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UCLA Olympic Sports Round-Up: Lexi Sosa Pitches Perfect Game

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Plus, women’s tennis and beach volleyball open Pac-12 play, and more.

UCLA freshman Lexi Sosa pitched the 18th perfect game in school history last Saturday.
Don Liebig/uclabruins.com

This is your UCLA Bruins Olympic Sports Round Up for the week of March 3-10.

#1 Women’s Softball

The #1 UCLA softball team wrapped up the San Diego Classic against St. John’s last Tuesday with a mercy rule 9-0 win. It was UCLA’s third shutout in a row, which included a stellar performance from freshman pitcher Lexi Sosa, who only allowed two hits and struck out seven in the win. The Bruins put up a monster eight runs in the first inning and added another in the third to end the game early.

Last Thursday, UCLA played game one of the UCLA/Long Beach State Invitational against #17 Michigan and posted another shutout 2-0 win. Sophomore Megan Faraimo pitched a complete game and struck out 11. UCLA had just four hits and brought two home in the fourth to secure the victory.

The wins continued on Friday as the Bruins took on #23 UCF and posted another 4-2 victory. Junior Holly Acevedo had a season-high seven strikeouts and junior Delanie Wisz added a three-run home run in the first to start the game off on the right foot. UCLA held UCF to one run each in the first and second innings and, when the Bruins added another run in the bottom of the second, scoring would come to a halt for the remainder of the game.

Saturday was a history-making day as Sosa pitched the 18th perfect game in UCLA softball history. Donna Kerr, who was the last pitcher to throw a perfect game in 2008, just happened to be on hand watching the game as the 2010 championship team was honored that day. The Bruins put up ten runs in the mercy-rule victory, scoring in all four innings and tallying eleven hits from eight players.

Later that day, the Bruins took on #19 Minnesota and posted yet another shutout win, 4-0. Faraimo was in the circle and she struck out 13 in seven innings. UCLA’s only scoring was off a grand slam by Wisz in the fourth, her fifth home run of the season.

UCLA wrapped the tournament with another shutout of Cal Poly Pomona when Azevedo and Sosa combined for the win. The Bruins put up two runs in each of the first and third innings and capped the mercy-rule win with freshman Taylor Edwards’s first home-run of the season which scored three and ended the game early. UCLA took their 10th victory in a row, 8-0.

This stellar play was capped by a UCLA sweep of the Pac-12 weekly awards for the second time this season. Junior Delanie Wisz was named Player of the Week, sophomore Megan Faraimo earned Pitcher of the Week, and Lexi Sosa picked up Freshman of the Week.

#9 Men’s Volleyball

The #9 UCLA men’s volleyball team travelled to #3 UC Santa Barbara and lost the match in four sets. UCLA started the match with a 25-23 win, but lost the next three, 25-18, 25-16, and 25-20. Daenan Gyimah led the Bruins with ten kills, an ace and three blocks. UCLA owned aces 5-4, but was out-blocked 16.0 to 8.5.

UCLA came home and hosted Cal State Northridge last Thursday and took the match in four sets. The Bruins started with two set wins, 26-24 and 25-21, but lost set three, 27-25. The fourth set sealed the win for UCLA, 25-22.

UCLA’s next opponent was #6 UC San Diego and the Bruins upset the Tritons in four sets. UCLA started with a 25-16 win in set one, but gave up set two, 25-23. The Bruins were able to take the next two, 25-29 and 25-21 for the victory, They outhit UCSD .427 to .202 for the match.

#25 Men’s Tennis

The UCLA men’s tennis team hosted Liberty on Monday afternoon in a match rescheduled from Tuesday to avoid rain. #4 Keegan Smith and #21 Govind Nanda continued their strong performances this season with wins over opponents and sophomore Roscoe Bellamy’s first singles match victory ensured the win. Liberty only won on one court when UCLA’s Ben Goldberg was defeated by Goncalo Ferreira.

Women’s Golf

The UCLA women’s golf team was in Hilton Head, South Carolina at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at the Long Cove Club last weekend and placed fourth overall. The Bruins combined to shoot 33-over 885 for three rounds. Freshmen Emma Spitz and Emilie Paltrinieri ended the tournament in a ten-way tie for tenth place, shooting +7, 200 across three days of play.

