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Two young men who had known each other since birth found that their time at UCLA was marked by several striking similarities. For one, both were third-year students who had entered as bioengineering students and then simultaneously had switched majors to study computational and systems biology. Moreover, both were active members of the Bruin Marching Band, and interestingly enough both played tuba. These parallels seemed astounding, even unbelievable, until one simple and yet essential fact was considered: they shared nearly identical DNA. BruinLife: Why did you both choose to come to UCLA? Kevin Tieu : At the time, public school was a more financially conscious option, and we are from not too far from UCLA, so the ability to commute to school was a benefit. UCLA was our top choice because it is a great school and it offered things like marching band that make you feel connected to the school. BL: What are both of your majors? Ryan Tieu: We majored in Computational and Systems Biology.

KT: We knew we wanted to combine our interests in biology and math, but after attending a majors fair, we talked to the counselor at the Computational and Systems Biology booth. She described to us what it was, and we saw that it allowed us to apply our interests in a broader approach. BL: What led you to start marching band on campus? KT: We actually started playing with band in elementary school. You know when teachers would come around and demonstrate instruments? We were both just like, that sounds like a fun thing to do, so we just picked it up. RT: Our parents picked up some instruments one day and brought them home and said, ‘Here you go.’ [They brought us] a flute and a clarinet, just the standard. We were self-taught. We do still play [clarinet and flute], but we’ve moved on to other instruments. BL: Considering you both play tubas in marching band, what led you both to that instrument, specifically? KT: There are always a lot of flutes and clarinets in the marching band, and you can’t really hear them on the field so well, so we

decided to grab the biggest [instrument]. RT: Our band program in high school was pretty new, so not a lot people played the ‘strange’ instruments. Nobody really wanted to play them, so we just decided that’s what we should play. BL: What is your favorite thing about playing the tuba? RT: The types of people who play are interesting characters! (laughs) Sometimes being in the band gets competitive and dramatic if you’re in one of the other sections, but tubas are all good to each other and happy for each other. It’s fun and easygoing. BL: Is there anything specifically challenging about playing the tuba? KT: Just carrying the weight and getting the amount of air that you need to play. Especially when you’re marching, you’re out of breath already, and you need a lot more air than other instruments require. [The tuba] weighs about thirty pounds. BL: When you were admitted to UCLA, did you know immediately that you wanted to join band? KT: We didn’t know about the band program. But on the application, you write about your interests and they send it to the band, and they call you and ask you if you’re interested. RT: So we just got a call randomly one night, saying, ‘Are you interested in joining the marching band?’ So we checked it out and said, ‘Sure, why not!’ BL: How was the audition process? RT: So we just came to visit the campus, because we kind of just wanted to find out what dorms we would be living in, and we live nearby. We went to the band room, and the assistant band director gave us each an instrument [tubas], and she just told us to play. She asked us to play scales and something we knew from high school, and then she called us like an hour later and said, ‘You’re in.’ KT: They kind of wanted a lot of tuba players, *65;05<,+657(., 

OPPOSITE | Ryan (left) and Kevin Tieu (right) share a brotherly hug as they share their experiences as the only twon siblings in the marching band. PHOTO | JOSE FREDI HERNANDEZ. LEFT | Kevin Tieu plays the tubas during a football game. Both Tieu brothers have been playing the tuba since their freshman year at UCLA. PHOTO | LEXY ATMORE, DAILY BRUIN.

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Alto Saxaphones Front Row: May Zheng, Alyssa Lee, Amanda Herrera, Emily Crook, Allison Cardoso and Aurora Garcia. Middle Row: Freesia Quezada, Caroline Barrack, Chris Carandang, Christina Kosters, Justin Yee, Geoffrey Pena and Trevor Rafferty. Back Row: Derek Lee, Matt Gafney, Trevor Hershberger, James Wang, Jim Nelson and Li Sen. Not Pictured: Danny Dolan. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

Flutes/Piccolo Front Row: Elizabeth Truong, Alina Chen, Amy Poliner, Michelle Gong, Cynthia Wang, Menze Chiong and Belinda Sumali. Middle Row: Alice Wang, Emily Barton, Jing Feng, Malu Alegria, Paavana Varanasi, Amanda Young and Amanda Michael. Back Row: Lauren Labac, Kimberly Pike, Joanna Chen, Andrew Kao, John Lee, Robyn Monroe and Lisa Shue. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

Tenor Saxaphones Front Row: Brian Vu, Derek Wun, Laura Porter, Rekha King, Briana Popeney and Melanie Lim. Back Row: Jason Lieber, Nick Ambrosio, Brad Scott, Trent Underwood, Josh Epport and Tommy Reyes. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

Clarinets Front Row: Audrey Urrutia, Cindy Chavez, Sheena Cruz, Hanna Kim, Sarah Cox, Sharon Abada, Jowilyn Estrada and Julia Aguilar. Middle Row: Micah Shaw, Amanda Selnick, Kyle Priske, Noah DeMoss, Nathan Kim, Anthony Sanchez, Risa Harada and Ricardo Gallegos. Back Row: Joseph Alonso, Joseph Lujan, August Johannsen, Cameron Lundy, Joshua Garcia, Laura Yraceburu and Rebecca Sousa. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.


because that year they got something, like, twenty-four brand new tubas, so they wanted to fill all of the spots. BL: You both stuck with the marching band for four years. Would you say the experience has changed at all during that time? RT: The experience doesn’t change specifically, but you meet new people, and your role changes because now you have to pass on all the traditions and protocol to the new people in band. It just depends on who comes in and how they feel about the band, making it change. Every year is different. BL: Would you say you have a favorite year? Why? KT: Probably this year. We got a lot of

freshman in this year, and it’s always fun to meet new freshman and be a kind of mentor to them. RT: And when you’re the oldest, you get to come up with things that you want to do with band. Usually upperclassmen plan things and events. Now it’s your turn, so you can come up with what you want to do, and they have to follow you. (laughs)

KT: Over Christmas, a couple of people went to play at Disneyland for TUBACHRISTMAS [a worldwide series of events and concerts played during the winter holiday to celebrate tubas]. It was a fun and interesting time. RT: We saw the ‘SC band there, and we knew their tubas go there every year, so we had wanted to start doing that. We took a picture with them, but it was very awkward. (laughs)

BL: What are some of the events you guys were a part of planning?

BL: What was your first year of band like at UCLA?

KT: We planned a lot of bonding time, and so we will hang out at somebody’s apartment and spend time together. RT: We had to perform at the ‘SC game this Thanksgiving weekend, so we threw a tuba Thanksgiving dinner. We cooked, and everyone brought food.

KT: At first it was intimidating because you don’t know how rigorous the practices will be. RT: The first day, the rehearsal was in Pauley Pavilion, and we didn’t even know about all of the history. So we just walked in, and being in Pauley with a bunch of freshman and the band leaders drilling you was kind of intense.


