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Gymnastics Coach Says Judges Cancel Home-Court Edge

November 14, 1985|MITCH POLIN

Most coaches like to schedule as many home games as possible for their teams, but Cal Poly Pomona women's gymnastics Coach Vic Nicoles has a different philosophy.

Nicoles team will have only two home meets this season and that's just the way he likes it.

Why?

"The home court-advantage is not an advantage because Southern California judges tend to be harder than those in other areas," Nicoles said. "I don't know why that's true."

The Broncos will have most of their meets in Northern California and out of the state. Pomona, which opens its season at the Cal State Northridge Invitational on Dec. 7, does not have its first home meet until Jan. 25 against Southern Utah State.

So far the home-away-from-home strategy appears to be working. The Broncos had one of their best seasons ever last year and Nicoles expects this year's squad to be even better.

With the addition of former UCLA starters Charlotte Jones and Michelle McCoy, 1985-86 Cal Poly Pomona women's basketball team had the makings of an even stronger team than last year when the Broncos won the NCAA Division II championship for the second time in four years.

But unfortunately for the Broncos, Jones has a knee injury and personal problems and has decided to sit out this season.

Nonetheless, there is no need to feel sorry for the Broncos, who open their schedule against at the University of San Diego on Nov. 22.

With the addition of the 5-6 McCoy at guard, and the return of 6-0 All-American forward Vickie Mitchell and 5-10 forward Debra Larsen, the Broncos have a solid nucleus to build from. Mitchell averaged a team high of 12.8 points and 10.6 rebounds last year.

Coach Darlene May also has perhaps her best freshman class ever, including All-CIF standouts Cathy Gooden, a 5-5 guard from Compton High, and Marcine Edmonds, a 6-1 freshman center from Long Beach Poly.

Cal State Los Angeles men's basketball team may be the only team in the NCAA Division II that can claim it has an All-American back court.

The Golden Eagles are led by senior guards Sam Veal (6-3) and Shawn Holiday (6-4), who both made All-American teams after last season.

Holiday, a former standout at Blair High of Pasadena, was named recently to the Street & Smith All-American squad for small colleges and Veal, a resident of West Covina, was named to the National Assn. of Basketball Coaches NCAA Division II squad after averaging 22 points a game as a junior.

Toss in Cal State L.A.'s probable starting front line that includes 6-10 center Tony Brown, and forwards James Stewart (6-8) and Cary Brooks (6-6) and it is not difficult to see why Golden Eagles Coach Jim Newman expects his team to be one of the best in Division II on the West Coast.

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