Underdog Men's Volleyballers Bring UCLA One Step Closer to History
Published May 8, 2006 9:06 AM
Copyright ©Associated Press / UCLAbruins.com
They weren't expected to win much. For sure, no one picked them for another title. But the men’s volleyball team proved everyone wrong in State College, Pa., winning the NCAA title with a stirring 3-0 triumph over Penn State, the Bruins' 14th win in a row and their 19th national championship.
That last is a record, but what legendary coach Al Scates' squad also did is bring the entire university one step closer to a magical milestone: v-ball victory was UCLA’s 98th team championship, two short of 100 and most by any other team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association since the NCAA was formed in 1906.
With the volleyball championship, Stanford, number two in total titles, now trails Westwood by seven titles. USC is far behind in third place with 84.
And men's volleyball padded its lead as most-titled team sport at UCLA as well, followed by men's tennis with 16 titles and men’s basketball with 11 championships. The women's team with the most championships is women's softball, with 10, followed by women's gymnastics with 5 and outdoor track & field and volleyball, each with 3 championships. In all, UCLA has won 70 men's championships and 28 women’s titles.
Who might bring us to the mountain top? The teams most likely to deliver the centennial championship include women's water polo (ranked #2 nationally) and women's golf (also #2), both of which enter championship play this month. The fifth- ranked men's golf and top-ranked softball teams also head into their postseasons at the end of this month or the beginning of June.