Hopefully, the men's tennis team can pull this off again, and bring another title home to Westwood.
It's Monday, which sadly means we're all back at work following Super Bowl Sunday. You would think we'd get today off, since well, the Super Bowl is practically a national holiday here in the good ol' United States, but alas, we don't. So, if you're trying to get through the doldrums of a Monday, with no football in sight until spring camp, hopefully, our non-revenue sports will keep you entertained until the QB battle begins this spring. With that, let's take a look at how UCLA's non-revenue sports fared this past week:
- Starting with the return of golf, the #4-ranked men's golf team got back in action, playing in the Amer Ani Invitational in Hawaii. Despite a pair of strong days that left them in sole possession of second place after the second round, the men couldn't close, finishing fifth in the tournament, behind tournament champ Texas, U$C, Stanford, and Georgia Tech.
- Likewise, on the female side, the #1-ranked women's golf team is back in action after the winter layoff, playing in the Arizona Wildcat Invitational in, of course, Tucson. After the first round of the tournament yesterday, the ladies find themselves in second place, four shots behind leaders Arizona. The women will be back in action in the second round today, with the third and final round on Tuesday.
- Turning to the first of a pair of weekend road sweeps for UCLA, the #9-ranked men's tennis team headed to the Bay Area, taking on #13-ranked Cal on Friday, earning a hard-fought come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Golden Bears. Despite being swept in the doubles, the men came on strong in singles, with Nick Meister, Clay Thompson, Marcos Giron, and Dennis Mkrtchian picking up victories.
- The men followed up Friday's big win by dominating #6-ranked Stanford on Saturday in Palo Alto, 6-1. The men, despite losing the doubles point, had a clean sweep on the singles side, with Nick Meister, Clay Thompson, Marcos Giron, Maxime Tabatruong, Adrien Puget, and Dennis Mkrtchian all picking up wins over their Cardinal opponent. With the weekend sweep of the Bay Area schools, the men improve to 6-0 on the season.
- Turning to what is becoming (hopefully) a final season to remember for Coach Al Scates, the #3-ranked men's volleyball team started their weekend with a five-set 3-2 victory over Perpperdine on Wednesday. In a tough match that took the men to the limits, the Bruins were able to drop the Waves, led by big games from Jeremy Casebeer (15 kills, 2 assists, 5 digs), Nick Vogel (13 kills, 1 assist, 3 digs), Kyle Caldwell (4 kills, 50 assists, 9 digs), and Gonzalo Quiroga (13 kills, 5 digs).
- Coach Scates' squad followed Wednesday's win with a clean sweep of the hated U$C Trojans on Friday night at the Galen Center, winning 3-0. The Bruins were led by Carlos Quiroga (10 kills, 4 digs), Kyle Caldwell (3 kills, 35 assists, 4 digs), Weston Dunlap (7 kills, 3 digs), and Thomas Amberg (7 kills, 3 digs). With the pair of weekend wins, the men improve to 11-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play. Hopefully, this is a sign of special things to come and they can send Coach Scates off to retirement in style with his 20th national title at UCLA.
- For Coach Cori Close and the women's hoops team, the ladies earned themselves a hard-fought victory on Thursday, picking up a 79-73 overtime victory over the Washington Huskies after staging a late game comeback. Down by 8 with just 1:23 to go, the ladies mounted a comeback that forced OT, during which they seized the game at the Wooden Center for UCLA. The Bruins has big games across the floor, led by Rebekah Gardner's near double-double (17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) and Markel Walker's double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists). The Bruins got double-figure nights from across the starting line-up: Corinne Costa (13 points, 3 rebounds, 7 blocks), Thea Lemberger (15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals), and Mariah Williams (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals).
- The ladies followed their thriller against the Huskies by blowing out the Washington State Cougars on Saturday, 73-52. The story of the night was Markel Walker's triple-double (14 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists), the first for a Lady Bruin in 8 years. The Bruins were led in scoring (again) by Rebekah Gardner (21 points, 8 rebounds) and got a big night from Thea Lemberger (14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) to easily put down the Cougars. With the pair of weekend wins, Coach Close's squad improves to 12-10 on the season and 7-4 in Pac-12 play.
- Turning to gymnastics, Coach Valorie Kondos-Field's #7-ranked squad took on #12-ranked Stanford on Sunday and picked up a solid 197.250-196.450 win to bounce back following last weekend's disappointing road loss. Stanford was not an easy out, with the Cardinal coming on strong in the vault, uneven bars, and the balance beam (despite a Bruin finishing at the top of each event), but UCLA's floor exercise out-paced Stanford's, giving the ladies another big victory. Samantha Peszek again finished with top all-around score (39.550), finishing ahead of Stanford's talented Nicole Pechanec (39.325).
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. A great weekend for the the women's hoops squads, a strong bounce-back by the women's gymnastics squad, and a thrilling pair of wins for the men's volleyball team, in what we hope will be a spring full of UCLA national titles.
Fire away with your thoughts, comments, additions, or analysis in the thread.