The UCLA women’s volleyball team will play their penultimate match of the regular season against the Colorado Buffaloes this afternoon at 1 pm at Pauley Pavilion.
Last Time Out
It’s been a pretty mediocre season for Michael Sealy’s team. How mediocre?
Well, after Sunday’s sweep by Arizona, UCLA is now just 13-12 overall and 8-10 in Pac-12 play. As a result, the Bruins are now in danger of finishing the regular season under .500 if they should lose today and Friday and a loss in either match will mean that they will finish under .500 in conference play.
On Sunday, the Bruins took an early 3-1 lead in the first set, but a 5-0 run put the Wildcats ahead for good. UCLA couldn’t get any closer than two points down at 12-10 and Arizona’s 8-0 run at that point doubled up the Bruins. Arizona closed out the set, 25-13.
The second set was a lot closer, but UCLA still fell short. After the Bruins took an early 5-3 lead, a 5-1 Wildcat run put Arizona ahead. UCLA kept it close until the ‘Cats went on a 6-0 run with the score 14-12 to make it 20-12, but the Bruins answered with a 7-0 run of their own. UCLA even managed to tie the set up at 22-22 before losing the final three points which also cost them the set 25-22.
In set three, the WIldcats jumped out to an early 5-1 lead and the Bruins couldn’t catch them. Arizona went on to win the third set 25-15 to sweep UCLA. The loss also knocked the Bruins out of the Top 25.
UCLA is in a full tailspin. The Bruins have lost seven of their last nine matches. If the Bruins can’t win today, UCLA will be in danger of having the program’s first losing record in the 49 years that records have been kept and possibly missing out on the postseason for just the third time in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
The Buffs look like a program on the rise. They have a 17-12 record overall and are 9-9 in the Pac-12. If they have a weakness, it’s been their play on the road where they are just 4-5 overall, but, even that is on the rise as Colorado has won their last two road matches and four of their last five. The lone loss during that stretch came against #2 Stanford, which hasn’t lost a match at home all season.
Well, I was going to predict a Bruin win today because I thought that UCLA would rise to the occasion and win both matches at home this week. Then, I realized just how bad the Bruins are playing right now. Having lost seven of their last nine matches has put this team in jeopardy of being the first UCLA women’s volleyball team to ever finish with a record under .500.
It seems like head coach Michael Sealy may have lost his team. Given the proud history of this program, he should probably need to win both of this week’s matches in order to keep his job, but will Dan Guerrero step up and make a change?
I think that Colorado wins today and they could very well come into Pauley and sweep the Bruins. That’s how low the program may be at this point.