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Quest for 109

By Emma Coghlan

May 29, 2013 12:44 a.m.

So far this school year, UCLA hasn’t managed to come away with a single NCAA title. As the NCAA leader in championships, the Bruins haven’t gone a whole school year without a title since 1993-1994 – take a look at all the teams that made a run at championships this year.

11.13.msoccer.wrap.KMMen’s soccer – San Diego 5, UCLA 2

Men’s soccer was the first team to make a title run in 2012-2013, but its attempt was stopped in the second round when it fell to San Diego at Drake Stadium. Even though the Bruins took home the Pac-12 title, they were unable to bring home a national one.

Women’s soccer – Stanford 2, UCLA 1

Women’s soccer is a perpetual contender, but its downfall in 2012 was an Elite Eight matchup against Stanford, UCLA’s Achilles’ heel. Then-head coach B.J. Snow never managed to beat the Cardinal in his two-year career with the Bruins, and it was Stanford that sent UCLA packing in a 2-1 loss in Palo Alto, Calif.

Women’s volleyball – Michigan State 3, UCLA 1

The reigning NCAA champions made it to the tournament’s second round, but, despite their home-court advantage, they exited with a four-set loss to Michigan State. The women’s volleyball team is still the team to most recently bring home a title for the Bruins, however, and will likely be a powerhouse for years to come.

Football vs. Stanford

Men’s water polo – USC 11, UCLA 10

Men’s water polo possibly came the closest to a title of any team this year. With just minutes to go in the NCAA final, it looked as though it had the title in its hands as it led against rival USC. But a few last-minute goals stole the Bruins’ hopes away, confirming the Trojans’ record-breaking fifth straight title in men’s water polo. Still one of the top three teams in the country, UCLA is often a favorite for the title but has still lost to USC in the finals two out of the last three years.

web.sp.5.29.losses.spread.gymnastics

UCLA gymnastics – 4th place in NCAA tournament

UCLA gymnastics had trouble right off the bat after it lost junior Samantha Peszek to injury in the preseason, and the loss plagued the team all year. While they made their way out of the first round to the final day of NCAA competition, errors led to a fourth-place finish for the Bruins.

Women’s basketball – Oklahoma 85, UCLA 72

Women’s basketball made leaps of improvement this year, with many players returning from injury and a strong freshman recruiting class. The team won several tough away games early in the season and came close to taking the Pac-12 title. But a close loss to Oklahoma, whom it had beaten earlier in the season, knocked it out of the NCAA tournament.

NCAA First Round UCLA vs. Minnesota

Men’s basketball – Minnesota 83, UCLA 63

Expectations for men’s basketball were high heading into the season, but it didn’t quite meet them. The team was on the rise after playing well in the beginning of the Pac-12 tournament, but losing freshman Jordan Adams to injury in the semifinals didn’t help it at all. It got seeded sixth in Austin and exited the tournament in its first game with a loss to Minnesota.

Women’s tennis – Texas A&M 4, UCLA 3

Women’s tennis made it to the semifinals of the tournament last week. Chanelle Van Nguyen carried her match on as long as she possibly could. But ultimately she fell to Texas A&M’s Ines Deheza, and the Bruins left Illinois title-less.

Men’s tennis – Virginia 4, UCLA 3

With only one loss all season going into the tournament, men’s tennis looked like a likely contender to deliver No. 109 to UCLA. The final against Virginia came down to the wire, but a devastating loss for junior Adrien Puget confirmed it would not, in fact, be bringing home No. 109.

Women’s golf – 4th place at NCAA
Tournament

UCLA women’s golf dealt with injuries and personal problems for all its members throughout the season and couldn’t quite pull all its talent together in time for a title run. It turned in a fourth-place finish last weekend at the NCAA tournament.

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The last two opportunities for UCLA are men’s golf and baseball. Men’s golf has to overcome the strength of California’s squad, and baseball will have to get past a tough super regional, with powerhouse Fullerton in its bracket. After 18 straight school years with a title, the Bruins will look to those last two teams to make sure they don’t end the year empty-handed.

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Emma Coghlan
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