Agony and ecstasy. For one UCLA tennis team, their season comes up painfully short in the NCAA semifinal, while for another, just four points and one win stands between them and NCAA glory.
For the #6-seeded men's tennis squad, they found themselves in the Final Four facing off against #2-seeded Oklahoma after making short work of unseeded Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen, winning 4-0, and pulling out a hard-fought win over #3-seeded Ohio State, 4-2. All that stood between the Bruins and the national championship game was Oklahoma, and unfortunately, beating the Sooners proved to be one step too far, as UCLA came up short, losing 2-4, and ending their season agonizing close to the ultimate prize. After losing the doubles point (8-5, 6-8, 7-8), the Bruins continued to get out early before fading away in the stretch, with Adrien Puget (6-2, 6-3) and Mackenzie McDonald (6-4, 6-4) keeping the Bruins alive, while the back-end of the squad let it slip away. With the loss, UCLA ends the season at 26-4 overall for the year.
Turning to the #2-ranked women's golf team, the Lady Bruins, fresh off their NCAA Regional victory in Stillwater, will get their final push for NCAA glory started today in the 32nd NCAA Women's Golf Championship in Tulsa. The Bruins will look to repeat 2011's success under Coach Carrie Forsyth, who will hope to add a third championship to her resume this week. Led by freshman sensation (and consensus #1-ranked player) Alison Lee, the Bruins will look to take down hated arch-rival Southern Cal, the tourney favorite on the par-70, 6,194-yard course in Tulsa, with play getting started at 10:01 a.m. PST. If you want to track how the tournament is unfolding, you can get live stats from Golfstat here.
Finally, turning back to tennis and the #5-seeded women's tennis team, the Lady Bruins needed four points to drop #8-seeded Florida, avenge 2012's NCAA championship game loss to the Gators, and advance to the national championship game. And, showing their national champion credentials, the Bruins took no time putting the Gators to the sword, sweeping Florida away, 4-0. As with every other game this year, the Bruins opened the match by winning the doubles point (8-7, 8-7) before running off three singles victories in row, through Jennifer Brady (6-1, 6-1), Robin Anderson (6-1, 6-3), and Kaitlin Ray (6-3, 3-6, 6-2). With the big win, the Bruins will advance to the final to take on #7-seeded North Carolina at 10 a.m. PST.
Now, all that survives between UCLA and its 111th NCAA national championship is the Tar Heels. 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.
One win. Four points. That's all that's between UCLA and its 111th NCAA national championship trophy.