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UNIVERSITY BEAT

Pomona-Pitzer's Merits Also Extend to the Field

September 26, 2003|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

There are clear distinctions in the term "student-athlete" at Pomona and Pitzer colleges.

Literature, molecular biology and political theory come first, football and other sports are a distant second. But for a few hours Saturday, football took center stage.

Pomona-Pitzer stunned Trinity (Texas), last season's NCAA Division III runner-up and the nation's third-ranked team, 35-31, on quarterback Justin Fenchel's one-yard run with 45 seconds remaining.

Even with the upset, the Sagehens (3-0) are not ranked in the latest American Football Coaches Assn. poll. But that's OK with Coach Roger Caron.

"I think it says that when we come to play and everyone pulls their weight, we have a chance to hang in there at any time," said Caron, who is in his 10th year at Pomona-Pitzer.

"We're certainly not a nationally competitive squad, and I don't think anyone is kidding themselves a little bit about that.

"The kids are thrilled. It was a huge win for the program."

Academic rankings, not their place in the football polls, are what the acclaimed private universities emphasize. But defeating a team that has been to the NCAA playoffs six consecutive years is worth celebrating.

"Every kid who played in that game will never forget it," Caron said.

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UC Riverside's 30-26, 30-26, 21-30, 30-27 victory over Long Beach State in women's volleyball showed two things: Riverside's improvement and the likelihood of this being an off year for the once-dominant 49ers.

The victory was the first by Riverside over Long Beach in 21 years. The Highlanders (6-6, 1-1 in Big West Conference) have as many wins as last season.

The defeat ended a run in which the 49ers (6-3, 1-1) appeared in the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. poll for 202 consecutive weeks.

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Buoyed by a 5-0-0 start, the Cal Baptist women's soccer team is ranked in the NAIA top 10 for the first time. The ninth-ranked Lancers have outscored opponents, 21-1, led by freshman Sarai Stamper.

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