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Top Volleyball Recruit Russell of Royal Will Play for UCLA

November 15, 2000|PETER YOON

Royal High senior David Russell, one of the top volleyball recruits in the nation, has signed with UCLA.

The 6-foot-6 Russell, who played opposite hitter and middle blocker last season, chose UCLA over USC, Stanford and Long Beach State.

Russell chose UCLA for the "overall atmosphere and academics," he said. "Beyond that, they've proven to have the top volleyball program."

Russell was an All-Southern Section selection last season for the Highlanders, who are expected to challenge for a sectional championship this season.


* Three foreign-exchange students who transferred this year to Montclair Prep have been ruled ineligible for varsity competition by the Southern Section because they did not arrive at the Van Nuys campus through a bona fide foreign-exchange program, according to Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons.

Marco Bozovic, a 6-foot-9 junior from Yugoslavia, Slobodon Cvijovic, a 6-4 sophomore from Yugoslavia, and Louh Blaise, a 6-11 junior from Cameroon, will be limited to playing junior varsity until next season.

* Granada Hills will hold its alumni boys' game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.


* Many of the top girls' players in Southern California will skip the Southern Section individual championships Tuesday and instead play in the AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic in Florida, which begins the same day.

The AJGA tournament is among the most prestigious junior tournaments in the nation and falls on Thanksgiving week each year. Two years ago, the same conflict resulted in the same problem: a watered-down field at the Southern Section championships.

Among those who qualified for the Southern Section finals but will not play are junior All-American selections Ina Kim of Harvard-Westlake, Erica Blasberg of Corona, Elena Kurokawa of Redondo Union and Stella Lee of Irvine.

"I would rather play in the Polo because it's a bigger tournament," Kim said. "I'm not going to be letting my team down because it's an individual event. The only person I can let down is myself."

Southern Section Commissioner Jim Staunton said the section secured its tournament dates before discovering the Polo dates.

He said the section golf committee has discussed moving the section finals to a different week but that might necessitate playing the team divisional tournament and the team finals in the same week.

"Then you are talking about missing a lot of school time," Staunton said. "We want the best field we can have, but at the same time, I have to do what's right for a kid's education."

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