It's Monday morning, which means it's back to the grind, both for all of us returning to work, but also for our football team, which will get working at Spaulding later today (spring practice having transitioned to three-per-week). If you can make it to Spaulding, you should, since football is the one island of comfort available to UCLA fans right now: we continue to wait to see if Gene Block intends on holding Dan Guerrero accountable for the complete clown-show surrounding our basketball program, with rape-victim advocacy groups blasting Alford's way-too-late show of contrition, with no one at Murphy Hall willing to ask Chianti Dan the tough questions surrounding this hiring "process."
In any event, let's turn away from the continued failure of our chancellor to guide UCLA to its high standards (you would have to think that a great Bruin like Jackie Robinson, the focus of our adoration this past week, would be rolling in his grave to see his alma mater accept mediocrity and failure), and take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting with football, as mentioned in the last Spaulding Roundup, Pitt transfer Rushel Shell was on campus for practice, with UCLA and Cal the two destinations he requested (and received approval from Pitt) to transfer to. Among those talking up the program was Jet Ski, who told the freshman transfer that UCLA was "about to take off" and "going to be big-time under Mora." " Always great to have an awesome Bruin like the Mayor working it.
- Sticking with football, Xavier Su'a-Filo is looking to bulk up this off-season, not so much in his actual weight, but in his strength and conditioning. XSF, who has been outstanding ever since he originally arrived in Westwood, has had nothing but good things to say about Sal Alosi, crediting his winter workout program for increasing his strength and for him feeling "significantly better."
- Turning to the #4-ranked women's water polo team, the Lady Bruins has a monster Saturday, beginning with a 12-7 victory over Cal-Baptist at Spieker Aquatics Center. Despite falling behind 5-2 after the first quarter, the Bruins rallied to outscore Cal-Baptist 10-2 the balance of the game, to pull out the win. Rachel Fattal scored the double-hat-trick (6), with six other Lady Bruins getting on the scoresheet. The Lady Bruins turned it on in the second match of the day, slaughtering Pomona-Pitzer, 22-5. Emily Donohoe, India Forster, and Danielle Ferraro all scored a hat-trick each, with Kodi Hill, Charlotte Pratt, Alexa Tielmann, Alys Williams, and Fattal each grabbing a brace (giving Fattal eight goals for the day). With the pair of wins, the Lady Bruins improve to 24-4 overall, and will finish the regular season against hated Southern Cal on Friday in Westwood.
- As for the #2-ranked men's tennis team, they had a dominating weekend over a pair of Pacific Northwest schools, beginning with a clean 7-0 sweep over Washington on Friday (Dennis Novikov, Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, Dennis Mkrtchian, Clay Thompson, Karue Sell all getting wins), followed by another clean sweep of Oregon, 7-0 (Novikov, Giron, Puget, Thompson, Sell, and Maxime Tabatruong all winning). With the pair of weekend wins, the Bruins improve to 20-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play.
- Turning to the female side of the court, the #6-ranked women's tennis team picked up a win over Oregon this weekend, 6-1. After winning the doubles point, every Bruin won their match (Kyle McPhillips, Pamela Montez, Courtney Dolehide, Kaitlin Ray, Skylar Morton) except for Holly Fleming, who fell 6-1, 6-4 to her Duck opponent. But, it was not critical, and with the win, the Lady Bruins improve to 16-4 overall and 7-2 in conference play.
- Finally, the #19-ranked softball team had a chance to sweep the #8-ranked California Golden Bears on Saturday, but came up short in the final match, having won the previous two games in the series on Thursday and Friday (6-5 on Thursday and 3-2 on Friday). The Bears came out and won 5-1 on Saturday, with Ally Carda (7.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K) picking up her seventh loss on the season, with the game tied until the top of the ninth, when Cal exploded for four unanswered runs. With the 2-out-of-3 weekend in the books, the Lady Bruins find themselves far from their lofty standards at 28-14 and only 5-10 in conference play.
Alright folks, those are your various bits and pieces of news from around the broader UCLA-iverse. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, additions, and takes.