#3 Women’s Tennis

The #3 UCLA women’s tennis team opened Pac-12 play this week, defeating both UC Berkeley and Stanford.

On Friday at UC Berkeley, freshman Sasha Vagramov sealed the victory for the sixth time this season and #8 Abbey Forbes and Abi Altick both recorded singles wins. In doubles play, the top-ranked pair of Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart defeated Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov while Altick and Annette Goulak were able to take down UC Berkeley’s Anna Bright and Jessica Zeynel.

Against #6 Stanford on Saturday, the match was first delayed four hours due to rain, but then got off to a great start for the Bruins. UCLA was able to win five of six singles matches and as well as the doubles point. Goulak was able to clinch the win for UCLA.

#10 Women’s Basketball

The #2-seeded women’s basketball team took down the Southern Cal Trojans in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas to advance to the semifinals. Junior Michaela Onyenwere led all scorers with 26 points as well as 15 rebounds for her 10th double-double and 13th 20+ point performance of the year, and Natalie Chou totaled 14 points off the bench.

In the semifinals, UCLA fell to #7-seed Stanford, 67-51. UCLA shot just 31.7% from the field while Stanford shot 50.9%. The Bruins were up at the end of the first quarter by a basket but, by halftime, the script had flipped and UCLA was down by four. Stanford continued strong in the second half to hand the Bruins the fifth loss of the season.

Women’s Rowing

The UCLA women’s rowing team swept San Diego State on Saturday in their season opener, The UCLA varsity eight edged San Diego State by 1.40 seconds, but the second varsity eight crossed the finish line a full six seconds faster. The Bruin varsity four finished their race with a time of 7:53.40, finishing 3.20 seconds ahead of San Diego State’s 7:56.60. UCLA’s third varsity eight beat San Diego State’s time by over seven seconds to sweep the race.

#2 Beach Volleyball

The #2 UCLA beach volleyball team won four straight at the Pac-12 South tournament over the weekend, beating #20 Arizona State 4-1 and #6 Southern Cal 3-2 on Saturday and sweeping both Oregon and Washington on Sunday.

Saturday morning was highlighted by a three-set nailbiter when UCLA’s Devon Newberry and Rileigh Powers defeated Maddy Salazar and Ellyson Lundberg of ASU. The Bruins dropped the first set but picked up the final two. In the afternoon, UCLA and Southern Cal were tied 2-2 after four sets, but Mac May and Megan Muret were able to defeat Cammie Dorn and Paige Dreeuws to get the victory.

#2 Women’s Water Polo

The second-ranked women’s water polo team picked up a pair of wins this weekend, beginning with an 11-5 win over #9 UC Berkeley on Saturday. After the first quarter, the teams were tied at two apiece, but UCLA pulled ahead with three goals in the second to make it 5-3. The Bruins continued to roll in the second half, adding six more goals for the victory.

On Sunday, UCLA downed #22 Pacific with a 13-8 victory. Sophomore Ava Johnson notched a career-high-tying four goals in five tries and junior Jahmea Bent and sophomore Quinn Winter combined in the cage to hold Pacific to just one goal in the first half. The pair had six saves.

Swimming and Diving

The swimming and diving team stayed perfect this week with a 145-109 win over Washington State, taking their schedule to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in conference matchups. The meet started with a with a victory in the 400 medley relay when the UCLA B team of Delaney Smith, Claire Grover, Emily Lo, and Kenisha Liu recorded a time of 3:47.66. UCLA won 10 of the 14 swimming events, which included Freshmen Gabby Dang and Daniella Hawkins recording multiple wins in the 100 fly, 100 back, and freestyle events.

#24 Men’s Golf

At the Southern Highlands Collegiate golf tournament in Las Vegas last week, junior Devon Bling finished third, shooting a 7-under 209 across the three-day event. As a team, UCLA finished tied for fifth with Pepperdine University.

This week, men’s golf is in Oregon at the Pacific Dunes Course at the Bandon Dunes Resort. UCLA finished tied for seventh as a team and Bling finished in first place, shooting a 5-under, 208.


Go Bruins!