Finally. With Chianti Dan and Ben Howland's dumpster fire basketball program being snubbed by the NIT, the complete embarrassment that is UCLA basketball has finally come to an end, at least for now. Although, with Gene Block's complete and total apathy regarding UCLA athletics, it appears Chianti Dan will be allowed to stay in charge at Morgan Center to further dismantle and destroy the proud legacy that is UCLA athletics. Unless Gene Block (and/or his right-hand, Rhea Turteltaub) gets some guts and steps up and does what everyone throughout the wider Bruin Nation knows needs to happen, firing Chianti Dan Guerrero, UCLA will continue to be the butt of jokes across the nation.
You see, if Chianti Dan isn't shown the door now, he'll ride the success of our spring sports and claim credit for their success, when in reality, these programs are succeeding in spite of his mismanagement. So, while we go through these non-revenue roundups, keep in mind who is really responsible for their success: the coaches (many of whom were in place well before Chianti slithered into Westwood, either as head coaches or top assistants in Westwood) and the athletes who, unlike many of Ben Howland's hard-partying, drug-using, out-of-control "student-athletes" (Reeves Nelson, J'mison Morgan, Drew Gordon, among others), have to work hard and fight for recognition for, well, again unlike Ben Howland's squad, winning. Let's make sure the credit goes to where it belongs: those student-athletes and coaches, not the incompetent fool in the empty suit who is too busy planning his next wine-tasting excursion to Tuscany.
With that, here's how UCLA's non-revenue programs fared this past week:
- Opening with the Volleyball Wizard of Westwood, Coach Al Scates and his #1-ranked men's volleyball team had mixed results this week, starting with their SoCal UC brethren, taking on the UC San Diego Tritons on Thursday. The Bruins had no problems with UCSD, dropping the Tritons easily, 3-0. In their three-set win, the Bruins got solid performances from Gonzalo Quiroga (10 kills, 1 assist, 3 digs), Weston Dunlap (7 kills, 2 assists), and Kyle Caldwell (7 kills, 33 assists).
- The Bruins followed up their Thursday win by hosting #2-ranked UC Irvine on Saturday, but despite being hot of late, the Bruins couldn't close it out in the fifth set, dropping a very close match, 3-2 to the Anteaters, in a match that will give UCI the inside track for the MPSF conference title. In a tight game, the Bruins got good games from Jeremy Casebeer (12 kills, 3 assists, 7 digs), Kyle Caldwell's double-double (44 assists and 11 digs, to go with 3 kills), Thomas Amberg (11 kills, 3 digs), and Gonzalo Quiroga (11 kills, 7 digs). With the split weekend, the Bruins now stand at 18-3 on the year and 12-2 in conference play.
- Turning to another of UCLA's #1-ranked teams, the women's tennis team opened Pac-12 conference play on Friday, and got the conference season started right, sweeping Washington State 7-0 in a dominating win that keeps the Bruins perfect. The Bruins picked up 2 out of 3 wins in doubles to grab the opening doubles point, and then ran a clean sweep in singles play (Robin Anderson, McCall Jones, Pamela Montez, Carling Seguso, Chanelle Van Nguyen, and Kaitlin Ray) to make it a perfect 7-0. With the victory, UCLA now finds itself 13-0 on the season, 1-0 on Pac-12 play, and with a strong grip on the #1 ranking.
- On the men's side, the #4-ranked men's tennis team bounced back from its crushing loss to U$C the prior week, by crushing Hawaii on Saturday, with an easy 7-0 clean sweep victory. The Bruins swept doubles action to pick up the point, and proceeded to dominate in singles action (Clay Thompson, Nick Meister, Adrien Puget, Maxime Tabatruong, Alex Brigham, Warren Hardie all winning), with one Bruin (Tabatruong) sweeping his Hawaii opponent (6-0, 6-0). With the win, UCLA improves to 12-2 on the year.
- In an epic showdown between a pair of top teams, the #3-ranked women's gymnastics team bounced back from last week's loss in Georgia to drop #2-ranked Oklahoma 197.525 to 196.475. The highlight of the day was Tauny Frattone picking up a perfect 10 on the vault, while Samantha Peszek finished at the top of the charts on both the balance beam and the floor exercise, while also securing the top all-around score (39.575). With the win, the Bruins improve to 10-2-1 on the year.
- Turning to our women's rowing team, the ladies kept their young season going the right way, picking up their second win of the year, beating San Diego on Saturday across the board, with the varsity 4+ out-pacing San Diego, 7:14.14 to 7:35.13 while the varsity 8+ took an easy win 6:50.31 to 7:05.79. The Bruins' second varsity 4+, second novice 4+, novice 8+, and second varsity 8+ all picking up wins for a clean UCLA sweep.
- Taking a look at another top-ranked squad, UCLA's #1-ranked women's golf team was in action in the Bruin Wave Invitational in Tarzana, finishing in second place after a late surge to come in right behind co-host Pepperdine, who finished just two strokes ahead.
- On the men's side, the #5-ranked men's golf team was in Las Vegas for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, but were unable to pick up a win, finishing in third, ten shots behind the host and winner, UNLV.
- Going back to another top-ranked Bruins squad, the #1-ranked women's water polo team, the ladies were in acton on Saturday against #10-ranked San Jose State. In a close game, the Lady Bruins had to use a fourth-quarter surge to come-from-behind, scoring four goals in the final period to win 7-5. Emily Greenwood and Sarah Orozco each grabbed a brace, while Caitlin Dement picked up 8 saves in the net to give UCLA another big win. With the win, the Bruins now find themselves at 14-1 on the year, and 3-0 in conference play.
- Finally, Coach Cori Close and the women's basketball team was in action in the Pac-12 tournament, and like their male counterparts in Ben Howland's dumpster fire program, they were eliminated from post-season play by the Arizona Wildcats, with the ladies coming up short down the stretch with Arizona closing the game on a 11-0 run to ultimately come-from-behind to grab a close win, 61-57 over UCLA. Rebekah Gardner ended her collegiate career with a big night (21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals), while Markel Walker was once again the star for UCLA, posting one final double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals). However, that was pretty much it for UCLA, with no one else contributing much else, ultimately leading to the Bruins choking down the stretch to end their season in the Pac-12 tournament. With the loss, the Lady Bruins' season finally comes to an end, standing at 14-16 overall in Coach Close's first year in charge in Westwood.
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Split week for Coach Scates, but really good results for the gymnastics squad, tennis squads, and women's water polo team. Also, as a programming note, you'll notice that softball was not included in this round-up. Starting
tomorrow Wednesday, the softball team will gets its own weekly round-up on Tuesday mornings (except for this week), so if you're wanting to keep track of another Bruin squad that will look to go deep in the post-season and hopefully challenge to bring another national title home to Westwood, keep your eyes peeled for that.
Fire away with your thoughts, comments, additions, or analysis in the thread.