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What’s Bruin: UCLA Men’s Basketball to Play Home-and-Home Series Against UNLV

Plus, there’s softball, men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, rowing, gymnastics and more news.

NCAA Basketball: Maui Invitational Game 4 UNLV Runnin Rebels vs UCLA Bruins
The Bruins will play a home-and-home series against the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in 2019 and 2020.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The school year is drawing to a close, and as such, UCLA athletics is closing out its final days for the 2019 spring sports. Let’s see What’s Bruin as we move into the home stretch of the academic year.

Men’s Basketball

Looking for a good reason to go to Vegas? Well, look no further, as the UCLA men’s basketball team has signed a home and home with the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. The Bruins will host UNLV at Pauley Pavilion on November 15, 2019, and make the trek to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on November 17, 2020. This will be the first time since these teams have met sine the Maui Jim Invitational in 2015. UCLA is 5-0 against the Rebels, with the last meeting a narrow 77-75 victory.


Redshirt junior pitcher Rachel Garcia has been named the USA Softball Player of the Year for the second year in a row. She is just the fourth player and the third Bruin to win the award in consecutive years.


John Savage has been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year and Ryan Garcia was chosen as the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, Garcia, Ryan Kreidler, Garrett Mitchell, Holden Powell, Jack Ralston, Jack Stronach, Chase Strumpf, and Michael Toglia were all named to the Pac-12 All-Conference team. Nate Hadley received a Pac-12 All-Conference Team Honorable Mention. Additionally, Mitchell was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team while Noah Cardenas received a Pac-12 All Defensive Team Honorable Mention.

Men’s Soccer

UCLA Men’s Soccer coach Ryan Jorden has completed his coaching staff by naming former Bruin Eric Reed an assistant coach while also retaining assistant coach Matt Taylor.

Women’s Rowing

Senior Saskia Budgett has been named to the All-Pac 12 Rowing Team for the second consecutive year. She has been one of the top varsity rowers all four years, and is the fourth rower since the rowing team became an NCAA varsity sport to earn the nod in multiple years. Budgett was a driving force behind UCLA’s fourth place finish at the Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago.

Men’s Volleyball

Three Bruins, setter Micah Ma’a (2016-2019), middle blocker Mitch Stahl (2014-17) and Garrett Muagututia (2007-10), have been named to the 25 man-roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. Current Bruin coach John Speraw serves as the head coach of the U.S. team.

Each week, 14 players will be chosen to compete on the team in preliminary matches as well as the final round. Preliminary play begins May 31-June 2 in Poland, and conclude on June 28 in Bulgaria. The United States will host a preliminary round the weekend of June 21-23 in the Chicago area and the final round July 10-14 in Chicago.

Women’s Soccer

Jessie Fleming has been named to the Canadian Women’s World Cup team and will play for Team Canada at next month’s Women’s World Cup. She is not the only Bruin who will be in France. Goalkeeper Teagan Micah will play for Australia while former Bruins Abby Dahlkemper, Sam Mewis, and Mal Pugh will all play for former UCLA head coach Jill Ellis’ Team USA. Rosie White will represent New Zealand and former Bruin coach Aline Reis will be in goal for Brazil.


Former Bruin Kristina Comforte has been named as associate head coach by new head coach Chris Waller. Comforte was a five-time All-American when she competed from 2006-08. She returns to Westwood after spending 2017 as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois and 2018-19 at the Illinois Gymnastics Institute.

Bruins in the Pros

A trip of Bruins had a great golf weekend as Ken Tanigawa won the 80th Senior PGA Championship on the PGA TOUR Champions, while Jake Knapp took the Canada Life Open on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada to open the season. This was Tanigawa’s second PGA TOUR Champions victory and first major win at Oak Hill Country Club. He shot an even-par 70 on Sunday to finish at 3-under 277, making a comeback from a three-shot deficit entering the final round.

Knapp entered the final round down by five before knocking out an 8-under 64 to finish at a record breaking 21-under 267, winning by two strokes. This was his first professional victory.

UCLA alumna Bronte Law also posted her first LPGA victory at the Pure Silk Championship on Sunday at the River Course at the Kingsmill Resort. Law finished at 17-under 267, and moved into sixth place in the Race to CME Globe standings.

Bruin Legends

Former UCLA football coach Terry Donahue is fighting cancer. He recently had surgery at UCSD and will begin chemotherapy after recovering from the surgery. The Donahue family is requesting privacy at this time.

And that’s What’s Bruin this Wednesday afternoon.

Go Bruins!