Track and Field
Nicholas Yekikian, assistant Sports editor
Usually, when awards are administered by either the MPSF or the NCAA, just one or two athletes from a particular team are singled out for something exceptional.
However, when it came to this year’s indoor track and field team, 17 members secured MPSF All-Academic honors.
Of the 17 members selected, 10 were women and seven were men. The recipients include senior pentathlete Kendall Gustafson and senior sprinter/jumper Jessie Maduka, both of whom made their ways into the UCLA record books during the indoor season.
Gustafson set the school record in the pentathlon at the MPSF indoor championships with a score of 4,084. Maduka landed herself a spot atop the UCLA top-10 list with a mark of 45 feet, 3.75 inches at the NCAA indoor championships, where she earned UCLA’s first podium finish at an indoor championship meet since 2014.
Some of the men who earned the honor include sophomore thrower Nate Esparza, senior Scott Snow and five other members of the distance team.
In order to qualify for the honor, athletes must hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher, have at least sophomore academic standing and have competed in at least 50 percent of the team’s meets over the course of the season.
Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
A pair from No. 1 UCLA beach volleyball (30-3) was named Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week after the Bruins won their 25th straight dual match this past weekend.
Junior Sarah Sponcil and sophomore Lily Justine received the recognition after extending their win streak to 10 and going undefeated at the Stanford West Coast Classic. The court-two duo has only dropped one set in its last six matches.
All but one of the five UCLA pairs regularly in the lineup has earned the Pair of the Week honor this season, the most recent being junior Zana Muno and sophomore Savvy Simo, who were named last week.
This is the first weekly honor of both Sponcil and Justine’s careers and the eighth for UCLA since the creation of the award in 2016.
The pair posts a 26-7 overall record on the season and has led the Bruins to wins over five ranked teams, including No. 4 USC and No. 5 Cal Poly, over the past two weeks.
In addition to surpassing the school record of consecutive wins this weekend, UCLA also tied the record of most wins in a season, reaching 30 after defeating No. 13 Stanford.
Sam Connon, Daily Bruin contributor
UCLA men’s basketball signed two more commits on the first day of the national letter of intent signing period Wednesday, headlined by five-star center Moses Brown.
The 7-footer from Jamaica, New York, committed to UCLA on Jan. 22. Brown’s five-star rating makes him the Bruins’ highest rated recruit of the class of 2018, a recruiting class that ranks No. 4 in the country.
Four-star point guard Tyger Campbell also signed his letter of intent Wednesday. Junior point guard Aaron Holiday and freshman point guard Jaylen Hands have both declared for the NBA Draft, meaning Campbell could be the only point guard on the roster for the Bruins next season. However, because Hands has not signed an agent, he is still expected to return.
The rest of the recruiting class was rounded out by four-star shooting guards David Singleton and Jules Bernard and three-star center Kenneth Nwuba, who all signed during the early signing period in November.
One notable absence from the Bruins’ list of signees is four-star power forward Shareef O’Neal.
O’Neal, son of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, committed to UCLA on Feb. 27, just days after backing out of his agreement with Pac-12 rival Arizona. Arizona was one of the dozens of schools involved in the FBI’s probe into NCAA basketball recruiting, and Shareef O’Neal decommitted amid the controversy.
The deadline to sign recruits for the 2018-2019 season is May 16.