Trumpets Front Row: Marlee Newman, Mark lee, Andrew Levin, Doug Carbajal, Vinny Chou, Brian Lee, Andrea Chaikovsky and Kim Liang. Second Row: Sam Karp, Frankie Rustin, Eduardo Alvarez, Connor Hipwell, Katelyn Foster, Xia Du, Bill Faught, Anthony Huerta, Andrew Webber and Helen Papadopoulos. Third Row: James Simonelli, Kevin Hudson, Barley Anastos, Brendan Homnick, Anthony Ambrosio-Meir, Michael Mehlberg, Zac Wickham, Benjamin Godkin, Kevin Torres and Eric Crose. Fourth Row: Michael Manzano, Jorge Parra Jr., Albert Wu, Dylan Redor, Casey Claborn, Max Montrose, Nathaniel Clark, Keifer Freenspan, Eddie Zheng and Ryan Wei. Back Row: Gabe Cerecedes, Tim Jewell, Jesus Montes, Jeff Wood, David Ross, Jason Moore, Thomas Lindblom, Cody Alvarado, Alex Akashian and Michael Nolta. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Trombones Front Row: Megan Liou, Jemma Stentiford, Kelsey Chesnut, Michelle Monroe, Jill Haney, Lauren Dickinson, Mandy Hoskinson and Irene Chou. Second Row: Marcus Stone, Nick Montion, Mahin Hossain, Adam Fletcher, Steven Holtzen, Thomas Yoon, Kasia Johnson and Stephanie Rodriguez. Third Row: Dakota LaFee, Michael Rondon, Matt Waters, Andrew Olson, Charlie Hall, Keenan Burt, Rupen Dajee and Massai Marcelin. Back Row: Dillon Bridges-Oliva, Turner Blatchley, Barry Beckemeyer, Wesley Mercado, Alex Smith, Daniel Alvarez, Daniel Peterson and Daniel Higuchi. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

KT: But after a while, you realize it’s actually more laid back that you would expect. BL: What was your first marching band event like? RT: Going into the Rose Bowl for the first time is just so impressive. You go in, and you don’t know how big it is if you’ve never been there. Some people go to games when they’re in high school, but we had never been in the Rose Bowl so walking in was crazy. KT: And we marched in as a parade and went through the tunnel that the players run through. Inside the tunnel, it hits you that it’s a really big venue—the biggest venue you’ve ever played in. BL: Have your experiences with band changed your UCLA experience in any way?

Mellophones/French Horns Front Row: Anne Lum, Ashton Moura, Katie Morrett, Michael Elliott, Megan Truax, Alanah Nowotarski and Brittany Chiapa. Back Row: Crystal Valentine, Annie Rittenhouse, Frederick Westenberg, Ryan Dall, Mitchell Barnes-Wallace, Matt Pennington and Jeff Shum. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Sousaphones Front Row: Sarah Andrade, Kaylee Griffith, Justin Nguyen, Jonathan Assia, Ryan Tieu, Kevin Longa, Natalia Pfaff and Katherine Starzyk. Second Row: Kevin Tieu, Darin Chun, Andrew Sincuir, Alfonso Landeros, Sidhant Kanchan, Connor Challey, Nastaishia Allen and Sam Yang. Back Row: John Combs, Arit John, Dustin Chavkin, Joseph Dwyer, Patrick Ryan, Loren Quintanar, Zachary Johnson and Briley Cantwell. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

KT: It makes you more school spirited and proud of your school, because we go to all of the games. RT: You gain a competitive spirit with other schools. You know, a lot of people aren’t very involved with sports on campus. They’ll barely go to one football game in their years here, but band makes you involved and actually like being so involved. Also, band is like a built in family. KT: You walk around campus and you see a lot of people from band. Everyone waves at you and says hi. As a freshman you come in not knowing anyone, but when you’re in band, everyone knows you. BL: How many hours would you say you spend practicing weekly? RT: For marching band, specifically there are

six hours of rehearsal a week, and then since we’re tubas we don’t get much outside time— KT: We can’t really carry the instruments back and forth! R: We also play our other instruments and are a part of concert groups like Symphonic Band, so we have an extra two hours of rehearsal. And on top of that, we try to practice our instruments every day. It’s a lot! RT: [In symphonic band], I play the French horn. KT: And I play the oboe. BL: Can you walk me through a typical practice? A day in the shoes of a marching band member? KT: First, we line up in the attendance block, because the band leaders have to see if you’re there, and if you’re late, they mark you down


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because it is a class. RT: Then we warm up as a group and split up into our sections, and we will warm up specific things that our section needs to work on. And then we actually start with the marching practice. KT: If it’s in the earlier stages, we’re learning the routine, just marching and not really playing. As time goes on, we add the music, so as you start marching, you’ll have to put the music to where your sets are. The marching needs to be much more accurate [than the playing] because if you’re out of place, people will know. The music comes after because it’s easier to play as a group, and everyone else has your back on that. RT: After you’ve been doing it for a while, you get your routine of how you memorize your music and how you put the music to your marching. It’s different for everybody, but once you figure it out, it’s like second nature every year. I know some people who can march and play something we’ve performed three years ago because it’s still ingrained. KT: We do learn, on average, three shows a year, along with the traditional pre-games. So you pace yourself on how much you have to learn because, at certain times, the load will

get bigger as the shows get bigger. BL: Do you guys have a favorite contemporary/pop song you like to play? RT: It’s not really modern, but I like “Take on Me” by A-Ha, because it’s a classic. KT: My favorite is probably…well, we call it “Discovery Channel,” but the song is called “The Bad Touch.” It’s the one about, you know, animals on Discovery Channel. (laughs) I just like it because every section comes up with visuals, like dances that they do to the song, and that one is one of the funniest songs. BL: Do you guys have a pretty good relationship with your sections? RT: Every section has their own thing, but some people like to reach out to other sections more. KT: here’s a band fraternity and sorority, and those people more so try to branch out to everybody. They plan social events that everybody can come to together, but individually we also try to bond really closely with our section because it’s like your close circle of friends.

