Oh, what a week it has been. While Chianti Dan and Ben Howland have been busy turning our once-proud, storied men's basketball program into an irrelevant national joke (never mind the mess that has been our football program for the past decade), our non-revenue programs have been busy, with some (women's basketball) getting closer to the end of their season, while others (women's rowing) getting their season underway.
So, while the angst and focus of the wider Bruin Nation is focused on the scandal enveloping our men's basketball program under the "leadership" of Ben Howland and Chianti Dan Guerrero, let's take a quick minute to take a look at how our non-revenue programs have fared this past week:
- As always, starting with Coach Al Scates and his #1-ranked men's volleyball team, on Wednesday, they took on Long Beach State, looking for revenge from their Valentine's Day close loss, and the Bruins didn't disappoint, keeping their hot streak to start the season going strong, easily dispatching Long Beach State in three straight sets, 3-0. The Bruins dropped their SoCal rivals with a balanced attack, getting six or seven kills from five different players (Weston Dunlap, Nick Vogel, Thomas Amberg, Gonzalo Quiroga, and Jeremy Casebeer), while Kyle Caldwell notched 28 assists in the straight-set victory.
- On Friday, the men took on Cal State Northridge for the third time this season, and for the third time, the Bruins put down the Matadors easily, picking up their second sweep of Cal State Northridge on the year with the comfortable 3-0 win. In the win, the Bruins were led by Nick Vogel (11 kills, 6 sigs), Thomas Amberg (9 kills), Kyle Caldwell (32 assists, 6 digs), and Evan Mottram (11 digs). With the pair of wins, UCLA improves to 17-2 for the season and stand on top of the MPSF conference at 11-1.
- With March officially here, it means that our women's rowing team has finally returned. On Saturday, Coach Amy Fuller Kearney and her squad got their spring season underway, taking on LMU, with the Bruins taking victories over LMU in each of the three contested races. The varsity eight finished nearly 20 seconds ahead of LMU's varsity eight, 6:06.10 to 6:25.80. Meanwhile, the second varsity eight (6:08.70) and the novice eight (6:23.50) both easily finished ahead of LMU's second varsity eight (6:51.50), while the varsity four beat out LMU's varsity four, 6:53.20 to 7:01.60.
- Turning to tennis, both squads faced off against the hated U$C Trogans, with the #3-ranked men getting things started on Wednesday against the top-ranked Trojans. Unfortunately, the Bruins were no match for the undefeated Trojans, falling 6-1 despite putting up close matches throughout the day. In three tightly-contested doubles matches, the Bruins were unable to pull one out (losing 8-5, 9-8 (1), and 9-7) to give U$C the doubles point. In singles action, the Bruins were simply blown away, with only Adrien Puget picking up a win. With the loss, the Bruins fall to 11-2 on the season.
- On the women's side, the top-ranked women's tennis team pulled out a narrow win over #2-ranked U$C. The Bruins pulled out 2 out of 3 close doubles matches to snatch the doubles point, before splitting the singles' action to eek out a close 4-3 victory. Robin Anderson, Chanelle Van Nguyen, and Kaitlin Ray all picked up singles wins for UCLA, with Van Nguyen continuing in her streak of notching a victory in every UCLA match this season. With the huge victory over our crosstown rivals, the Bruins remain undefeated at 12-0 on the year.
- Speaking of big victories over U$C, the #1-ranked women's water polo squad took on #3-ranked U$C on Saturday and pulled out a close, but huge, 6-5 win at U$C. Despite falling behind 2-0 early, the Bruins fought back, scoring the final two goals in the fourth quarter to grab the win, with Gisselle Naranjo's second goal of the day winning it for UCLA. The Bruins also got a brace from Hannah Sebenaler, while Caitlin Dement was huge in the net, picking up 11 saves to get UCLA a big win.
- Turning to women's basketball, Coach Cori Close's team's inconsistent regular season finally came to a close, ending by limping into the post-season. On Thursday, the ladies got their weekend started in Pullman, falling to the Washington State Cougars, 76-65. The Cougars built up an early lead and never looked back as the Bruins were unable to respond in kind. UCLA got solid games from Markel Walker (18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists), Rebekah Gardner (16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), and Thea Lemberger (11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals), but ultimately it was too little.
- On Saturday, the ladies came up short, losing to the Washington Huskies in Seattle, 67-59. The loss, coupled with Arizona State's win, dropped the Bruins down fifth place in the conference, costing Coach Close's squad a first-round bye, and pairing them up with #12-seed Arizona in the opening round. Against the Huskies, it was the usual cast of characters leading the Bruins: Markel Walker (20 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), Thea Lemberger (15 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals), and Rebekah Gardner (10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals).
- In other disappointing news, the #3-ranked women's gymnastics team traveled to Georgia to take on the Bulldogs, but came up short, 197.700 to 196.975. Despite strong showings on the vault (Tauny Frattone finished top with 9.950, while three other Bruins finished in the top seven) and uneven bars (four Bruins in the top eight), the Bulldogs were able to match every strong UCLA score, and answered by taking control on the balance beam (six Bulldogs finished in the top eight, to only two Bruins) and floor exercise (four Bulldogs in the top six) to grab a win.
- Lastly, the #14-ranked softball team was in action this weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Florida in the Citrus Classic. Beginning on Friday, the ladies split their opening day doubleheader, beginning with a 5-3 loss to #15-ranked Michigan. Jessica Hall took the hill for UCLA, giving up 3 earned runs on 9 hits over 5 and two-thirds innings to pick up her third loss on the year. In the second game on Friday, the Bruins withstood a late rally by Fordham to hold on for a 9-5 victory. Ally Carda went the distance for the Bruins, giving up 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of action, while striking out 4, all to pick up her sixth win on the year.
- The second day of the Citrus Classic was no different than the first, with UCLA again splitting their two games. This time, the Bruins started the day with a win, dropping #10-ranked Baylor 10-6 in the opening game. Freshman Stephany LaRosa was the star of the game (4-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR), launching her third homer of the year to make sure Jessica Hall (5 earned runs and 10 hits surrendered in 7 innings, with 4 Ks) got her sixth win of the season. But it seems the win over Baylor sapped all the energy out of the Bruins, as #17-ranked Auburn slaughtered the Bruins, 11-1. Destiny Rodino started on the mound for UCLA, but only made it two-and-two-thirds innings (six runs given up on nine hits) before Jessica Hall came on in relief. Unfortunately, Hall got lit up too, giving up 5 earned runs on 10 hits, in just four-and-one-third inning.
- Finally, the ladies were able to end their weekend in Florida on a high note, dropping Hofstra 9-4. The Bruins started off hot, putting up 6 runs in the opening frame, to give Ally Carda a comfortable lead. Unfortunately, the freshman was shaky, giving up 4 earned runs on 4 hits, while walking 2, in just one-and-two-thirds innings. With the 6 run lead suddenly down to 2, Jessica Hall came on in relief and went the balance, giving up no runs and just one hit in five-and-one-thirds innings (with 5 Ks) to notch her seventh win of the year.
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Mixed results for the softball team, disappointing weekend for the women's hoops and gymnastics squads, but great week for women's tennis, women's water polo, and men's volleyball.
Fire away with your thoughts, comments, additions, or analysis in the thread.