It's been a slow week for our spring non-revenue sports, with March Madness getting the attention of most of the nation, and many of the nation's colleges in the middle of spring break (plus winter quarter finals for those of us willing to challenge ourselves with something a bit more rigorous than the semester system). Many squads were not in action, but for the Bruin squads playing this past week, it was a very good week for nearly every Bruin.
So while we watch the NCAA tournament without our UCLA Bruins (which should never happen, but has now happened three times under Chianti Dan and Ben Howland's failed leadership of the dumpster fire program), let's take a look at how the Bruins' non-revenue programs did this past week:
- Starting, as usual, with Coach Scates and the #2-ranked men's volleyball team, the day prior to the Ides of March proved disastrous for UCLA, as hated cross-town rival, #3-ranked U$C, came to the John Wooden Center and got revenge for their earlier 3-0 loss to UCLA in February, this time taking it to the Bruins, dropping UCLA in Westwood, 3-0. No Bruin was able to notch either double-digits in points (Weston Dunlap leading with 9.0) or kills (Jeremy Casebeer leading with 7), with the only double-digit performance came from Kyle Caldwell, with 22 assists. With the loss, the Bruins found themselves in unfamiliar territory: in the middle of a losing streak.
- Fortunately, rather than letting the losing streak spiral out of control, Coach Scates got his team turned around, and last Friday night, the Bruins hammered #7-ranked Pepperdine 3-0 to sweep the Waves for the season and grab the Kilgour Cup. Unlike their loss to U$C, three Bruins picked up double-digit points (Kyle Caldwell with 10.0, Thomas Amberg with 15.0, Jeremy Casebeer with 11.5, and Weston Dunlap coming up just short at 9.5), with kills spread evenly across the board (Dunlap with 8, Caldwell with 8, Amberg with 9, Casebeer with 7). With the win, the Bruins improved to 19-4 on the year and 13-3 in conference play. With spring break coming up, the men will return to action on March 30 against our University of California brethren in San Diego, the UCSD Tritons.
- Turning to the #4-ranked men's tennis team, the Bruins kept their strong season going with a crushing 6-1 victory over Baylor to avenge their disappointing 4-3 loss to the Bears in last year's NCAA tournament. The Bruins swept through the doubles action (8-4, 8-1, 8-5) to easily win the doubles point, and then dominated singles play, with only Clay Thompson falling to Baylor's Mate Zsiga, while Nick Meister, Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, Dennis Mkrtchian, and Maxime Tabatruong all picking up wins. With the spring break for fun (and finals) coming, the squad will be out of action until March 27, when they take on LMU.
- On the other side of the net, the #1-ranked women's tennis team kept their perfect season going, dismantling Pepperdine 7-0 this past week. While Pepperdine was able to pick up one of the three matches in doubles play, the Bruins were able to pick up wins in the other two to take the doubles point (4-8, 8-3, 8-4). In singles action, the Bruins ran a clean sweep, with Robin Anderson, McCall Jones, Pamela Montez, Skylar Morton, Chanelle Van Nguyen, and Kailtin Ray all notching wins for Westwood. With the victory, the ladies find themselves at a perfect 14-0 before their spring lay-off. They'll next be in action on March 23 against Colorado.
- The other top-ranked women's team, the #1-ranked women's water polo finished their pre-spring break schedule strong, picking up a close win over #4-ranked Arizona State, 8-6 on St. Patrick's Day. The Bruins fell behind and went into the half down 5-4, but closed strong with a 4 goal second half, while only giving up one to grab a tough victory. KK Clark led the Bruins with a hat trick, while Emily Greenwood picked up a brace. In goal, Caitlin Dement notched 7 saves to keep UCLA in the top spot. With the win, the ladies improve to 15-1 on the season and 4-0 in conference play. With finals and spring break dead ahead, the ladies will next be in action against #14-ranked Hawaii in Honolulu (lucky them) on March 31.
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Bad start for Coach Scates, but a good result against Pepperdine to get things back on track. Otherwise another outstanding week for the non-revenue sports in action. Also, as mentioned last week, our softball team will get its own regular recap on Tuesdays, but with the ladies out of action for finals and spring break until March 25 (when they take on UC Santa Barbara), the softball recap will be on a week hiatus.
Fire away with your thoughts, comments, additions, or analysis in the thread.