Saturday, January 20

Weekend in Preview: Men’s water polo prepares for Pacific, women’s volleyball faces Washington


Cross country is the first UCLA team to end its postseason, and this weekend the top 10 men and women will be competing in Springfield, Oregon, against schools such as Colorado, Stanford and Arizona State. (Photo courtesy of Ricky Bassman)

Cross country is the first UCLA team to end its postseason, and this weekend the top 10 men and women will be competing in Springfield, Oregon, against schools such as Colorado, Stanford and Arizona State. (Photo courtesy of Ricky Bassman)


This post was updated Oct. 27 at 12:04 p.m.

 

Cross Country
Nicholas Yekikian, assistant Sports editor

The No. 14 men’s cross country team has covered 40,000 meters to get to this point, and the women have raced across 25,000.

Now it’s time for postseason cross country, which kicks off this weekend with the 2017 Pac-12 Championships.

The men’s and women’s teams will take 15 and 14 athletes to Springfield, Oregon, respectively.

Last year, the men placed third overall and the women came in seventh.

This year the Bruins are defined by their youth, sending 20 underclassmen to the championship meet.

“(The younger athletes) don’t have a lot of experience running at this distance,” said assistant coach Jennifer DeRego. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else does. We’re going to run our best race.”

Redshirt freshman Carter Blunt and redshirt sophomore Millen Trujillo and sophomore Garrett Reynolds have all placed within the top three in different meets this year, and the three of them will head to Springfield to race Saturday.

On the women’s side, freshman whirlwind Erika Adler – who has led the way for the women in both of the races she’s competed in – will be taking to the course along with sophomores Cassandra Durgy and Claire Markey.

DeRego said she expects the women to improve on their seventh-place finish from 2016.

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Outside hitter Mac May has 179 kills on the season and leads the team with 17 aces. The freshman missed last weekend’s matches due to an infection, and might still be out for this weekend’s trip to Washington. (Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)

 

Women’s volleyball
Gwyneth Teo, Daily Bruin contributor

UCLA women’s volleyball will get a chance to beat Washington on the road for the first time since 2003.

In their previous matchup, the Bruins fell to the Huskies in four sets and were outhit .241 to .000 in the last set.

No. 13 UCLA (13-6, 6-4 Pac-12) will play Washington State (13-9, 2-8) on Friday before attempting to avenge its defeat against No 14. Washington (16-5, 6-4) on Sunday.

According to coach Michael Sealy, the Huskies’ personnel will be different because of setter Bailey Tanner’s pinky injury. The Bruins’ lineup is also uncertain as freshman outside hitter Mac May may not travel this weekend due to a staph infection.

The Huskies still boast middle blockers Lauren Sanders and Marion Hazelwood, first and fifth, respectively, for the number of blocks per set in the Pac-12 conference.

“They’ve always been such a good blocking team,” Sealy said. “I think the most important thing is still being aggressive and attacking when you have a good situation and if you don’t have a good situation, … keep the ball in play, but make it difficult for them.”

UCLA won its last matchup 3-1 against Washington State. Freshman outside hitter Jenny Mosser said she hopes the Bruins sweep the Cougars this time.

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This weekend’s meet will be both the first home meet for UCLA swim and dive and the first meet in which the entire team is competing. (Daily Bruin file photo)

 

Swim & Dive
Kelsey Angus, assistant Sports editor

The Bruins will finally send all their athletes to the same meet for the first time this season.

UCLA (1-1) swim and dive will host Arkansas (2-1), Washington State and UC Davis (0-1) on Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins fell from the top 25 this week after losing in a dual meet to UC Santa Barbara last weekend.

Arkansas, on paper, outswims us. We have way more holes than they do, they are good in every single event,” said coach Cyndi Gallagher. “Washington State, in some events they’re really good, and (UC) Davis is good in some events.”

This weekend will be UCLA’s first home meet and also the Bruins’ breast cancer awareness meet. All the participating teams are donating money to the cause and donations will be accepted at the door. Gallagher said that a lot of members of the team have close family members affected by breast cancer, so the cause is very meaningful to the team.

It is UCLA’s third weekend of competition, and the whole team will be at this meet after splitting up the past two weekends between dual meets and invitationals.

Now that the Bruins have two weeks of competition under their belts, Gallagher said she hopes the team is more educated in how they prepare themselves for each race.

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UCLA men’s water polo will face its second straight top-five opponent Saturday when No. 5 Pacific visits Spieker Aquatics Center.
The Bruins won the first matchup between the teams this season. (Andrew Arifin/Daily Bruin)

 

Men’s water polo
Ryan Smith, assistant Sports editor

UCLA men’s water polo continues Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference play Saturday against another top-five team against Pacific.

No. 3 UCLA (15-2, 0-1 MPSF) is fresh off its second loss of the season after falling to No. 2 California on Saturday. UCLA has now lost two of its previous five matches and assistant coach Jason Falitz said the team is focused on getting back on track one day at a time.

“It’s always a process and sometimes you hit bumps in the road,” Falitz said. “The important thing is that each practice, each training and each day we bring focus and try to get better.”

No. 5 Pacific (14-3, 3-0) have a collection of impressive wins this season including a trio of victories over No. 7 Long Beach State.

“They’re a very good team, a dangerous team,” Falitz said. “They’ve played a lot of people close and they run a different style that is tough to play against so we have a lot of respect for them coming in here.”

In one previous meeting this season, Pacific fell to UCLA 9-8 at the MPSF Invitational.

 

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Assistant Sports editor

Yekikian is an assistant Sports editor. He was previously a Sports reporter for the women's volleyball and track and field beats.

Assistant Sports editor

Angus is an assistant Sports editor. She was previously a reporter for the women's water polo, women's volleyball and men's volleyball beats.

Smith is an assistant Sports editor. He was previously a contributor for the women's basketball beat.


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