So far, so good. After the #2-seeded women's water polo team fell in a heart-breaking 9-5 loss to #1-seeded Stanford in the NCAA championship game a week ago, Bruins everywhere have turned to the #3-seeded softball team, the #6-seeded men's tennis team, and the #5-seeded women's tennis team to bring Westwood its 111th NCAA national championship trophy. And so far, all three teams remain alive, surviving and advancing.
On Thursday, our nationally #5-seeded women's tennis team took another step toward #111 by sweeping #12-seeded Miami aside, 4-0. The Bruins opened the match by taking the doubles point (5-8, 8-3, 8-4) before running off three straight singles points through Catherine Harrison (6-2, 6-3), Jennifer Brady (6-4, 6-2), and Kyle McPhillips (6-2, 6-4). With that win, the Lady Bruins will take tomorrow off before taking on #4-seeded Duke in the Elite Eight on Saturday. On Friday, the nationally #6-seeded men's tennis team made short work of unseeded Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen, winning 4-0. Like their female counterparts, the men opened the match by taking the doubles point (8-4, 8-7) before running off three straight singles victories through Gage Brymer (6-2, 6-2), Adrien Puget (6-4, 6-2), and Marcos Giron (6-3, 6-3). Later that evening, the nationally #3-seeded softball team put a beat down on Southern Utah in the opening NCAA regional game, winning 8-0 in a mercy-rule shortened six-inning affair. Ally Carda (3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 H, 2 BB) got the start and made way for Jessica Hall (3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 H, 1 BB) who picked up the win in relief in a dominating pitching performance by both hurlers. At the plate, the Bruins jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, with Alyssa Tiumalu (1-1, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR) and Gabrielle Maurice (2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI) having strong offensive showings.
The men's tennis team will have today off before taking on #3-seeded Ohio State, who barely escaped #14-seeded Florida, 4-3, in their Sweet Sixteen match. First up on the docket today, we'll have our #3-seeded softball team taking on Notre Dame at noon PST at Easton Stadium. Expect Carda to once again take to the circle to try to shut down a Notre Dame squad that also picked up a mercy-rule win over Long Beach State, 8-0. First pitch is scheduled for noon PST and if you're unable to make it to Easton Stadium, you can check out the game live on ESPN3.com. Or, if watching the stream isn't your style, you can listen into a live audio broadcast of the game at the official website.
And about an hour after our softball squad hits the diamond in Westwood, their fellow Lady Bruins, the #5-seeded women's tennis team will take on #4-seeded Duke in an Elite Eight match-up at 1 p.m. PST in Athens, Georgia. Since the tourney is on the far side of the country, for the majority of us unable to make it to the tourney live, fortunately the NCAA will live stream video online, available here. For all information pertaining to the NCAA tennis tournaments, including complete schedules and brackets, you can check out the NCAA's official site through the University of Georgia's athletic department.
Alright folks, we have some NCAA tournament action to keep an eye on. This is your NCAA non-revenue tournament open thread, so fire away in the comment thread with who you think is most likely to bring home NCAA national championship #111 to Westwood, what you're seeing as you watch/track the game, and any other bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse as we cheer on our UCLA squads hopefully continue marching toward a NCAA national championship.