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Weekend preview: April 13

Members of No. 1 UCLA men’s volleyball celebrate during a match against No. 8 Pepperdine on April 9. The blue and gold will head to Provo, Utah, on Friday to play the first of two contests with BYU before the postseason. (Patrick Shao/Daily Bruin)

By Garrison Hallum, Paul Diamantopoulos, and David Deng

April 13, 2022 10:57 p.m.

Track and field
Garrison Hallum, Daily Bruin contributor

The Bruins are set to compete in multiple meets this week throughout California.

UCLA track and field will send athletes to four different competitions across the state this weekend. The Bruins will participate in the Brian Clay Invitational in Azusa from Wednesday to Friday, the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut from Wednesday to Saturday, and both the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate on Thursday and the Beach Invitational on Friday in Long Beach.

In the Brian Clay Invitational, UCLA will line up against 19 other collegiate programs in Cougar Athletic Stadium, with Wednesday marking the beginning of the 52nd anniversary of the three-day event.

Junior sprinter Cameron Reynolds said he is hoping to build off his success from last week and position himself better in the NCAA rankings leading up to the postseason.

“I just want to go out there and get some new personal records, push myself up in the national rankings,” Reynolds said. “I just want to see what I’m really capable of.”

Reynolds earned a personal best time in the 400-meter at the West Coast Relays on April 1, finishing with a time of 46.11 seconds and winning the event by more than a second.

Reynolds said he was proud of the performance, and it gave him much-needed confidence after enduring injuries throughout his collegiate career.

“It was a great opener for me to go out there and PR like that,” Reynolds said. “It really showed me what I was capable of because coming into the season, I was definitely having a lot of doubts in my first season being really healthy.”

Last week, the UCLA pole vaulting squad competed at the Triton Invitational, where two Bruins placed first and second. Junior pole vaulter Camryn Thomson placed first in the event while clearing a season-best 3.80 meters, and sophomore pole vaulter Katerina Adamiec cleared 3.65 meters to tie for second.

Men’s volleyball
David Deng, Daily Bruin reporter

The Bruins are wrapping up their regular season.

No. 1 UCLA men’s volleyball (19-3, 9-1 MPSF) will take its seven-match winning streak into Provo, Utah, with a doubleheader against BYU (8-14, 3-7) on Friday and Saturday. These contests mark the last two matches for both teams before postseason play.

UCLA clinched the top seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings after a sweep of No. 8 Pepperdine on April 9. Multiple Bruins earned national accolades for their performances in the two-match series against the Waves.

Sophomore setter/opposite Miles Partain nabbed MPSF Offensive Player of the Week honors after averaging 10.83 assists per set, while redshirt sophomore middle blocker Merrick McHenry was named the Off the Block Co-National Middle Attacker of the Week after tallying 17 kills and 11 block assists across the two victories.

With the series sweep, the blue and gold secured home-court advantage at Pauley Pavilion throughout the MPSF tournament.

“We love our gym,” said sophomore outside hitter Ethan Champlin. “I don’t think there’s any better gym to play in than Pauley, and I think other teams know that, and they’re going to give their best games here.”

The Bruins have yet to play the Cougars this season, with the team’s last meeting being the final regular season contest of 2021. In that match, the Bruins beat the eventual MPSF champions 3-1 on Senior Night.

First serve for both Friday and Saturday’s matches are at 6 p.m.

Men’s tennis
Paul Diamantopoulos, Daily Bruin contributor

The Bruins will head out to Utah with the opportunity to increase their chances at an NCAA tournament bid.

After registering two home wins over Hawai’i, UCLA men’s tennis (9-10, 2-3 Pac-12) will take on Weber State (7-15, 3-4 Big Sky) on Friday and Utah (19-5, 3-3 Pac-12) on Sunday.

Coach Billy Martin said the doubleheader victories over the Rainbow Warriors set the Bruins up as the season winds down.

“If we can play these doubleheaders and get wins, it’s going to help us with confidence,” Martin said. “Our goal is to make the NCAA tournament, and we’re going to need more matches under our belt to get there.”

UCLA is currently ranked No. 53 in the ITA rankings, which puts it on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. However, the Bruins need a .500 record to qualify.

Because of canceled matches against Arizona and Arizona State earlier in the season, UCLA added the matchup against Weber State prior to their final Pac-12 match against the Utes.

Weber State has competed against two teams that UCLA has beaten this season, losing to Hawai’i by a score of 4-1 on Jan. 29 and UC Irvine by a score of 4-2 on March 8.

After the match in Ogden, Utah, the Bruins will travel to Salt Lake City to face off against the Utes. Utah is undefeated at home and most recently defended its home court with 4-0 wins over Oregon and Washington on March 25 and 27, respectively.

UCLA, on the other hand, has registered a single win on the road in eight tries during the season, which came April 3 against Oregon. The blue and gold will need to win both road matches to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

“It’s what we have to do if we want to make the NCAA tournament,” Martin said. “There’s not a member on the team that doesn’t want that to happen, so we’re all committed to doing whatever we have to do to try to make that a reality.”

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Garrison Hallum | Sports contributors
Hallum is currently a contributor on the track & field and swim & dive beats.
Hallum is currently a contributor on the track & field and swim & dive beats.
Paul Diamantopoulos | Sports contributor
Diamantopoulos is currently a Sports contributor on the men's tennis beat. He was previously a contributor on the beach volleyball beat.
Diamantopoulos is currently a Sports contributor on the men's tennis beat. He was previously a contributor on the beach volleyball beat.
David Deng | Sports staff
Deng is currently a Sports staffer on the men's volleyball beat. He was previously a reporter on the gymnastics and women's volleyball beat and a contributor on the cross country and track & field beats.
Deng is currently a Sports staffer on the men's volleyball beat. He was previously a reporter on the gymnastics and women's volleyball beat and a contributor on the cross country and track & field beats.
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