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Word From Westwood - Apr. 30, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  05/01/2013

Word From Westwood

Apr. 30, 2013

While so much of the public attention on the more than 600 student-athletes at UCLA focuses on their athletic exploits, one cannot discount their impressive academic results, which speak volumes about their competitiveness at all levels.

In fact, by earning a grade-point average of at least 3.0 and passing at least 12 units, 279 UCLA student-athletes earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in the 2013 Winter Quarter.

Also of note, of the 279 named to the honor roll, 96 earned a 3.5 GPA or greater and 18 earned a perfect 4.0.

Kudos to them all ...

Spring Showcase

UCLA Football Shines Bright at Spring Showcase at the Rose Bowl
A wonderful day in Pasadena Saturday was punctuated by a celebration of UCLA Football in front of approximately 20,000 fans at the Rose Bowl Stadium with the Spring Showcase.

Among the highlights on the field for the Bruins were the passing of quarterback Brett Hundley and the defense of linebacker Anthony Barr, but the day itself brought much more than that.

Parking lots were buzzing with cars as soon as they opened at noon. Once parked, many fans tailgated, while others enjoyed the festivities in the Bruin Fan Zone, including food trucks and live music. By the time the Bruin fans filed into the stadium for the showcase (also televised live on the Pac-12 Networks), the enthusiasm and pride in the team as they prepare for the upcoming 2013 season, was very evident.

The players and coaches put on a show for all in attendance, and several UCLA students had the chance to participate in a skills competition at halftime, run by Coach Mora himself.

Finally, as the showcase drew to a conclusion, all fans had the chance to head to the field for an autograph session and fireworks show -- the perfect sendoff to the future.

EDITOR'S NOTE: After the event, some fans asked why seating was only available on the East side of the stadium (with the exception of the pavilion) for the second consecutive year.

Simply stated, the concourse on the West side had much of its asphalt torn up and there were no functioning restrooms available. The fans that sat in the pavilion, as well as the media members covering the game, actually had to walk around the outside of the stadium and enter a chute near Gate F to get to the elevator that took them upstairs.

The West side of the stadium is an active construction zone. However, it is important to note that when football season starts with the UCLA-Nevada game on August 31, all of those obstacles will either be completed removed, or, at the very least, easily navigated.

Should the Rose Bowl be available for next year's Spring Game, our plan would clearly include seating for fans on the shady side of the stadium as well.

Pac-12 Men's Golf Title on the Line as UCLA Hosts Tourney This Week
The #3-ranked men's golf team is hosting the Pac-12 Championship at the venerable Los Angeles Country Club this Monday-Wednesday.

After two days of play, the Bruins are currently in second place, just one stroke behind Cal, which leads heading into the final 18 holes of competition.

Admission to Wednesday's final round is free, so if you live in the Los Angeles area, make plans now to make it out to the LACC and cheer them on. If you can't make it out to the event, be sure to click here for up-to-date scores.

A year ago, the Bruins finished fourth at the inaugural Pac-12 Championship at Oregon State.

NCAA MVB

NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship Returns to Pauley
Later this week, the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship returns to Pauley Pavilion for the first time since 2005.

All of the action gets underway on Thursday (May 2) with the semifinals. The first semifinal will match the No. 2-seed UC Irvine against the No. 3-seed Loyola-Chicago at 6 pm. (PT). The second semifinal will be between No. 1-seed BYU and No. 4-seed Penn State, and will get underway at 8 pm. The Championship match is slated for 6 pm (PT) Saturday evening, pitting the two semifinal winners from Thursday.

Tickets still remain for all three matches. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN or click here.

For fans outside the Los Angeles area and unable to make it to Pauley, each of the semifinals will be streamed live on NCAA.com, and the title match will air live on ESPNU.

Men's Tennis Downs USC to Take Home Pac-12 Tournament Title
Having already wrapped up the conference's regular-season title a week ago, the #1-ranked UCLA men's team claimed its first Pac-12 Tournament crown last Saturday, downing crosstown rival USC, 4-2, in the Pac-12 final at Libbey Park in Ojai.

It marks the second time in less than 10 days that the Bruins have beaten the Trojans; UCLA posted a 4-3 win over USC in the final match of the regular season on April 19.

The Bruins (24-1) will continue their season in the NCAA Tournament as the tournament's top seeded team. They will host Missouri-Kansas City in the first round on Friday, May 10 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Women's Golf Learns NCAA Fate after Hosting Pac-12's in Valencia
Just one week ago, the #8-ranked UCLA women's team hosted the 2013 Pac-12 Conference championship at Valencia Country Club, finishing third.

The Bruins will next be competing in the NCAA East Regional, slated for May 9-11 at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Alabama. It is UCLA's 19th consecutive regional appearance, dating to the beginning of the regional qualification system in 1995.

The top eight finishers at each of the three Regionals will advance to the NCAA Women's Championship, which will be held at University of Georgia Country Club.

Women's Water Polo Captures At-Large Berth in NCAA Tournament
Thanks to its third-place finish at last weekend's MPSF Tournament, the #4-ranked UCLA women's water polo team earned the final at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament at Harvard.

The Bruins (26-6, seeded third) will open NCAA Tournament play with a quarterfinal match against sixth-seeded Princeton (26-5) on Friday, May 10 at 12:30 pm PT.

McPhillips Wins Pac-12 Women's Singles Championship
Freshman Kyle McPhillips became the seventh women's tennis player in school history to take home a conference singles title, as she defeated Stanford's Krista Hardebeck last Sunday in Ojai. McPhillips, the tournament's eighth seed, won the final 11 games in the final, a 6-1, 6-0 victory over the third-seeded Hardebeck.

