Bruin Bites: Sand Volleyball Struggling, Women's H2O Polo Rolling, Men's Tennis Running Strong, Women's Tennis Upset

With the football team taking a day off between practices, we take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the wider UCLA-iverse, focusing in on the various results from our other non-revenue sports from the past couple of weeks.

With the football team off today and between practices, we shift our focus back to the various bits and pieces of news from our various non-revenue sports (not including, of course, softball and men's volleyball thanks to Bruinette88's amazing coverage). Here's your news from around the non-revenue UCLA-iverse:

--- Since beach weather has returned to California, let's start with the #6-ranked women's beach volleyball team, who have struggled for consistency the past couple of weeks. Beginning two Thursdays ago (March 27), the Lady Bruins went to the Bay Area for the USF Invitational, beginning with a 5-0 loss to #3-ranked Hawaii, with all five UCLA pairs getting beat by their Rainbow Wahine counterparts. Fortunately, the day wasn't a complete loss, with the Bruins bouncing back with a 3-2 win over USF with Jessyka Ngauamo/Kamila Tan (23-21, 21-11), Taylor Formico/Karsta Lowe (21-12, 27-25), and Karly Drolson/Rachel Inouye (26-28, 21-9, 15-10) all winning. The Lady Bruins then went a short drive down the 101 to Palo Alto for a triple-header the following Saturday (March 29), beginning with a 4-1 win over Santa Clara with Ngauamo/Tan (21-18, 22-20), Formico/Lowe (18-21, 21-14, 15-7), Skylar Dykstra/Jennie Frager (30-32, 21-18, 15-13), and Drolson/Inouye (21-10, 21-12) picking up the wins for UCLA. The Lady Bruins kept their hot streak going that afternoon against Stanford, sweeping the Cardinal, 5-0, with Ngauamo/Tan (21-17, 18-21, 15-8), Zoe Nightingale/Madie Smith (22-20, 21-16), Formico/Lowe (21-18, 21-7), Dykstra/Frager (21-16, 21-14), and Drolson/Inouye (21-8, 21-16) all winning. Later that day, the Bruins were given a chance to leave Palo Alto on a high and a chance for revenge against the #3-ranked Rainbow Wahine, but it was the same story for UCLA against Hawaii, falling 5-0 again.

--- Staying in the sand, the Lady Bruins returned home to Los Angeles and went across town this past Thursday for a double-header at Southern Cal, beginning with a duel against Loyola Marymount. Unfortunately, Southern California wasn't better for the Bruins, with UCLA getting upset by LMU, 4-1, with Drolson/Inouye (21-10, 21-13) being the only pair to notch a victory against the Lady Lions. Later that afternoon, the Bruins took on #1-ranked Southern Cal, but the double-header was just a double beat-down, as the Trojans swept UCLA, 5-0. With the pair of losses, the Lady Bruins now stand at 6-5 on the year. They'll be in action this afternoon at 1 p.m. PST at Long Beach State.

--- Moving to the pool, the #1-ranked women's water polo team have spent the past two weeks on the road, beginning with a trip to the Bay Area on March 27 to take on the #4-ranked Berkeley Bears, coming away with a big 11-8 road win. Led by Rachel Fattal and Emily Donohoe (each with four goals), the Bruins used a big second quarter to give themselves just enough to drop the Bears. That next Saturday, the Bruins took a long flight west and took on the #10-ranked Rainbow Wahine in Honolulu, barely scrapping by with a 5-4 win over Hawaii, led by Danielle Ferraro's brace and Sami Hill's huge 10 save day in the net. Going from Honolulu to Bakersfield (ouch, talk about a downgrade), the Bruins took on Cal State Bakersfield this past Saturday, dropping the Roadrunners 14-8, led by Kelly Ronimus with a hat trick and a triple-set of braces by Kodi Hill, Fattal, and Alexa Tielmann. With the three wins, the Lady Bruins are not only ranked at #1, but stand at 21-2 overall.

