It's a sunny Saturday in California and for most of UCLA's remaining non-revenue sports still in action, the weekend is going well. As it stands now, UCLA is looking like it has a very good chance to pick up NCAA championship #109 by the end of this academic year, with the outside possibility of adding #110 as well: both the tennis teams and both golf teams are looking very strong as we come down to crunch time, while the softball team will need to turn it around fast to keep their season alive.
Let's start with the #12-seeded softball team. The ladies are hosting the Los Angeles NCAA Regional, but despite the home-field advantage and having previously played, and beaten, Hofstra, the Bruins stumbled out of the gate, losing their opening game, 7-2. Jessica Hall (7.0 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 9 K) went the distance but got pounded, while UCLA's offense couldn't do much, with only Stephany LaRosa (2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR) and Andrea Harrison (1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR) able to generate anything by way of solo homers. The ladies will now take on the daunting task of having to win out, starting with an elimination game today against Florida State at 3:30 p.m. PST. If they can make it past the Seminoles, they'll take on the winner of the San Diego State-Hofstra match-up right away at 6 p.m. PST.
As for the men's golf team, they find themselves in the lead after the second round of the NCAA Central Regional in Bowling Green, Kentucky. As it stands after yesterday, the Bruins have a two stroke lead over Texas A&M. They'll finish out the third and final round today, with a spot at the NCAA championship, being played in UCLA's backyard at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, at stake. A strong final round should put the Bruins through and give UCLA a strong shot at picking up #109 in what amounts to a home tournament.
Flipping over to tennis, on Thursday, the #1-seeded and #1-ranked women's tennis team blew through their Sweet Sixteen opponent, Rice, 4-0 to advance to the Elite Eight. After picking up the doubles point (8-3, 8-2), the Bruins swept through singles action to eliminate Rice and continue on their march toward #109. Robin Anderson (6-0, 6-1), McCall Jones (6-0, 6-1), and Carling Seguso (6-3, 6-1) picked up the singles' wins and led UCLA in a dominating performance. However, waiting for the Bruins in the Elite Eight is one of only two teams to have beaten the Bruins this season: the California Golden Bears, who upset UCLA in Berkeley, 4-3 back in mid-April, and closely lost to UCLA in Los Angeles, 4-3 back in February. Right now, the Bruins are taking on Cal in Georgia, and currently lead 1-0 after UCLA picked up the doubles point (8-4, 8-4). You can track the game live here or watch streaming video online here.
Turning to the #4-seeded men's tennis team, they dropped #13-seeded Ole Miss in the Sweet Sixteen, 4-1, advancing to the tennis Elite Eight. Despite dropping the doubles point in a close pair of matches (8-5, 9-8 (4)), the Bruins came on strong in singles play to pick up the four points needed to advance, with Dennis Novikov, Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, and Dennis Mkrtchian bringing it home for UCLA. The Bruins will now face Ohio State in the quarterfinal match-up tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. PST.
Fire away with your thoughts, takes, or just comments as matches progress.