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Community College Notebook : Orange Coast Women Seek to Repeat

The Orange Coast College women’s tennis team, winners of three state dual team titles in four years, plays Bakersfield today in a Southern California Regional semifinal match at L.A. Pierce at 2 p.m.

OCC, which won the state dual title last season and in ’84 and ’85, is an all-freshman team led by Julie Slattery. Slattery, from Edison High School, won the Orange Empire Conference singles championship last weekend and paired with Natalie Hastings of Estancia to win the doubles title.

Slattery is also in the final of the Ojai tournament, which was postponed because of the rain. The final will be played Thursday.

Slattery led OCC to the Orange Empire Conference team title this season. It was the 10th consecutive conference team title the OCC women have won for Coach Janice Maran.

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The winner of the OCC-Bakersfield match meets the winner of the Grossmont-Golden West match for the Southern California championship and the right to play the Northern California winner for the state title.

OCC was 13-2 against community college teams this season, losing to Grossmont and Palomar. Grossmont defeated Palomar for the Pacific Coast Conference title, knocking Palomar out of the playoffs.

The Southern California Regional final will be at Ventura on May 10.

The state baseball coaches association approved a new playoff system last summer in an effort to get more teams into the playoffs. Under the old system, eight teams made the Southern California Regionals and four made it to the state tournament.

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Now, 14 teams make the regional and two reach the state tournament.

This season, the five conference winners and top-seeded second-place team in Southern California earn automatic berths. A seeding committee of conference representatives will then meet after the regular season ends Saturday and decide which second-place team gets the automatic berth.

The committee will also rank eight wild-card teams into a single-elimination round. The eighth teams play May 12 and the four winners play again May 14. The two survivors will join the other six teams as the eight Southern California finalists.

The teams then are seeded into two groups of four and sent into two double-elimination, four-team Southern California Regionals May 20-22. The sites for the regionals have yet to be determined.

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The winners of the two regionals will meet the winners of the two Northern California Regionals in the four-team state tournament May 27-29 at UC Irvine.

Brad Hopper, a Fullerton sophomore right-hander with a 6-1 record, has signed a national letter of intent to attend Fresno State next fall. Hopper tied the Fullerton single-game record for strikeouts with 18 last Tuesday as the Hornets defeated Long Beach, 8-6.

Hopper threw 170 pitches in the game, then worked 2 innings Saturday. He got another strikeout but Fullerton lost to Golden West, 7-5. Hooper has 64 strikeouts in 68 innings.

The Orange Coast junior varsity crew won the Palmer Cup with 23 points last weekend at the Newport Regatta. UCLA (18) was second and UC Santa Barbara (17) third and UC Irvine (9) fourth.

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OCC’s JV eights covered the 2,000-meter course in 6 minutes and 20.80 seconds, nearly five seconds faster than UCLA (6:25.10).


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