruins, Destiny Rodino and Ally Carda could not keep the Tigers' offense silent, giving up seven earned runs in three-and-a-third innings. Jessica Hall bounced back to give the Bruins two-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless relief work, but the Bruins couldn't rally enough runs in time before Missouri had to take off (literally).
- Fortunately, the ladies were able to get themselves finally turned around, getting back on track to close the weekend with a 6-3 win over Syracuse. Jessica Hall took the mound for UCLA once again, and this time was able to pick up her fifth win, giving up just three earned runs, while fanning seven in a full seven innings of work. The Bruins' offense was led by Stephany LaRosa (1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI), Samantha Camuso (1-4, 2 RBI), and Andrea Harrison (2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI). With the Cathedral City Classic behind them, the ladies now stand at 11-4 overall, and will next be in action next weekend in the Citrus Classic in Florida, beginning with a Friday double-header against Michigan and Fordham.
- In an opposite-style weekend for women's sports (with softball losing), the women's hoops team, which has struggled for consistency all season long, had a very strong weekend, picking up a sweep of the Arizona schools, beginning with a 53-38 demolition of the Arizona State Sun Devils on Thursday. Against Arizona State, the ladies were in rare defensive form, allowing the Sun Devils to shoot only 31.4% overall and 14.3% from three-point land for the game (21.7% FG in the second half, 0.0% three-pointers in the second half). On the offensive side, UCLA was once again led by Markel Walker, who notched another double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds, to go with 4 steals), and Thea Lemberger (11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals) and Rebekah Gardner's near double-double (9 points, 9 rebounds).
- On Saturday, the ladies faced a tougher test against the Lady
WildcatsMildcats, before using a second-half run to give them a comfortable 72-58 win. With Markel Walker coming off the bench, the Bruins were still able to rely on their star, as she once again notched a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds). Rebekah Gardner led all scorers with 21 points (to go with her 6 rebounds and 5 assists), while her sister Rhema Gardner notched 12 rebounds in a rare start for the freshman. Thea Lemberger (15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) and Kacy Swain (14 points, 7 rebounds) both had very solid games as the Bruins picked up another conference win to push them to 14-13 on the season and 9-7 in conference play, with two games to go (on the road at the Washington schools).
- Needing a solid win to generate momentum after their tie first-place finish in Corvallis, Coach Valorie Kondos-Field and her #6-ranked women's gymnastics team came out on Sunday and flat-out dominated, scoring a national-best 198.050 to drop #24-ranked Arizona State, 198.050-194.850. The Bruins' score was the highest any team has posted this year, and the best that UCLA has posted since the 2004 national title winning squad. The Bruins dominated each event, finishing in the top six spots on the vault (Olivia Courtney's 9.975 finishing at the top), sweeping the uneven bars (Monique De La Torre's 9.950 at top), grabbing the three top spots on the balance beam (with three Bruins - Mattie Larson, Vanessa Zamarripa, and Samatha Peszek - tying at the top with 9.925), and snagging five out of six top spots on the floor exercise (Olivia Courtney and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs tying at the top with 9.950). In the individual all-around, Bruins finished in the top three, with Zamarripa (39.625) finishing ahead of Hopfner-Hibbs (39.575) and Larson (39.350).
- Finally, turning to the #3-ranked women's water polo team, the ladies were in action at the UC Irvine Invitational over the weekend, beginning with a double-header on Saturday against #17-ranked Cal State Northridge and #12-ranked Michigan. The Bruins pounded Northridge, 13-4, led by hat tricks by KK Clark and Emily Donohoe, while Becca Dorst, Sarah Orozco, and Hannah Sebenaler all got braces in the blow-out win. In the goal, Caitlin Dement got 4 saves while Sarah Wilkey picked up 6 saves. In the second match of the day, the Bruins used a second-half, nine-goal surge to beat Michigan, 13-3, and advance to the tournament semifinal against U$C. The Wolverines couldn't keep the Bruins out of the net, with KK Clark picking up her second hat-trick of the day, joined by Emily Greenwood, while Nicole Barker and Gisselle Naranjo got a brace apiece. Caitlin Dement kept up her fine form in net, making 7 saves.
- Sunday proved to be an even better day than Saturday for the ladies' water polo squad, as they pulled out a narrow come-from-behind victory over #2-ranked U$C in the semi-final, 8-7. Entering the final quarter down 4-7, UCLA nabbed 4 unanswered goals, with Emily Greenwood scoring her fourth goal at the last minute, literally, to give the Bruins the win with just 14 seconds left. Against the Trojans, Caitlin Dement came up huge, notching 14 saves to the Bruins just enough to eek out a semi-final upset win.
- But beating #2-ranked U$C wasn't enough for the Bruins, who took on the #1-ranked Stanford Cardinal, beating the top-ranked team in another close win, 5-4. Caitlin Dement came up with another big 14 save effort, while KK Clark led the Bruins with two goals, but it was her second goal which came in the final quarter that got the Bruins the tournament crown, while avenging their only loss of the year, the 9-5 loss to Stanford back on February 5. With the big weekend victories, the ladies now find themselves 12-1 on the year. For more coverage on the UCI Invitational, check out the coverage at our fellow SBN blog, The Skip Shot.
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Harsh weekend for the women's softball team, but great form by the rest of the Bruin squads in action.
Fire away with your thoughts, comments, additions, or analysis in the thread.