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Weekend in Preview: April 25

Coach Armen Kirakossian and freshman Luke Powell stand on the course. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

By Chloe Agas, Connor Dullinger, and Mika McCaffrey

April 25, 2024 3:51 p.m.

This post was updated April 25 at 11:33 p.m.

Men’s golf
Connor Dullinger, Daily Bruin contributor

With the Pac-12 championship on the horizon, the Bruins will begin their quest for their sixth title in program history this weekend.

UCLA men’s golf will tee off at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Arizona, its third and final tournament of the season in the Grand Canyon State. The repeated visits to Arizona during the season did not come by chance.

“It was by design for us to go play in Arizona quite a bit, so we can be ready,” said coach Armen Kirakossian. “Desert golf is a pretty unique thing. You don’t see it anywhere else in the country – the ball flies further, it’s warmer, it’s a little bit higher altitude and the air is a little thinner.”

Apart from the unique characteristics of the course, the design of the tournament also poses a notable challenge.

The conference championships are a 6-count-5 and 72-hole stroke competition – a stark contrast from the usual tournament design that consists of a 5-count-4 structure. This year’s tournament will also be the sixth in history to be played at 7,200 yards or greater.

With the hole count and total yardage reaching their upper limits, physical and mental endurance will prove vital to the Bruins’ success.

“You need more mental endurance than anything. The physical can wear out your mental endurance. If you get tired physically, your mental game will go too,” Kirakossian said. “We need to be ready to go from the first shot to the last putt and understand that there’s going to be ups and downs and stuff that doesn’t go your way.”

Freshman infielder Roch Cholowsky swings at a pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium. (Zimo Li/Daily Bruin)
Freshman infielder Roch Cholowsky swings at a pitch at Jackie Robinson Stadium. (Zimo Li/Daily Bruin)

Baseball
Mika McCaffrey, Daily Bruin contributor

The Bruins are heading to Salt Lake City with hopes of breaking their six-game losing streak.

UCLA baseball (13-25, 6-15 Pac-12) will face off against Utah (26-13, 11-7) in a three-game series this weekend. The Bruins have struggled on the road, tallying a 2-13 record, and have yet to walk away with an away-series win. Furthermore, the team is currently last in the Pac-12.

Freshman infielder Roch Cholowsky – who hit two home runs against UC Irvine on Tuesday – said the team competed well going into their series against Utah.

“I think we got good stuff going into the weekend, fought hard at the plate, pitched well, so I feel good,” he said.

Tuesday’s defeat, a close 9-7 affair against the Anteaters, showcased the Bruins allowing four runs in the ninth inning to lose the game.

Despite the Bruins putting up a solid offensive performance with four home runs, this added yet another loss to the team’s resume heading into the final three weeks.

UCLA will get things underway Friday at Smith’s Ballpark at 5 p.m.

(Myka Fromm/Photo editor)
UCLA rowing’s second varsity eight crew makes its way through the water. The Bruins will compete in their final invitational of the season this weekend before the postseason commences. (Myka Fromm/Photo editor)

Rowing
Chloe Agas, Daily Bruin contributor

Rowing requires depth of stroke both within and among crews.

“Not just having the top varsity boats, but also having fast times from the lowest boat to the highest boat throughout,” said senior port/starboard Sydney Matas.

With its 10 wins on the season spread across its boats, UCLA rowing will head north to compete at the Dexter Lake Invitational on Saturday in Lowell, Oregon. The regatta will feature two familiar foes, Oregon State and USC, as coach Previn Chandraratna’s squad takes on its third and final invitational of the season before diving into postseason fray.

Danielle DeFrancisci said Saturday’s races are pivotal to progress.

“This season, we’ve been more concentrated on our goal of making it to the NCAAs,” the sophomore starboard said. “Everyone understands how important this race is for seeding. It’s our last chance to check our speed on Oregon State and USC before Pac-12.”

At the Loyola Marymount and USC tri-meet, UCLA’s second varsity eight narrowly edged its crosstown rivals to cross the finish line in first place at 5:49.70. This win encompassed only a fraction of the wins the second varsity eight and the Bruins have acquired.

Chandraratna said the emphasis lies in working on tight contests.

“The group is a little more seasoned than last year in the upper boats,” Chandraratna said. “What’s left for us is not just to be competitive, but to win these close battles. That comes from trying to push our limits every single day.”

Chandraratna added that his confidence in his squad suggests that it could prevail in a tight battle.

Boats will launch Saturday at 9 a.m. – a final evaluation for the Bruins and a prelude to the last-ever Pac-12 competition.

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