Oxford will come to UCLA's fourth Crew Classic with a bit of controversy trailing in its wake.
Men's crews from Oxford, UCLA and Keio University of Japan will compete in the featured race, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday at La Ballona Creek in Marina del Rey. Admission is free.
In January, four Americans--including U. S. national team star Chris Clark of Newport Beach--who were rowing for Oxford left that team because of a dispute over Clark's removal from the crew.
Yet Oxford still managed to defeat Cambridge late in March in the 159th renewal of their race on the River Thames and should be tough to beat Saturday. At last year's local race, Cal won by six seconds over UCLA, which finished two inches ahead of Oxford to take second place.
In last week's San Diego Crew Classic, UCLA and first-year Coach Zenon Babraj defeated Cal but failed to reach the finals.
Preliminary races will start at noon and will feature crews from the University of Washington, San Diego State and Orange Coast College and women's teams from UCLA and Mills.
The top-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team, which last week clinched the Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn. championship and a berth in the NCAA semifinals, will close out conference play when it entertains San Diego State at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins, 34-3 overall and 16-0 in league play as the week began, took the conference title with a three-game sweep at Stanford. They have won 23 consecutive matches and are unbeaten in 13 home matches.
It was UCLA's 14th conference championship since 1964 and the fifth since 1980. The final four teams in the NCAA tournament will play for the championship May 1 and 2 at Pauley.
Against Stanford last week, the Bruins were led by All-American senior outside hitter Ozzie Volstad, who had 14 kills, and freshman Trevor Schirman, who had 11. UCLA hit .372 as a team to Stanford's .323.
UCLA leads the series against San Diego State, 46-1. This year the Aztecs are 7-14 overall and 3-12 in the WIVA.
The No. 2 Pepperdine men's volleyball team, which has clinched second place in the WIVA and finished the regular season, is the top seed in the NCAA Western Regional April 23 and 25 at San Diego State.
Last week the Waves (21-6 and 15-3), who have won the last two NCAA championships, lost their final conference match in three games to UC Santa Barbara but defeated Loyola Marymount and San Diego State.
Pepperdine Coach Rod Wilde said that his team is "intent on making a fifth straight appearance in the final four. I suspect the competition will be tight at the (regional), but our team has plenty of postseason experience."
Wilde said he was displeased "with our lack of effort at UC Santa Barbara, but the match was meaningless as far as the standings were concerned. . . . I don't know if history will repeat itself, but we played a horrible match at UCLA last year to end the regular season and then bounced back to win the whole thing."
The second-ranked UCLA women's gymnastics team, which won last week's NCAA West Regional with a school-record team score of 190.75, is the top seed in the NCAA meet April 24-25 at Salt Lake City. Last year the Bruins finished seventh in the nationals.
In leading UCLA to the fourth-highest score ever in women's college gymnastics at the regional, three Bruins finished one-two-three in the all-around. Freshman Kim Hamilton won with a personal best mark of 38.40, sophomore Tanya Service was second at 38.30 and sophomore Birgit Schier third at 38.05.
The UCLA men's and women's track teams will play host to Houston Saturday at Drake Stadium. Women's field events will start at 11 a.m. and the men's at 1 p.m. The first women's race will be at 1:30 p.m., and the men's first running event will be at 2.
The Bruin men are 7-0 in dual matches, and the UCLA women are 4-0.
In last week's Cal State Northridge invitational, Bruin freshman Laurie Chapman ran 16:42.6 in the 5,000 meters, and top marks by UCLA men included sophomore David Wilson's season best of 203-6 in the hammer throw, sophomore Mike Marsh's 47.37 and senior John Stanich's season best of 47.59 in the 400 and senior Tom Grewe's 3:51 in the 1,500.
Other top marks by Bruin men at Northridge were by junior Jim Ortiz, 9:05 in the 3,000; senior Greg Hauser, 14:43.2 in the 5,000; senior Jerry Marsh, 30:15.5 in the 10,000; sophomore Victor Santamaria, 31:41.25 in the 10,000 and sophomores Chris O'Connor and Johnny Lee, each with personal bests of 16-0 in the pole vault.
UCLA junior Gail Devers ran a 23.19 in the 200 at Stanford last week to qualify for the NCAA meet. Devers had already qualified in the 100 and 400 and the 100 hurdles.
Pepperdine's baseball team, which has won nine straight games and 20 of its last 23, will try to clinch first place in the West Coast Athletic Conference and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament when it plays host to St. Mary's in a three-game series this weekend.
The Waves, ranked third nationally by Baseball America, will open with a single game against the Gaels at 3 p.m. Friday and finish with a doubleheader at noon Saturday at Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu. Pepperdine is 32-8-3 overall and 14-1 in conference action. St. Mary's is 14-23 and 5-6.
