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THE COLLEGES : Cal State Fullerton Notebook : Balancing Act Working Out for Matyuch

January 28, 1988|Robyn Norwood

Jill Matyuch has been busy lately, juggling basketball practice, softball practice and basketball games.

The good news is that she's doing fine. The bad news is that second-semester classes don't start until Monday.

"February will be real hard," Matyuch said. "But I chose to do this."

Matyuch, a sophomore guard, is one of two Cal State Fullerton women who play on both the basketball and softball teams. Cathi Hall, a 6-foot 1-inch senior who played both sports last year, is the other.

On a typical day, since the beginning of softball practice last week, Matyuch and Hall work out on the field from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., they start basketball practice. After that two-hour practice, there is a 30-minute break before a weightlifting session that lasts up to an hour.

The regimen may be taking its toll on Matyuch's energy, but her play has done anything but suffer.

Monday night, she scored a career-high 27 points, making 10 of 19 shots--including 4 of 9 three-point attempts--as the Titans upset San Diego State, which was ranked 22nd by USA Today.

And she didn't even start the game.

"I felt all along we could beat them," said Matyuch, whose previous career high was 18. "They were playing a zone, and when they do that, they leave the outside open."

It was opening enough for Matyuch.

She is only one of a number of Titans who have come through with big scoring nights this season, helping Fullerton to a surprising 11-6 record, with a 6-2 start in the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. Seven different players have been the leading scorer in a game. Only one player--Amy Torczon--has started every game, and nine players have started at least one.

Matyuch, who was born in Fullerton and went to nearby El Dorado High School, has started six games and has played in all 17. But even after her career high on Monday, her average is only seven points a game.

The Titans get their stiffest test of the season Saturday, when they play 14th-ranked Cal State Long Beach in Titan Gym.

Come softball season, Matyuch, who redshirted last season, will be a utility infielder. Hall, who hit .295 last season, is a first baseman.

Larry Cochell, the first-year Titan baseball coach, hears the question just about every day.

What's it like to follow Augie Garrido?

Cochell, who coached at Cal State Los Angeles, Oral Roberts and Northwestern before coming to Fullerton, has one answer that makes it sound simple.

"I worked at Oral Roberts for 10 years. That's like working for George Steinbrenner or Charlie Finley," Cochell said. "I told Augie, 'Following you will be a piece of cake.' "

The Cal State Fullerton baseball team, picked to win the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. in a poll of conference coaches, was ranked in the preseason top 20 by two national publications. The Titans were ranked 10th by Collegiate Baseball, and 17th by Baseball America.

Mike Ross, a senior second-baseman, has been named a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America. Ross led the Titans in home runs last season with 12.

Lisa Dolan, a freshman performer for the women's gymnastics team, has won the all-around competition in the Titans' first two competitions. Dolan, from Waterloo, Iowa, is a three-time member of the U.S. junior national elite team.

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