Another week, another win, and another show by
Superman Myles Jack. I'd be willing to bet $5 he can probably punt the ball 40+ yards too, because, well he's Myles freakin' Jack. He'll lead the Bruins back to the Rose Bowl this Saturday in one of the biggest games of the year, as our Bruins will take on Arizona State with the Pac-12 South division crown on the line. Win and we go on to face Southern Cal for a berth in Eugene for the title match; lose and the Sun Devils will get to head to the Pacific Northwest to take on the fighting Phil Knights Ducks. But while we wait to see how our Bruins will fare in this pivotal Saturday conference match, let's take a quick minute to take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with our unranked women's basketball team, the Lady Bruins took on #12-ranked North Carolina at home this past weekend, but despite the home court advantage, UCLA couldn't get it done, falling 78-68 to the Tar Heels. Atonye Nyingifa continued her star play, posting a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) while Thea Lemberger again led the Bruins in scoring (19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists). Not to be forgotten, Nirra Fields (12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) and Lauren Holiday (10 points, 11 rebounds) also both posted double-double nights. But it wasn't enough for the win, and with the loss, the ladies fall to 1-2 on the year, next taking on Oklahoma next Sunday.
- Flipping over to the unranked women's volleyball team, the Lady Bruins had some mixed results again, this time beginning with a 3-0 (22-25, 20-25, 21-25) loss to #3-ranked Washington in Seattle. Karsta Lowe once again led in kills (16 kills, 6 digs), while Kelly Reeves (13 kills, 10 digs) was the only other Bruin to post double-figure kill numbers. By Friday, the Bruins were in Pullman and taking on Washington State, pulling out a close one 3-2 (20-25, 25-12, 25-15, 21-25, 15-13). Reeves once again pulled out a double-double (10 kills, 12 digs), but it was Lowe who dominated with 22 kills. Mariana Aquino chipped in with 17 kills and 6 digs, while Maddy Klineman added 10 kills. With the split weekend, the Lady Bruins are now 14-12 and will next be in action on this upcoming weekend against the Arizona schools at Wooden Center.
- As for the #3-ranked men's water polo team, the men had a pair of big wins over the weekend,beginning on Saturday with a 10-8 win over #7-ranked Pepperdine. The Bruins took the early advantage, leading 4-2 after the first quarter, and fought off Pepperdine the rest of the match, with Garrett Danner coming up with 13 big saves and Lucas Reynolds, Paul Reynolds, and Danny McClintick all scoring braces to lead UCLA. Sunday was even better, with our Bruins dropping #6-ranked UC Santa Barbara, 10-7. The Bruins and Gauchos traded goals in the first quarter, coming out 3-3, but the second quarter was all UCLA, as the Bruins put up 4 to the Gauchos' 1. Wit hthe lead in hand, the Bruins never looked back, with Danner notching a career-high 14 saves and Paul Reynolds netting a hat trick to lead UCLA to another win. With the wins, the Bruins improve to 26-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play; they'll end their regular season against #2-ranked Southern Cal on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. (match is being televised on ESPNU).
- Turning to some NCAA tournament action, the #2-ranked women's soccer team (that somehow got miraculously failed to get one of four #1-seeds while Chianti Dan said nothing about the NCAA blatantly robbing the Lady Bruins) took on San Diego State in the first round of the NCAA tourney on Friday night, and it was smooth sailing, with UCLA winning 3-0. The Bruins came out flying, with Sam Mewis opening the scoring in the 1st minute (actually at the 43-second mark), with Taylor Smith scoring her sixth of the year in the 30th minute to double the Bruins' advantage heading into the break. But the break did the Aztecs no good as Kodi Lavrusky scored in the 53rd minute to put the game well beyond reach. Next up for the Lady Bruins: Kentucky this upcoming Friday at 7:30 p.m.
- As for their male counterparts, the #2-ranked men's soccer team, the Bruins ended their regular season with a convincing 3-0 win over San Diego State on Saturday -- apparently, it was a weekend for beating down the Aztecs. The Bruins took the early advantage, scoring in the 28th minute through Gage Zerboni's header on a nice cross from Jordan Vale. Vale would pick up his second assist in setting up Leo Stolz's eighth goal of the year in the 41st minute to give UCLA a comfortable 2-0 lead at half. But that wasn't enough for Stolz, who grabbed his ninth goal of the year in the 58th minute to put it beyond doubt for the Bruins. And unlike their female counterparts, apparently, someone at the NCAA felt bad for UCLA, because the selection committee made up for shafting the Lady Bruins by seeding their male counterparts, the #2-ranked men's soccer team, as the #1-overall seed for the men's NCAA tournament. The Bruins will enjoy a first-round bye and take on the winner of the Elon-Clemson match this upcoming Sunday.
Alright folks, those are your non-revenue sports related bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse for this Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned as we switch back into full-blown football mode as our Bruins gear up for this Saturday afternoon's Pac-12 South showdown against the Arizona Sun Devils at the Rose Bowl. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, additions, opinions, etc. as we get ready for Saturday.