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Word From Westwood - Apr. 9, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  04/09/2013

Word From Westwood

Apr. 9, 2013

In its storied history, UCLA's Pauley Pavilion has hosted a great deal of marquee events, many of them sporting contests, but also political debates, concerts and awards shows, just to name a few.

In the next month, the venue will host two NCAA Championships -- first in women's gymnastics and later in men's volleyball. At UCLA, we are honored to have been chosen as the host institution for both and look forward to rolling out the blue carpet welcome for all who will compete here from all over the country.

2013 NCAA Gymnastics

UCLA Gymnastics Team Qualifies for NCAA Championships in Pauley
Twelve of the nation's elite teams, including No. 6 seed UCLA, which finished second in the Columbus (Ohio) Regional last week, have qualified for the 2013 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, Apr. 19-21.

The first semifinal will take place on Friday, Apr. 19 at noon. Teams competing are No. 1 seed Florida, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Stanford and No. 12 Illinois. UCLA competes in the second semifinal at 6 pm that night, alongside No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Alabama, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Utah and No. 11 Arkansas.

All-session passes for the event are currently on sale for $55 apiece at the UCLA Central Ticket Office; single-session tickets will be available starting Monday, April 15. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit uclabruins.com/tickets or call 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2946).

Men's Volleyball to Wrap up Regular Season at Home This Week
The #3-ranked men's volleyball team, victorious in seven of its last eight matches, wraps up its schedule this week with a pair of home matches.

UCLA, which is coming off a crucial win against BYU last weekend in front of its largest home crowd of the season, begins the week in fourth place in the MPSF, and will play fifth-place Pepperdine on Wednesday and USC on Friday in the final matches of the regular season - both in Pauley.

Should the Bruins maintain their fourth-place standing, they will host an MPSF quarterfinal match on April 20.

High Five for Friday: Handful of UCLA Sporting Events on Schedule for April 12
This Friday afternoon could very well be a die-hard Bruin fan's dream come true. A total of five sporting events will be contested on campus, many of them with big implications for the UCLA teams involved.

The day gets underway with the 1:30 pm men's tennis match that pits the #2-ranked Bruins against the nationally-ranked Washington Huskies at the LA Tennis Center. At 6 pm, the #17-ranked UCLA Baseball team welcomes Loyola Marymount to Jackie Robinson Stadium.

An hour later, at 7 pm, the #19-ranked softball team welcomes Cal to Easton Stadium for a Pac-12 battle, and the #4-ranked women's water polo team hosts LMU at Spieker Aquatics Center. The day wraps up with the aforementioned UCLA-USC men's volleyball match at 7:30 pm at Pauley Pavilion.

Tickets for the baseball, softball and volleyball games can be purchased at the door. The tennis and water polo games are free.

Jackie Robinson

UCLA Celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday Afternoon
UCLA will be honoring one of its past heroes with a celebration of Jackie Robinson Day at the stadium that bears his name next Sunday, prior to the 2 pm UCLA-LMU baseball game.

The day's festivities will be highlighted by the unveiling of a mural of the great UCLA alumnus on the first-base concourse. The ceremony will include UCLA Athletics officials and the mural artist, Mike Sullivan.

Athlete Allies Symposiums Slated for Next Monday
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Department of Cultural and Recreational Affairs are teaming up to host a pair of events (one for coaches and staff and the other for student-athletes and UCLA students) on Monday, April 15.

Panelists will speak on the topic of Standing Up Against Homophobia and Bullying in Sports and Recreation: Building an Inclusive and Safe Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Student-Athletes, Coaches, Staff and Fans. Among the panelists are Ben Cohen (StandUp Foundation), Brian Kitts (You Can Play), Cyd Zeigler (outsports.com), Billy Bean (former MLB player), Julie Adams (UCLA All-American softball player) and Jessica Mendoza (Olympic softball player and ESPN analyst).

These two events are being put on by UCLA Athlete Allies, a collaboration of administrators, coaches and staff from Athletics and Recreation who are working to build respect, inclusion and equality. It is in association with UCLA Ally Week, a week-long initiative that seeks to reach out to the entire UCLA community in an effort to spread awareness, education, and information about the LGBT communities and what it means to support the LGBT community.

This is the second consecutive year that an ally event has been held for UCLA student-athletes.


