Cal Poly Pomona will be one of the favorites in the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championships from Sunday through Tuesday at Cal State Northridge.
The Broncos, seeded No. 3 behind top-ranked Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Abilene Christian of Texas, take a 17-9 record into the event.
Pomona, coached by Bob Gelfand, will meet Florida International (13-4) in the first round at 9 a.m. Sunday, but the Broncos may be looking ahead to an expected second-round showdown with Southern Illinois, a team that has caused problems for them in the past.
Southern Illinois (17-2) has defeated the Broncos in the tournament the last two seasons. Pomona lost in the third-place game in 1985 and in the semifinals last season.
Cal Poly also lost to Southern Illinois, 5-4, in the Abilene Christian Tournament in March. But Gelfand says his team is ready.
"In our last few matches we hammered our conference opponents," Gelfand said. "We also played well in the Ojai Tournament (last week). I think we're ready."
Gelfand said the team is anxious to meet Southern Illinois. "We're optimistic. We had a 5-4 match against them this year and I think we can get them this time. But we have to get past Florida International first."
Pomona, which won the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. title with an 11-1 record, is led in singles by sophomore Xenia Anastasiadou with an 18-6 record. Three other singles players are seniors Mary Holycross (13-8), Chris Ryan (17-9) and Debbie Jung (20-6).
All will also compete in doubles play. Anastasiadou will be teamed with Ryan and Holycross with Jung.
Cal State Los Angeles did not qualify for the team competition but will have a strong contender for an individual title in sophomore Edna Olivarez. Ranked No. 1 nationally in Division II in singles with a 37-4 overall record, Olivarez opens play in the individual championships Wednesday.
The Azusa Pacific University baseball team will attempt to clinch the first Golden State Athletic Conference championship at Cal Lutheran in a three-game series that starts today in Thousand Oaks.
The Cougars play a single game at 2:30 p.m. today and a double-header at noon Friday.
Azusa Pacific must at least tie for first in the conference to host the NAIA district playoffs that start May 7. The Cougars, who split a double-header with Cal Lutheran in February, take a four-game win streak into today's game.
Azusa Pacific, which entered this week tied with Westmont for first place in the conference with an 11-6 record, is 28-19 overall. Cal Lutheran is 7-10 in conference play and 15-24 overall.
"It's been nearly an entire season since we played each other," Azusa Pacific Coach Tony Barbone said. "It's difficult to use that early-season double-header as a measuring stick. Both Cal Lutheran and Azusa Pacific seem to have improved their pitching staffs, and there's no doubt that these are the two best hitting teams in the conference."
The Cougars have a .341 batting average. The leader is first baseman Tim Pawley, a senior who is hitting .415 with 14 home runs, 55 runs batted in and a 17-game hitting streak.
Designated hitter Leonard Avalos is batting .376 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs, and right fielder Ralph Acosta has a .404 average, 11 homers and 48 RBIs.
The Cal Poly Pomona women's softball team will face an important Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. match-up against Cal State Long Beach in a double-header at 5 p.m. today at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.
Pomona also meets UC Santa Barbara in a PCAA double-header at 1 p.m. Saturday in Santa Barbara.
The Broncos, ranked No. 11 nationally in NCAA Division I with a 36-14 record, are in third place in the conference at 16-7 and Long Beach is fourth at 16-8. The top three teams in the conference are expected to be selected for the Division I regionals that start May 15.
Pomona recorded perhaps its biggest win of the season last week when it shocked top-ranked and conference-leading Cal State Fullerton, 3-0, in the second game of a double-header. The win snapped Fullerton's NCAA-record win streak of 34 games.
The Broncos also improved their position in the conference by defeating Nevada-Las Vegas twice last week and twice Monday.
Pomona has prospered behind the pitching of senior Rhonda Wheatley, who has a 29-12 record. In her four-year career, Wheatley has a 133-51-2 record and an 0.35 earned-run average.
Junior third baseman Betsy Burr is hitting .311 with 13 runs batted in and junior shortstop Dana Ramos is batting .313 with 29 RBIs. Wheatley is hitting .273 with 4 home runs and 20 RBIs and first baseman Kandi Burke is hitting .282 with 4 homers and 22 RBIs.
Two women basketball players from Cal State Los Angeles have been named to an All-American team selected by Fast Break magazine.
Center Lupe Quintana, a 6-0 sophomore, was selected for the third team and guard Shelley Bowcutt, a 5-8 junior, earned honorable mention.
Quintana, a first-team All-California Collegiate Athletic Assn. selection, averaged 10 points and 12 rebounds. She had 324 rebounds, which placed 12th in the NCAA Division II and second-highest ever at Cal State.
Bowcutt, an honorable mention all-conference selection, led the team in scoring with a 12.7 average and averaged 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals.
"I'm pleased that they both received this honor," Coach Fran Buckless said. "They deserved it." Buckless, who guided the Golden Eagles to a 19-9 record, was one of 67 coaches to receive All-American honors from the publication.