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Briefs: Rakestraw commits to Stanford

Before his senior season begins in the spring, Newport Harbor senior standout verbals to play volleyball for Cardinal.

11:40 PM PDT, October 30, 2012

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Newport Harbor High senior middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw has verbally committed to the Stanford men's volleyball program, his club team, Balboa Bay Volleyball Club, posted on its Facebook page Monday.

Rakestraw, who is 6-foot-11, earned Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team, first-team All-Sunset League and fourth-team All-Orange County honors last season. He totaled 359 kills as a junior.

— From staff reports

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McLaren, Papa, Kapana headed down under

Newport Harbor High alumna Maddy McLaren, Corona del Mar senior Cassidy Papa and Newport Harbor sophomore Carlee Kapana have been selected for the U.S. women's youth national water polo team for an upcoming tournament in Australia.

McLaren, Papa and Kapana will represent Team USA at the FINA Youth (18-and-under) World Championships, scheduled for Dec. 1-9 in Perth, Australia. They are part of the 13-player roster that was announced Monday by USA Water Polo.

McLaren, a defender who is now a freshman at UCLA, was the Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year last year for the Sailors. She scored 72 goals and helped Newport Harbor win its fifth CIF Southern Section Division 1 title, coming back to defeat CdM, 8-7, in the championship match.

Papa, an attacker, is also a two-time Dream Team selection. She shared the CdM team lead with 81 goals last year.

McLaren and Papa have gone to Hungary the past two summers, to train with the U.S. youth national team.

Kapana, a goalkeeper at Harbor, has previously been on the cadet national team the last two years. She helped the team win silver at the Youth Pan American Championships in Puerto Rico in August, 2011.

Nine of the 13 players on the roster for Australia are from Orange County. They also include Mackenzie Barr of Mater Dei, Makenzie Fischer of Laguna Beach, Emily Loughlin of Santa Margarita, Cana Manzella of Foothill, Edison graduate Alys Williams (now at UCLA) and Golden West College freshman Melissa Bergesen.

The U.S. team is coached by Golden West women's coach Kyle Kopp.

— Matt Szabo

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Christian commits to UC Santa Barbara

Newport Harbor High senior Carly Christian has committed to play women's water polo at UC Santa Barbara, she said Tuesday night.

Christian said she was also considering Hawaii and USC, but that she felt comfortable going to UCSB. Her older brother, Myles, is a senior goalie for the Gauchos men's team.

"That's not a reason why I'm going there ... but we do have a lot in common," Carly Christian said. "I plan to play all four years, just like him. It's just a great area, and I can't wait to live there. It's where I feel my best at."

Christian was a first-team All-Sunset League and first-team All-CIF Division 1 honoree last winter, after helping the Sailors win the league title and their fifth Division 1 title.

The speedy Christian, a Newport-Mesa Dream Team selection, had 56 goals, a team-high 32 assists and 44 steals.

She plans to sign her national letter of intent on Nov. 14.

— Matt Szabo

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Ross joins lineup

Olympic silver medalist April Ross has joined the lineup for Sons and Daughters Night: A Salute to Olympians Hosted by Ann Meyers-Drysdale on Nov. 12 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

Ross, a Newport Harbor High product, and partner Jennifer Kessy won silver medals in beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympics.

Ross joins Meyers-Drysdale and other Olympians Ryan Bailey (water polo), Dwight Stones (high jump), Inger Miller (sprints), Dan Klatt (water polo) and Nick Becker (volleyball) for a special evening of stories of inspiration and dedication.

Tickets are $75 and $55 for children under 16. All children in attendance will receive an autographed copy of Ann Meyers-Drysdale's book: "So You Let a Girl Beat You."

For information, call (949) 428-0042.

— From staff reports