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Anteater Digest / Athlete Of The Week

November 17, 1998

Christy Villa


Villa finished third in the NCAA Western Regional with a time of 16 minutes 54 seconds.

She is the first Anteater to qualify for the NCAA championship since Jo-Jo Yaba in 1995. Villa finished behind Arizona's Amy Skieresz and Stanford's Julia Stamps and will compete as an individual in the NCAA meet Nov. 23 in Lawrence, Kan.

Villa, a junior, beat her personal-best of 17:01, which she ran this season at the Stanford Invitational. She has lost to Skieresz, one of the top collegiate runners, three times this season.


Men's basketball: Forward Marek Ondera, slowed by a sprained ankle in October, is starting to play like Anteater coaches had hoped. Ondera, a 6-foot-6 junior from Mira Costa College, had 12 points and 10 rebounds in Irvine's exhibition game Saturday. That included an impressive two-handed dunk on a fastbreak. The Anteaters open the season at 7 tonight at Pepperdine.

Women's basketball: The score was tied, 22-22, at halftime Saturday against San Diego, then the Anteaters were blown out, 62-39. Their problems can be traced to the suspensions of center Chelsea Mackey and point guard Megan Stafford. Mackey is eligible again, so the Anteaters will have a proven scorer in the lineup. But Stafford will miss two more games. Irvine hosts Syracuse at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Bren Center.

Water polo: No one around Irvine can figure the last time the Anteaters--or anyone else--had a shutout. With goalie Genai Kerr making 10 saves, Irvine beat Pepperdine, 4-0, Sunday. "Neither official could remember seeing a shutout and both of them have been around forever," Coach Ted Newland said. Irvine officials checked records back to 1981, but couldn't find a shutout. "I've never been in one before, not even in high school," Kerr said. "Even when you play weaker teams, they usually slip one in." Irvine, ranked sixth in the nation, plays at UC Santa Barbara at noon Saturday in its regular-season finale.

Diving: Arika Early, who has already qualified for the NCAA diving regional, will be the top Anteater in the USC Diving Invitational Thursday and Friday.

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