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Olympic Sports Roundup: UCLA Women’s Basketball Suffers First Loss of the Season

Women’s water polo loses to host UCSB while winning five other games, plus men’s tennis takes down BYU.

UCLA is downed by the Trojans, 70-68.

Here is your Olympic Sports Roundup for the week of January 13, 2020.

#10 UCLA Women’s Basketball

In double overtime, the UCLA women’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season to Southern Cal, 70-68. Senior Japreece Dean led the Bruins with 24 points and 10 rebounds; however, Southern Cal’s Aliyah Jeune notched a double-double of her own with 27 points and 13 rebounds for the first time in her career. At the half, the Trojans led 30-17 as UCLA had a rough second quarter, only scoring two points off a pair of free throws by Dean.

UCLA seemed to gain some momentum late in the fourth quarter, leading with 8:54 remaining for the first time since the first quarter. UCLA and Southern Cal got into a shootout and a shot that would have won the game by freshman Charisma Osborne just wouldn’t go in, sending the game into overtime.

In the first overtime, UCLA started strong, but Southern Cal came roaring back. As time was expiring, Natalie Chou was able to sink a three for UCLA to send the game into double overtime. A three-point play by Southern Cal’s Alissa Pili with 27 seconds left in the second overtime would be the final blow struck by the Trojans and the final score was 70-68.

#11 Men’s Tennis

The #11 men’s tennis team cruised past the BYU Cougars last Wednesday, 7-0, at the Los Angeles tennis center. The Bruins won all six singles matches, with #7 Keegan Smith defeating #80 Sean Hill. In doubles play, UCLA took two of three, with one match unfinished.

Over the weekend, the Bruins were part of the Sherwood Collegiate Cup in Thousand Oaks where sophomore Govind Nanda was able to advance all the way to the semifinals of singles play, as well as to the final round of doubles with partner Keegan Smith. Nanda’s last singles win was a defeat of #9 Mor Bulis of Southern Cal, as he was knocked out of the tournament by #18 Alexandre Rotsaert of Stanford. Nanda and Smith moved through the tournament with victories over Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye of Southern Cal and Pierce Rollins and Stefan Storch of Texas A&M. Ultimately, UCLA would be defeated by Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith of Southern Cal, 7-5.

Swimming and Diving

Freshman Katie Shaheen finished offer weekend debut on platform with a ninth place finish in the Bruin Diving Invitational. Junior Alice Yanovsky finished 15th and freshman Hannah Butler also made her collegiate debut finishing 36th. Shaheen finished the invitational with a combined score of 436.90. Melissa Mirafuentes of Wyoming took first on the platform with a final score of 561.10. Stanford’s Mia Paulsen came in second at 550.30 followed by Southern Cal’s Nike Agunbiade at 508.85.

#2 Women’s Water Polo

The #2 women’s water polo took part in the UCSB Winter Invitational in Santa Barbara, and won five of six matches across the weekend. They began the weekend with a decided 16-6 victory over #22 Cal State Northridge with redshirt freshman Alex Peros knocking in three goals for the hat trick. A total of eleven Bruins scored points for UCLA. Later in the day, UCLA returned to the pool and suffered a narrow 9-8 loss to the home team #11 UC Santa Barbara. UCLA was up 4-3 after the first quarter, but was held scoreless in the second and third. The Bruins came back with four goals in the fourth, but it would not be enough for the win.

UCLA would go on to win each of their next three matches, defeating UC San Diego 8-6, Iona 16-4, and finally, Ottawa University-Arizona, 14-2. UCLA would not allow Ottawa to score until the fourth quarter and sophomore Ava Johnson was able to score three for a hat trick.

#6 Men’s Volleyball

The UCLA men’s volleyball team suffered their first loss of the season on Friday when the Bruins were swept by UC San Diego. UCSD controlled the night and held the Bruins to a .200 hitting percentage. In all three sets, UCSD took an early lead while UCLA didn’t have a lead until the third set and, even then, it was only a brief one. Austin Matautia led UCLA with 10 kills and hit .474. Matt Younggren led the Bruins with two blocks, and Daniel Matheney added five digs and a block.

Track and Field

The UCLA track and field team had a great showing at the University of Washington Indoor Preview, walking away with five field event victories and two more on the track. Junior Alyssa Wilson won the women’s weight throw with a throw of 68’, 0.25” and also took the shot put with a throw of 57’, 2.25”. Nate Esparza took the men’s shot put title with a throw of 63’, 0.75”.

Redshirt sophomore Shae Anderson won the women’s 600m competition with a time of 1:30.57 while Sean Lee won the men’s high jump with a jump of 7’,1”. The UCLA team of Makenzy Pierre-Webster, Meleni Rodney, Chinyere Okoro, and Shae Anderson won the women’s 4x400m relay, posting a time of 3:42.50. Finally, in the men’s long jump, senior Harrison Schrage won with a distance of 23’, 8.25”.

Go Bruins!