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Weekend in Preview: March 14

Sophomore attacker Taylor Smith pulls the ball back behind her head. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Lamar Tuker

March 14, 2024 2:08 p.m.

Women’s water polo
Lamar Tuker, Daily Bruin reporter

The Bruins will face two opponents in one weekend for the first time this season.

No. 1 UCLA women’s water polo (16-0, 2-0 MPSF) is set to compete against No. 14 Princeton (14-4, 6-0 College Water Polo Association) and No. 17 San Jose State (9-8, 0-1 MPSF) this weekend at Spieker Aquatics Center. Following this weekend, the Bruins will have one home game remaining.

The Bruins’ last encounter with the Tigers saw the Bruins score triple the Tigers’ goals in a 9-3 result.

During the match, attacker Malia Allen buried one goal and one assist. With one more year of experience, the Irvine local has two hat tricks on the year.

The Bruins were also able to best the Spartans last season with a 10-point gap. Sophomore attacker Taylor Smith recorded a hat trick in the outing.

The Bruins have had freshmen contribute to the scoreboard in every game this season, and coach Adam Wright said it’s important to get them adjusted.

“They’re here at UCLA for a reason, and they’ve got to get experience as quick as possible,” Wright said.

The Bruins will face the Tigers at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Beach Volleyball
Sabrina Baker, Daily Bruin staff

The Bruins will remain close to home while competing against teams from far away.

No. 2 UCLA beach volleyball (11-4, 1-0 Pac-12) will compete in the East Meets West Invitational at Manhattan Beach Pier from Friday to Saturday. The Bruins will face off against four ranked teams from across the nation: No. 4 Florida State (13-0), No. 8 LSU (8-1) No. 15 Georgia State (9-4, 2-0 Sun Belt) and No. 17 Grand Canyon (4-6).

Coach Jenny Johnson Jordan said the team considers this tournament familiar territory.

“We’re excited to play back in LA and be at home,” Johnson Jordan said. “We’re going to play some tough East Coast teams, and that’s what we want.”

Last year, at the same invitational, the Bruins faced three of the four teams they will face this year.

They walked away from those three matches with wins against LSU and Georgia State and a loss to Florida State.

The loss to Florida State was only the second of the season. Graduate student Jaden Whitmarsh was in one of three UCLA duos to drop their match to Florida State.

Whitmarsh said she is always looking to improve.

“Right now, my main focus is aggressive serving,” Whitmarsh said. “I want to be more confident at the backline going for different serves.”

The Bruins will face the Antelopes at 9 a.m. on Friday.

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