It's Monday late morning (for those of us on the best coast) on the last day of our extended Presidents' Day weekend. So, while we enjoy the extra day of sunshine free from work, over the past week, our UCLA non-revenue sports have had a jam-packed week of action, with some very good results from a lot of our squads.
Two squads were in tournament action (softball and men's tennis), with busier schedules than normal, while other teams only had a single match to contend with in the past week (women's hoops, women's tennis, and women's water polo). With that, let's take a look at how our non-revenue teams fared this past week:
- Starting with Coach Al Scates and the #1-ranked men's volleyball team, the guys got their week started off on the wrong foot on Valentine's Day, falling in a very close 3-2 loss to #10-ranked Long Beach State. The Bruins fell behind early, dropping the first two sets, but were able to pick up the next two to force a deciding fifth set. Unfortunately, the Bruins couldn't close it out, picking up their first MPSF conference loss on the year. The Bruins' got good double-digit efforts from Weston Dunlap (11 kills, 4 digs), Kyle Caldwell (4 kills, 40 assists, 7 digs), Thomas Amberg (10 kills, 3 digs), Gonzalo Quiroga (12 kills, 9 digs), and Jeremy Casebeer (13 kills, 6 digs), but those efforts weren't enough.
- Coach Scates followed up Tuesday's tough loss with a trip across the Pacific for a double-header re-match against #13-ranked Hawaii. In the opening match on Friday, the Bruins took care of business, sweeping the Warriors 3-0. The Bruins were led by none other than Gonzalo Quiroga (16 kills, 9 digs) and Jeremy Casebeer (10 kills). In the second match on Saturday, UCLA picked up where they left on on Friday, sweeping the Warriors again, 3-0. Jeremy Casebeer led UCLA with another double-digit effort (12 kills, 3 digs) in an unusually quiet game for Gonzalo Quiroga (2 kills, 5 digs). However, Nick Vogel helped fill the void with a solid game (9 kills, 4 digs), with help from Weston Dunlap (6 kills) and Thomas Amberg (7 kills, 1 dig). With the pair of weekend wins in Hawaii, the Bruins now stand at 14-2 overall and 9-1 in conference play.
- Turning to the #3-ranked women's tennis team kept its winning ways going, taking on and dropping #8-ranked Baylor, 4-0 down in Waco. Starting by winning the doubles points, the Bruins finished strong on singles, sweeping the first three matches to put the balance of the match beyond reach for the Bears, with Robin Anderson, Kaitlin Ray, and Chanelle Van Nguyen all picking up wins. With the big road win, the ladies now stand at a perfect 10-0 on the season.
- In hoops news, it was not a good week for Coach Cori Close and the inconsistent women's hoops team, losing in their only game of the week to crosstown rival U$C, 66-54 at the Galen Center. The Bruins were led by Markel Walker's double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds, to go with 2 assists and 3 steals) and Rebekah Gardner's team-high 18 points (to go with 6 boards). But UCLA didn't get much else from the rest of the squad as the Lady Trojans ran UCLA out of the gym. With the loss, the ladies fall below .500, at 12-13 overall and 7-7 in the Pac-12. More importantly, with the loss, the ladies fell from being tied for fourth in conference to sixth place, putting the ladies on the outside-looking-in for a first round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.
- Turning to our #8-ranked softball team, Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and her squad got their extremely busy week started on the right foot, flat-out destroying LMU on Valentine's Day, 24-2. Yes, that's not a type. 24 runs on 25 hits, in just 5 innings, before the slaughter rule brought the Lady Lions pain to an end. Ally Carda went all five innings on the hill, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, while striking out 5, to notch her third win of the season. Every Bruin starter got at least two hits, with UCLA being led by phenomenal games by Dani Yudin (3-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 RBI, 1 HR) and Andrea Harrison (3-5, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR), while Katie Schroeder, B.B. Bates, and Stephany LaRosa all notched three hits.
- After Wednesday's game against Cal State Fullerton was cancelled due to rain, the ladies were next in action on Friday in the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego. In the first of two games on Friday, the Lady Bruins manhandled UC Davis, 7-1. Ally Carda was the offensive star of the game (2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR), while Stephany LaRosa (3-3, 1 R) added another three-hit game, and Andrea Harrison (2-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 1 HR) blasted her fourth HR of the season. Jessica Hall went the distance for UCLA on the mound, giving up 1 run on 7 hits over 7.0 innings, while striking out 7, all to earn her second win of the year. In the second game on Friday, the Bruins took down Boise State, 4-1. Ally Carda pitched a gem, going the full 7.0 innings, giving up 1 run on 7 hits, while striking out a career-high 10. With the win, Carda picked up her fourth victory on the year.
- The following day, the Bruins were in action against Central Florida, keeping their perfect season alive, winning 3-1. Ally Carda started on the hill for UCLA, giving the Bruins 4.0 strong innings, giving up just 1 run on 2 hits, while fanning 5. Unfortunately, UCLA's offense didn't come to life until the top of the 7th, so Jessica Hall, pitching in relief (3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 K) picked up her third win of the year. The Bruins left it late, with a pair of homers by B.B. Bates and Samantha Camuso giving the Bruins the edge in the last frame of the game.
