UCR tennis player earns weekly honor

Junior Erynne Oki of UC Riverside was named the Big West Women’s Tennis Player of the Week after she picked up a win in her #1 Singles match against #61 Julie Trunk of San Diego State, 6-4, 4-6, and 11-9.

Oki became the first UCR player to beat a singles player ranked that high since the school moved to Division I. It was the only point for the Highlanders in their 6-1 loss to the No. 49-rated Aztecs down in San Diego, CA last Saturday.

UCR does not return to the courts until next week when they host a dual match with Cal Poly Pomona on February 6th.

Cal State baseball team opens play Friday

By Michelle Gardner

 

Staff Writer

For the Cal State San Bernardino baseball team, close has not been quite good enough the last two years. The Coyotes finished fifth in the 10-team conference, one place lower than needed to qualify for the CCAA tournament.

Ditto the previous season.

So the Coyotes are looking forward to changing that trend as the 2008 season gets underway today. Cal State, 29-22 overall and 20-16 in the CCAA last season, opens play with a 2 p.m. game against Cal State Dominguez Hills (16-36-1, 11-25) at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

We should be much better offensively, says veteran coach Don Parnell, starting his 17th year. It will be a matter of whether or not our pitchers coming back can step it up a notch.

The Coyotes were picked to finish their familiar fifth in a preseason poll of member coaches. UC San Diego (37-25, 24-12 in 2007), Chico State (47-15, 25-11), defending CCAA champion Sonoma State (50-12, 29-7) and defending West Region champion Cal State Los Angeles (45-17-1, 27-9) were picked ahead of the Coyotes.
Three of those teams are ranked nationally by Collegiate Baseball with San Diego at 15, Los Angeles at 17 and Chico at 19.

The Coyotes return three of their four starting pitchers led by senior Matt Long (5-4, 3.30) who will today. Senior right-handers Cheyne Hann (4-6, 5.51) and Kevin Wilson (3-2, 3.68) will also hold down slots in the rotation with the No. 4 spot still up for grabs.

Parnell is high on junior Mike Leal, a transfer from Riverside Community College, but he has performed well out of the bullpen in the past and might be better suited for that role.

Others who will contribute from the mound are sophomore right-hander Brent Planck, a transfer from University of San Diego, and senior Jose Hernandez who only pitched seven innings a year ago and is coming off arm surgery. Senior right-hander Theron Cueva should also be in the mix once he returns from elbow surgery.

We are still waiting to see how things come together as far as that fourth spot, Parnell said. We have some options but we have some guys coming off injuries that were bringing along slowly.
Returning position players include senior third baseman Drew Valenzuela (.318, 31 RBI), senior second baseman Michael Minjares (.311), senior first baseman-designated hitter Kyle Walton (.303, 20 RBI) and left-fielder Justin Watson (.258).

Junior Chris Olsen, who saw limited playing time last season, replaces the graduated Patrick Walker behind the plate.

Newcomers are expected to play a major in the teams success. The most notable will be senior Jason Klug, who will swap out at first with Walton.

The Moreno Valley native played two years at San Bernardino Valley College then went on to Dominguez where he netted conference and West Region Player of the Year honors, hitting a gaudy .405 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI. He sat out last season after having arm surgery.

Were really fortunate to have him, Parnell said. He put up some monster numbers two years ago. Were not expecting him to put up the same numbers but if he can be close then it will help us a lot.
Two transfers from Los Angeles Pierce should make the starting lineup with Daniel Soles at shortstop and Andrew Tapia in rightfield.

Rounding out the starting lineup will be junior centerfielder Johnnie Haas, who is stepping for Justin Roberson who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent. Haas, a Hesperia native who played at Victor Valley College, has not played baseball in three years because he served a Mormom mission.

You would think it would take him some time to get back into it but he has looked really good, Parnell said of Haas.

Parnell expects his team to be in the hunt for a postseason playoff berth that it earned four times between 2001 and 2005.

Last year the conference was stronger than it has ever been, he said. But a lot of teams lost key players. L.A. lost 22 players, basically everyone that contributed. There is no reason that we cant be up there competing with those teams.

Cal State, Cal Poly Pomona teams hit the road

Cal Poly Pomona basketball coach Greg Kamansky and Cal State San Bernardino coach Jeff Oliver dont think they will have to caution their teams about overconfidence when they head north to start the second round of CCAA play against San Francisco State and Cal State Monterey Bay.

The Coyotes (15-3, 8-2), ranked second in the region and 13th nationally, have a one-game lead in the CCAA over Humboldt State (12-5, 7-3) and Cal Poly Pomona (8-7, 7-3) with three other teams two games back.

