The UCLA men's soccer team, ranked 10th nationally after losing its last two regular-season matches, will meet No. 18 San Diego State in the first round of the NCAA Far West Regionals at 2 p.m. Sunday at El Camino College.
UCLA Coach Sigi Schmid said the playoff "matches the two top Division I teams in Southern California" for the third straight year. "It will be a tough, physical and exciting game."
The Bruins dropped to 16-3-1 after losing to South Carolina, 3-2, and being shut out for the first time this season by Howard, 2-0, in last week's South Carolina/Met Life tournament. San Diego State is 14-4-3.
In last year's Far West first round, UCLA defeated the Aztecs, 2-1. In the 1987 NCAA quarterfinals, San Diego State edged the Bruins, 2-1. Sunday's match marks the Bruins' seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance.
Against South Carolina, Bruin goals were scored by freshman Chris Henderson and junior Kirk Ferguson.
The Santa Monica College men's basketball team, with only one part-time starter and two reserves from last year's 32-4 squad, will open the season when it plays host to Pasadena City College at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Corsair Gymnasium.
Last year Coach John McMullen's Corsairs advanced to the state tournament quarterfinals for the second straight year, but the only players returning from that team are 6-foot, 6-inch Mark Moton, a part-time starter at forward, and 6-6 Chris Cook and Marc Schrobilgin, front-court reserves.
"We have a young team," McMullen said, "but they're hard workers who believe they can win and carry on the tradition established in the past few years."
Freshmen include former Crenshaw High School players Cornelius Banks (6-5), Chico Langston (5-10), Donald Smith (6-2) and two named Marcus Williams, one 5-10 and the other 6-3. The taller Williams broke a foot bone in practice and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
Other first-year players are 6-5 Emile Bigelow, 6-1 Jason Shea, 6-4 Earic Peters, 6-5 Lincoln Hill, 6-6 Lamont Koonce, 6-5 Lamont Mitchell and 6-7 Jess Odom.
McMullen expects his Corsairs to continue to play "aggressive, pressure defense and a fast-break, up-tempo style offense." Pasadena is always strong under Coach George Terzian, he added.
Coach Andy Banachowski and his UCLA women's volleyball team clinched their second straight Pacific 10 Conference championship last week, their third conference title in four years, by defeating No. 7 Stanford in three games and No. 18 California in four.
The victories gave Banachowski 601 career wins, making him second nationally to Coach Linda Dollar of Southwest Missouri State, who has 640.
The Bruins (21-1 overall, 15-0 in the Pac-10 as the week began) will play host to Oregon State (11-13, 2-12) at 7 p.m. Friday and to No. 15 Oregon (19-6, 8-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
UCLA freshman middle blocker Natalie Williams was named conference player of the week. She had a career-high 25 kills against Cal and 14 against Stanford, and she also had 13 blocks in the two matches.
The Pepperdine women's volleyball team (17-6 overall, 11-0 in the West Coast Conference at the start of the week) has clinched its third straight conference championship. The Waves will play Friday night (11-10) at Portland (14-12, 7-4) and Saturday night (11-11) at Gonzaga (17-9, 7-4).
Last week the Waves defeated visiting Portland and Gonzaga, each in three games. Against Gonzaga, sophomore outside hitter Cari Delson had 10 kills, sophomore outside hitter Carolyn Hueth had nine, and freshman middle blocker Debbie Merandi had nine kills and six service aces. Against Portland, senior outside hitter Tami Seidenberg had 10 kills, and Merandi had nine kills and three aces.
Pepperdine Coach Nina Matthies said, "At this point . . . we are playing for the best seeding possible at the NCAA tournament. How we fare in our upcoming matches against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal State Long Beach and San Diego State will likely have a major effect on our seeding."
The No. 3 Pepperdine water polo team (22-4 overall, 8-0 in the Big West Conference) will try to clinch the conference championship and earn an NCAA tournament berth at No. 2 UC Irvine (21-5, 5-1) at noon Sunday. The Waves, who have won 16 of their last 17 games, will play host to USC at 2 p.m. Saturday at Raleigh Runnels Pool.
Last week the Waves defeated Fresno State, 13-6, and Pacific, 10-7, running their winning streak to six.
Sophomore Geoffrey Clark leads Pepperdine with 76 goals, Sasa Poljak has 63 and Rafael Gandarillas 43.
Pepperdine Coach Terry Schroeder says five or six teams have a good chance of winning the NCAA championship, "but I can almost guarantee the team that is playing the best defense at the end of the season will win the national crown."
The Santa Monica College football team (4-4 overall, 3-4 in the Western State Conference) will play host to Los Angeles Valley (4-4, 4-3) in a homecoming game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Corsair Field.