Local at APU gets Pac West honor

Ashley Swatek

Azusa Pacific sophomore libero Ashley Swatek has been selected the Pacific West Conference Women’s Volleyball Defender of the Week for matches Oct. 14-20.

The honor is awarded each week to a libero, middle blocker or overall outstanding defensive player.

Swatek, a graduate of Ayala High School, led the Cougars to a 2-1 week tallying 53 digs over a dozen sets – tops for the week in the PacWest.

On the season she has 295 digs, ranking eighth in the conference at 4.47 digs per set.

Belletto takes job at Whittier


Former Pomona-Pitzer coach Ben Belletto has been appointed Director of Tennis and Head men’s tennis coach at Whittier College.

Belletto had headed the Sagehens program the last 10 years, developing it into a title contender. That position was elevated to full-time faculty which meant he had to re-apply for it. The school ultimately decided to go in a another direction.

Belletto inherits a program on the rise as Whittier finished No. 21 in the ITA National Rankings this past season.  He will have All-SCIAC performers David Konstantinov and Chris Schommer leading the squad into 2014.

While at Pomona-Pitzer, Belletto coached 11 All-American selections, 25 All-SCIAC performers, saw Pomona-Pitzer named an ITA Academic All-American team from 2004-2012, had a nationally ranked program every year since 2007, which included a Top 10 finish in 2010 and four consecutive Top 20 finishes from 2010-2013.  In 2011 and 2012 his teams earned a selection into the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships.

“I’m really excited to have this opportunity at Whittier. The men’s program has been on the rise in the past couple of years and is ready to take the next step. The women’s program has been improving every year and is an exciting new challenge,” Belletto said.

Belletto graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2001 obtaining a B.A. in Politics before grabbing his M.A. in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific in 2009.



Miller graduate earns GSAC honor

Senior Briana Hall of Azusa Pacific University is this week’s Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her performances in games the week of Feb. 19-25.

The 5-foot-5 guard from Fontana earned her first career 30-point game by scoring 31 points in No. 12 Azusa Pacific’s 76-64 upset of GSAC regular-season champion Westmont on Saturday in the last regular-season home game of her career.

She also had nine assists and three steals.

On the week she averaged 20.5 points and eight assists per game as the Cougars (22-6) also earned an 80-58 win over Masters. They secured the No. 2 seed in the GSAC postseason tournament which begins Friday.

For the season Hall, a Miller High School graduate, is averaging 15.6 points and 5.9 assists.

Lake Arrowhead resident earns honor

Biola University forward Rocky Hampton (Lake
Arrowhead, Calif./Temescal Canyon HS) has been named the Golden State
Athletic Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week for the week of
Jan. 19-25 as announced by the conference office on Monday.

The junior from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., averaged 19.5 points and eight
rebounds to lead Biola to a pair of upset wins over nationally-ranked GSAC
teams last week. He finished the week shooting 16-for-25 (.640) from the
field and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.

Hampton scored a season-high 25 points and added nine rebounds and five
blocked shots in Biola’s 65-54 win at No. 23 The Master’s College on
Saturday. He scored on 10 of his 14 shots attempts from the field and
converted all five free throw attempts to lead the Eagles.

On Saturday, Hampton scored 14 points and had seven rebounds as Biola
knocked off No. 15 California Baptist University 67-64 at Chase Gymnasium.
After being shutout in the first half, Hampton hit six of seven shots from
the field, scoring all 14 points and helping the Eagles to the upset

For the season, Hampton is averaging 11.3 points and 8.4 rebounds. He has
also recorded 38 blocks (2.1 per game) which ranks him first in the GSAC
in that category.

Hampton is the first Biola men’s basketball player to earn the GSAC Player
of the Week award since the 2005-06 season, when Spencer Foster earned the
honor to close out the year.

Biola (14-5 overall, 5-4 GSAC) closes out the first half of the GSAC
schedule on Tuesday (Jan. 27), traveling to Hope International for a 7:30
p.m. contest.