Sports REDIRECT SECTION: sports olympics

Lindsey Vonn says she's ready to race

With her eyes wide and a big smile, Lindsey Vonn declared herself ready to race for the first time in 10 months.

In an interview with the Associated Press and USA Today Sports, Vonn said she will return to competition in a World Cup downhill Friday at Lake Louise, Canada, the latest major step in her push to get ready for the Sochi Olympics.

She has not raced since a high-speed crash at the world championships in February, when she tore two ligaments in her right knee and broke a bone in her lower leg. About 21/2 weeks ago, Vonn partially re-tore one of those reconstructed ligaments in a crash while training in Colorado.

"You kind of know if your body is ready or not, and I feel like mine's ready," Vonn said Thursday.

"I'm really excited. It's been a long time coming. But … it doesn't feel like I've been gone that long. It just feels like the start of a new season," the 29-year-old American said. "To me, this feels pretty awesome."

ETC.

UCLA women play in soccer final four

Second-ranked UCLA (21-1-2) will play Virginia (24-1) in an NCAA women's soccer national semifinal Friday in Cary, N.C. at 4:30 p.m. PST. The Bruins, champions of the Pac-12 Conference, are the only team in the final four from outside the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia Tech meets Florida State in the other semifinal at 2 p.m.

UCLA has won its four NCAA tournament games by shutout, and goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland has given up only six goals all season. To advance to the final four, UCLA defeated defending national champion North Carolina, 1-0, on a goal by Taylor Smith, who put in a rebound of her own shot in double overtime. The national championship game will be played Sunday at noon PST. All of the final four games are being televised live on ESPNU.

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England's Luke Donald topped the Nedbank Golf Challenge leaderboard at five under par when first-round play at Sun City, South Africa, was suspended for the day because of lightning.

Donald completed 11 holes at Gary Player Country Club.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Wales' Jamie Donaldson were three under. Bjorn played six holes, and Donaldson completed 12. Defending champion Martin Kaymer of Germany was two under after six holes.

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Ireland's David Higgins shot a six-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead in the Hong Kong Open.

Italy's Andrea Pavan was second.

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain opened with a 70. Last year, Jimenez became the oldest champion in European Tour history, winning at 48 years 318 days. He also won the event in 2005 and 2008.

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Stacy Lewis shot a seven-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead during the suspended second round of the Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates.

The third-ranked Lewis, a three-time winner this year on the LPGA Tour, had a nine-under 135 total in the Ladies European Tour's season-ending tournament.

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Two people familiar with the situation said free-agent infielder Rafael Furcal and the Miami Marlins have agreed to terms on a contract.

Both people confirmed the deal to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn't been finalized.

The 36-year-old Furcal, a three-time All-Star, sat out this season after undergoing elbow ligament-replacement surgery in March.

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The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee to be their leadoff hitter, which also means the Brewers are likely to shift Ryan Braun to right field.

Milwaukee received left-hander Will Smith, who spent most of the last couple of seasons shuffling between Kansas City and triple-A Omaha, and between the bullpen and the starting rotation.

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The Angels signed veteran left-handed relief specialist Clay Rapada to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Rapada, 32, has a 4.06 earned-run average in 152 big league games over seven seasons with six teams and has held left-handers to a .164 average. He spent most of 2013 at triple A but had a solid 2012 season with the New York Yankees, going 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 381/3 innings over 70 appearances.

Mike DiGiovanna

The Sparks signed Coach Carol Ross to a multiyear contract extension.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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In a first-round match in the NCAA playoffs, USC's women's volleyball team defeated New Hampshire, 25-9, 25-10, 25-12, at the Galen Center. USC improved to 27-5, and New Hampshire finished 20-13.

In the opening match, Cal State Northridge (24-6) defeated Colorado State (28-2). The Matadors won 25-15, 25-21, 13-25, 18-25, 15-12. They will face the host Trojans in the second round.

ng>to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Rapada, 32, has a 4.06 earned-run average in 152 big league games over seven seasons with six teams and has held left-handers to a .164 average. He spent most of 2013 at triple A but had a solid 2012 season with the New York Yankees, going 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 381/3 innings over 70 appearances.

Mike DiGiovanna

The Sparks signed Coach Carol Ross to a multiyear contract extension.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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In a first-round match in the NCAA playoffs, USC's women's volleyball team defeated New Hampshire, 25-9, 25-10, 25-12, at the Galen Center. USC improved to 27-5, and New Hampshire finished 20-13.

In the opening match, Cal State Northridge (24-6) defeated Colorado State (28-2). The Matadors won 25-15, 25-21, 13-25, 18-25, 15-12. They will face the host Trojans in the second round.

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