Sunday, April 14, 2024

AdvertiseDonateSubmit
NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

Weekend in Preview: Oct. 5

Redshirt senior middle blocker Anna Dodson elevates to tip the ball over the net. The Bruins will journey to Arizona for a pair of matches, attempting to come back from a 3-1 losing record in their recent home stand. (Brandon Morquecho/Assistant Photo editor)

By Anthony Aroyan, Nicole Augusta, and Amelie Ionescu

Oct. 5, 2023 12:58 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 5 at 8:58 p.m.

Women’s Volleyball
Nicole Augusta

Daily Bruin senior staff

For the Bruins, it’s not about who holds the key – it’s about who can get through the door first.

“Every team poses a different challenge,” said coach Alfee Reft. “Whether it’s from the service line or attacking, it’s our job to pick the lock on that.”

This weekend, UCLA women’s volleyball (9-5, 1-3 Pac-12) will leave Westwood to meet Arizona (5-10, 0-4) on Friday and No. 23 Arizona State (15-1, 3-1) on Sunday in the hopes of collecting conference wins to compensate for a 3-1 losing record during its recent homestand.

While UCLA will catch Arizona on the back of five wins this year, Arizona State only recently dropped its first contest of the season.

But when it comes to the differing records, sophomore outside hitter Cheridyn Leverette said the Bruins will be ready for anything if they consider every play to be a make-or-break opportunity.

“It all starts in practice,” Leverette said. “Treat every rep like it’s the last rep you’re going to get ever, like it’s the championship win. Being so direct and intentional that way immediately translates to the game where you actually have that pressure.”

In Arizona State’s most recent win against California, both its lefties – opposite hitter Marta Levinska and setter Shannon Shields – were right on, besting career records in kills and assists, respectively. Demonstrating its offensive prowess, the team sits at the top of the table in the nation’s best hitting percentages.

Over in Tucson, the Wildcats may not boast any Pac-12 wins, but they do bring outside hitter Sofia Maldonado Diaz to the court. Her 196 kills have placed her in fifth across theconference, and her 130 service aces are good enough for fourth in Arizona’s history.

The Bruins may have already demonstrated their defensive impact this season, but middle blocker Anna Dodson has continued to establish the team’s offensive presence. Not only is the redshirt senior recently coming off of her 600th career kill, but she has recorded a hitting percentage above .350 in over 61% of this year’s matches.

Ultimately, Dodson said a playbook that keeps UCLA in the competition will be enough to unlock a road victory.

“I think every team in the nation right now is firing, and now it’s our time to go back and find resurgence again,” Dodson said.

Sophomore attacker Noah Rowe winds his arm back to shoot at Spieker Aquatics Center. (Joseph Jimenez/Photo editor)
Sophomore attacker Noah Rowe winds his arm back to shoot at Spieker Aquatics Center. (Joseph Jimenez/Photo editor)

Men’s water polo
Amelie Ionescu

Daily Bruin senior staff

Sisyphus finally saw the horizon.

Or rather, on Sept. 24, UCLA men’s water polo defeated California for the first time in two years.

What was once a seemingly insurmountable task became a conquerable endeavor, with the Bruins besting the Golden Bears after losing a postseason title to their Northern Californian foes for the second year in a row.

“We’ve been in a lot of close battles, but things didn’t go our way at the end,” said associate head coach Jason Falitz. “That was a big win forus, our program. We’re not going to stop working or be content.”

No. 1 UCLA (15-0, 1-0 MPSF) will head north to face off against No. 2 Cal (12-1, 1-0) in a road rematch Saturday before taking on No. 5 Stanford (9-4, 0-1) for the second time this season Sunday.

“They were going to go all in, whether it was training or video or coming in on their own,” Falitz said. “We continue to get closer.”

In the Bruins’ last game against the Golden Bears, sophomore attacker Noah Rowe notched a goal and an assist to help UCLA secure the win.

“We’re focusing on being ourselves – not letting all these wins interfere with who we really are,” Rowe said. “We’re going to stay to our standard.”

Still undefeated with eight games to go in the regular season, Rowe added that the Bruins are focused on their team dynamic and camaraderie, stating that he’s trying to be the best teammate he can be.

A weekend of ranked matches against two of the top teams in the nation will testthe Bruins’ undefeated status – and whether or not they can remain on top of the NCAA’s mountain.

(Jake Greenberg-Bell/Daily Bruin staff)
Redshirt junior midfielder Tucker Lepley and graduate student forward Jack Sarkos embrace. (Jake Greenberg-Bell/Daily Bruin staff)

Men’s soccer
Anthony Aroyan

Daily Bruin staff

The Bruins are leaving sunny Westwood behind for the forests and mountains of the Northwest.

UCLA men’s soccer (4-2-2, 1-0-1 Pac-12)will travel for its first conference road trip to Oregon State (5-3-1, 2-0-1) and Washington (4-3-3, 1-1-1). In a Pac-12 where no single team has yet to stand out among the pile, the double-header could begin to make sense between the six teams.

Coach Ryan Jorden said the Pac-12 has become one of the more competitive conferences in college soccer.

“If you look at the ratings, every team in the Pac-12 is around the top 30 right now,” Jorden said. “There are no easy games.”

In order to produce results against difficult opposition, the Bruins will likely need to strike first and strike fast. The team is undefeated after scoring the first goal but has lost both games where they conceded first.

Helping to pencil the Bruins into the scoresheet recently is midfielder Ryan Becher. The graduate student notched two goals through two appearances last weekend, earning him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

UCLA’s second match of the weekend will be against last year’s Pac-12 champions, Washington. Last time, the Bruins were unable to crack the code and fell to the Huskies in both meetings.

Jorden said he plans to reverse this trend by taking the previous season into account while understanding the changes made during the offseason.

“You look at them over the course of the last couple of years, and they have been one of the best teams in the country,” Jorden said. “We have to have a historical appreciation for the things we know about them and how their team is functioning this year and put those things together.”

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Anthony Aroyan
Augusta is a 2023-2024 Slot editor and Sports senior staff member on the softball beat. She was previously a Copy and Sports contributor on the women's volleyball beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student.
Augusta is a 2023-2024 Slot editor and Sports senior staff member on the softball beat. She was previously a Copy and Sports contributor on the women's volleyball beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student.
Amelie Ionescu | Sports senior staff
Ionescu was previously an assistant Sports editor on the men's volleyball, women's volleyball, swim and dive and rowing beats, and a contributor on the women's tennis beat.
Ionescu was previously an assistant Sports editor on the men's volleyball, women's volleyball, swim and dive and rowing beats, and a contributor on the women's tennis beat.
COMMENTS
Featured Classifieds
Roommates-Private Room

WESTWOOD, Campus 5-minute walk. Own room in large quiet furnished two-bedroom. Only occupant travels. Fireplace, cat, access terrific book/movie/video collections, suit arts/sciences aficionado. $1,295 w/utilities. [email protected]

More classifieds »
Related Posts