Meanwhile Monterey Bay (4-12, 3-7) stands ninth out of 11 teams so it might look like an easy win. But think again. The Otters beat UC San Diego in the first go-round, something both the Coyotes and the Broncos failed to do.

They are very dangerous offensively, Oliver said. They keep coming at you, they shoot the three very well and they do not quit. You cant get rid of them.

Kamansky agrees.

They are not a 4-12 team, he said. I dont know why they havent won more games because they have given all of us fits. They never think theyre out of a game.

Then theres San Francisco State (11-6, 6-4), picked by the coaches in the preseason to finish dead last after a 6-21 showing a year ago. But the Gators have been the surprise team thus far. And like Monterey Bay, the Gators beat San Diego a week ago.

The Coyotes also have a history of struggling in the cramped, antiquated gym. Three years ago they faced the Gators in the last game of the regular season with the outright conference title on the line and lost to a then .500 team.

Cal State defeated San Francisco handily at Coussoulis Arena but the Broncos lost to the Gators at home in their first conference game of the season.

Back then it seemed like a really bad loss, Kamansky said. But they have shown theyre for real. No one is taking them lightly now. Certainly not us.

Oliver said his team is coming off perhaps its best practice of the season. The Coyotes have been led recently by senior center Michael Earl (13.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.6 bpg) and senior guard Marlon Pierce (12.1 ppg, 4.1 apg) with junior Devon Davis (5.1 ppg) and senior David Reichel (6.8 ppg) putting in some quality minutes off the bench in a win over Humbolt State Saturday.

Kamansky has gotten a stellar effort from his 1-2 punch of junior forward Larry Gordon (18.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and senior guard Angelo Tsagarakis (15 ppg, 2.8 apg). But others have stepped up in recent games, most notably sophomore Donnelle Booker (7.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg).

Both teams face tough roads the rest of the way. The Broncos, who are ranked eighth in the region, have eight of their last 10 conference games on the road while the Coyotes are on the road for seven.

We have a tough road ahead of us, Oliver said. Humboldt is in the best shape because they have the majority of their games at home and we still have to go there.

Both womens teams will be playing the same foes. Cal State San Bernardino (14-3, 8-2) is tied atop the conference with Chico State and was a surprising second in the first West Region poll of the season released on Wednesday.

Coach Kevin Becker thought his team would be fifth or sixth.

The Broncos (8-8, 5-5) are tied for fifth in the conference but have beaten two nationally ranked teams in the last eight days – defending conference and region champion UC San Diego and Sonoma State.

Cal State gets San Francisco State tonight while Cal Poly opens play at Monterey. The teams will then swap foes the following night.

There are a two local players on the rosters of the opposing teams. Former Rialto High and San Bernardino Valley College standout JaNae Westmoreland (6.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg) plays for Monterey Bay while junior guard Will Logan (5.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg), a former Apple Valley High player, is on the Gators roster.

Locals lead UNLV softball team

The UNLV Rebels went 2-0 on Saturday at Eller Media Stadium in wins over Palomar College and the College of Southern Nevada. The Rebels ran away from the PC Comets in the first game, 13-0, but had to come back against the CSN Coyotes, en route to the 9-4 win.

In game one, the Rebels jumped out early and scored often in its game with the Comets. UNLV plated 13 runs on 18 hits, while Palomar was held scoreless and tallied only three hits.

The Rebels, playing as the visitors, struck first with a two-run single by Cajon High School graduate Laura Briones. With Jaci Hull and Kendall Fearn on base, Briones knocked her single up the middle for a 2-0 lead.

Those two runs were all that Stephanie Bregante would need, as she faced three batters over the minimum in the win. Bregante surrendered only three hits and struck out six in the shut out victory. She had two stretches of retiring seven straight. Palomar’s best scoring opportunity came in the sixth, when she opened up the frame with a walk and surrendered a single. A sacrifice bunt pushed both runners into scoring position, but she got the next two batters to pop out to end the inning.

Alyssia De La Torre extended UNLV’s lead to 4-0 with a two-run home run to right in the second. De La Torre shot scored Ashli Holland, who was on first following a single.

Jaci Hull led off the third with a solo shot to deep center that cleared the outer fence of the stadium. Holland produced two RBI later in the inning with a single up the middle to score Rosa Ordaz and Cheynah Farley.

UNLV got a run in the fifth off of a wild pitch. Fearn reached on a single and made her way to second on a fielder’s choice. She made her way home on two wild pitches.

