Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
Competing on the other side of the world didn’t faze one Bruin.
Rising UCLA senior Sarah Sponcil took home the bronze medal this week at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament in Haiyang, China, with partner Caitlin Ledoux – a professional player out of Long Beach State.
After going undefeated in pool play to begin the tournament – in which three or four teams make up each pool – Sponcil and Ledoux advanced straight to the second round of elimination.
The pair from the U.S. took on Sponcil’s teammates – rising UCLA seniors Megan and Nicole McNamara – who were playing for Canada.
The McNamara sisters fell in three sets to a pair from Norway to open the tournament in pool play. They then received a bye before qualifying for the first elimination round.
In their first match of elimination, the twins took on fellow Canadians Julie Gordon and Sophie Bukovec and defeated them in straight sets.
The McNamaras won the first set 21-16 to open their second round match against Sponcil and Ledoux. The U.S. duo, however, took the next two sets 21-10 and 15-11, eliminating Megan and Nicole McNamara.
Following the victory, Sponcil and Ledoux defeated the top Chinese pair of Wang Fan and Xia Xinyi in straight sets to reach the semifinals.
The U.S. pair narrowly dropped the first set of the semifinal match 23-21 to fellow Americans Betsi Flint and Emily Day. Sponcil and Ledoux came back to win the second set 21-13, but lost the final set 19-17.
Sponcil and Ledoux defeated Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen of the U.S. in straight sets in the third-place match to complete their tournament run in China.
Gabriel McCarthy, assistant Sports editor
Caleb Wilson was one of the only players on the UCLA football squad to be named to a preseason award watch list.
The watch list was released Friday by The Friends of John Mackey. The award is given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end and is voted on by the John Mackey Award Selection Committee. The winner will be awarded the prize Dec. 6, 2018.
Wilson started all five games in which he played in 2017 and missed the second half of the season with an injury. The rising junior hauled in 38 balls for 490 yards and one touchdown. He caught a school-record 15 passes for 208 yards in UCLA’s comeback victory against Texas A&M, including 12 in the second half. Wilson also grabbed 11 receptions for 145 yards against Pac-12 rival Stanford.
The last and only Bruin to ever claim the Mackey Award was Marcedes Lewis in 2005, when he caught 58 passes for 741 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Sam Connon, assistant Sports editor
The full slate isn’t out just yet, but the picture is becoming more and more clear for the 2018-2019 Bruins.
The Pac-12 schedule for UCLA men’s basketball was released last week, as well as its matchup for the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The conference schedule starts just after New Year’s for the Bruins, and it wraps up 10 weeks later.
The exact schedule hasn’t been finalized yet; it only says which weeks UCLA is playing certain teams and where, not any specific dates for the time being. The first two games will be at home against California and Stanford.
The Bruins will travel across Los Angeles to face off against their crosstown rival, the USC Trojans, the week of Jan. 16-20. The two teams will rematch at Pauley Pavilion the week of Feb. 27-March 3, and the Bruins will close the season one week later on the road against Colorado and Utah.
UCLA will also take on Michigan State on Nov. 22 in the second game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The championship and consolation games will both be played the next day, and UCLA will play either North Carolina or Texas.
The full schedule is expected to be announced later this summer.