This is an image we hope we'll see a couple of times this spring. Photo Credit: UCLA Athletics
It's Monday morning, Mother's Day is over, so it's time to put down the fork and knife from yesterday's brunch and it's time to get back to the grind. So, as we shake off those Monday morning cobwebs, let's go over the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Following up on last week's Bruin Bites, there has been no development in the disappearance of former UCLA basketball player and current 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith. The Hollywood Reporter has an updated summary of the few developments, including more dedicated manpower from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Also, the Smith family has set up a website with updated information here. If you have any information that could help locate Gavin, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at (323)-890-5500.
- Turning to football, the Charlotte Observer has an update on undrafted UCLA utility man Nate Chandler, who seemingly was moving to a new position every season he was in Westwood. Chandler, signed by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent, who are looking to fill a position of need on their defensive front interior. Nate talked about his time at UCLA, from entering as one of the top-five TEs in the nation, to becoming a seldom-used defensive tackle for a mediocre Bruin squad. If there's a glaring example of UCLA not utilizing and developing talent, it's Nate Chandler.
- Flipping to our non-revenue sports teams as they work through NCAA tournament action, the #4-seeded men's tennis team, coming off a 4-0 demolition of Eastern Kentucky, Coach Billy Martin's squad turned to their attention to San Diego in their second round match-up. But, like in the first round, it wasn't much of a match, with UCLA sweeping through the Toreros, 4-0, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, where they'll face off against #13-seed Ole Miss on Friday in Athens, Georgia. Against USD, the Bruins opened it up with a pair of doubles victories to take the opening point, before Dennis Novikov (6-4, 2-6, 6-3), Adrien Puget (6-1, 6-2), and Dennis Mkrtchian (3-6, 6-2, 6-2) picked up their singles wins to give the Bruins the first four points, making the balance moot.
- The #1-ranked women's golf team entered Saturday's third and final round of the NCAA Western Regional in third place and down by six shots to Stanford. But Saturday is when the ladies showed the kind of championship resolve that got them UCLA's 107th national title last year by storming back to tie with LSU for first place at the regional. The ladies will have more than a week off before starting their run at the title at the NCAA championship tournament in Tennessee, starting on May 22.
- Heading back to tennis, the #1-seeded women's tennis team also booked their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen by dropping SoCal rivals Long Beach State in a clean 4-0 sweep on Saturday. The Bruins opened up with a pair of doubles wins to take the doubles point. That was followed by strong wins by Robin Anderson (6-1, 6-2), Pamela Montez (6-3, 6-2), and Skylar Morton (6-2, 6-4) to get the points needed to advance. With the win, the Bruins will now face off against Rice on Thursday, also in Athens, Georgia.
- On the other side of the coin, this weekend marked the end of the year for the #2-seeded women's water polo, who got upset on Saturday to hated cross-town rival, #3-seeded U$C (who went on to lose in the final to back-to-back champs and #1-seeded Stanford), 12-10. Sarah Orozco and Emily Greenwood led the scoring for the Bruins, with a hat trick each, while KK Clark and Emily Donohoe each grabbed a brace. Caitlin Dement came up with 7 saves, although it wasn't enough, as the Trojans were able to beat her a dozen times, using a strong second and third quarter to grab a narrow win. The Lady Bruins bounced back in the third place game, ending the year with a victory, dropping UC Irvine in a very close 10-9 match. Orozco was once again the hero, netting the winning goal for UCLA, one of her two for the day; joining her on the score sheet was Hannah Sebenaler, Gisselle Naranjo (both with a pair), with KK Clark, Erica Beebe, Emily Donohoe, and Emily Greenwood all picking up a goal. Dement came up with a dozen saves, doing just enough to keep UCLA in the lead for a NCAA third place finish.
- The #14-ranked softball team started the weekend off right, slaughtering the #12-ranked Oregon Ducks, 10-0 on Friday in Eugene, with the mercy rule the only thing able to stop UCLA's offense. Jessica Hall (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 5 K) notched her 19th win of the year, while Samantha Camuso (1-3, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR) blasted her 13th homer of the year, who with Talee Snow (2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI), Katie Schroeder (3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI), and B.B. Bates (1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI) led the Bruins to an easy win to start the weekend. Saturday wasn't a repeat though, with the Bruins offense struggling, and ultimately falling just short to Oregon, 3-2. Ally Carda (2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 K) got saddled with her fifth loss on the year, as only Bates (1-3, 2 RBI) and Kellie Fox (1-3) were able to get a hit. On Sunday, in their regular season finale, the Bruins got smoked by Oregon, 8-2. Hall (6.0 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 6 K) got hit hard for her 12th loss on the year, while the Bruins' offense sputtered again, with Bates (1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR) the only UCLA hitter able to drive in any runs (due to her 14th long-bomb of the year). UCLA ends the regular season at 36-18 overall and 12-12 in the Pac-12. Despite the weak ending to the year, UCLA earned the #12-seed and will host NCAA regional action, beginning this upcoming weekend, starting with a first round matchup against Hofstra.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to get your work week started. Fire away with your thoughts, opinions, or additions in the comment threads.