After a scoreless sixth, Hull opened the seventh with a walk and made her way to third on a wild pitch with Fearn at-bat. Fearn proceeded to knock a single up the middle to score Hull. Ordaz followed with a double down the right line to push Fearn to third. Briones would up hitting a single to right to score Fearn for a 10-0 lead.

The Rebels scored three in the top of the seventh. Holland led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a single by De La Torre. Yucaipa’s  Brittany Bolinger hit a sac fly to center to score Holland. A wild pitch took De La Torre to second before she scored on a single by Stephanie Bean, who moved to second on an errant throw by the right fielder. Ordaz closed out the UNLV scoring with a single to right to bring home Bean.

In the second game, UNLV had a tough go from the start, but the offense awoke as the game progressed against CSN in the 9-4 affair.

CSN held UNLV scoreless in the top of the first and took a quick 2-0 lead on a home run down the left field line.

The Rebels knotted things up in the second when Paus nailed a double to left to score Briones and Farley.

The Coyotes went up 4-2 in the bottom of the second on a sac fly and a groundout.

Those four runs were the only scores that Traci Odegard would give up. Odegard was touched for four runs on five hits in the first two innings, but settled down and allowed only two hits in the remaining five frames. In all she surrendered seven hits and struck out five, while walking none.

UNLV was kept off the scoreboard in the third and fourth, but rebounded for seven runs in the final three innings. In the fifth, De La Torre hit a single to left, but the relay throw by the CSN short stop rolled out of play to let Bean and herself to score. Those two runs evened the score for the second time.

The game tilted to UNLV in the sixth when a sac fly by Paus put the Rebels up for good at 5-4. A single to right by Bean brought Ordaz in from second.

In the seventh, the Rebels added three more runs for the 9-4 advantage. Bolinger reached on a one-out single and moved to third on a steal and an errant throw. Fearn stepped up and knocked a double to center to score Bolinger after Hull walked and moved to second on a steal. The ninth run of the game scored when a ball put into play by Bean was misplayed by the CSN second baseman and rolled into right to bring Fearn home.

Cal Baptist softball team ranked No. 2

California Baptist finds itself in a familiar place in the NAIA Softball Preseason Top 25 released Wednesday. The Lancers are in the top five again as they start the season at No. 2. Defending national champion, Oklahoma City, takes the top spot while Golden State Athletic Conference rival Point Loma Nazarene starts 2008 out at No. 3. Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) and Simon Fraser (B.C.) round out the top five.

The Lancers did receive one first-place vote and a total of 313 points, but the Stars received 12 first-place votes and 324 points.

Other notables in the top 25 are No. 10 Vanguard, No. 19 Biola and No. 25 Concordia.

The four-time defending Golden State Athletic Conference champions kick off their season Friday when they travel to St. George, Utah to play in the Red Rock Invitational. The Lancers will play Northwest Nazarene and Dixie State, both Friday and Saturday, with games at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days.

Former Miller standout honored at Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton junior forward Toni Thomas was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday afternoon after helping the Titans to a pair of wins last week.

Thomas, a graduate of A.B. Miller High School, who won weekly conference honors for the fifth time in her career, shared her first award this season with Pacific’s Karen Dawkins earlier this month (Jan. 2).

The league’s leading scorer entering this week’s games averaged 18.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest while shooting .619 from the floor in helping Fullerton to an upset win at UC Riverside, handing the Highlanders their first and only loss in conference play thus far this season, and a road victory over Cal State Bakersfield.

Thomas had 15 points and six rebounds before fouling out late in the second half at UCR and followed that up with a stellar performance against the Roadrunners, narrowly missing a double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds while adding the game-winning basket with :09 remaining in regulation in Fullerton’s two-point victory.

The 21 points against Cal State Bakersfield marked the fourth time in the last six games Thomas has reached the 20-point mark and the eighth time overall this season.

This season, the junior forward is averaging 18.3 ppg and 7.1 rpg while shooting .507 from the field, .381 from three-point range, and .752 from the free throw line.

Winners of its last three straight, Cal State Fullerton returns home to kick-off a four-game homestand this week, hosting local rivals Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge at Titan Gym.

Both Cal State teams ranked No. 2 in West

The NCAA Division II Championships committees released their  first men’s and women’s regional polls today and both Cal State San Bernardino teams were ranked No. 2 in the region.

    This is another first for the Coyotes basketball program, recognizing both teams for being in first place in their respective California Collegiate Athletic Association divisions after the first round of conference play.

    CSUSB’s men, 15-3 overall, 8-2 in the CCAA and 15-2 against regional opponents, trail Alaska-A nchorage, 16-3, 7-0 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and 16-0 against D-2 foes.

