UCLA Olympic Sports Update, November 29th


Bringing things up to speed:

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL:   Ranked fourth in the polls, these Bruins finished the regular season by losing to USC in four sets at the John Wooden Center last Friday, November 25.

The loss left them in second place in the Pac-12 behind the Trojans with a conference record of 17-5 and an overall mark of 24-6.

Mike Sealy’s team drew a national seeding of ninth in the NCAA Tournament and will host the first and second rounds of their bracket at the John Wooden Center this coming Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3. UCLA will start their run at a championship with Maryland-Eastern Shore on Friday night and will face, assuming they win, either San Diego or Long Beach State on Saturday.

MEN’S SOCCER:   Coach Jorge Salcedo’s Bruins advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals – the Elite Eight – for the 8th straight year by beating Rutgers at Drake Stadium this past Sunday, 3-0.

Chandler Hoffman, whose 18 goals are the most by a UCLA soccer player since Joe Max-Moore in 1991, scored two goals in the win over the Scarlet Knights.

Now standing at 17-4-1, these Bruins will face the Louisville Cardinals in Louisville, KY later this week for a spot in the College Cup, soccer’s version of the Final Four. It will be the second time the two teams have met as Louisville defeated UCLA 2-0 in the first game of the season.

MEN’S WATER POLO:   Won the MPSF tournament this past weekend in fine style, beating USC and avenging their earlier loss to them by a 10-9 score in sudden death overtime at Spieker Aquatics Center on campus on Sunday, November 27.

Ten different players scored goals for the Bruins, with Cristiano Mirarchi being the hero with his goal in sudden death overtime.

With their record now standing at 23-4, UCLA advances to the four-team NCAA Tournament this coming weekend, December 2nd and 3rd, in Berkeley. They are a #2 seed and will face #3 seed UC San Diego in the National Semifinals on Saturday.

If the Bruins beat the Tritons, they will likely face the Trojans for the title on Sunday. UCLA lost to USC in the championship game in 2009.

This is UCLA’s 28th appearance in the tourney, and they will be attempting to win their first championship since 2004.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:   New women’s hoops coach Cori Close saw her team win the consolation game of the Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Classic, 68-48, over Colgate at Cal State Northridge this past Saturday after losing to West Virginia, 63-54, on Friday.

Atonye Nyingifa scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Bruins, while Rebekah Gardner has clearly become UCLA’s go-to lady, scoring 19 against West Virginia and 21 with ten boards against Colgate.

The Bruins dropped out of the Top 25 after being ranked 25th going into the two games in the Matadome at CSUN.

Now at 3-2 in the young season, UCLA will next face San Diego State at the John Wooden Center on campus this Wednesday, November 30.

As we stand, three teams have a chance to win the school’s 108th national championship, with two of those teams being pretty close.

Can the men’s soccer and water polo teams get it done and bring a title home to Westwood? Stay tuned.