Four things and one wild guess

1 Ontario Christian has hired Chuck Belk to coach its baseball team. Belk, who replaces Justin Duarte after a three-year tenure, was head baseball coach at Cal Poly Pomona from 1992-95 and most recently was head coach at Webb in 2008.

“We are very excited about the baseball expertise and skill set that coach Belk has to offer,” Ontario Christian athletic director David Parkes said. “His emphasis on character building and discipleship while at the same time developing baseball players is a great fit for the Ontario Christian program.”

Belk was a member of Cal Poly’s 1976 Division II national championship team before later joining the program as a coach. After coaching at Pomona College in 1980, Belk was an assistant for nine seasons at Cal Poly under John Scolinos, who was fourth on the all-time NCAA victories list when he retired in 1991. Belk took over as head coach at Cal Poly after Scolinos left.

2 It was a busy week at Ontario Christian, where volleyball standout Carly DeHoog signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Washington. The 6-foot-4 senior, who is receiving a full scholarship, has long been committed to Washington, but she made her destination official Friday.

DeHoog collected 420 kills her senior season as the left-handed opposite helped the Knights to a co-Ambassador League championship. Ontario Christian’s season only ended four days before DeHoog signed her letter of intent as the second-seeded Knights reached the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 3A playoffs.

3 Three local teams are alive in the CIF State volleyball tournament. Rim of the World, the CIF-SS Division 3AA champion, is seeded third in Division III and will take on No. 2 seed San Diego Del Norte in Saturday’s second round. Rim swept its first-round state tournament match against San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret’s, the CIF-SS Division 3A champion, and has lost just two games in postseason play.

Los Osos, which lost in the CIF-SS Division 2AA final, bounced back Tuesday with a victory over a higher seed in the first round of the Division II state tournament. The fifth-seeded Grizzlies defeated No. 4 seed El Diamante in four games and will visit top-seeded La Costa Canyon on Saturday.

Pomona Catholic also bounced back from a CIF-SS championship game loss as the Pacers earned a sweep over Orangewood Academy in their first state tournament match just three days after losing the Division 5AA finals. Pomona Catholic will take on Division V No. 1 seed San Diego Tri-City Christian on Saturday.

4 Two local boys water polo teams brought home some hardware at the CIF-SS championships on Saturday. Second-seeded Los Osos won the CIF-SS Division 4 title with a second-half comeback against top-seeded Righetti to claim its second championship in five years.

Don Lugo, which lost in the CIF-SS Division 7 final last season, won it this year. The No. 2 seed took down Brentwood 10-7 on Saturday.

My wild guess is that Notre Dame will win the national championship. It’s not much of a stretch to say the Fighting Irish will prevail over a downtrodden USC squad without its quarterback. But for Notre Dame to topple whatever SEC team it draws in the championship game, it will take a heroic effort that will play out in dramatic fashion.

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