--- Turning to the tennis courts, the #3-ranked men's tennis team had a busy two weeks, beginning with a double-header two weeks ago (March 25), which started with a 4-0 sweep of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. After clinching the opening doubles point (8-4, 8-6), the Bruins ran off three straight singles wins by Clay Thompson (6-2, 6-2), Mackenzie McDonald (6-4, 6-2), and Marcos Giron (6-3, 7-5). After a short break, the Bruins closed the day against LMU, winning in another 4-0 sweep. Once the doubles point was secure (8-2, 8-5), the Bruins picked up three quick singles wins by McDonald (6-2, 6-1), Thompson (6-3, 6-2), and Joseph Di Giulio (6-2, 6-0), to finish the day with two wins. With those wins in hand, the Bruins went to the Pacific Northwest, beginning with a 4-1 win over Washington to open Pac-12 play. The Huskies opened by grabbing the doubles point (2-8, 6-8), but it's the only point they'd get as the Bruins ran off four singles points by McDonald (6-3, 6-1), Thompson (7-5, 6-2), Karue Sell (6-3, 6-3), and Giron (6-3, 7-6 (7)). The Bruins finished their road trip in Eugene, sweeping aside the Oregon Ducks 4-0. The Bruins opened with the doubles point (5-8, 8-6, 8-7 (2)), before picking up three straight singles wins by Thompson (6-4, 6-4), Gage Brymer (6-4, 6-0), and McDonald (6-1, 7-5). Finally, the Bruins returned home and hosted the Bay Area schools this past weekend, beginning with a 4-1 win over #16-ranked Berkeley on Friday. After losing the doubles points (8-3, 6-8, 7-8), the Bruins stormed back in singles action, with Di Giulio (6-1, 6-0), Thompson (6-2, 6-0), McDonald (6-2, 6-2), and Brymer (6-4, 6-3) all dropping their Bear opponents. On Saturday, the Bruins made short work of Stanford, 4-0. UCLA grabbed the doubles point to open the match (8-4, 8-4), followed by singles wins by Brymer (6-2, 6-1), Sell (6-1, 6-1), and Thompson (6-1, 6-3). With the wins, UCLA is now 17-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play.

--- As for their female counterparts, the #3-ranked women's tennis team began their two week run of action against Washington State in Westwood, dropping the Lady Cougars, 4-0. After winning the doubles point (8-3, 8-4), UCLA got straight singles wins from Chanelle Van Nguyen (6-1, 6-0), Kaitlin Ray (6-0, 6-0), and Jennifer Brady (6-2, 6-2). Following the Cougars, the Oregon Ducks met the same fate the next day, getting swept by UCLA, 4-0. UCLA opened with the doubles point (8-2, 8-0), followed by UCLA winning on Court #6 by default (with Oregon unable to field a full six-player roster). Once Catherine Harrison (6-1, 6-0) and Brady (6-1, 6-0) picked up quick wins, it was enough for UCLA to clinch the 4-0 win. This past weekend, the Lady Bruins went to the Bay Area, beginning with a showdown against the defending champion and #4-ranked Stanford Cardinal on Friday, with UCLA coming out on top in a 4-3 thrilling match. UCLA began by grabbing the doubles point (8-2, 5-8, 8-6), with Stanford pegging back the next two singles matches, before Kyle McPhillips (6-4, 6-0) and Robin Anderson (3-6, 6-3, 6-0) picked up two wins to put UCLA on the brink at 3-2. Stanford wouldn't go quietly, winning the next singles match, leaving it all up to Jennifer Brady, who clinched it for UCLA (4-6, 6-3, 6-3). After winning a thriller in Palo Alto on Friday, the Bruins lost a heartbreaker in Berkeley to the #12-ranked Bears, 3-4. With the split weekend trip to the Bay Area in the books, the Bruins are now 18-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play. They'll return to Westwood this weekend to take on the Arizona schools, beginning with the Mildcats on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the L.A. Tennis Center.

Alright folks, those are your quick-hitting spring break 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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