UCLA Olympic Sports Update, November 14th


For the record, I am calling this weekly report the Olympic Sports Update from now on.

Here’s what’s up with the Bruins who are not playing football or (men’s) basketball as of this writing:

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:  These Lady Bruin Hoopsters have started their season well, winning Cori Close’s first two games as the new head coach as they beat McNeese State, 67-59, and Tennessee Tech, 74-52, in the first two rounds of the Preseason WNIT at the John Wooden Center on campus.

The Gardner sisters have filled in admirably in Jasmine Dixon’s absence, with Rhema getting 18 points against McNeese State and her older sister Rebekah scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the win over Tennessee Tech.

Atonye Nyingifa has also stood out in getting double-doubles in both games, including three blocked shots against McNeese State.

As a reward for this fine start, UCLA gets to play – and try to beat – the #1 team in the country, Baylor, who features the #1 player in the country in 6′ 8″ Brittany Griner, in the  Preseason WNIT semifinals this Thursday.

Can somebody say “YIKES!!” right about now?

This will be a classic David vs. Goliath, I mean Brittany Griner, match up, as the #22 ranked Bruins obviously don’t have anyone who can match up with the All-Universe center – sorry to say that, but it’s the truth.

If UCLA fights hard and gives Baylor and Griner a good battle, I’ll be encouraged for their hopes this season.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL:   These Bruins are still top ranked as of this moment, but may not be for long as they suffered a BIG loss in Eugene to the Oregon Ducks this past Friday, 3-2, blowing (BIG time!) a two games to none lead in the process.

They righted the ship the next night in Corvallis, beating Oregon State 3-1.

Coach Mike Sealy’s team now stands at 23-4 overall, with a 16-3 record in the Pac-12.

They will next face the Arizona schools at home in the John Wooden Center this weekend, Arizona on Friday, Nov. 18 and Arizona State on Saturday, Nov. 19.

WOMEN’S SOCCER:  Seeded #2 in their bracket, the Bruins handled their business in the first round of the NCAA playoffs at Drake Stadium on campus, beating New Mexico 1-0.

Kylie McCarthy scored UCLA’s goal in the 65th minute to secure the win and end the Lobos’ season.

Now at 16-1-3 overall, they will next face the University of San Diego in the second round on Friday, Nov.18, at Drake.

MEN’S SOCCER:  These 6th ranked Bruins finished their regular season by finishing off San Diego State, 2-0, this past Saturday on the road, with Victor Chavez and Chandler Hoffman scoring the goals.

Ending their regular schedule at 15-4-1 overall and finishing undefeated in the Pac-12 for the first time since 2003 with a record of 10-0, UCLA will find out their first opponent – who they will surely play at home – in the NCAA Tournament today at 1:30 p.m. local time.

MEN’S WATER POLO:  Still top ranked, these Bruins beat Pepperdine in Malibu on Saturday, 9-6,  with Griffin White almost getting a double hat trick in scoring five goals.

Now at 19-3 overall, with a 5-1 record in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, UCLA will take part in their version of the Crosstown Rivalry with USC this Friday, Nov. 18, at the Spieker Aquatics Center on campus.

The Bruins have split the previous two games in the water with the Trojans, and it is imperative that they beat ‘SC on Friday night not only for bragging rights, but also to help their cause for the MPSF championship.

They will face UC Santa Barbara the next day, Nov. 19, in the regular season finale at Spieker, so this week is very important for this water polo team.