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Suddenly, Ventura Women at a Loss

November 16, 2000

There's almost a crisis brewing in Ventura.

The Ventura College women's basketball team, among the main attractions in town, is off to a 1-2 start.

Not only that, the Pirates have lost two games in a row for the first time since Coach Ned Mircetic can remember.

"I would have to dig through the archives," Mircetic said. "And that would be a lot of digging."

For the record, it happened when the Pirates lost their third and fourth games of the 1993-94 season. The losses came against Harbor, 71-70, and Hancock, 71-60. Ventura finished 26-6.

The Pirates won their third state championship last season with a 38-0 record, becoming the only women's program to win two titles undefeated. They were 35-0 in 1995-96.

Ventura had a 32-4 record in 1998-99, but didn't lose two in a row.

The Pirates don't have one player from last season's team and the inexperience is showing. It was evident in one-sided losses to Mt. San Antonio and Chaffey at the Chaffey tournament last weekend.

"It's a combination of things," said Mircetic, in his 11th season with the Pirates. "But it doesn't matter what it is. We still have to face the reality Mt. SAC is better than we are and Chaffey is better than we are, so we have to improve."

The Pirates, who have never lost three in a row under Mircetic, face San Diego Mesa today at 3 in the Glendale tournament.

Snapping the losing streak won't be so simple.

"Before, the gap between us and other teams was pretty large," Mircetic said. "The level of competition [this season] is probably as great as it's been since I've been coaching women's basketball."

ANTELOPE VALLEY: Mark Covert, track and cross-country coach, on Friday will be the first man inducted into the NCAA Division II Cross-Country Hall of Fame in Pomona.

Covert was the 1970 Division II cross-country champion, helping Cal State Fullerton to a second-place finish. He finished third in 1971, when the Titans won the team title.

He says he has run at least three miles every day for the last 32 years.

CANYONS: The Cougars (15-5-2), seeded No. 5, travel to No. 4-seeded San Diego Mesa (17-2-1) on Saturday for a second-round game of the Southern California women's soccer regional.

Canyons, Western State Conference Southern Division champion, advanced with a 2-1 victory over Bakersfield on Tuesday.

CAL LUTHERAN: Records fell on both sides of the line of scrimmage during a roller coaster football season that ended with a 49-31 loss to Claremont-Mudd on Saturday.

Cal Lutheran (3-6) allowed an NCAA-record 731 yards passing in a game against Menlo, yet managed to win, 37-32. The Kingsmen scored 51 points against Azusa Pacific, only to lose, 54-51, on the final play.

The Kingsmen set school records for total yards (4,298), average yards a game (477.6) and points per game (41.3). They also set records for allowing the most points (372), passing yards (2,859) and total yards (4,468).

Senior tailback Dorian Stitt concluded his career as the school career scoring leader with 236 points and finished second in career rushing yards with 2,874.

"Going into this season, I never thought I'd get close to the scoring record," Stitt said. "I'm just so thankful I went to Cal Lutheran."

Ryan Geisler finished his career as Cal Lutheran's career leader in field goals (35), extra points (98) and points by a kicker (203).

THE MASTER'S: The men's basketball team began 4-0 for the first time in school history. All-American candidate Jacy Armbruster is averaging a team-high 22.8 points and is one point shy of 1,000 in his career.

Erin Buescher, an All-American transfer from UC Santa Barbara, is averaging a team-high 19.7 points and has a team-high 18 steals.

The men's soccer team, two weeks after being eliminated from the NAIA national tournament, plays Indiana Wesleyan on Friday in the National Christian College Athletic Assn. tournament at Kissimmee, Fla.

Master's (16-4) is seeded No. 2. Wesleyan, the NAIA Midwest Region champion, is seeded No. 8. The tournament final is scheduled for Monday.

Junior midfielder Lucas Bongarra was a first-team All-NAIA selection for Master's. Forward Anthony Brueggeman and midfielder Rusty Brooke were second-team selections.

VALLEY: From defensive lineman to tight end to record-setting quarterback in a span of two seasons, that's the Dallas Enoch story. Enoch's 35 completions in Valley's 56-49 loss to Pierce last week established a school game record and his 56 passes tied the record set by Jim Arellanes in 1994.

VENTURA: The Pirates (16-3-2), seeded No. 3, host No. 11 Grossmont (14-5-2) in the second round of the Southern California women's soccer regional Saturday.

Ventura, WSC Northern Division champion, had a first-round bye.


Staff writers Fernando Dominguez and Vince Kowalick, and correspondent Matt Marini contributed to this notebook.

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