Jacqueline Dzwonczyk, Daily Bruin reporter
The Bruins remain undefeated after their six opening matches, five of which were against ranked opponents – something they have never done before.
No. 1 UCLA beach volleyball (6-0) will look to continue its winning streak in Tucson, Arizona, where it will compete in the Pac-12 South tournament. UCLA will face Arizona State (2-1), Washington (0-0) and No. 11 California (2-0).
“We’ve been tested by Pepperdine and USC – even Hawai’i was tough even though it was a 5-0 win for us,” said coach Stein Metzger. “I feel like our confidence is building as we’re pulling out these close matches and we’ll be ready for this weekend.”
Then-No. 2 UCLA went 4-0 in the Pac-12 South tournament last season, including 5-0 wins over Arizona State and then-No. 16 California, and a 4-1 victory over then-No. 19 Washington. The Bruins are undefeated in all-time matches against the Golden Bears and the Huskies and have only dropped one match to the Sun Devils since the program started in 2013.
Arizona State played two top-20 teams Saturday, falling 5-0 to then-No. 15 Loyola Marymount before defeating then-No. 16 Grand Canyon 3-2. UCLA will be the first ranked team California will face this season.
The Bruins will open the weekend against the Sun Devils at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Michelle Murakami, Daily Bruin contributor
The Bruins will play in Sin City this weekend.
UCLA men’s golf will participate in the Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas. The Bruins finished in third after their most recent tournament, the Southwestern Invitational in Westlake Village, California.
Freshman Sean Maruyama tied for fourth and finished seventh with 3-under 213.
“I was hitting pretty well, and the second day I was able to get around the course really well,” Maruyama said. “I think I need to just work on my consistency for this weekend.”
At the Southern Highlands Collegiate in 2018, the Bruins finished in 10th with an 11-over 875. Despite Maruyama not being around last season, he said his teammates gave him some good tips heading into the tournament and hopes to improve in 2019.
“(The upperclassmen) gave me some tips and notes on how to hit certain holes, what the greens would be like and navigating around which really helped in my success and the team’s success,” Maruyama said. “Even though we didn’t win this past weekend, I think that we’re trending upwards and we’re excited for the upcoming tournament.”
Coach Derek Freeman mentioned a few things that the Bruins need to work on.
“(We) just have a few things that we have to clean up and if we can do that then we’ll start to play really well,” Freeman said.
The Bruins will play in Las Vegas at the Southern Highlands Collegiate from Sunday to Tuesday.
Women’s water polo
Jack Perez, Daily Bruin staff
As they enter conference play, the Bruins have a chance for revenge in their first conference game.
No. 4 UCLA women’s water polo (16-3) will kick off Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play against No. 3 California (10-2) on Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Center.
The Bruins and Golden Bears met last weekend at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational in the third-place game. The Bears took a 4-0 lead at the half, but the Bruins shut out their opponents in the second half to send the game to overtime.
Junior attacker Maddie Musselman scored her second goal of the game to give the Bruins the lead in overtime, but the Bears scored three unanswered goals to seal the victory.
Coach Adam Wright said the Bruins need to not hesitate when they have a goal-scoring opportunity if they are to get a different result against the Bears at home.
“You’ve got to want to shoot the ball,” Wright said. “Credit to Cal’s defense, but part of it is us putting ourselves in tough situations. Our timing, our rotations, all these things have to improve.”
UCLA has finished off tournament play until the MPSF championships on April 26. The Bruins have played at an invitational in five of the past six weekends and face conference opponents in six of their next seven games.
In the past two tournaments, the Bruins faced each of their rivals in the top four and went 0-3. UCLA has allowed an average of nine goals in those three games while scoring at a rate of four goals a game.
Wright said while he will continue to try to get game time for as much of his roster as he can, he understands the reality of shortening the bench in close games.
“We still have to continue to build a foundation,” Wright said. “Everybody’s got to be ready to go. Usually towards the end of the game, the rotation does get shorter, but everybody has to be ready.”