RT: [Other section members] are probably your best friends. A lot of them will become roommates, live in apartments together and have sleepovers! (laughs) KT: When we go up North to either play at Stanford or at Cal, we’ve visited people’s houses up there, and their parents cook for you. BL: Who is your current section leader and what is he/she like? KT: The current section leader is Loren. He’s a character. RT: He’s an emotional leader so he kind of gets you going, but he’s also crazy. (laughs) Our section t-shirts this year just have a bunch of random things on them because a lot of the stuff that comes out of his mouth just becomes motivational sayings for us. So we remember what we need to do on the field and how to play and project. BL: Is it challenging to project while playing? RT: Yeah, we work on projecting a lot. A lot of other bands don’t really focus on sound. We’re really about the sound, and playing really well while marching really well. So we try to march

Snare Drums: Tyler Ryan, Ken Tewell, Matt Sumida, Keri Downs, Ben Harounian, Philip Idell, Matt Le, Alex Sanciangco, Andrew Yoon and Andrew Neeld. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Cymbals Front Row: Yosephine Lumintang. Second Row: Kimberly Robles and Sherry Rojas.Third Row: Darryn Wong, Jennifer Zhang and Justin Lee. Back Row: Jeremy Chan, Rana Nath, Kirby Cool and Clint Menk. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Drum Majors: Justin Grant, Jacob Ferrin, Jessica Schlosser and Kim Bowen. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Tenor Drums: Nathaniel O’Neil, Bill Greenwald, Ryan Johnson, Stephen Hufford, Amitai Porat and Alex Ma. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY


in a way that helps us play well, and we work a lot on our air. KT: For our section specifically, we spend a lot of our sectional time on breathing exercises, trying to expand our lungs and be more comfortable blowing out a lot of air while playing. BL: Is tuba more challenging than the other instruments you play, or just different? RT: They’re mostly different. We’ve played a lot of different instruments, and every instrument has their own challenges and difficulties to overcome. KT: So that’s why it’s fun to try to learn a new instrument; it takes a new skill set. But they sort of all help your learning. BL: Considering you’re twins, would you guys consider each other your best friends? RT: Yeah because we have all of the same interests, and it’s easier for us because we actually like a lot of the same stuff. A lot of twins we know just hate doing the same things and don’t want to be near each other! KT: We went to a twin discussion panel they

Staff Front Row: Courtney Milender, Matt Altmire, Stephen Mason and Ariel Campos. Back Row: Kelly Flickinger, Keith Kupper, Gordon Henderson and Sean Garnreiter. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

Color Guard Front Row: Tami Bi, Rebecca Toda, Aurora Ginzburg, Andrea Guzmán and Nathalie Ferare. Back Row: Mandy Wong, Jessica Leatherman, Robyn Kamp, Lauren Sevigny, Guillermo Cisneros Jr. and Wesley Cheng. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

had on campus, and most of the people that attended were moms that said they couldn’t handle their twins because they fought with each other. [As kids] we fought, but it wasn’t like we hated each other. We just fought like little kids… RT: Or bicker like a married couple about little things that nobody else would understand. You talk about everything though. BL: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about being twins? How has being a twin shaped your experience at UCLA? RT: The biggest misconception is that we can read each other’s minds. If knowing exactly what your twin will do in a situation is reading his mind, then I guess it is true. Having a twin means you never have to sit alone in class. You get stopped a lot by people on campus, and people recognize/remember you more easily. Playing the tuba automatically gets you looks, but being a twin and playing a tuba, you get a lot of comments from random people like, “Hey tuba twins!” Also, when you are on the field, the band director doesn’t yell at you because he doesn’t know which one you are.

BL: Do you have any parting advice for incoming freshman or continuing students who are considering joining the marching band? RT: They should definitely consider joining the band because it probably makes it worth being at college. Sometimes people just come to school because they just want the degree, and they don’t really get involved. KT: But getting involved in band makes you really happy to be here. The opportunities and experiences they give you, you won’t be able to get anywhere else: the traveling, and meeting new people, and going to the Rose Bowl for games. RT: There is a time commitment, but in high school, it’s actually a larger commitment. You can handle it and classes may conflict, but it’s worth it to just be in the band. You can only do it once. KT: It’s a once in a lifetime chance. If you’re not a music major, there’s a lot of opportunity at UCLA to keep up with music. A lot of us South Campus majors need that outlet because you get so caught up in research and studying and all the sciences, you need something creative to do.

Bass Drums: Mika Nakamura, Ryan Kay, Philip Caltabiano, Eric Briggs, Samantha Sechrist and Jasmin Harounian. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Feature Twirlers: Michelle Glymph and ReJoyce Green. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY

ABOVE | Twirlers Michelle Glymph and ReJoyce Green lead the UCLA Marching Band during a home football game. The Marching Band practiced on a daily basis during fall quarter. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.

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Accio. Wingardium Leviosa. Stupefy. Avada Kedavra. When J.K. Rowling conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series on an ordinary trip from Manchester to London in 1990, she could not have fathomed in her wildest dreams that Quidditch, a fictional sport which she created for the magical world of Harry Potter, would become the latest and one of greatest athletic sensations that would be played competitively at a collegiate level all around the world in two decades later. Surprisingly, Tom Marks had not even read a single Harry Potter book when he founded UCLA’s Quidditch team in the fall quarter of his freshman year in 2009. However, he had seen all of the movies, and his awe of the sport—coupled with his friend’s raving stories about Quidditch at Middlebury College—led to the birth of Quidditch. One year and $220 later, Quidditch became an official club sport and is now successfully thriving in its second official year, boasting the second best defense in the world and overall ranking 11th internationally. So how was a game that involves magical flying brooms and balls translated into a sport that Muggles can play? The basic rules stayed the same as in the novels—the players even ran around with brooms between their legs. The biggest change was that the snitch, represented by a cross-country runner with a ball in

a sock tied around his waist, was only worth 30 points as opposed to the original 150. “Hearing about Quidditch for the first time and actually seeing it played are two totally different ideas,” explained second-year microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics student Katelynn Kazane, a Chaser for the team. “When you hear about kids running around on broomsticks, you think about a bunch of nerds. Like the stereotypical 1960s kids being pushed into the locker type of nerds. I personally consider myself to be a nerd. But it is an intense, enforced coed, full-physical contact game. Yes, I run around on a broom, but I also found out what the IM field tastes like.” Although the Beaters do not have bats, enough injuries have occurred. The Quidditch team has had its fair share of fractured wrists, sprained ankles, and concussions in addition to the normal bumps and bruises of any full-contact sport. “I honestly don’t count it as an official game unless someone gets hurt,” third-year political science and economics student and usual Keeper Niran Somasundaran commented. “I know it sounds barbaric, but if you’re playing it right, someone should be getting hurt.” Quidditch was not only booming at UCLA, but it was a national and global phenomenon. UCLA was one of six teams from the western region to attend the World Cup IV in New York this November. Amongst the 96 teams

