The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.
James Williams (Burbank High, 2015) Washington State football sophomore: It didn’t take long for the one-time Burbank star to rewrite his team’s record books.
Williams hauled in 13 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns in Washington State’s 31-0 home victory over Montana State in the season opener Saturday evening.
Both the catches and receiving yards totals set school records in each category for a Washington State running back. Williams also rushed nine times for 45 yards.
Despite Williams piling up the receiving yardage, the sophomore said he wasn’t surprised at how open he was in passing situations out of the backfield.
“No, not really,” Williams said in the postgame press conference. “Last year it happened all the time. Like I told [quarterback] Luke [Falk], don’t just take the sack. I’m right there if you need me. I felt like this year he became way more comfortable with the backfield.”
Falk’s first touchdown was historic as he hit Williams on an 11-yard shovel pass for a score that allowed Faulk to tie the program’s all-time record for passing touchdowns at 90. Falk eventually threw two more scores to take the lead himself.
Washington State is back in action Saturday in a Pacific Northwest showdown versus Boise State in Pullman, Wash. at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Ty Gangi (St. Francis High, 2014) University of Nevada football junior: Despite a defeat, the junior quarterback had a decent debut for the Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon.
The former St. Francis signal-caller completed 16 of 37 passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Nevada’s 31-20 road defeat to Northwestern in the season opener for both squads in Evanston, Ill.
The start was the fifth in Gangi’s tenure in Nevada, but was the first opening-day start for the former St. Francis High and Ventura College standout.
Gangi’s first touchdown came at the 5:31 mark in the first quarter when he hit Matt Demps on an 11-yard pass that, after a successful point-after try, knotted the game at 7.
The score was part of a 17-0 spurt by Nevada that included a Gangi 41-yard touchdown pass to McLane Mannix and was capped on a Spencer Pettit 31-yard field goal with 36 seconds left in the second quarter, which gave Nevada a 17-7 halftime lead.
Northwestern, however, answered with 24 of the game’s final 27 points for a come-from-behind 31-20 triumph.
“We came to win and we’re obviously disappointed we couldn’t come out on top,” Gangi said in the postgame press conference. “I’m proud of my team and I’m proud of my guys and how they competed. We have a lot to learn from this and I’m just excited to go back home.”
Gangi and Nevada will open the home portion of the season Saturday versus Toledo at 4 p.m.
Haley DeSales (Burbank resident) UC Irvine women’s volleyball junior: The 2012 All-Area Girls’ Volleyball Player of the Year is leading a resurgence with the Anteaters.
The outside hitter and La Salle High product leads the team with 77 kills through six matches, is second with 57 digs and has tallied four blocks and six aces.
Last season, UC Irvine sputtered to a 13-18 record and 7-9 mark in the Big West Conference to tie for fifth place.
There is renewed hope this season as the team has a 6-0 record with victories over California (3-1) and Saint Louis (3-1).
On Aug. 26, Irvine defeated Loyola-Chicago, 3-0, to win the Cal Molten Classic as DeSales finished with 27 kills and 30 digs through three matches to be named tournament most valuable player.
DeSales and UC Irvine return to nonconference play Sept. 8 at the UNLV Challenge in Las Vegas versus Louisville in a double-header.
Emily Develle (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2015) Lehigh volleyball junior: If there’s been a consistent force on defense this season for the Mountain Hawks, it’s been Develle.
The former Flintridge Sacred Heart star leads her team in digs with 112 or 4.67 per set out of the libero position. Last season, Develle established herself as one of the Patriot League’s top defenders and finished with 470 digs for the season.
This season, Develle has posted at least 10 digs in every match, while twice collecting 20 digs against Marist (3-1 loss) on Aug. 25 and versus Coppin State (3-0 win) on Aug 26.
So far, Lehigh is 4-3 and is trying to bounce back from a 13-17 record and 8-8 mark in the Patriot League last season, which translated into a fifth-place finish.
Lehigh continues its season Friday versus Utah Valley in the Fight in the Fort Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.