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COLLEGE NOTEBOOK

O'Laughlin Lays Groundwork for Passing Attack

September 18, 1993

Despite transferring one week into the season, Cal State Northridge quarterback J.J. O'Laughlin, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior, has made an immediate impact on the Matadors. During a four-hour delay at Los Angeles International Airport last Friday, he took the wide receivers aside and discussed the passing game.

O'Laughlin's take-charge approach is typical of his personality.

"In three years at Illinois, I learned a lot about preparation," he said. "There's no greater confidence than preparing yourself to the best of your ability."

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Quarterbacks coach Dale Bunn is in top form when running the opponent's offense against CSUN's No. 1 defense in practice. Bunn, a former Cal State Fullerton and Calgary Stampeders quarterback, displays a rifle arm and great touch, particularly on long timing patterns.

His performance draws raves from Northridge players, particularly tailback Robert Trice who chants Bunn's nickname, "Hamburger, Hamburger, Hamburger."

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Mark MacDonald already was out because of a red card he received in Northridge's previous soccer match against The Master's.

That left Louie Mata as the Matadors' only goalie against Fresno State.

He didn't last the whole match.

Mata, a senior, was ejected with 25 minutes remaining after he was charged with a flagrant foul.

"One of their guys was out on a breakaway and Louie went out and tried to kill him," Coach Marwan Ass'ad said. "We don't do that. That's not what we teach. It was a good call."

With neither of his top goalkeepers available, Ass'ad turned to Keith West, who usually plays forward.

Fresno, already ahead, 2-0, took two additional shots on West--and scored both times.

West seemed like a logical choice. He has good hands. As a wide receiver on the Glendale College football team last season, he caught 27 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns to earn second-team All-Western State Conference honors.

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Gretchen Gulbranson, a freshman from Thousand Oaks High, has established herself as the Matadors' top setter by playing well in all three matches as the Northridge women's volleyball team placed second in the San Diego State ASICS Grand Prix.

However, her place on top still is rather tenuous. Erin Balderama, a redshirt freshman, continues to challenge for playing time. "All it takes is one bad game if there is someone pushing you," Coach John Price said.

JUNIOR COLLEGES

Early Victory Doesn't Overly Thrill Lopez

Glendale's men's cross-country team rolled to an easy victory in the San Diego Mesa Invitational at Balboa Park on Sept. 10, yet Vaquero Coach Eddie Lopez is not getting overly excited. He realizes that many of the teams Glendale defeated--such as Long Beach City College and San Diego Mesa--were competing without some of their top runners.

"It was a pretty low-key meet," Lopez said. "A lot of teams didn't have everyone there. . . . I was happy with the way we ran as a team, but it might be a while before other teams like Long Beach or San Diego Mesa run their best teams."

Sophomores Luis Jacobo (fourth in 21 minutes 13 seconds over the four-mile course) and Gilbert Roca (sixth in 21:27) were Glendale's top two runners as the two-time defending Western State Conference champions placed six runners under 22 minutes.

"(Getting six guys under 22) was our goal before the race, so I'm happy about it," Lopez said.

The Vaqueros' third through sixth runners were freshmen Dio Almendariz (11th in 21:41), Tony Uribe (12th in 21:44), Adrian Baca (13th in 21:47) and Nacho Delgado (16th in 21:56).

Staff writers Mike Hiserman, Theresa Smith Munoz and John Ortega contributed to this notebook.

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