from all across the nation in addition to Canada and Finland, the Bruins made it all the way to the Elite Eight. “Imagine nine fields, two days of just straight-up playing Quidditch,” reminisced Marks, third-year design media arts student and team captain. “It was insane. One of the things that I was most proud of was that when we played Middlebury, [the original founders of the sport], we showed them that we could compete against them. They did not steamroll us. They won on a snitch catch and it was, well, the quarter finals. And they ended up winning the whole thing. We didn’t feel bad for our first World Cup.” A few months after the World Cup, the Quidditch team hosted the Western Cup III for teams that were west of the Mississippi to come and compete. UCLA had two 21-member teams representing the Bruin name. In the end, although they were dominating the tournament, UCLA lost to USC in the finals by a snitch catch. “We are such close friends that even though we lost to USC in finals, we were genuinely and legitimately happy for them,” Marks explained. “The first rule of Quidditch: don’t be a jerk! It has the best sportsmanship of any sport that you will play in your entire life. Whenever someone took a player down, as soon as that play was over, they would instantly make sure the person was okay and give them a hug. I think part of that is that it has that bond of the ‘Harry Potter’ generation. It’s just that you can’t take yourself so seriously when you’re on a broom. When you’re playing Quidditch, you can’t have someone who thinks they are better than anyone.” But with the majority of UCLA’s current team being juniors, next year the team can only get stronger, so Quidditch teams around the world better look out. When asked what this means for Quidditch as a sport in the future, Somasundaran responded, “With all of the exposure it has been getting, Quidditch is teetering between a crazy little quirky thing and a big sport. I’m curious to see which way it will go. I honestly have no preference. I love the ridiculous, whimsy aspect of it, but I love knocking the crap out of someone. It’s coming to a head to see which side it will embrace.” For all of us Muggles, this combination of eccentric aspects and serious competitiveness is what makes Quidditch so utterly magical. OPPOSITE | Quidditch members Niran Somasundaran, Tom Marks and Katelynn Kazane pose as they tell BruinLife their magical experience with being in the UCLA Quidditch team. PHOTO | ALICE LIU. TOP | Third-year theater student and Keeper Jacob Tieman fights off a player from The Lost Boys during the Quidditch Western Cup held at UCLA’s Intramural FielD. USC defeated UCLA in the finals to take home first-place honors. PHOTO | ISAAC ARJONILLA, DAILY BRUIN.

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Although professors and chancellors had been doing it for decades and made it look easy, performing and speaking in front of hundreds or thousands was no small task. No group on campus knew this fact better than the UCLA Spirit Squad. The Squad was made up of three separate groups--cheer squad, dance team, and yell crew--that inspired fans at any event to be spirited and passionate. Their list of obligations was lengthy, from performing at football games to private birthday parties. The characteristic that tied all the teams together was intense school pride and fierce dedication to raising spirit. Second-year political science student Taylor Cross, a yell crew first-year, said, “Everybody on the team is really passionate about being there. There’s so much time and energy you have to put into it, so there’s a sincere drive to be there--a genuine commitment.” The intensive season began with training immediately after tryouts in May, two practices a day all throughout summer. In August, members went to Boot Camp: a week of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. conditioning with the fitness trainer, nutritionists, and coaches. After the initial training in the summer, the squads went right to work preparing for the football season and then the basketball season, which began even before football season ended. “A stressful aspect of being on the cheer squad is balancing school with practice and game schedules, especially around November when we have both basketball and football games to perform at,” said second-year physiological sciences student Kelly Jew, who joined UCLA’s cheer squad right after high school. Unlike spirit squads at other schools, UCLA’s squads attended many more than just one sport. Their one season spanned all three quarters, including performing at football, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, water polo, soccer, track and field, and softball. The Spirit Squad also performed at other Olympic sports events where the sports team was doing extremely well in a tournament or division. In addition to sporting events, the spirit squad performed at campus, alumni, OPPOSITE | Sara is lfited by fellow cheer member Doug during a football dame. The squad attended all of the home football and basketball games. PHOTO | DAILY BRUIN.

Front Row: Eric, Christopher and Sarah. Middle Row: Erica, Dane, Kayla and Jordan. Back Row: Michael, Kirsten, Ben, Kelly, Doug, Amanda, Hector and Paula. Photo not available: Kali. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

Front Row: Savannah and Riana Back Row: Maya, Chelsea, Caroline, Nicolette, Natasha, Kate, Lizzi and Michelle. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.


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and media events. The Spirit Squad Director, Mollie Vehling, studied dance at UCLA and was a member of the dance team during her time at school. Wanting to improve the program and create structure and consistency for the Spirit Squad, Vehling had been the director for 14 years, grooming the program to create a group that not only impressed the crowd with their talents, but also acted as ambassadors that represented the pride of UCLA. Vehling said, “Wherever the spirit squad is performing, we’re spreading the love for UCLA. Everyone gets to see how great UCLA is. They’re serving a much greater purpose than simple entertainment.”

@,33*9,> Wearing boxy shirts and khaki shorts, the yell crew stood apart from the cheer and dance teams. Rather than performing routines, they interacted with the crowd using signs, microphones, and other props to lead fans in cheers and chants. “It’s something I love to do. Getting up in front of those people and leading an 8-clap isn’t something that’s easy for everybody. But that’s what we’re there for,” said Cross.

*/,,9:8<(+ The cheer squad seemed to be composed of opposing elements: petite women and large muscular men. However, the cheer squad’s success could be attributed to this composition; they were able to focus on partner stunting, the type of lift that consists of just two people, in which the man lifted the woman. The cheer squad was made up of eight partner stunting couples, which enabled them to do pyramid stunts in which several girls in the air would lift another girl up, increasing the height of their stunts. “I like performing at football games because we are not as limited (in comparison to basketball games) to the stunts that we are allowed to perform. At football games, we can do stunts and pyramids of higher difficulty which we love to impress the crowd with,” said second-year physiological sciences student Kelly Jew. One of the most highly anticipated performances of the season was the unity routine performed at football games. This routine combined the cheer and dance teams, along with the talents of the mascots, Joe and Josie Bruin, and they incorporated all of their separate talents into one show.

+(5*,;,(4 Always performing with something fresh was essential to Vehling, the dance coaches, and the dance team members. They attended at least one sporting event a week for every week of the fall and winter quarters, and the dance team stepped up to the challenge of


to get everyone excited for the game. Since Vehling has served as director for 14 years, the image of the Spirit Squad has become one of direct representation of UCLA, acting to instill pride in the crowd and increase involvement in the athletic events year round.


Front Row: Joseph, Kelly and Andrea. Back Row: Brandon, Taylor, Ralph, Roland and Casey. Photo not available: Danny. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

exciting the crowd with a new routine as often as possible. The members focused on representing UCLA with skill, pride, and enthusiasm, while enjoying the opportunity to be a part of a program that was integral to the school spirit. Second-year economics student

Natasha Karimzadeh said, “I joined the UCLA dance team to continue my passion for dancing and performing. I felt it was a great way to find a place in the dauntingly large UCLA community.” The major part of game days was meeting with fans, students, athletes, and alumni

This year was marked by several sports seasons of disappointments, which was a challenge to the UCLA Spirit Squad. Used to unparalleled success, many crowd members were less motivated this year because of the lesser successes of the most popular sports. However, all three squads and the mascots worked to spread their enthusiasm for the school with others, even in losing seasons. Vehling said, “Yes, they’re all very talented, but they are also some of the strongest ambassadors to UCLA. The quality of students that we’re working with is amazing; instead of them being just in short skirts waving pom pons, they are articulate representatives of the university.” OPPOSITE TOP | Ralph, Danny and Yell Crew Alumni pump up the crowd at the football game against ASU. The Yell Crew made sure to pump up th crowd with energy as they always lead the 8 clap. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN. OPPOSITE BOTTOM | The UCLA dance team holds up peace signs following the Bruins’ upset loss to Loyola Marymount University. The dance team’s spirit was always on display during the half time shows at all home basketball games. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. ABOVE | Joe amd Josie Bruin pose for the camera as they take a break during half-time. Joe and Josie Bruin pumped up the crowd at all football games along with the yell crew.. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.



