A pair of Orange County high schools, Newport Harbor of Newport Beach and Irvine, will play for the state Division I girls' volleyball title tonight at 7:30 at Cal State Fullerton, each with a chance at a milestone.
Newport Harbor, unbeaten in 21 matches, is trying to become only the second school to win a Southern Section and state Division I title the same year. Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach did it in 1982 and again in 1985. The Sailors, runners-up to Mira Costa in '85, are looking for their first California championship.
Irvine (19-2) has already made history by being the first 4-A school to reach the final since the Southern Section added the 5-A Division in 1984. This would also be the first state championship for the Vaqueros, who have won three Southern Section titles in the 1980s.
In Division II, Rachel Norris, the Southern Section 3-A player of the year, will lead San Gabriel into the final against Harbor of Santa Cruz at 5:30.
Harbor (24-3) has two players who have been all-league two straight years, Holly Still and Jennifer Liston.
San Gabriel, which came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Thousand Oaks in the Southern California Regional final in five games, is 22-1.
In the Division III match, defending champion San Diego Francis Parker (25-3) will meet St. Helena (18-6) of the Sac-Joaquin Section at 3:30 p.m. St. Helena won state titles in 1982 and '84 and was knocked out in the semifinals in 1983 by Francis Parker.
The Kinney West Regional cross-country meet today in Fresno may well determine what the State finals a week ago on the same Woodward Park course could not: Who is the top prep female runner in California?
Freshman Deena Drossin of Agoura, junior Kira Jorgensen of Rancho Buena Vista in the San Diego Section and senior Katy McCandless of Palo Alto Castilleja all won State titles last Saturday, but in different divisions. Today, on the 5,000-meter layout, they will race together. McCandless is the defending regional champion and Jorgensen the top returnee from the national final, where she finished fourth.
Christopher Schurz of Scottsdale, Ariz., Westwood, the sixth-place finisher in 1986 at the only national championship for high school runners, is the leading returnee among the boys.
About 1,200 runners are expected to compete today, with 500 coming from the Southern Section. The top eight finishers in the boys' and girls' races in each of the four regionals will advance to the final, to be held next Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego.