Wow. I didn't actually think Rick would get the axe: I figured ol' Chianti Dan could protect his buddy and things would proceed down in a painful, agonizing spiral. But, apparently, someone got the upper hand, with Chianti Dan's long-term prospects at UCLA looking dimmer, and with UCLA football again on the market for a head coach. So, with all the breaking news, we decided to slide the non-revenue roundup from it's normal Monday afternoon spot to this early Tuesday morning. Hey, at least it was because UCLA did something right for once.
Now, while Rick has been shown the door, we shouldn't forget that the Vespa Clown Show (brought to you by Chianti Dan and Joe Tresey) happened or the Dumpster Fire Squad (sponsored by Dan Guerrero's Fine Chianti Excursions, produced by Ben Howland) is still around. As I mentioned yesterday, both of our revenue programs are a complete and total joke. And there's only one person to blame: Chianti Dan Guerrero. The incompetent, do-nothing bureaucrat who is more concerned with taking chianti trips with donors than with competently running our athletic department, is a public employee who sits back, collects a king's ransom ($600K+), and does just enough to not raise the ire of clueless bookworm academic Chancellor Gene Block.
It's a total embarrassment and it's a wonder that the rest of the athletic department hasn't completely imploded either. With that in mind, let's take a look at how our other (read: not embarrassingly pitiful) programs fared this past week:
- Starting with the big news, the #3-seeded men's water polo team pulled off an impressive upset over top-seeded arch-rival U$C in the MPSF tournament championship game, winning 10-9, thanks to a Cristiano Mirarchi goal in sudden death overtime. While it ended up going into OT, the Bruins never trailed, thanks to a balanced attack that featured goals from 10 different UCLA players, while Matt Rapacz was solid in goal, picking up 11 saves. With the conference title locked up, the men will now turn their attention to the NCAA tournament, where the #2-seeded Bruins will face off against #3-seeded UC San Diego in the NCAA tournament semi-final. Winner will face off against the winner of the #1-seeded U$C vs. #4-seeded Princeton match-up (read: winner gets U$C) in the NCAA title game. Should the men advance, it will be their first appearance in the title match since 2009 and first opportunity to bring back the title that's eluded the program since 2004.
- Meanwhile, Jorge Salcedo's #13-seeded men's soccer team got off to a smashing start in their NCAA tournament match against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, winning 3-0. The men came out firing, with Chandler Hoffman netting the opener (his 17th on the year) in the first minute. The Bruins kept the pressure up, scoring again in the 44th minute through Victor Chavez. The Bruins opened the second half the same as the first, with Chandler Hoffman scoring his 18th goal of the year in the 49th minute. With the victory, the Bruins will advance to the NCAA tournament quarterfinal match, in Louisville against the Bruins recurring nemesis, the Louisville Cardinals. The matchup will put pressure on the UCLA defense, which has gone seven matches since conceding a goal, and will feature two foes very familiar with one another. The Bruins faced the Cardinals to open the season, falling 2-0 in Louisville, and in last year's quarterfinal match, where the Cardinals eliminated the Bruins 5-4. In other words, it'll be a tough match for UCLA, but a prime opportunity for Chandler Hoffman and the Bruins to exact some revenge.
- On the female side of sports, the #4-ranked women's volleyball team could not close out the regular season strong, losing to top-ranked U$C in four sets, 3-1. Rachael Kidder (18 kills) and Lauren Van Orden (29 assists) once again led the Bruins, but despite a promising career-high 12 kills from freshman Karsta Lowe, the Lady Bruins came up short against their archrival. With the loss, the ladies end the regular season with a 24-6 record overall and finishing 17-5 in conference play. The ladies earned a #9 seed in the NCAA tournament and will next be in action in the first round of against Maryland Eastern Shore this upcoming Friday at the Wooden Center at 8 p.m. PST.
- Finally, turning to Cori Close's #25-ranked women's basketball team, the ladies had mixed results this weekend, starting with a 63-54 loss to West Virginia on Friday. Rebekah Gardner (19 points, for the third straight game) and Atonye Nyingifa (10 points) led the Lady Bruins, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Lady Mountaineers in the first round of the Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic. The ladies rebounded (no pun intended) quickly, destroying Colgate in the tournament consolation game, 68-48. The Bruins were led by a couple of a pair of double-double efforts, Rebekah Gardner (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Atonye Nyingifa (19 points, 12 rebounds), as well as a double-digit rebounding effort by freshman Rhema Gardner. As a result, Cori Close's squad now stands at 3-2 for the season.
Alright folks, that's your non-revenue roundup for the past week. Great week for the men's teams in action, with a conference title wrapped up and Salcedo's team gearing up for the ultimate rematch, but mixed results for the ladies, with a couple of tough losses.
As we've mentioned before, despite success in the non-revenue sports (although, if you look at the numbers, UCLA has slipped here too under Chianti Dan's flaccid leadership), we have to keep our eye on the ultimate prize to do right by our student athletes: wholesale regime change in Westwood, meaning Dan Guerrero must be fired.
Fire away with your thoughts, takes, analysis, and opinions in the comment thread.