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UCLA Olympic Sports Roundup: Bruin Softball Continues to Roll

Plus, beach volleyball kicks off their season with a new facility and more.

Junior Julie Rodriguez is already one of the top Bruin hitters this year, getting on base six times in 14 at-bats.
Don Liebig/

This is your Olympic Sports Round Up for the week of February 19-24.

#1 Women’s Softball

The #1 UCLA women’s softball team stayed perfect last weekend with four wins in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Bruins started the tournament off with a 9-1 win in six innings over Texas A&M, which included redshirt junior Aaliyah Jordan’s first home run of the season. UCLA got on the board early with five runs in the first inning and held the Aggies scoreless until the third.

Saturday’s doubleheader included amazing play by sophomore pitcher Megan Faraimo, who struck out 26 over 1323 innings. In game one against Wisconsin, the Badgers got on the board early with one run in the first and it stayed 1-0 until UCLA tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the 8th, Jenavee Peres hit a two-run shot to left, giving the Bruins the 3-1 win.

In game two, UCLA was able to bring one in in the bottom of the first, but Florida’s three-run second inning gave them a 3-2 lead. The Gators added one more in the third, but UCLA was able to score two to tie the game at four. In the bottom of the eighth, Anna Vines was able to score on a wild pitch and give the Bruins the 5-4 win.

In their final game on Sunday, the Bruins took their record to 15-0 with a run-rule win over Auburn, defeating the Tigers, 11-1, in five innings. Junior Holly Azevedo struck out three to improve to 5-0 on the season. UCLA was already up 8-0 after two innings and only needed five to seal the victory.

A late game against USA softball was the only struggle the Bruins faced the entire weekend, falling 9-3 as UCLA became the first opposing team on USA’s Stand Beside Her Tour. There were a couple of familiar faces on the USA team in shortstop Bubba Nickles and pitcher Ally Carda. UCLA was up early scoring three in the first to take a 3-1 lead, but one run in the fifth and five in the sixth sealed the 9-3 win for the Olympic team.

#1 Beach Volleyball

The top-ranked UCLA beach volleyball team started the 2020 season with a win over #8 Loyola Marymount on the newly dedicated Mapes Beach. All five pairings plus the UCLA exhibition pair swept LMU. The Bruins lost five starters from last year’s championship team and boast several new pairings in the 2020 campaign.

On Saturday, UCLA took down three ranked teams, winning round robin pool play to earn a #1 seed in the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic at Queen’s Beach. The Bruins started off defeating #5 Hawaii 3-2 in a tough match and moved on to defeat #3/2 LSU, 4-1. UCLA’s third win of the day was a 5-0 sweep of #19 Stanford.

In the finals, UCLA lost to #3/2 LSU, 3-2. The Bruins got out to an early 2-0 lead with wins from sophomore Lindsey Sparks and freshman Lexi Denaburg and sophomore Megan Muret and freshman Devon Newberry. However, LSU was able to take the next three and notch their first-ever win over UCLA and hand the Bruins their first loss of the season.

Men’s Golf

The UCLA men’s golf team placed finished overall at The Prestige presented by Charles Schwab. UCLA shot a 1-over 285 on day three of the tournament, and ended competition at 3-under 849. The top Bruin finisher was junior Eddy Lai, tying for 10th at 4-under 209.

In The Prestige Individual Tournament at Coral Mountain Golf Club, freshman Mason Greene tied for 15th (-1, 215), shooting an even-par 72 with four birdies and four bogeys. Sophomores Ahmed Ali and Rory Feng finished tied for 22nd and at 26th, respectively.

#14 Men’s Volleyball

The UCLA men’s volleyball team lost to UC Santa Barbara in a three-set decision last Wednesday night, 25-23, 25-22, and 25-18. The Bruins were down early in set one, but got out to an early lead in sets two and three. Unfortunately, UCLA was unable to gain any ground against the Gauchos and dropped all three sets. UCSB outhit the Bruins for the match, .267 to .169

The Bruins went on to play #13 Grand Canyon University and lost that match in a four-set battle on Friday night in Phoenix. The Bruins took set one 25-20, but lost the next three, 25-17, 25-23, and 25-19. Even with outstanding play by Cole Ketrzynski (14 kills) and Daenan Gyimah (11 kills), and Kyed Jensen’s season high nine kills, GCU took three in a row to down the Bruins.

#2 Women’s Water Polo

UCLA women’s water polo was in Irvine at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational last weekend. The Bruins started off the weekend with a 14-3 win over #21 Pacific, keeping their perfect 26-0 record against the Tigers. UCLA shut out Pacific in the first quarter and only allowed one goal in each of the next three.

On Saturday, UCLA split their games to take them to the third place game in the tournament. Their first game against #10 Michigan resulted in a 7-2 win, but their late game against #4 Southern Cal was a hard fought, but disappointing 9-7 loss. The Trojans got out to an early 4-1 lead and, despite a major comeback in the fourth quarter, it just wasn’t enough for victory.

In Sunday’s third place game, UCLA was able to defeat #3 Hawaii, 10-5. The Bruins held UH scoreless in the second and third quarters and scored a monster five goals in the fourth for the win.

#8 Women’s Tennis

The #8 UCLA women’s tennis team swept UC Berkeley by a 7-0 score last Friday. UCLA’s Sasha Vagramov defeated Jessica Zeynel for the win and she, along with teammates Abi Altick and Abbey Forbes turned in straight-set victories for the Bruins.

#8/9 Women’s Basketball

The UCLA women’s basketball team split games with the Washington schools, defeating Washington State 70-62, but falling to Washington, 74-68.

Against Washington State, the Bruins were down by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, but fought back and went on an 8-0 run at the end of the fourth to secure the win. Charisma Osborne notched a career-high 32 points and 11 rebounds.

The Washington Huskies gave the Bruins a tough time, taking a 15-8 lead before the end of the first quarter and opened the second with a 6-0 run. UCLA was able to close the gap and came within four by halftime. Unfortunately, UCLA stayed down for the entire second half and ended the game with a six-point loss. Osborne followed her career-high night with another 23 points and ten rebounds against the Huskies.

Track and Field

The UCLA track team sent distance medley relay squad and two mile runners to the Alex Wilson Invitational at the University of Notre Dame last weekend. The distance squad finished in fifth place overall with a time of 9:32.14, which was also good enough for the third-best time in program history. Senior George Gleason finished second in the mile-run with a time of 4:07.98.

#22 Men’s Tennis

The UCLA men’s tennis team returned home and defeated the UC Irvine Anteaters 4-0 last Sunday. UCLA only dropped one of nine matchups when the doubles team of Bruce Man-Son-Hing and Matthew Sah of UCI defeated Drew Baird and Max Wild of UCLA.

Sophomore Mathew Tsolakyan earned his third win in row for the Bruins on Court 5 to seal the victory.

Go Bruins!