Last week the Waves swept three at Nevada Reno, outscoring the Wolf Pack, 37-15, and hitting .417 as a team. Pepperdine also had 16 extra-base hits in Nevada.
Pepperdine Coach Dave Gorrie said that his team has not only had a potent offense in recent weeks but that the pitching has also been "coming around. . . . The addition of Tony Lewis just adds another experienced arm to our staff."
Lewis, who was sidelined for seven weeks after he suffered multiple fractures of the cheekbone when he was hit by a line drive, returned to action last week. Lewis pitched four scoreless innings to earn a win over Cal Lutheran last week and then picked up a save in the second game of doubleheader with Nevada Reno.
The No. 6 UCLA baseball team, 29-13-1 overall and 12-6 and in second place in the Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division, will play host to Arizona State at 2:30 p.m. Friday and at 1 p.m. Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium at the Veterans Administration Center.
Stanford (28-11) overall leads the Southern Division with a 12-4 mark. Arizona State (24-19 overall) is in third place with a 9-9 record.
The No. 3 UCLA women's softball team, 29-5 overall and 0-2 in the Pac-10 Conference at the start of the week, will play host to U.S. International in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Sunset Canyon diamond on campus.
Last week the Bruins opened Pac-10 play by losing a doubleheader at Cal, 3-0 and 1-0, and came back to sweep Nevada Reno, 3-0 and 7-0. In the second game with Nevada Reno, UCLA senior outfielder Sandra (Sam) Aldredge batted in a run, her 22nd RBI of the season, to set a school, single-season record. Aldredge continues to lead the Bruins with a .436 batting average.
The No. 3 UCLA men's tennis team, which lost to top-ranked USC, 8-1, last week, will try to solidify its hold on second place in the Pac-10 Southern Division when it travels to the Bay Area this weekend.
The Bruins (19-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play) will play Friday at Cal (16-7, 4-3) and Saturday at Stanford (11-8, 4-3). UCLA will complete conference action when it plays host to Arizona at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on campus.
UCLA Coach Glenn Bassett said that USC has its "strongest team in many years and will be heavy favorites to win the NCAA championships" at Athens, Ga., May 15-23.
"I expect us to be invited to the NCAAs, and perhaps we will get another opportunity to play the Trojans there," Bassett said. "Outside of USC, the other top teams throughout the country appear to be evenly matched."
Otis Smith, Bassett's No. 1 singles player, is expected to return to action against Cal and Stanford this weekend. Smith has missed the last three matches because of eye problems from contact lenses.
The No. 10 Pepperdine men's tennis team (15-5) will play host to UC Santa Barbara at 1:30 p.m. Monday and to Cal at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday .
Wave Coach Allen Fox said that in the final weeks of the season "it is imperative to establish some positive momentum before we leave for Georgia" and the NCAAs. "I'd like to think that we should be seeded among the top eight teams at the NCAA tournament.
"With the possible exception of USC, there is not much distinction (among) the next eight or 10 teams, so that should provide a showcase for some exciting matches. If things come together for us, we certainly have the personnel to be a challenger for the NCAA title."
Among the personnel are freshman Andrew Sznaidjer , ranked third nationally in singles, who has a 13-2 record in dual matches; No. 22 Martin Laurendeau (9-5) and No. 69 Robby Weiss (12-3).
The No. 2 UCLA women's tennis team, 20-3 overall and 7-0 in Pac-10 play, will play host to No. 3 Cal at 1 p.m. Friday and to No. 5 Stanford at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on campus.
Last week the Bruins saw their 20-match unbeaten streak snapped in Texas. UCLA lost by identical 5-4 scores to Southern Methodist, Texas and Trinity.
The No. 22 Pepperdine women's tennis team (9-20) will play host to Indiana at 1:30 p.m. Monday and then play UC Irvine at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Irvine.
Top Waves in singles have been senior Marisa Sanchez, who is 17-12 in dual matches, and freshmen Carrie Crisell (19-2) and Ginger Helgeson (18-7).
Scott Daley of Santa Monica, Alan Sarlo of Marina del Rey and Randy Wright of Venice are among the top professional surfers who will compete in the Body Glove Easter Classic Friday through Sunday at the Hermosa Beach Pier.
The competition is part of the Budweiser U.S. pro tour of surfing and bodyboarding. On the tour as of March 3, Daley was ranked second, Sarlo eighth and Wright ninth. Another entry at Hermosa is Solo Scott of Venice, ranked 39th.
UCLA sophomore soccer players Lucas Martin, Ray Fernandez and Billy Thompson are in Miami Beach this weekend , trying out for the U.S. team that will play in the Youth World Cup in October in Chile.