<*3()(:2,;)(33-(3;,9:,(93@ UCLAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2011-2012 basketball campaign started with a lot of promisethe Bruins had a multiple returning starters from an NCAA Tournament team. In addition, they brought size to their frontcourt with the Wear twins, transfers from North Carolina. Any hope for a return trip to the Big Dance, however, was quelled early with consecutive home losses to Loyola

Marymount and Middle Tennessee State. Perhaps the lowest point of the season came on Dec. 3 against Texas when UCLA blew an11-point lead to lose 69-59. Not only did the power go out in the Los Angeles Sports Arena- the Bruinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s temporary home while Pauley Pavilion underwent reconstruction-but then-junior forward Reeves Nelson was pointing and laughing at fans who were clamoring


for him to get more playing time in the waning seconds of the loss. Nelson was later dismissed from the team and the Bruins went on to finish the season 19-14, missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. ABOVE | Freshman guard Norman Powell passes the ball to senior guard Jerime Anderson during the second half. The Bruins turned over the ball a total of 12 times. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.


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It was a heartbreaking end to an exceptional season. Tied 1-1 after double overtime, the UCLA women’s soccer team was upset by San Diego on penalty kicks 3-2 in November, dashing he Bruins’ NCAA tournament hopes in the second round. The loss marked the Bruins’ earliest exit from the NCAA tournament since 1998. With a top-ranked freshman class and senior forward Sydney Leroux, the teams leading scorer in 2009 and 2010, the Bruins had all the

pieces necessary for a successful season. Any uncertainty about gaps in the defensive lines or new coach B.J. Snow’s inexperience was quickly put to rest as UCLA steamrolled through its season, only losing once to the eventual national champions, Stanford. The Bruins’ premature exit from the NCAA tournament will be painful for a while, a reminder of the untapped potential in a team that found a way to win in almost every game they played. ABOVE | Senior forward Sydney Leroux played in her final game as a Bruin on Friday night in a loss to USD. PHOTO | LEXY ATMORE, DAILY BRUIN.

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Former football head coach Rick Neuheisel kicked off rivalry week by claiming in a press conference that he had “closed the gap” that separated UCLA and USC. No. 10 USC made clear that wasn’t the case, crushing UCLA 500, the largest margin of victory in the rivalry game since 1930. USC junior quarterback Matt Barkley shredded UCLA’s defense as he passed for 423 yards and six

touchdowns. UCLA failed to score from inside USC’s 25 yard-line three times in the first half. Neuheisel was fired two days later. “We heard that someone was trying to close the gap so we tried to not let that happen,” Barkley said after the game. ABOVE | Redshirt junior quarterback Kevin Prince gets tackled by Trojan redshirt senior linebacker Shane Horton and junior safety T.J. McDonald during the loss at the Coliseum.PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.


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The men’s water polo team was a staple of the top-three rankings throughout the 2011 season. Though they lost to both California and Southern California in the regular season, they beat both teams to win the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament title. But just a week later, that glory was nowhere in sight as the Bruins lost out to the Trojans for the chance at the national title. The game, a defensive flop for UCLA, gave USC their fourth consecutive water polo championship, setting an unprecedented record that added insult to injury. RIGHT | Redshirt senior attacker Cullen Hennessy prepares to pass the ball to his teammate. Hennessy has been playing water polo since he was 7 years old. Since then, he’s gone on to play at both the national and international levels before playing for UCLA. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.

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After a 10-0 run in the Pac-12 season play and wins in the first three rounds of the post season, the Bruins traveled to Alabama to compete in the College Cup. UCLA faced top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals and built two leads, including one goal from then-junior midfielder Ryan Hollingshead that was deemed the No. 1 play of the night by SportsCenter. However, at the end of 90 minutes and two overtime periods, the Bruins and Tarheels were deadlocked at 2-2 and sent to penalty kicks, were UCLA fell 3-1 to end its season. OPPOSITE TOP | Sophomore forward Victor Chavez takes a tumble during the first half. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.

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Rising junior Stephanie Kono was key element of the women’s golf team that took the national title in 2011, leading the team in a majority of stats, including top-10 finishes on the season. She came into the 2011-2012 season ready and raring for another go at the championship. However, when a communication mishap placed her in the upper rounds of the LGPA Qualifying School, she lost her amateur status. The loss forced her to leave the Bruins and give up the chance to compete for another title. UCLA ended up finishing eighth in the championships, a far cry from their 2011 showing. It left everyone to wonder what might have been had the superstar Kono been there to guide the way. OPPOSITE BOTTOM | Seniors Stephanie Kono (pictured) and Brianna Do entered December’s Qualifying School. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.



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The holiday season came early for the UCLA womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team when they won the NCAA championship on Dec. 17. After defeating Florida State in straight sets in the Final Four, the Bruins went on

to face Illinois in the championship. There, behind strong performances from senior Laura Van Orden and junior Rachael Kidder, the Bruins won two of three close sets against the fighting Illini before registering a commanding win of 25-16 to clinch the match.

With the victory, the Bruins won the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth NCAA title-its first since 1991- and UCLAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 108th team NCAA Championship. ABOVE | The UCLA womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team poses for cameras after felling Illinois to become the 2011 womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball national champions. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.


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Once is an occurrence, twice or more is a trend. On April 8, sophomore Patrick Cantlay established a trend when he won the low amateur title at the PGA Tour Masters, his second time succeeding in such an event within the year. In June 2011, Cantlay was the lowest scoring amateur at the U.S. Open. Achieving the title of low amateur at the Masters won Cantlay the Silver Cup, making him the first Bruin to do so. About a month and a half later, Cantlay would add another trophy to his collection when he received the Ben Hogan Award form the best collegiate golfer. LEFT | Sophomore Patrick Cantlay posted a 7-over 78, and that put him in a tie for 131st place in the opening round of the Northern Trust Open. PHOTO | DON LIEBIG, ASUCLA PHOTOGRAPHY.

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Coach Stella Sampras Webster’s Bruins got of their hottest start in a quarter of a century by winning 20 consecutive games, including the ITA National Team Indoors Championship, to open the season. Immediately after losing its first home game, a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Cal, UCLA made history by becoming the first team to beat Stanford on the road in more than 13 years. UCLA would avenge their only other loss of the regular season by beating Pac-12 Champion USC in a four and a half hour marathon of an NCAA semifinal game. Youth and experience combined to erase a 2-3 deficit, as freshman Robin Anderson and senior McCall Jones both won three-set matches to vault UCLA into the title game. LEFT | Senior McCall Jones won the decisive singles point in the women’s tennis team’s 4-3 victory over USC in the NCAA Semifinals. PHOTO | EVAN LUXENBURG, DAILY BRUIN.


