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Cal Lutheran Flips New Page in Its Volleyball Turnaround


THOUSAND OAKS — The Cal Lutheran women's volleyball team can add another chapter to its turnaround this weekend when the Regals participate in the four-team NCAA Division III West Regional at UC San Diego in La Jolla.

Cal Lutheran (19-8), seeded second in the tournament, will face Occidental (19-5) at 5 p.m. today. Top-seeded UC San Diego (25-6) will play Chapman (23-8) at 7:30 p.m.

The winners will meet for the regional title at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The eight regional winners will pair off at home sites on Nov. 18 and a final four will be played Dec. 2-3 at a site to be determined.

This is Cal Lutheran's first journey into postseason play since 1987, when the Regals won the NAIA District 3 championship. The Regals didn't have another winning season until 1993, going 14-13 in Coach James Park's first year.

This season, Cal Lutheran won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with an 11-1 record.

"I can't take all the credit (for the turnaround)," Park said. "I hope I can take some, but I think the kids have done a great job working hard at every practice."

Junior outside hitter Darcy White has 237 kills and holds Cal Lutheran's all-time record with 528. Sophomore Tracy Little and freshman Jamey Light are known for their jump serves. Light had eight aces in a three-game match, breaking a school record set in a five-game match.

Junior Tara Thomas has set a single-season school record with 326 digs and holds the career record with 610.

Occidental handed Cal Lutheran its only SCIAC loss this season. The Tigers beat the Regals in five games on Oct. 28, earning a split in their two meetings.

The Regals lost two of three meetings with Chapman. UC San Diego, which has qualified for postseason play in each of the 14 seasons the NCAA has held a Division III women's volleyball tournament, is ranked third in the nation. The Tritons beat Cal Lutheran in five games in the teams' only meeting this season.

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