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Word From Westwood - May 21, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  05/21/2013

Word From Westwood

May 21, 2013

"The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" ... truer words were never spoken, especially during postseason play. Both the men's and women's tennis teams came oh-so-close to winning UCLA's 109th NCAA Championship, with the women losing a close match in the semifinals, 4-3, to Texas A&M and the men's team being just one point away from the title, if not for an unfortunate net violation in the deciding singles match that eventually led to a 4-3 loss to undefeated Virginia. While the thought of being on the cusp but falling short will sting, it can only fuel the desire to win that much more moving forward, not only for those teams but for those still in the hunt.

43 Track & Field Student-Athletes to Represent UCLA at NCAA Regionals
UCLA's track & field program has captured 43 total entries (22 for the women, 21 for the men) for this week's 2013 NCAA West Preliminary Championships, to be contested Thursday-Saturday in Austin, Texas. The top 48 athletes in each individual event and the top 24 relay teams in each region (East and West) gained entry into the preliminary competition. However, in combined events (heptathlon/decathlon), the athletes posting the top 24 in each region during the season automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. For a complete list of Bruins competing in Austin this week, please click here.


Men's Golf Wins Tempe Regional, Advances to Compete for Championship
Three consecutive strong rounds, capped off by an 11 under par 269, gave UCLA the top team score (810, -30) at the Tempe Regional over the weekend and qualified the Bruins for the NCAA Championships for the 11th straight season. The victory was the Bruins' fifth overall regional title and their third in six years under Coach Derek Freeman. The Bruins will join four other Pac-12 teams at the NCAA Championships, which will be played next week in Atlanta.

Rowing Team Selected To NCAA Championships
The No. 7-ranked UCLA women's rowing team has secured its third selection in four seasons to compete at the NCAA Championships, which take place May 31-June 2 in Indianapolis. The Bruins, which placed fourth at the Pac-12 Championships last weekend, finished a program-best eighth at last year's NCAAs.

Softball Falls to UAB in Extra Innings to Conclude NCAA Tourney Run
After 13 innings nearly four and a half hours of softball, UAB outlasted a valiant UCLA squad 3-2 on Sunday to win the Louisville Regional and end the Bruins' season. It was the third game of the weekend between the two schools and capped a very long Sunday of softball that featured two epic battles. UCLA won Sunday's first game 4-1, with three runs in the sixth inning for the difference. The Bruins concluded their season with a 40-20 record.

Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic a Rousing Success
The Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic made its Los Angeles debut yesterday at the Riviera Country Club and, by all accounts, was a rousing success. Thank you to all of the Bruin supporters who also supported this wonderful cause, the Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation.

Watch this video from the event for comments from Coach Mora and other celebrity participants, including Bruin greats Eric Karros and Jonathan Ogden.

Development Corner: Director's Circle Dinner
Last Wednesday evening, Dan Guerrero and his wife Anne Marie hosted their annual "Director's Dinner" on the field at The Rose Bowl Stadium. The annual event served as a thank you to Wooden Athletic Fund Director's Circle and Wooden Benefactor donors.

It was especially unique because the event allowed the donors to hear directly from the athletic director and some UCLA head coaches themselves in an intimate setting. In fact, Jim Mora, Michael Sealy, John Speraw, and Adam Wright were all there to show their sincere gratitude first-hand to these ever-important supporters of UCLA Athletics and the Wooden Athletic Fund.

The evening featured a private viewing of the UCLA Football locker room followed by a reception and five-course dinner in the south end zone of the Rose Bowl, accompanied by live music from a Bruin Sax Quartet made up of current UCLA members of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band. It was an incredible evening not soon to be forgotten with great friends of UCLA. For some highlights, watch here.

Director's Circle Dinner

Reminder: On the Road Events Begin Next Wednesday
As mentioned here last week, please be sure to remember that various UCLA head coaches will be featured in three UCLA On the Road events entitled "How Champions Are Made" in the coming weeks.

The event schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 29 at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza -- featuring Jim Mora and Adam Wright.
  • Wednesday, June 5 at the Westin South Coast Plaza -- featuring Jim Mora.
  • Tuesday June 11 on the field at the Rose Bowl Stadium -- featuring Jim Mora.

Each of the sessions costs $20 to attend and will begin with a reception at 6:30 pm, followed by a 7:15 pm speaking program.

The events are presented through a partnership of UCLA Development, the UCLA Athletics Department and the Wooden Athletic Fund. For more information, or to register for any of these events, please visit ontheroad.ucla.edu. Note that, per the UCLA Foundation, these events are only open to UCLA Alumni or donors who have given to any area of the university, including the Wooden Athletic Fund, over the span of the previous five years.

Save the Date: Dribble for the Cure Returns to Westwood on October 20
The sixth annual "Dribble for the Cure" will be held on the UCLA campus on Sunday, October 20. Last year's event set a donation record in the continuing effort to help find a cure for children's cancer. Approximately 540 participants, including members of the UCLA men's and women's basketball teams, took part in 2012 and raised more than $150,000.

The annual "Dribble" is a collaborative effort between the UCLA Athletic Department, Bruin basketball legend John Vallely, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) and the Cancer Research Program at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Further details about the 2013 event will be announced this summer.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

The hot hand of our spring sports squads continued this weekend. As mentioned, both our men's and women's tennis teams made it to the NCAA semifinals - the only school in the country to do so. The men's team advanced all the way to the title match and the women, ranked #7 in the country going into the tournament, competed brilliantly in coming so close to playing on the final day. Congratulations to coaches Billy Martin and Stella Sampras Webster on fantastic seasons!

Meanwhile, here in LA, the baseball team, with a strong finish as the season concludes, completed a sweep of USC. Congratulations to David Berg for notching his school-record 16th save on Sunday and to head coach John Savage for recording his 400th career victory. This is the final week of the regular season, featuring a home game against UCSB tonight and then a three game series at Stanford over the weekend. We submitted bids to host postseason games and hopefully will have the opportunity to host a NCAA regional series the following week. I know that the Bruin family will be there to support our team in their quest. In fact, NCAA Regional action is one of my favorite times of year, and at Jackie Robinson Stadium, every seat in the house is packed, and the energy of the crowd is unbelievable. There's no question that the success that we've enjoyed in NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals that we hosted at home is a direct result of our fans. Assuming we are fortunate to get the nod, make certain to get those tickets early.

Last but not least, all the way across the country, Carrie Forsyth and her women's golf team teed off at 4:30am PT today at the NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia. The top 24 teams in the country will compete for the coveted NCAA title. Our team is battle-tested, but we all still need to root for those putts to drop. Best of luck to the team in the coming days as they try to bring home their second championship in three years.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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