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Word From Westwood - Jan. 22, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  01/23/2013

Word From Westwood

Word From Westwood - Deliver to Inbox

Jan. 22, 2013

While our Bruin teams on campus have continued to do well in their respective seasons, our UCLA professional athletes have been giving us just as much Bruin pride.

This weekend, women's soccer player Fernando Monge and Ryan Hollingshead, were taken in Major League Soccer SuperDraft, improving UCLA's numbers to a national-best 61 players drafted by MLS teams.

UCLA football alum Brendon Ayanbadejo helped the Baltimore Ravens advance to the Super Bowl after a win in the AFC Championship game. This will mark the 32nd time in the last 34 years that a UCLA player has been on a Super Bowl team. And we certainly expect to see Jrue Holiday make the NBA All-Star team when the reserves are announced on Thursday.


Men's Basketball Heads to Arizona
Coming off a split against the Oregon schools, the men's basketball team will hit the road this week to face Arizona (16-1, 4-1 in the Pac-12) and Arizona State (14-4, 3-2).

The Bruins (15-4, 5-1) will face the #6-ranked Wildcats at the McKale Center on Thursday night in a game that will be nationally-televised on ESPN2 at 6 pm (PT), followed by a Saturday 1 pm (PT) contest at Arizona State that will be televised on Fox Sports Net. The Bruins won both contests against Arizona State last season and have won their last four games against the Sun Devils.

Women's Basketball Team Looks to Return to Winning Ways
The #19/20-ranked women's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Pauley Pavilion after dropping a pair of road games to Top 10 teams from the Bay Area. Head Coach Cori Close and the Bruins (13-4, 4-2 in the Pac-12) will host Arizona on Friday night at 6pm and Arizona State at 2 pm on Sunday.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to this or any other UCLA women's basketball home game this season, please call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2942) or order online at uclabruins.com/tickets.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #3-ranked women's water polo team opened the season sweeping all four games at the Michigan Invitational. The Bruins defeated #7-ranked San Diego State (12-8) and #11-ranked Michigan (12-3) on Saturday then beat Colorado State (14-6) and #14-ranked Indiana (8-4) on Sunday. Next, the Bruins return to the pool at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invite Jan. 26-27.
  • Following a bye week after an impressive victory over Utah, the #4-ranked UCLA gymnastics team (2-0) returns to action this week at Arizona State on January 25
  • #5-ranked men's volleyball returned to the victory column on Friday by beating No. 8 UC Santa Barbara in four sets on the road. The Bruins improved to 6-3 overall, 2-1 in MPSF play. Next, the Bruins play at Stanford tonight in a 7 pm MPSF showdown that will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.
  • The #5-ranked men's tennis team wrapped up its first tournament of 2013 on Monday with Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov being crowned doubles champions at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup. UCLA now opens up the dual-match portion of its season on Wednesday, hosting UC Santa Barbara at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at 1:30 pm.
  • The #2-ranked women's tennis team claimed two titles on Sunday, as Pamela Montez and Courtney Dolehide reached the doubles semifinals. UCLA opens up the 2013 dual-match season next week, hosting San Diego on Saturday at Noon.
  • The #12-ranked swimming team improved to 11-0 in dual meets this season, winning 10 of 11 races in a 114-72 victory over Simon Fraser on Saturday. The Bruin swimmers are off this week and return to competition on Feb. 1 and 2 at Stanford and California, respectively. The UCLA diving squad heads to Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday and Sunday for the Air Force Diving Invitational.
  • The UCLA indoor track and field teams will open their 2013 season on January 25 at the Washington Invitational in Seattle. Returning for the Bruins are many key elements of last season's success on both the men's and women's sides. The men's team is ranked #19 heading into the season.
  • The baseball team hosts its annual Alumni Game on January 26, with the "Old-Timers" game beginning at 10:30 am and the "Young-Timers" game at 12:15 pm. The new LED video board will also be presented at this event.
  • The softball team was ranked 19th in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll. The team will begin play the second weekend of February at Easton Stadium when it hosts the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.