Track and Field Teams Continue Strong Outdoor Season
In its only home meet of the 2013 season, the #12-ranked UCLA men's track and field team earned double dual victories over #10 LSU (120-41) and TCU (106-56) Saturday at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational. The #18-ranked women's team also competed Saturday at Drake Stadium, beating TCU, 112-49, but falling short to #7-ranked LSU, 92-70.

The meet featured several superb Bruin performances. Men's discus thrower Julian Wruck set the school record for the third consecutive week and won that event. On the women's side, senior All-American Turquoise Thompson posted a winning time of 56.16 in the women's 400m hurdles, the third-best time for a collegian this year.

The team resumes competition this coming weekend as both the men and the women head to the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.

Reminder: Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Championships
Bruin fans, the UCLA Athletic Department is still accepting volunteers for the four championships listed below:

  • April 19-21: NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, Pauley Pavilion
  • April 22-24: PAC-12 Women's Golf Championships, Valencia Country Club
  • April 29-May 1: PAC-12 Men's Golf Championships, Los Angeles Country Club
  • May 2-4: NCAA Men's Volleyball National Championships, Pauley Pavilion

We are looking for plenty of volunteers for a wide variety of tasks. If you have an interest in helping, or you know somebody that would, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Director of Championships Gavin Crew at 310-206-0696 or gcrew@athletics.ucla.edu so that he can put our volunteer list together.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #2-ranked men's tennis team extended its winning streak to nine over the weekend, cruising to a pair of Pac-12 victories over both Utah (6-1) and Arizona (7-0) at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins, who are now 18-1 and 4-0 in the Pac-12, continue play at home this week, hosting Washington and Oregon on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
  • The #4-ranked women's water polo team returns home to conclude the regular season after a loss to Stanford last week, with three straight home games in the next two weeks. UCLA (21-4, 3-2 MPSF) plays a pair of non-conference games this week when it hosts Loyola Marymount on Friday and Cal Baptist Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Center.
  • The #5-ranked men's golf team travels to Santa Cruz for the annual Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo GC beginning on Saturday. The Bruins will host the Pac-12 Championship at venerable Los Angeles CC beginning Apr. 29.
  • The #6-ranked women's tennis team won a pair of crucial Pac-12 road matches over the weekend, downing both Arizona and No. 22 Arizona State by the same 5-2 score. The Bruins (15-4; 6-2 Pac-12) have just one match on tap this week, traveling to the Pacific Northwest for a Friday match with Oregon.
  • The #6-ranked women's golf team concludes its 2013 regular season schedule at the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe.
  • The #6-ranked sand volleyball team posted its first-ever home victory last Wednesday, knocking off Loyola Marymount 4-1 at Santa Monica's Annenberg Beach. The Bruins head to Malibu's Zuma Beach on Wednesday for a pair of matches against #1 Pepperdine and #2 Long Beach State.
  • The #8-ranked rowing team advanced each of its five crews to Grand Final races on the second day of the San Diego Crew Classic last Sunday morning, with the varsity four and open eight boats cruising to second-place finishes. UCLA returns to action at the Clemson Invitational in Clemson, S.C. on April 20.
  • The #15-ranked softball team hosts California this week, Thursday-Saturday, at Easton Stadium. Thursday's game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
  • The #17-ranked baseball team continues their homestand this week with a game vs. Hawai'i Tuesday night at 6 pm and a three-game series vs. Loyola Marymount Friday through Sunday. The Bruins went 1-3 last week.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

Here at UCLA, we often like to speak about the tenacity and determination that sets us apart from the competition in intercollegiate athletics.

Perhaps never has that been more applicable than when describing the 2013 UCLA Gymnastics team. All season long, Valorie Kondos Field's lineup has been affected by the injury bug, experiencing season-ending ailments and constantly nagging ones. Yet, through it all, the Bruins have scratched and clawed their way to once again be included among the nation's elite programs.

Their heart and resolve were clearly on display last weekend at the Columbus Regional, hosted by Ohio State. The Bruins battled through tense moments early in the competition and clinched a hard-fought second-place finish which earned them one of 12 berths in the upcoming NCAA Championships. It will mark the seventh consecutive time that UCLA has advanced to this stage, and 29th such time in the last 32 championships.

As many of you already know, those championships will be held in Pauley Pavilion next weekend. With the team out there representing the entire Bruin Family, please come out and support a squad that has overcome a great deal of adversity to get this final championship round. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

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