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SIDELINES : Northridge Women Facing Another Season Down Under .500

November 11, 1994

The start of a new season usually begins with optimism.

Or, in the case of the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team, it's at least a fresh start. The Matadors were 3-22 last season.

If Tuesday night's exhibition opener against the Australian Institute of Sports is any indication, it will be another long season for the Matadors.

The scoreboard provided the first bit of bad news: an 83-53 loss to the Aussies. A close look at the game program supplies an even worse blow.

Of the 12 players listed on Australia's roster, four were 15 years old, three were 16, four were 17, one was 19.

The 15-year-olds--the age of an American high school freshman--combined for 24 points. Northridge's five starters accounted for 25 points.

Welcome back: More than 300 Notre Dame High alumni are expected to attend Friday night's homecoming game in which the Knights play host to Chaminade for the Mission League title.

That includes Chaminade Coach Rich Lawson, a 1973 Notre Dame graduate.

"All the alumni got something in the mail that said, 'How many guests will you be bringing?' " Lawson said. "I put down 47."

So close, yet . . .: For the second year in a row, the Ventura College men's water polo team narrowly missed the playoffs.

The Pirates (18-10-1, 4-2 in the Western State Conference) were rated ninth in the southern region of the state. The top eight teams made the cut.

Had Ventura defeated Cuesta last week it would have received the automatic bid awarded to each conference champion. The Pirates lost that match, 14-13--in double overtime.

Frustrating? Yep, and typical too. Ventura lost seven games by two goals or less.

Still a wizard: His coaching helped establish UCLA as a basketball power. Now John Wooden has given Northridge's program a boost.

Wooden was the featured speaker Sunday at a Northridge basketball fund-raising dinner and auction that netted the Matadors $15,000.

About 200 fans paid $50 per ticket for dinner and to hear Wooden talk about his coaching philosophy and "Pyramid of Success."

"He was a sharp as a tack," said Northridge Coach Pete Cassidy, who was an instructor at Wooden's first basketball camp back in 1963.

Wooden, 84, still attends most UCLA home games, so presumably he will be watching Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. when the Matadors face the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion to open the regular season.

Stats

What does it take to be recognized among the Western State Conference's football players of the week?

Valley College quarterback Jim Arellanes passed for a state junior college record 644 yards against Bakersfield last week, completing 31 of 55 of his attempts. The 6-foot-4, 212-pound transfer from Northern Arizona finished only 33 yards shy of the national JC record set in 1990 by Jim Bergstedt of Hibbing (Minn.) College.

Arellanes completed 11 for 20 or more yards, including passes of 51 and 68 yards to Brian Comer and of 42 and 49 yards to Jason Leonard.

Yet three receivers were selected ahead of him for top weekly honors in the conference.

The performance was good enough to bring Arellanes within striking distance of the national single-season record of 3,555 passing yards set by Sal Genilla of San Mateo in 1985. Arellanes is 829 yards behind with two regular-season games plus a potential bowl game to go.

Hit woman: Outside hitter Missy Clements, who broke the Northridge career record for kills in Saturday's women's volleyball match against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is on the verge of setting a Matador single-season record for kills per game.

The 5-foot-11 senior from La Habra High is averaging 4.75 kills with two matches left in the regular season. Aimee Stone set the school record of 4.20 last season.

Drought ends: When Ryan Duston of St. Bonaventure High won the boys' race in last week's Tri-Valley League cross-country finals, he became the first Seraph athlete--male or female--to win a league title in that sport.

Honors

Cal State Northridge junior receiver David Romines caught six passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 45-20 loss to Southern Utah and was named the American West Conference's offensive player of the week.

Defensive lineman Oscar Wilson recorded 12 solo tackles and one quarterback sack and was selected Northridge's defensive player of the week. Jonas Walker averaged 24.2 yards on five kickoff returns to earn the special-teams award. Punter Ron Lindberg of Southern Utah, a Canyon High graduate, was the AWC special-teams player of the week.

Things to Do

Tonight, 7:30: High school football league championship games: Foothill League--Saugus vs. Hart at College of the Canyons; Mission League--Chaminade at Notre Dame.

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Alemany High: Village Christian needs a victory over L.A. Baptist to win the Alpha League football title. Kilpatrick needs a victory over Marshall Fundamental in a 2 p.m. game to qualify for the playoffs.

Compiled by Mike Hiserman. Contributing: Dave Desmond, Steve Elling, Irene Garcia, Vince Kowalick and John Ortega.

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