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NOTEBOOK

Wallenberg's Dual Careers Are Tough Act to Follow

April 01, 1999|MIKE BRESNAHAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Don't mess with this coach--she has fought the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

She may have lost her battle against the TV superheroes, but Joanie Wallenberg got to kick, claw and try to outfox them on an episode she filmed last summer.

Wallenberg, the boys' volleyball coach at Agoura High, is a part-time actress and model who played the Impostor Andromeda on the show. She didn't last long.

"They realized I was an impostor and they got rid of me with a phaser gun," Wallenberg said.

Wallenberg said she also has starred in an infomercial for a product that claims to promote hair growth for men.

The ultimate goal for Wallenberg, who played college volleyball at Southern Illinois, is to be a fitness model. She recently contemplated the release of her own fitness video.

Wallenberg, in her first year at Agoura, has made sacrifices in her acting career because of coaching conflicts.

She missed a recent audition to be a spokesperson for an athletic shoe company because Agoura was playing in the Providence tournament.

"I was kind of bummed about that, but I was thinking, I've already made a commitment to this job," Wallenberg said.

Is it worth it?

The Chargers have only six players and are 4-9, 0-4 in league play.

"It's a little bit challenging because Agoura has not been known for volleyball," Wallenberg said. "I'm walking into a school with hardly any people trying out. It's like starting from the ground up."

*

Yes, a year can make a difference.

No, it's not always for the better.

At Crespi a year ago, the Celts were fighting for the Mission League title, which they ultimately shared with Loyola. This year, they're merely trying to stay out of the basement.

Hurt by the graduation of setter Matt Miller and opposite hitter James Spratt, the Celts (4-7, 2-4) are struggling despite having one of the better players in the region, Marcin Jagoda.

Inexperience is playing a part, as is the slow return of Jon Bird, an important holdover from last season, who is not fully recovered from off-season knee surgery.

Last week, the Celts surprisingly lost to Glendale and Notre Dame.

"I know we're struggling, but we have nothing to lose really at this point," said Crespi Coach Alvin Lamarre.

A playoff appearance is a longshot for the Celts, who trail Loyola, Harvard-Westlake and Alemany in the league race.

*

Crescenta Valley, off to a 2-4 start, will receive a boost on Friday when outside hitter Doug English returns.

English, who had off-season surgery to repair a dislocated right shoulder, is expected to play against Hoover and should provide immediate offense.

"I don't know what to expect," English said.

"I haven't gotten up and hit a ball in a while. I've got to work on my strength and timing."

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