    The Coyotes men have beaten No. 4 Seattle Pacific, No. 6 Central Washington, No. 7 Humboldt State and No. 9 Cal State L.A. this season.

    The Coyotes women, 14-3 overall, 8-2 in the CCAA, and 11-3 against region opponents, trail unbeaten Seattle Pacific University, 16-0 overall, 14-0 in region play and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

    The women have wins over No. 4 Sonoma State and No. 6 Northwest Nazarene and have lost to No. 1 SPU, No. 3 Chico State, No. 7 UC San Diego.

    The top eight teams in both polls when the final regional poll is released on March 5 will advance to the NCAA tournament.

     CSUSB’s tea,ms are on the road this week, playing at San Francisco State Friday (women at 5:30, men at 7:30 p.m.) and at Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday (same times). Both women’s games will be webcast at www.csusbathletics.com (click on listen live). Both men’s games will be broadcast on KTIE 590-AM and simulcast on the web.

       MEN’S WEST REGION POLL — (team/region record) — 1. Alaska-Anchorage (16-0); 2. Cal State San Bernardino (15-2); 3. Chaminade (10-2); 4. Seattle Pacific (12-3); 5. Northwest Nazarene (9-2); 6. Central Washington (9-5); 7. Humboldt State (10-5); 8. Cal Poly Pomona (8-5); 9. Cal State L.A. (10-4); 10. BYU-Hawaii (10-5).
    WOMEN’S WEST REGION POLL — (team/region record) — 1. Seattle Pacific (14-0); 2. Cal State San Bernardino (11-3); 3. Chico State (12-3); 4. Sonoma State (9-4); 5. Alaska-Anchorage (10-1); 6. Northwest Nazarene (10-4); 7. UC San Diego (11-5); 8. Saint Martin’s (8-4); 9. Seattle Univ. (9-4); 10. Central

Cal State men move up to No. 13

  The Cal State San Bernardino mens basketball team moved up to No. 13 in the latest NABC/Division II national poll released Tuesday.

The Coyotes (15-3) were No. 5 two weeks ago but had dropped to No. 18 after back-to-back losses on the road. Coach Jeff Olivers team got back on the winng track with home wins over Sonoma State and then No. 17 Humboldt State last weekend.

Bentley, Mass. remains No. 1.

The Cal State women, who upset No. 25 Sonoma State Friday, just missed moving into the top 25. The Coyotes were third in the receiving votes category. All three of their losses have been to nationally ranked teams.

Both Cal State teams, as well as Cal Poly Pomona will be on the road this weekend at San Francisco State and Monterey Bay.

NABC/DIVISION II POLL

MEN

 1. Bently, Mass. (18-0) 197
2. Grand Valley, Mich. (22-0) 195
3. Winona State, Minn. (22-1) 184
4. South Dakota (16-1) 166
5. Alaska-Anchorage (16-3) 164
6. West Liberty, W.V. (15-1) 158
7. Drury, Mo. (15-2) 149
8. Northern State, S.D. (18-2) 138
9. South Carolina-Aiken (15-2) 133
10. Augusta Starte, Ga. (13-3) 123
11. Findlay, Ohio (16-3) 113
12. Southwestern Oklahoma (15-3) 112
13. Cal State San Bernardino (15-3) 111
14. Rollins, Fla. (15-3) 105
15. Gannon, Pa. (17-2) 95
16. C.W. Post, N.Y. (15-2) 73
17. Tarleton State, Texas (16-2) 70
18. Mount Olive, N.C. (14-3) 52
19. Abilene Christian, Texas (15-3) 48
20. Nebraska-Omaha (16-3) 42
21. Southwest Baptist, Mo. (13-4) 40
22. Florida Southern (15-5) 32
23. Northwest Nazarene, Idaho (13-3) 21
24. Seattle Pacific, Wash. (13-3) 16
25. Fort Lewis, Col. (15-3) 10

Others receiving votes: Edinboro, Pa. 6; Northwest Missouri State 6, Assumption, Mass. 5, California, Pa. 5; Lenoir-Rhyn, N.C. 5; Chaminade, Hawaii 4; Minnesota State 2; St. Augustine, N.C. 2; Virginia Union 2; Florida Tech 1; Northern Kentucky 1; Wingate, N.C. 1.

