Well it wasn't the prettiest win in the books, and despite some Dorrellian play-calling on the offensive side, the Bruins got the needed victory over a mediocre Colorado team. This Saturday's opponent offers a slightly more difficult challenge, but the Bruins have to be licking their chops, knowing that this Arizona squad that barely squeaked by theBerkeley Pedobears is the same team they demolished the prior season 66-10. The question will be whether the Bruins will come out with the killer instinct they displayed when under pressure in Utah and Nebraska, or whether they'll wilt on the road once against as in Palo Alto and Eugene? While we wait to find out how Mora's team handles this next road trip, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with the #2-ranked men's water polo team, the Bruins picked up a big win to start off this past Friday, squeaking by #5-ranked Berkeley, 6-4. Let by an outstanding effort by freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner, who notched 10 saves, and another hat-trick by Crstiano Mirarchi, the Bruins were able to get just enough to leave with a win. The Bruins then followed that victory up with a double-header match against #11-ranked Concordia, which resulted in the Bruins getting their second win of the night, pulling it out 15-11. UCLA came out of the gates strong, taking an early 5-1 advantage after one quarter and a 8-2 advantage at half, but Concordia wouldn't go away quietly in the second half, but the Bruins managed to hold on for the win, led by a double-brace by Ryder Roberts and hat-tricks by Alec Zwaneveld and Jack Fellner. With the pair of Friday night wins, the Bruins improve to 23-2 overall and will next be in action this Saturday at Long Beach State.
- In case you missed it, the Hoosier Loser's men's hoops team wasn't the only basketball team on campus starting its season this week: Coach Cori Close's #25-ranked women's basketball team took on Vanguard on Halloween night at Pauley Pavilion, dropping the Lions 66-57 in an exhibition warm-up match. Atonye Nyingifa led the Lady Bruins with a big double-double (19 points, 16 boards), with Thea Lemberger (11 points), Luiana Livulo (13 points), and Nirra Fields (17 points, 9 rebounds) helping lead the way to the win. The Lady Bruins' regular season gets underway this Friday against #17-ranked Nebraska in Lincoln.
- Turning to the unranked women's volleyball team, the Lady Bruins continue to struggle, getting swept on the road by both Bay Area schools, beginning with a 3-1 (26-28, 19-25, 25-22, 11-25) loss to #6-ranked Stanford in Palo Alto. Karsta Lowe once again led the Bruins with 22 kills and 14 digs, with Kelly Reeves (14 kills, 11 digs), Maddy Klineman (13 kills), Megan Moenoa (52 assists, 9 digs), and Karly Drolson (20 digs) all getting into double figures, but it was far too little against the dominant Cardinal.Sunday wasn't any better, with UCLA falling in a tough five set match to #22-ranked Berkeley, 3-2 (25-17, 24-26, 24-26, 25-18, 12-15). Lowe against posted huge numbers with 25 kills, but it was Kelly Reeves who had a career night, notching 21 kills and 22 digs, making herself the first Bruin to pull a 20-20 in six years. But it was too little in the end, and now the Lady Bruins stand at 12-10 overall and will return to Westwood this weekend to take on the two Oregon schools.
- On a more positive note, the #2-ranked women's soccer team had an outstanding weekend, beginning with a crushing 3-0 victory over Oregon State on Friday night. There was little the Beavers could do, with the Lady Bruins dominating the match (out-shooting Oregon State 20-3, with UCLA's 'keeper Katelyn Rowland not having to make a single save the entire night), and broke through in the 16th minute with Darian Jenkins' 10th goal of the season. Sam Mewis doubled the Bruins' advantage in the 33rd minute off a nice header from a corner kick, with Rosie White rounding out the scoring in the 76th minute on a nice through ball. But, as nice as Friday's 3-0 win was, Sunday was even better, with the Lady Bruins dropping Oregon 2-0 and clinching UCLA's 11th conference championship in the process. Once again the Bruins dominated possession (this time out-shooting their opponent 21-3) but the Ducks kept it tight in the back for the better part of an hour, until their inability to clear the ball led to Taylor Smith scoring in the 61st minute following a scramble in the box. Kodi Lavrsusky made sure the Bruins would leave with the win, adding the second in the 81st minute. With the wins, the Bruins improve to 16-1-2 overall and 8-0-2 in the Pac-12 and will finish the regular season against Southern Cal this Thursday before turning their attention to the NCAA tournament later this month.
- As for their male counterparts, the #3-ranked men's soccer team had an outstanding weekend on the road in the Bay Area, starting with a narrow 2-1 victory over Stanford at Palo Alto on Friday. The Cardinal took the early advantage, opening the scoring in the 31st minute, but it didn't take the Bruins long to respond, with Gage Zerboni taking advantage (with a big assist from Victor Munoz) from slopping play in the back by the Cardinal to equalize in the 40th minute. After the half-time break, the Bruins came out firing with Nathan Smith grabbing the eventual winner in the 47th minute after some beautiful short passing with Victor Chavez. While the win in Palo Alto was nice, the Bruins did one better on Sunday, pulling off a huge 2-1 upset victory over #1-ranked Berkeley. Facing the top team in the country, the Bruins came out strong, grabbing the lead just before the break, with Kevin De La Torre netting in the 43rd minute, taking advantage of some poor Pedobear defending. In the second half, the Bruins got some excellent play from Victor Munoz, leading to another assist, providing Leo Stolz the ball needed to grab his seventh goal of the season in the 70th minute. Berkeley would peg one back in the 72nd minute, but it would be too little, too late and the Bruins would hold on to leave Berkeley with a huge upset win. With the pair of wins, the Bruins now stand at 10-3-4 overall and 5-1-3 in conference play. The Bruins will finish their regular season in San Diego against the Aztecs this upcoming Saturday.
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 weekend's game against the Arizona Mildcats in Tucson. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, additions, opinions, etc. as we get ready for Saturday.