Bruin Bites: Men's Tennis Drops Southern Cal, Gymnastics Strong, Volleyball Falters in Hawaii

It's Monday morning, which means it's time to take a few minutes to cover the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse, focusing in on various results from our non-revenue sports teams.

It's Monday morning and it's been a slower week than normal, with both the women's tennis team and the softball team getting an unexpected week off, with rain cancelling matches for both squads. But the rain wouldn't slow down the rest of our Bruins' non-revenue squads, so it's time to run down the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:

--- Beginning with our #4-ranked men's tennis team, the Bruins went across town on Tuesday to take on #2-ranked Southern Cal, and unlike the ITA Indoor Championship title game, the Bruins avenged their only loss of the year, dropping the Trojans, 5-2. The Trojans got off on the right foot, taking the doubles point (8-3, 8-6), but the Bruins came back strong, picking up the next four singles matches on the trot, with Marcos Giron (6-3, 6-4), Karue Sell (6-1, 6-1), Mackenzie McDonald (6-4, 6-2), and Gage Brymer (7-5, 6-3), getting the four wins to earn UCLA the win, with Southern Cal's Eric Johnson beating Joseph Di Giulio (1-6, 6-3, 6-4) for a consolation point, before Clay Thompson ended the match on a high note by dropping Southern Cal's Ray Sarmiento (6-1, 6-7 (1), 6-2). With the win, the Bruins improve to 9-1 on the year and will next be in action on Thursday against Virginia in Westwood.

--- As for their female counterparts, the #2-ranked women's tennis team, they had an unexpected week off, with their Wednesday match against St. Mary's rained-out. The Lady Bruins will get back to action on Friday against #6-ranked Southern Cal on the other side of town.

--- Turning to the unranked women's hoops team, the Lady Bruins hit the road this past weekend, beginning with a Friday match-up in Boulder, and apparently, UCLA left their game in Westwood, getting slaughtered by Colorado, 62-42. Atonye Nyingifa (12 points, 6 rebounds) led UCLA in scoring but also in turnovers in an unusually sloppy game, while Thea Lemberger (11 points, 4 assists) was stone-cold, shooting 3-14 from the field. The Bruins headed west to Salt Lake City, ending the regular season with a 62-52 road win over the Utah Utes. Nirra Fields put up a big game (22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists), while Atonye Nyingifa (16 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) came one board short of a double-double, while Corinne Costa (15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks) had a strong night. The Lady Bruins end their regular season at 13-17 overall and 7-11 in Pac-12 play. UCLA will head north to Seattle as the #8-seed in the Pac-12 tourney, taking on #9-seeded Colorado on Thursday in a rematch of last Friday's thumping.

--- Flipping over to the #9-ranked women's gymnastics team, the Lady Bruins went down to the desert to take on #20-ranked Arizona and they had no problem putting down the Mildcats, winning 197.500-196.250. The Bruins ran a clean sweep, taking the top two spots in each event, with Samantha Peszek (9.900) and Olivia Courtney (9.900) taking the vault, Sophina DeJesus (9.900) and Peszek (9.900) finishing on top on the uneven parallel bars, Danusia Francis (9.950) and Peszek (9.900) finishing on top on the balance beam, and Sydney Sawa (9.950) and Courtney (9.925) finishing on top of the floor exercise. With the win, UCLA is now 6-2 on the year, and will next take part in a dual meet against Utah and Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday.

--- Turning to the #2-ranked women's water polo team, the Lady Bruins hit the pool on Saturday at Loyola Marymount, and dropped the Lady Lions, 14-6. The Bruins ran out to a 3-0 lead to end the first quarter and never conceded the lead, with Rachel Fattal and Victoria Kent's pair of hat tricks leading UCLA to the win. With the win, UCLA moves to 16-2 on the year and will next take on Arizona State on Sunday in Westwood.

--- Finally, as for the #3-ranked men's volleyball team, the Bruins went to Palo Alto last Monday to take on #8-ranked Stanford. The Bruins barely escaped the Bay Area with the win, scrapping by with a five-set, 3-2 victory (25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 19-25, 17-15). Led by Gonzalo Quiroga's double-double (21 kills, 12 digs) and Robart Page's 18-kill night, the Bruins came up away with the big road win. The Bruins went on a trip to the middle of Pacific, taking on #11-ranked Hawaii on Friday, but coming up short, losing 3-1 (23-25, 24-26, 27-25, 22-25). Quiroga (19 kills) and Page (17 kills) led UCLA, but it wasn't enough. And it wouldn't be enough again on Saturday, as Hawaii topped the Bruins again, 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 16-25, 11-15). With the pair of losses, the Bruins fall to 13-5 on the year and 10-4 in MPSF play. The Bruins will try to bounce back on Wednesday in Santa Barbara against UCSB.

Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites for this Monday morning. Fire away in the comment section with your thoughts, additions, or other bits of UCLA-related news.

GO BRUINS

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