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UCLA Olympic Sports Round-Up: Softball Opens 2020 Season with Six Wins

Plus, women’s water polo beats Southern Cal, women’s basketball tops UC Berkeley into overtime, and more.

UCLA’s Anna Vines notched her first career home run against Pittsburgh last weekend.
Nick Allen/

This is your UCLA Olympic Sports Round Up for the week of February 4-February 10, 2020.

#8 Men’s Volleyball

The UCLA men’s volleyball team were swept their MPSF conference opener to the #2 BYU Cougars on the road last Thursday. The Bruins lost in three straight sets, 31-29, 25-12, and 25-23. UCLA recorded a season-low one ace and 18 service errors in the loss and were outhit .256 to .373 by the Cougars.

On Saturday night at #11 Stanford, UCLA was swept by the Cardinal, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17. In the first two sets, UCLA was able to get out to an early lead, but managed to let Stanford go on a scoring run in both sets. In the third set, the teams were tied until the 14th point, when Stanford was able to rattle off three and never looked back. Stanford outhit the Bruins .242 to .565, and also led in aces and blocks.

#3 Softball

The UCLA softball team went 6-0 over the weekend in the Stacy Winsburg Memorial Tournament, outscoring their opponents 63-5.

In their first game against CSU Bakersfield, UCLA won by the mercy rule in five innings, 14-0. Eight Bruins recorded 13 hits, with junior Delanie Wisz and freshman Maya Brady slamming three home runs between the two of them. Megan Faraimo was in the circle and notched her first win of the year.

In game two with Holly Azevedo in the circle, UCLA had their second mercy rule win, beating Cal Poly Pomona 8-0. Sophomore Kelli Godin, Seneca Curo, Alyssa Garcia, and Maya Brady each had two hits in the shutout victory.

In their first doubleheader, UCLA beat Pittsburgh 4-0 and CSU Bakersfield one more time, 8-4. In game one, Faraimo recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts, pitching a complete game and allowing only five hits. Curo also hit her first career home run.

Game two was the first time an opposing team was able to score runs against the Bruins, but CSUB still fell short. Freshman Lexi Sosa got her first collegiate start in the circle, striking out two and allowing seven hits. Azevedo came in to seal the win in relief, giving up just two hits and a walk.

In their final doubleheader of the weekend, UCLA outscored Pittsburgh and UC San Diego, 26-1 in two mercy rule wins. In the first inning against Pittsburgh, UCLA opened up with 13 runs with Curo hitting a grand slam. Azevedo and Sosa once again combined for the win.

In game two, Faraimo was once again in the circle and made it 3-0 so far this season. She allowed only one run and four hits and struck out seven. UCLA scored in each of five innings, totalling nine runs and 15 hits.

UCLA is heading to the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Florida next weekend.

Track and Field

Alyssa Wilson added yet another shot put victory to her resume last weekend in Albuquerque at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Saturday. Wilson threw a length of 17.16m (56-03.75) in shot put and also notched a win in the weight throw with a distance of 21.85m (71-08.25). The track and field team will be splitting up yet again next weekend for the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington.

#4 Women’s Tennis

At the ITA National Team Championships, UCLA made it all the way to the finals, but ultimately fell to the North Carolina Tar Heels, 0-4. Along the way, the Bruins beat Illinois on Friday, Florida State on Saturday, and Stanford on Sunday. Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart recorded UCLA’s only victory from the day, beating #6 Sara Daavettila and Alexa Graham of UNC. The Tar Heels took all six victories on the singles courts.

#7 Women’s Basketball

UCLA women’s basketball head coach Cori Close earned her 100th Pac-12 victory when the Bruins beat the Stanford Cardinal last Friday, 79-69. Michaela Onyenwere picked up her sixth double-double for the season, putting up 29 points and 10 rebounds. Chantel Horvat had a great night, putting up a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds. UCLA held on to a steady lead for most of the game and, while Stanford was able to close the gap and even tie the game a few times, the Bruins played a solid game and secured the victory.

In an overtime nailbiter on Sunday, UCLA beat the UC Berkeley GoldenBears, 74-70. Onyenwere was once again the game’s leading scorer with 21 points and this was the eleventh game in which she scored more than 20 points. At the end of the first quarter, UCLA was already out to a 22-14 lead. But, the Bears cut that lead to four at the half and the score was 36-32. At the end of the third, UCLA still held onto a decent five-point lead despite a slow start to the second half. The Bears got on a hot streak in the fourth quarter and cut UCLA’s lead to two. With 1:30 left in the game, the teams were tied at 63 and that was the final at the end of regulation.

UCLA and Berkeley exchanged baskets to start overtime, but, ultimately, Japreece Dean nailed two free throws at the end and secured the win, 74-70.

#3 Women’s Water Polo

In the weekend’s Triton Invitational, UCLA women’s water polo started off with a bang, downing Pomona-Pitzer 21-2. Freshman Hannah Palmer had a season-high three goals and Junior Jahmea Bent and freshman Quinn Winter combined for ten saves and only gave up one goal each.

In their second match, UCLA took care of business against #19 Indiana, winning 12-9. Freshman Abbi Hill knocked in four, while Palmer notched yet another hat trick in the tournament. Freshman Georgia Phillips got the start in the net, and caught nine saves while allowing eight goals. Bent finished the match for the final minutes of the fourth quarter and allowed one power play goal.

In match three, UCLA was able to notch another win against #8 Arizona State, 11-8. It was a five-goal third inning that secured the win and ensured that UCLA had a ticket to the finals. Sophomore Katrina Drak was the second Bruin to hit four goals in a match for the weekend, and Winter was once again the starting goalie. She and Phillips each had two saves and allowed four goals.

In the finals, UCLA snapped #1 Southern Cal’s seven-year dominance of the Triton Invitational with a 7-5 win. UCLA had not beaten the Trojans since 2017. Phillips played the entire game in the cage for UCLA and, not only recorded seven saves, but also had two steals. At the half, the match was tied at three, but with two goals in both the third and the fourth, UCLA was able to seal the win.

Women’s Golf

In the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge beginning on Sunday, UCLA was able to improve to second place as a team after finishing tied for seventh after round one. Emma Spitz is tied for first in round two with Auburn’s Kaleigh Telfer. Emilie Paltrinieri is in eighth place in a tie with Gina Kim and Megan Furtney from Duke, Amelia Garvey of Southern Cal, and Ziyi (Emily) Wang of Stanford. Mariel Galdiano is in a six-way tie for 28th with Adeena Shears of Ohio State, Letizia Bagnoli of Wake Forest, Gabriela Ruffels of Southern Cal, Marta Perez SanMartin of Florida, and Alexa Melton of Arizona.

Go Bruins!