It marked the fifth victory of the tournament for McPhillips, who also knocked off the tournament's top seed, Zsofia Susanyi of Cal, in Friday's quarterfinals. She is the first Bruin to win the main draw singles since 2010, and the first UCLA freshman to capture the title since 2000.

The Bruin team has drawn a #7-seed in the NCAA Tournament and will open play against Army at LATC on May 10.

victory lap

Bruins Sweep Trojans in Track & Field Dual Meet
The UCLA Track & Field program had a spectacular day at Loker Stadium last Saturday, claiming both the men's and women's dual meet victories over crosstown rival USC.

The #13-ranked Bruin men upset # 9 USC, 85-78, while the women, also ranked #13 nationally, defeated the #23-ranked Trojan women, 90-73.

These victories mark the first time both squads have won the annual dual meet since 2006, and the first time that the Bruins have accomplished this feat on the road since 2005.

For all the dual meet details, please click here.

Select-a-Seat Returns to the Rose Bowl This Weekend
As was highlighted in previous editions of Word from Westwood, this weekend marks one of the most important non-game days of the year, the annual Select-a-Seat at the Rose Bowl.

All day Saturday and most of the day Sunday, UCLA football season ticket holders have the chance to change or improve their seat locations for the upcoming season. All season ticket holders and Wooden Athletic Fund (WAF) members have already received a personal invitation to attend this event at a specific time. The allotted time is based on WAF donation levels and season ticket priority, and the invitation is required to attend. If you are a WAF member or season ticket holder and have not received your invitation yet, please call the Select-a-Seat Information Line: (310) 206-5991.

Not yet a UCLA Football season ticket holder? Be one of the first to see and gain access to newly-available 2013 football season ticket locations at UCLA's annual Rose Bowl Select-a-Seat Open House this Sunday, May 5 from 4-5 pm.

Hand-pick a great seat location and then get ready for an exciting season of Bruin Football! Available season seats will be marked, and UCLA representatives will be available to assist you throughout the process.

No invitation or RSVP is required to attend the Open House. For details, click here.

Compliance Corner: Supporters of Athletics -- Knowing the NCAA Bylaws
Supporters of Bruin athletics are essential to the overall success of our entire program. Their support, through the purchase of tickets and merchandise as well as their donations to the Wooden Athletic Fund and individual sport foundations, allow us to give our coaches and student-athletes all the tools they need to compete for national championships. We know that these supporters often promote the University and Athletics Department at every opportunity, especially since many are parents, alumni and former student-athletes.

We are so thankful for everything that you do. At the same time, your status as a supporter of athletics requires you to follow certain rules to ensure that UCLA is compliant with NCAA Bylaws. As a member of the Bruin family, it is important that you know that you cannot provide goods, money, or services to any of our student-athletes or recruits.

In addition, the rules require that you not act as a recruiter for the program. You are obligated to keep their distance from recruits in person and through social media. If a supporter of the athletic program tweets at a recruit or posts a Facebook message encouraging that recruit to come to UCLA, that recruit's eligibility will be jeopardized at our school. We love our fans and the investors in our program, and your passion for UCLA, but please leave the recruiting to our coaches and devote your boundless energy to supporting our teams.

A great place to channel your enthusiasm is into the Facebook and Twitter accounts of all our teams and coaches. Find them here.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #5-ranked women's rowing team will host the annual crosstown showdown against USC on Saturday morning in Marina del Rey. Race times will be announced later this week.
  • The #6-ranked Meg Norton and Kelly Reeves and sophomore Zoë Nightingale and freshman Becca Strehlow will represent UCLA in Gulf Shores, Alabama this Thursday-Saturday.
  • The #9-ranked baseball team went 2-2 last week, falling to Long Beach State on Tuesday, before taking two of three at Washington State on the weekend. The Bruins are now 27-13 on the year and will play four home games this week. UCLA will take on UC Irvine at 6 pm on Tuesday night and host Pac-12 Conference foe Utah in a three-game series from Friday to Sunday.
  • The #16-ranked softball team earned a split last week, defeating UCSB Wednesday before dropping two of three against #4 Oregon over the weekend at Easton Stadium. The Bruins are back in action at Easton Stadium on Wednesday when they host Loyola Marymount at 2 pm. They then welcome Cal State Bakersfield to Easton for a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

The word showcase was certainly apt when describing last Saturday at the Rose Bowl Stadium. As with each of the other spring practices this year, UCLA football fans had the chance to come out and watch our team fine-tune its skills in preparation for the upcoming fall camp and the 2013 regular season.

While our fans had a brief glimpse of the efforts being made by our players and coaches this spring, as well as what the 2013 season might bring, the afternoon and evening was a time for the Bruin family to come together and celebrate our program.

It was, as they say, a "Chamber of Commerce Day" -- with temperatures in the low 80s, not a cloud in the sky, and approximately 20,000 fans, many of whom gathered early and stayed late, wanting to soak it all in.

Thank you to all of the fans who came out to Pasadena on Saturday to support the players and coaches. They certainly felt the love, and we all can't wait to see you again on August 31.

Between now and then, as evidenced by the many Olympic sport items in this week's blog, many of our teams will be competing for NCAA Championships in the coming weeks and months, so there are plenty of Bruin teams for you to support. Please do your best to come out and cheer them on as they, too, make us all proud to be Bruins.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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