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Women’s water polo’s quest for the team’s eighth national title in program history was put to an end in the NCAA Championship semifinal versus crosstown rival UCLA. The No. 2-seeded Bruins had high hopes coming into the game, having toppled the Trojans three times during the regular season. In their fourth and final matchup, however, lights-out shooting on the

part of USC left UCLA trailing late in the game. A Bruin comeback in the game’s final minutes ultimately fell short, yielding a 12-10 Trojan victory. UCLA would go on to win the national third place game, a far cry from the national crown the team fought for all season to achieve. ABOVE | Senior attacker Sarah Orozco shoots while in set position while being guarded by Iona junior utility Alyssa Turza. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.

<*3(:6-;)(333(@:(5,..05 Trailing 2-1 in the top of the inning against Florida State 6>59,.065(3 seventh on May 19th, UCLA rallied to put *64703,+)@;@3,9+96/(5+(03@)9<05

All of the history and tradition in the world couldn’t save UCLA from an early exit in the NCAA tournament. Despite having lost just three of 50 games all-time when hosting a regional, the No. 12-seeded Bruins were knocked out in shocking fashion, dropping both games that they played. The nation’s leader in slugging percentage could only muster three runs in two games.

runners on the corners with two outs. With the count at 202, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Stephany LaRosa hit a grounder o the shortstop that was initially dropped before making a hurried throw to narrowly beat LaRosa to first base. With that, the all-time leader in NCAA national titles for softball was knocked out of their own regional. RIGHT | Senior Andrea Harrison had two home runs and four RBIs as UCLA defeated LMU 24-2 on Tuesday. PHOTO | SIDHAANT SHAH , DAILY BRUIN.


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Over the course of the 2012 season, UCLA baseball quietly worked its way to a second consecutive Pac-12 title, but the payoffs of its successful season did not end there. The Bruins finally found themselves the focus of national attention after finishing up the regular season with a sweep of rival USC. When the post-season bracket was announced, they were granted the No. 2 seed, making them as one of the best contenders in the country.

They were carried to the top by strong performances from several juniors, including Jeff Gelalich, Beau Amaral and Tyler Heineman, among others. The same players had competed in the 2010 College World Series, and many saw 2012 as their chance to come back and try for another title. ABOVE | Having achieved their highest NCAA seed ever, the No. 2 Bruins control their destiny in the quest to host a super regional. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.


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What could be more disconcerting than falling short to USC in the NCAA Championship Finals? Repeating that same fate all over again. Coming off two straight seasons losing to USC in the NCAA Championship Tournament, the men’s water polo team pushed for a different result this time around: the gold medal. Starting off the season strong, the Bruins won their first five matches before facing USC. They lost 10-8 in


their first bout against the Trojans during the NorCal Tournament. Recovering from the loss, the Bruins went on to beat Loyola Marymount University, the Air Force Academy, and UC Santa Barbara. Berkeley, another top-ranked team, then dampened the Bruin spirit, by handing the team its second loss of the season. However, the team quickly rebounded with a long-awaited victory against cross-town rival USC in the SoCal Tournament. It was a big game for the

Bruins as they rallied from a 4-2 deficit. When the teams were tied at six goals each, junior Josh Samuels scored the game-winning goal. Samuels came from a family of water polo and swimming athletes. His sister swam butterfly, breaststroke, and individual medley, and his brother played water polo at Loyola Marymount University. This provided Samuels with an extra competitive drive. “I always like to play well against my brother,” said Samuels, “but I try not to

think about us. It’s more about playing well for our team. But there’s always a little extra incentive for beating your brother, especially when he’s your older brother.” With several matches between UCLA and Loyola Marymount, Samuels was provided the opportunity to take away big victories against his older brother. As a *65;05<,+657(.,

ABOVE | Junior Redshirt senior attacker Cullen Hennessy swims towards the ball before an opponent can steal it. PHOTO | MICHAEL HALEY, DAILY BRUIN.



part of Samuels’ motivation, he joined the United States Junior National Team and competed in the World Championships in Greece. Head Coach Adam Wright mentioned, “I urge my student-athletes to go do things like this because I really believe that experience and playing at that level will only help us down the road. Those are high-level games, and every game is a do-or-die situation.” The water polo team went on to win nine straight matches later in the season. Facing USC for the third time in the season, the Bruins came up dry once again, but were able to finish the SoCal Tournament with a victory against UC Santa Barbara. In the MPFS Tournament, UCLA swept its competitors by defeating Pepperdine, California, and USC in high-energy overtime sessions. With other high-profile athletes filling the roster, several members of the team earned high recognitions at the MPFS Tournament. Before winning the MPFS Title by defeating USC in overtime, Coach Wright was named the Coach of the Year, and junior goalkeeper Matt Rapacz received the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament. Seven players from the Bruins were given All-MPSF Team acclaim. They included Cullen Hennessy, Matt Rapacz, Josh Samuels, Griffin White, Aimone Barabino, Cristiano Mirarchi, and Paul Reynolds. Beyond the sport, athletes are also commended for their academic performance. Cullen Hennessy, Griffin White, Aimone Barabino, Cristiano

Mirarchi, Paul Pickell, and Chris Wendt received MPSF All-Academic accolades, which required an athlete to be at least a sophomore with a 3.0 GPA and have competed in fifty percent of the team’s competition. The Bruins ended the season strong with many big victories, and they were given a chance to compete for the title. With a NCAA Championship Tournament berth, the Bruins were confident in their abilities to finally reclaim the championship title. In their first match against UC San Diego, the Bruins crushed the Tritons at 10-1. This was the perfect setup for the storied ending. When asked about making preparations for the final match, Coach Wright explained, “The way we approach it is you’ve got to respect your opponent. You’ve got to respect what they’ve done, in that this is their seventh [consecutive] time here. That’s pretty incredible as a program. We’re going to have to be up for the challenge of our life.” It was no easy feat taking on a team with three consecutive championships and seven straight appearances in the finals. The NCAA Championship Finals match against USC was the biggest opportunity for the Bruins to make a statement. Senior Cullen Hennessy said, “We’re looking for some redemption, and we’re looking to start something new here at UCLA.” The Bruins scored early, but USC rallied with five straight goals, eventually leading 5-2 at halftime. Each team traded single goals in the third and fourth quarters, making

the final score a disappointing 7-4 loss for the Bruins. It was a valiant effort to reach the NCAA Championships for the third time in a row, and the future of the men’s water polo team looked promising. Four of the team members secured the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-America honors. Josh Samuels and Griffin White were named to the first team, Cullen Hennessey received second-team accolades, and Matt Rapacz was given third-team honors. Overall, the season proved to be successful, setting up the Bruins for a better chance at winning the following year.