- Yesterday, the ladies closed the Campbell/Cartier Classic strong, picking up two wins in a Sunday double-header, to keep their perfect season alive. In the first game, UCLA blasted UC Santa Barbara, 8-0, before the game was called after six innings by way of the mercy rule. Ally Carda took the hill for the third time in as many days, giving UCLA a strong start (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 K) to pick up her fifth win on the year. Offensively, Katie Schroeder (4-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) had a big game, with four hits and two RBI, while Andrea Harrison (2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB), and B.B. Bates (1-3, 2 RBI) helped power UCLA to another easy win. In the second game, UCLA picked up a close win in a pitchers' duel, dropping San Diego State, 1-0. The Bruins struggled offensively, not driving in a single run, but only scoring after Dani Yudin notched a HBP, with pinch-runner Sam Duran advancing to second on a sacrifice by Ally Carda, and taking third on a ground-out by Marti Reed. Duran squeaked home when Aztec pitcher Rebecca Arbino got called for a balk, letting Duran score the only run of the game. Jessica Hall took the hill for UCLA and was fantastic, going the full 7 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 6, to earn her fourth win of the year. With the six wins this week, the Bruins improved to 10-0 on the year.
- Turning to the #3-ranked women's water polo team, the ladies only had one match this week, dropping #9-ranked San Diego State on Saturday, 9-4 in their conference opener. KK Clark and Kelly Ronimus led UCLA, each scoring a brace, while goalkeeper Caitlin Dement notched a season-high dozen saves for the Bruins. With the victory, the ladies improve to 8-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.
- Turning to our #4-ranked men's golf team, the men were in action last Monday and Tuesday in the San Diego Intercollegiate in Chula Vista, where they came up short, finishing in third. The men were able to move up the board, from fifth to third, but still came up 14 shots of winners Washington and 7 shots behind hated crosstown rival U$C. The Bruins were led by Alex Shi Yup Kim and Pedro Figueiredo, who tied for tenth overall on the individual leaderboard.
- Flipping over to the #8-ranked men's tennis team, the guys got their busy week started on Valentine's Day, (lame pun alert) breaking the hearts of the #12-ranked Pepperdine Waves, with a narrow 4-3 victory at UCLA. After narrowly losing the doubles point (Pepperdine won 9-8 (7-5), 8-5, 4-8), the Bruins picked up 4 out of 6 singles wins to keep their perfect season alive, with Marcos Giron, Maxime Tabatruong, Adrien Puget, and Dennis Mkrtchian leading the Bruins to victory.
- The men then traveled to Charlottesville on Friday for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, and sadly, the perfect season didn't last long, with the men dropping their opening round match to #10-ranked Duke, 4-2. Despite picking up the big upset in doubles, the Bruins could not sustain momentum in singles' play, with the Blue Devils' #2-ranked player Henrique Cunha getting revenge for the doubles' loss by handling UCLA's top singles' player, Nick Meister. Adrien Puget was the only Bruin to win a singles match, as Duke otherwise swept the singles' competition.
- Falling to the consolation bracket, the Bruins bounced back immediately, pounding #20-ranked Tennessee on Saturday, 4-0. The Bruins started the day off well, picking up a narrow doubles' win to secure the doubles' point. The Bruins then swept through the singles' matches, with Marcos Giron, Maxime Tabatruong, and Dennis Mkrtchian notching wins to make the balance of the singles' matches irrelevant.
- UCLA closed out its ITA play yesterday and early this morning, taking on #13-ranked Cal, with UCLA picking up a close 4-3 win to end the week strong. The match didn't start well for UCLA, with the Bruins dropping two of the three doubles' matches to concede the doubles point to
Oski the Pedobearthe Golden Bears. The Bruins picked it up on the singles' side, with Nick Meister, Clay Thompson, Adrien Puget, and Dennis Mkrtchian all winning to lead UCLA to close win that concluded with #70-ranked Clay Thompson notching a tight 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5) win over Cal's #67-ranked Carlos Cueto. With their busy week at an end, the Bruins now stand at 10-1 on the season.
- Turning to Coach Carrie Forsyth and the #1-ranked women's golf team, the ladies finished strong early last week to clinch the top spot at the Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, despite pretty terrible playing conditions. The tournament win was the third UCLA victory in the tournament history and Coach Forsyth's 44th tournament victory at UCLA. The Bruins got strong efforts from Erynne Lee (finishing third overall), Tiffany Lua (fourth overall), Lee Lopez (eighth overall), and Ani Gulugian (10th overall).
- Finally, as for our #7-ranked women's gymnastics squad, the ladies were in action in Corvallis for a triple-meet, taking on both #8-ranked Oregon State and California. Despite suffering injuries to key gymnasts Samantha Peszek and Lichelle Wong, the Bruins came from behind to tie the Beavers for first place at 196.775, ahead of the Bears' 192.350. Vanessa Zamarripa was on top for the vault while Aisha Gerber finished in the top spot on the uneven bars. With Peszek out of action, the Bruins' Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs was UCLA's top all-around scorer, finishing at third overall (39.375).
And with that, that is your non-revenue roundup for this past week. Great week for the women's softball team, while the women's hoops team continues to struggle with consistency on the season (sound familiar?), but a lot of other Bruin squads continue to impress as we head into the heart of the non-revenue season this spring.
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