324 Make Fall Director's Honor Roll
An impressive 324 UCLA student-athletes - nearly half (49%) of the enrolled student-athletes - were named to the Director's Honor Roll for the Fall Quarter. To make the Director's Honor Roll, a student-athlete must earn a GPA of at least 3.0 and pass at least 12 quarter units. Of the 324, 109 earned a 3.5 or greater, and 24 earned a perfect 4.0. Football led all teams with 38 players on the Director's Honor Roll. To see the full honor roll list, click here.

All-Time March Madness Voting Underway
NCAA.com has launched the opening of fan voting to determine the NCAA All-Time March Madness players, team and moment as part of the celebration of 75 years of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Be sure to vote for your favorite UCLA players, teams and moment from the last 75 years at ncaa.com/marchmadness. The voting period runs through March 24, and the honorees will be announced at the Final Four in Atlanta on April 5.


Voting Open For LA Sports Awards
Voting is now open for the 2012 LA Sports Awards, the annual televised awards show celebrating the greatest sports moments of the year in the Los Angeles/Orange County area.

For Bruin Fans, your choices include the UCLA football team's victory over USC to clinch the Pac-12 South Title, UCLA earning a spot in College World Series, Johnathan Franklin breaking the UCLA all-time rushing record, and the re-opening of historic Pauley Pavilion.

Vote at lasports.org through Jan. 31 by clicking on the Greatest Moments icon at the top of the page. The winners will be revealed during the 8th Annual LA Sports Awards on March 3 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Football Signing Day Event Update
Last week, readers were asked to hold Wednesday, February 6 on their calendars for a special event. This week, additional details are available on UCLA Football's 2013 Signing Day Celebration, presented by UCLA Athletics and the Wooden Athletic Fund, held at New Pauley Pavilion.

The event, which you must register for but is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:15 pm. (Due to NCAA recruiting restrictions, high school students cannot be admitted). On the North Concourse of Pauley Pavilion, there will be a meet and greet with UCLA Football student-athletes and performances from the UCLA Band and UCLA Spirit Squad. At 7:30 pm, head coach Jim Mora and his staff will present a dynamic program from the Pauley floor, highlighting the class of 2013.

Though the event is free, Bruin fans must register in advance to attend. Please visit woodenathleticfund.com/rsvp to do so today.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

As some of you may already know, UCLA announced earlier today that we would be adding women's sand volleyball to our sport offerings.

The announcement is a milestone that will prove to be a tremendous asset to the array of sports offered here in Westwood. Not only am I thrilled to be adding the sport for Spring 2013, but I am equally excited about having Stein Metzger, one of the all-time Bruin volleyball greats, as our head coach. Very few schools across the country can rival the collective success of our athletic program as a whole, and this certainly holds true for our men's and women's volleyball programs, which have truly excelled over the past few years and decades.

When the NCAA served notice in 2009 that sand volleyball would be identified as an "emerging sport", several West Coast institutions, as well as some national ones, launched plans to bring the sport to their campuses. 2011-12 was the first year of competition for women's sand volleyball, with 15 schools sponsoring teams. Since the number of universities supporting the sport has not yet reached the number required to conduct a sanctioned NCAA Championship, we will develop our own women's sand volleyball program at a gradual pace. As an example, instead of traveling cross country to play opponents this season, all our away matches will remain in the Southern California region. Of course, if the team qualifies for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama, you can count on the fact that the Bruins will be there.

UCLA has always been at the top of the collegiate volleyball game, both as teams and individuals. Many volleyball players have also gone on to have fantastic careers on the sand, whether at the Olympics, the professional level, or both. The success of many of these student-athletes on the sand is an indicator of what we can expect to see in the future from UCLA women's sand volleyball. I look forward to fans joining Coach Metzger and his squad this spring as they grow, knowing that the best is yet to come.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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