TOP LEFT | Andrew Mesesan keeps the opponent from scoring a goal. The men’s waterpolo team worked on a daily basis to try and improve thir game. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI , DAILY BRUIN. TOP | Redshirt senior attacker Cullen Hennessy ended his UCLA career with a loss as the Bruins fell to USC 7-4 in the NCAA Championship in Berkeley. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI , DAILY BRUIN. ABOVE | Junior utility Josh Samuels helped the Bruins rebound after a loss to USC with a goal in UCLA’s win over UC Santa Barbara. PHOTO | ANNIKA HAMMERSCHLAG, DAILY BRUIN. LEFT | Redshirt sophomore utility Chris Wendt attempts to pass the ball to teammate before being blocked by USC defender. Wendt and UCLA faced their toughest opponent of the season, USC, during a home game. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI , DAILY BRUIN.




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A shot at redemption was the theme for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team. After falling out of the NCAA Championship Tournament in the second round, the team was hungry for a championship this time around. Their loss to Texas had ended a strong run during the 2010 season. As the 2011 season arrived, the Bruins were looking to utilize the experience gained from previous seasons and the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s depth to chase a championship title. With Head Coach Michael Sealy starting his second season with the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team, there was a stronger bond amongst the team. They understood the shortfalls from the previous season and did their best to iron out the problem areas. To begin the season, the Bruins emphasized some of the major improvements they made in the offseason. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Another thing we want to focus on is winning the serve/receive battle,â&#x20AC;? Kelly Reeves said. They would show their might and vengeance in the season openers as they

wiped out opponents one after the other. Beginning with the Loyola Marymount University Invitational, the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team swept the series by defeating Quinnipiac, Cal State Fullerton, and Loyola Marymount with a convincing 3-0 in all three matchups. At the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic in Honolulu, Hawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;i, the Bruins swept the entire tournament once again. They were able to defeat Long Beach State, Ohio State, and Hawaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;i. During the regular season, the team opened with a close loss against Pepperdine, but they were able to recover with 3-0 victories against USC, Cal State Northridge, and Washington State. Their second loss came against Washington University, and they struggled to win a single set. Washington persistently scored in long *65;05<,+657(.,

OPPOSITE | Junior outside hitter Tabi Love spikes the ball past Seminole outside hitter Jekaterina Stepanova.PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. LEFT | Senior libero Lainey Gera makes a backward pass in the air. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. BELOW | Senior libero Lainey Gera makes a dig Thursday night. Gera led the Bruins with 17 digs against the Seminoles for a total of 596 on the season. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.



runs, never giving UCLA a decent chance at winning a set. However, the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team rallied to win thirteen of the next fourteen matches. After going on a hot streak, the team was set to compete in the NCAA Tournament with full confidence. However, losing three out of the last five matches during the regular season caused some questions to be raised. The teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toughness seemed to be the culprit. Lainey Gera explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were definitely a lot more physical than we were. We tried our best, and we did what we could, but there are definitely a few spots that we have to fix a little bit. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think it was anything too glaring.â&#x20AC;? It seemed that the team started to relax toward the end of the season, but it was something easily fixed. This slump could not carry over to the NCAA Championship Tournament, otherwise the team would face elimination and disappointment like the previous season. Although the Bruins finished ninth in the nation before entering the NCAA Championships, they were still confident in winning the championships. The team focused on consistency, showing that if they played with the same intensity during a full match, the team would be unstoppable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have to work a bit on our consistency,â&#x20AC;? Van Orden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We just have to prepare for each game the same way.â&#x20AC;? Losing to unranked teams was uncharacteristic of the Bruins, and they had to fix the issues before the championship tournament. The team kept its eyes on the prize, as they did not want repeat shortcomings like they had in the previous seasons. Having home court advantage in the first two rounds helped the Bruins surge past Maryland Easter Shore (3-0) in round one and San Diego (3-1) in round two. A strong defensive performance sent them onward to the Regionals. In the Regional Semifinal, the team faced No. 8 Penn State. They were able to sweep Penn State with a comeback in the first set after being down 12-9 at one point. In the second set, the Bruins took an early lead in the second set and never looked back. In the final set, the Nittany Lions scored the first point, but the Bruins rallied with eight quick points in a row. They held off Penn Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s push and won the third set at 25-21. The womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team finally advanced to the Regional Finals for the first time since 2007, and spirits were high as the team showed significant improvements. At the Regional Finals in Lexington, Kentucky, UCLA faced top-ranked Texas. This was new territory for the squad, but the Bruins still competed with poise and confidence. The Bruins dropped the first set, but they were able to rally in the match. They dominated the second and third sets to swing the match back in its favor. In the final set, Texas took an early lead, but the Bruins went on a 12-3 run at one point. Rachael Kidder provided back-to-back kills, or spike

attacks, and eventually Kelly Reeves killed a Texas serve to send UCLA to the National Semifinals to face Florida State. UCLA could almost taste the glory of winning another championship title as the team went on to compete in the National Semifinals in San Antonio, Texas. Florida State was ranked twelfth in the nation, indicating that the Bruins should have an easier time defeating them. With strong performances from various players, the team had several runs thanks to over ten kills. The Bruins took an early lead with strong performances in the first two sets. The third one provided the Bruins with a more competitive match. They faced nine ties and five lead changes in the first half of the set, but the team was able to pull ahead to a 16-12 lead. A 25-21 victory allowed the Bruins to sweep the Florida State Seminoles and provided them with a berth in the National Championships for a shot at the coveted NCAA title. Reaching the National Championships was a major accomplishment for Head Coach Michael Sealy and his high-spirited team. Facing No. 3 Illinois was no easy undertaking, as the Fighting Illini came into the Finals with a 32-4 record while the Bruins had a 29-6 record. The first set already showed that these two teams were capable of battling toe-to-toe with each other. With twelve ties and five lead changes, the Bruins barely squeezed out a victory in the first set with a 25-23 victory. In the second set, the Bruins had an early lead, but the Fighting Illini scored twelve out of the last fifteen points to win the set 25-23. The third set proved to be a hard fought battle with both teams scoring 24 points, but the Bruins edged out two straight points to take the set 26-24. In the last set, the Bruins felt confident with a 2-1 lead in the match. The Bruins formed a larger gap as the set moved into the later stages, as they were up by 11 points at one point. Finally, the team put a dagger in the hearts of the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA Championships with a 25-16 win in the final set. The ladies of UCLAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team brought home the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first NCAA Championship of the season. Coach Sealy knew that he had a championship caliber team, and they responded with a grand performance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we did everything we needed to do to qualify as champions. I told them we were champions before we arrived in the building tonight, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be champions when we leave the building tonight, whether you handle that block of wood or not,â&#x20AC;? he said. The team wanted to prove that they were more than capable of performing better this season, and they believed in their coach. With such an outstanding performance this season, Sealy was named AVCA Coach of the Year. In addition, six players were honored on the All-Pac-12 squad. Rachael Kidder and Kelly Reeves received First Team honors, while Lainey Gera, Lauren Van Orden, and Tabi Love were given honorable mentions.

