This Thursday night is going to go a long way in showing us exactly what UCLA has in its football team this season: is this the kind of Bruin squad that heads to the State of Utah only to be trounced in embarrassing fashion, as we say under both Dorrell and Neuheisel? Or are Jim Mora's new-look tough-guy Bruins going to pull out a big road win against a well-coached Utes squad on national television?
Tough questions. But those answers await on Thursday. For now, it's Tuesday and we're briefly going to shift gears and focus in on the various non-revenue UCLA squads in action this past week. Here's your various bits and pieces of non-revenue sports related news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting today's edition off with the #11-ranked women's volleyball team. The Lady Bruins got their Pac-12 season underway against #4-ranked Southern Cal on Wednesday and it wasn't pretty, with the Ladies of Troy knocking off our Bruins, 3-1 (23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 16-25). While Karsta Lowe once against put up double digit kill numbers (15), along with Claire Felix (12 kills), it simply wasn't enough against Southern Cal. On Friday, the Lady Bruins tried to turn things around in Colorado, but came up short, losing in five sets to Colorado, 2-3 (29-27, 15-25, 26-24, 23-25, 12-15). Lowe once again led UCLA with 19 kills, with Mariana Aquino (17 kills) and Kelly Reeves (11 kills) also picking up double-digit kill numbers. But it was too little, as the Bruins now fall to 9-3 overall but 0-2 in Pac-12 play, and will next be in action tomorrow against Stanford in Westwood.
- Turning to the #13-ranked men's soccer team, the Bruins returned to Drake Stadium last Thursday to take on UC Riverside, and the Bruins, having never lost to the Highlanders, didn't disappoint, winning 3-0. Leo Stolz got the scoring started with his fifth of the year in the 20th minute off of a penalty kick, with Victor Munoz scoring in the 45th minute to give UCLA a comfortable two goal advantage going into half-time. After the break, UCLA didn't take long to grab their third, with Jordan Vale netting in the 49th minute, while Earl Edwards notched 5 saves to pick up the clean sheet. With the win, the Bruins now stand at 5-2-1 overall and next take on San Diego State this Saturday at home.
- Flipping over to their female counterparts, the #4-ranked women's soccer team began Pac-12 play on Sunday against Arizona in Tucson, picking up a nice road win, 2-1. Like the men, the Lady Bruins struck early, with Taylor Smith scoring in the 5th minute to grab the early advantage, followed by Sam Mewis in the 32nd minute to take a two goal lead. Arizona would fight back and bring it within one through a Hannah Wong goal in the 38th minute, but that is as close as Arizona would get. With the win, the Lady Bruins are now 9-1 and will return home this Friday against Washington State before facing Washington on Monday.
- Another week, another undefeated run for the #1-ranked men's water polo team. Beginning on Friday, the men picked up a tough 8-7 win over #9-ranked Pepperdine, with the Bruins narrowly escaping a strong Pepperdine fourth quarter rally back from being down by 4 goals. In an evenly spread out match, only Daniel Lenhart scoring more than once, netting a brace against the Waves, with Gordon Marshall's goal at the 7:41 mark in the fourth quarter turning out to be the eventual winner. The next day, the Bruins had their work cut out for them, beginning the day with an afternoon match against #8-ranked Loyola Marymount at LMU's pool. But the short trip didn't slow the Bruins down, winning 17-4, with UCLA comfortably taking over the game in the third quarter. Lovre Milos and Chris Wendt led UCLA in scoring, both grabbing a hat trick. But their Saturday wasn't over, and after a short bus ride back to Westwood, the Bruins took on #11-ranked Princeton that night, dropping the Tigers in impressive 15-3 fashion. Led by Milos, who got his second hat trick of the day, Lucas Reynolds (3 goals), Danny McClintick (2 goals), and Wendt (2 goals), UCLA started slow (leading only 2-1 after the first quarter) but finished in dominating fashion, outscoring Princeton 13-2 over the following three quarters. With the three wins, the Bruins now stand at 14-0 and will take on UC San Diego this Friday in La Jolla.
Alright folks, those are your non-revenue sports related bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse for this Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned as we switch back into full-blown football mode as Brett Hundley and our Bruins get ready to take on a well-coached tough Utah team this Thursday night on national television. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, additions, opinions, etc. as we get ready for Thursday.