USA TODAY-ESPN DIVISION II

WOMEN

1. Delta State, Miss. (17-0) 624
2. Seattle Pacific, Wash. (17-0) 593
3. North Dakota (18-1) 562
4. Souith Dakota (17-1) 535
5. Indiana University, Pa. (18-1) 529
6. Concordia-St. Paul, Minn. (18-1) 495
7. Drury, Mo. (15-2) 473
8. Holy Family, Pa. (17-0) 451
9. Alaska-Anchorage (17-2) 439
10. Fairmont State, W.V. (17-2) 361
11. Fort Lewis, Col. (18-1) 350
12. Washburn, Kan. (14-3) 313
13. West Georgia (17-2) 296
14. West Texas A&M (14-3) 257
15. Valdosta State, Ga. (17-3) 247
16. Minnesota State-Mankato (16-3) 239
17. Arkansas Tech (16-2) 212
18. Chico State, Ca. (15-4) 182
19. Stonehill, Mass. (15-4) 155
20. Augustana, S.D. (18-4) 133
20. Augustana, S.D. (18-4) 133
21. Anderson, S.C. (16-2) 113
22. Francis Marion, S.C. (13-2) 104
23. Michigan Tech (16-4) 98
24. Emporia State, Kan. (12-5) 78
25. Franklin Pierce, N.H. (15-4) 68

Others receiving votes: Tampa, Fla. 45; Hillsdale, Mich 27; Cal State San Bernardino 21; California, Pa. 21; Tusculum, Tenn. 14; UC San Diego 12; Indianapolis 8; Columbus State, Ga. 7, Ferris State, Mich. 7; Missouri Science & Tech 7; Bentley, Mass. 6; North Georgia 6; Wayne State, Mich. 6; Wingate, N.C. 6; Clayton State, Ga. 5; Augusta State, Ga, 4; Sonoma State, Ca. 4; Northern Kentucky 3; Lander, S.C. 2; Shepherd, W.V. 2, Texas A&M-Commerce 2; Assumption, Mass. 1; Missouri Southern 1; Central Oklahoma 1.

 

Student-athlete profile – Gwen Kremer, CMS swimming

GWEN KREMER

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Swimming

The lowdown: The senior backstroke specialist got off to a slow start because of sickness but has been a key to the Athenas success in the last four years. Won the 200 individual medley (2:19.55) in a recent dual meet against Whittier. Took third in the 200 back (2:17.01) in a dual meet with Division I Loyola Marymount. Is in her fourth year in the program, her best season being a sophomore year in which she earned all-conference honors in the 200 back and as part of the 200 medley relay.

Age: 21

Hometown: San Diego

High school: Rancho Bernardo High School, 2004

Major: Economics

Most memorable moment: Breaking a minute in the 100 backstroke.

Most embarrassing sports moment: My goggles fell off in a 200 backstroke race in college.

Role model: Jesus Christ

Person most influential in your athletic success: Steve Marksbury (cub swimming coach)

Last good book you read: Perelandra

Favorite movie: Remember the Titans

Cant miss television shows: Law and Order: CI

Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii

Favorite food: Sweet potatoes

Best advice anyone has given you: Speed  in the butterfly is distance over the water.

Pre-game ritual or superstition: A long warm-up

Whats in your CD player/iPOD? Jars of Clay

Other hobbies: Sewing

What do you want to be doing in five years?: Working on public policy research in Washington.

 

 

THOMAS STOUGHTON

University of Redlands

Swimming

The lowdown: The senior team captain is the Bulldogs top breastroker and individual medley swimmer. Won the 400 IM (4:25.36) and the 100 breaststroke (1:03.95) in the teams most recent meet against Cal Lutheran and won the 200 breast (2:20.39) and the 200 IM (2:01.39) in the previous meet against Occidental. Has been part of SCIAC championship teams all three years this far. Placed second in the 200 breast and third in the 100 breast at last years SCIAC championship and also contributed on three relays. Carries a 3.64 GPA and is a presidental scholarship recipient and member of the deans list.

Age: 22

Hometown: Glendora

High school: Damian High School, 2004

Major: Environmental studies

Favorite athlete: Scott Niedermayer

Favorite team: Anaheim Ducks

Role model: My dad

Cant miss TV show: American Gladiators

Most embarrassing moment: I got disqualified in a club meet for a flip turn during the transition from back to

breaststroke.

Most memorable sports moment: Senior year at Damien I was ninth in the Division I CIF finals in the 200 IM and

the 100 breaststroke.

Person most influential in your athletic success: My high school and college coaches.

Celebrity you most want to meet: Michael Phelps

Favorite food: Sushi/Japanese

Favorite movie: Top Gun

Last good book you read: Fast Food Nation

Other hobbies: Fly fishing, surfing, hiking

Favorite vacation spot: Maui (staying with my grandpa)

Whats in your CD player/iPOD: Sparta

Best advice anyone has given you: Life it what you make it.

What do you want to be doing in five years?: Working in the field of botany somehere on the West coast.