Lastly, ZoĂŤ Nightingale received All-Freshman honorable mention. Rachael Kidder was also named an AVCA First-Team All-American player after being the NCAA Tournamentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Most Outstanding Player. The womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball championship was nominated as L.A.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top Moment and was voted as the Tenth Greatest L.A. Sports Moment in 2011. With all of the highs and lows the team faced throughout the season, the underdogs were able to pool together a consistent performance in the championship tournament, and they dug out a gold medal.


ABOVE | Junior outside hitter Rachael Kidder (left) and sophomore outside hitter Kelly Reeves (right) cut down the net with coach Michael Sealy after their 3-1 victory over the University of Illinois in the NCAA women’s volleyball championship game. The victory marks UCLA’s 108th NCAA championship. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. FAR LEFT | Like in many other games throughout the year, junior Rachael Kidder was the Bruins’ go-to hitter, leading the team with 20 kills despite being defended by Illinois’ 6-foot-6 outside hitter Liz McMahon throughout the evening. Kidder led the Bruins with a team-high 22.5 points. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. LEFT | Junior outside hitter Rachael Kidder (left) and sophomore outside hitter Kelly Reeves cut a piece of the game-net to keep as a memento of their hard-earned victory. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.



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After a rough season in 2010-2011, the men’s basketball team faced a tough road to bring forth better performances this time around. Everyone was accustomed to seeing the Bruins make a deep run into March Madness, but as of late, things had seemed to deteriorate. Speculations of possibly winning the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball title and a preseason ranking of 17th in the AP Poll pushed the team to work hard in the offseason. Head Coach Ben Howland had a more experienced team this season with several returning starters. Besides practicing hard in the offseason, the men’s and women’s basketball teams took part in the fourth annual ‘Dribble for the Cure’ event, which took place on campus. This

fundraising event supported the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and the Cancer Research Program at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital. The athletes provided basketball clinics for young, aspiring fanatics of basketball, and the outreach effort proved to be a large success. Approximately 900 participants joined the cause, and the event raised over $115,000, setting a new record. One of the biggest changes to this season was the renovation of Pauley Pavilion. For the first time since Pauley Pavilion opened, the Bruins played an entire season in which its home games were not held on campus. While Pauley Pavilion was being worked on, many of the home games were held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, located right across the street from the rival’s main campus. It became a

foreign environment for the basketball team as they suffered from a lack in crowd attendance. However, none of these factors detracted team’s focus on making it to March Madness. The exhibition match against Cal State San Bernardino was a bit too close for comfort as the Bruins edged out an 80-72 victory. The signs of weakness were shown in the season openers, as the Bruins lost to both Loyola Marymount and Middle Tennessee State at the Los Angeles *65;05<,+657(.,

OPPOSITE | Sophomore center Josh Smith led the team in both scoring and rebounds, with 15 total points and nine rebounds.. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. BOTTOM LEFT | Junior guard De’End Parker shoots over a Middle Tennessee State defender. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN. BELOW | Redshirt sophomore forward David Wear is blocked by two Middle Tennessee State defenders. Wear scored a total of six points against the Blue Raiders. PHOTO | TIM BRADBURY, DAILY BRUIN.




Sports Arena. At the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, the men’s basketball team faced Charminade first in their back-to-back schedule. The Bruins showed their might with a decisive 92-60 victory, bringing great confidence in their abilities to face much tougher teams in the following days. With strong offensive and defensive performances, especially in the second half, senior guard Jerime Anderson stressed the importance of a solid backcourt. “It helps us a lot having [Nelson, Stover, and Smith] on the perimeter and knowing that we have them as a safety net back in the key. We’ve just got to keep working defensively on staying in front of the ball,” he said. He further mentioned that the

shot-blocking capabilities of UCLA’s backcourt brought a strong aspect to their game. With little time to prepare, the Bruins battled with the No. 14 Kansas Jayhawks. UCLA did not play a strong game, as they lost 72-56. Sophomore guard Tyler Lamb addressed a different problem where the Bruins seemed to start slow but finish stronger. “I can’t really pinpoint anything [wrong]. We just have to come out and hit the other team first. And we’ll continue to work on it, and I think we’ll be ready to do that,” he said. Again, with no time to practice against a worthy opponent, the Bruins dropped their second loss in a row to No. 15 Michigan. Once the regular Pac-12 season began, the Bruins regained composure and won six out of their first seven games at home. Some highlights of the season included victories

against Washington, Arizona, and Colorado. In addition, the Bruins swept the season series against USC. Eventually, UCLA finished the season with an 11-7 conference record and an 18-13 overall record heading into the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. Shortly before the regular season ended, a story broke out that Coach Howland lost control of his basketball program. An extremely dark shadow was cast over the entire Bruin organization, as reports of alleged fighting amongst teammates, intentional injuries, and even substance abuse tainted the prestigious franchise left behind by the late Coach John Wooden. “Guys drinking, guys doing drugs, guys not taking practice seriously, guys fighting... You won’t find that on the Pyramid of Success,” one player said. Saying this situation


was a handful for Coach Howland and his staff was a huge understatement. ESPN reports mentioned that the head coach preferred to allow players to discipline themselves, but various high-profile recruits could not manage. “I’m responsible for this program and everything that happens in it,” Coach Howland stated, “If there’s any need to make changes, I will make them.” While this enormous roadblock shook team morale, the season still needed to continue, and the team had to shake its uneasiness for the remainder of the schedule. The Bruins were invited to Pac-12 Conference Tournament and faced USC for the third time this season in the first round. Senior guard Lazeric Jones led the Bruins with 15 points in a 55-40 victory during the opening round. Red shirt sophomore forwards Travis

Wear added 12 points and twin brother David Wear took 10 rebounds. Advancing to the quarterfinals, the team faced No. 4 Arizona. Even though the Wildcats spent over eight minutes without a field goal in the second half, the Bruins still lost 66-58. This ended UCLA’s shot at a bid for the NCAA Championship Tournament, but at last a rough season came to a close. With all of the negative light shed on the basketball team, the season still provided UCLA with many positives. Guard Lazeric Jones was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team and forward David Wear received an honorable mention. Jones also earned the NABC AllDistrict 20 Second Team nomination, and was awarded the Coach John Wooden Award as the Bruin’s Most Valuable Player. Guard Tyler Lamb

received the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Award for Oustanding Defensive Player, and many other players were awarded honors at the UCLA Men’s Basketball Annual Banquet. The Bruins looked forward to playing their new recruits in the following season at the familiar Pauley Pavilion. Coach Howland will once again lead the team to hopefully bring back the glory days UCLA has grown accustomed to. TOP LEFT | Sophomore guard Tyler Lamb puts up an outside shot over Eastern Washington’s Cliff Ederaine. Lamb was the Bruins’ second-leading scorer after backcourt mate Lazeric Jones, contributing 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting in 37 minutes. PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN. ABOVE | Sophomore center Joshua Smith navigates through three Eastern Washington defenders on his way to the basket. Smith, limited to 19 minutes because of foul trouble, finished the game with seven points, two rebounds and three blocks.PHOTO | BLAINE OHIGASHI, DAILY BRUIN.

2012 Sports  
2012 Sports