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The Colleges : Accardy Loses Ground in Bid for Respect

Pete Accardy might be getting satisfaction from the success of his Cal State Northridge swimming teams, but he can’t seem to get any respect.

Since 1975, Cal State Northridge swim teams have won 13 NCAA Division II team swimming and diving championships. And although the Northridge women’s swim team won its third consecutive national championship last week, Accardy was slighted for coach-of-the-year honors for the second season in a row.

Perhaps some of the coaches at the national meet, who voted on the award, figure that Accardy owns enough hardware already. Last year, when the Lady Matadors defeated Tampa by a whopping 156 points, the award went to Tampa’s coach. This time, North Dakota finished 117 behind and its coach was the one honored.

Several people at the meet connected with Northridge’s swimming program were noticeably upset with the decision.

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Accardy shrugged it off but seemed a bit confused by it all.

“I’d like somebody to explain it to me, that’s all,” he said. “I guess the first assumption everyone has is that we have everything. Well, we have no money (which amounts to one scholarship) no pool (it breaks down with regularity during key training periods) and we still won by more than 100 points.”

Add CSUN swimming: Northridge won an unprecedented 10 of 18 swimming events in the women’s competition. CSUN has won four of the eight Division II women’s national meets that have been held and has claimed 48 individual titles. Clarion State (Pa.) College, with 19 individual championships, is second.

Ted Hollahan’s victory in the 100-yard freestyle was the only national title won by a member of the CSUN men’s team this season. Northridge has won 64 individual titles in the 26-year history of the men’s national meet. Oakland (Mich.) University is second with 47.

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Armed and ready: Former Agoura High pitcher Donnie Rea is the No. 2 pitcher for the San Jose State baseball team, which is ranked 14th and 17th, respectively, in the Collegiate Baseball-ESPN and Baseball America polls.

Rea, a sophomore left-hander, is 5-1 with a 2.25 earned-run average and has four complete games.

Sean Casey, a junior right-hander at Pepperdine, is 4-0 with a 1.51 ERA. Casey graduated from Granada Hills High and attended Pasadena City College and Santa Rosa College before transferring to Pepperdine.

Arms shortage: The Pierce baseball team, 6-8 overall and 2-3 in the Western State Conference, has received solid performances from sophomore left-hander Pete Dragaloski (3-3), but there is not much else to brag about.

“We have Pete,” Coach Bob Lyons said, “and nobody else.”

So catcher Mike Stephenson and second baseman Louis Birdt are making the conversion to pitcher.

“We’re generating enough runs to win,” said Lyons, whose team is batting .326. “But we’re getting blown out in most games because we’re down 5-0 in the first inning.”

Arms surplus: While Pierce can’t seem to locate anyone that can find the plate with consistency, Valley Coach Chris Johnson is reaping the benefits of a deep staff.

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As expected, sophomore left-hander Joey Kane (4-2) has pitched well.

The surprise for the Monarchs (16-2-1 overall, 4-1 in WSC play) has been the performances of sophomore right-handers Tim DeGrasse and Steve Slattery.

DeGrasse, who was 3-8 with a 5.40 ERA last season, has learned to control his breaking pitches. He is 4-0 and has allowed one earned run in 28 innings.

Slattery never played varsity at St. Genevieve High and was suspended from the Valley team for irregular attendance at practice. This season, he has four saves.

“He’s turned himself around,” Johnson said. “If you had told me last year that I’d be sticking him in games to win them for us, I’d say you’re crazy. But he’s a smart kid and he’s doing the job in school and on the mound.”

A Grande time: Former Glendale High standout Rich Grande’s college basketball career ended Friday when Stanford defeated USC, 66-61, in the quarterfinals of the Pacific 10 Conference tournament at the Forum.

After a high school career filled with victories, Grande became no stranger to defeat. The Trojans lost 79 times during Grande’s career, the most losses any school has had in a four-year period in the conference’s 74-year history. No player--or coach--other than Grande has been with the team for the entire stretch.

“Even though basketball didn’t go as well as I had hoped, there were so many things that made up for it,” Grande said. “USC is a great university and I met a lot of people. It’s been a great experience.”

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Grande played in 115 games, one shy of the school record held by Wayne Carlander. This season, the 6-foot-2 guard led the team in assists with 130. He averaged 3.3 points, made 40.3% of his shots and started the final 13 games.

“I didn’t get a lot of things accomplished that I would have liked to personally,” Grande said. “My shooting percentage should have been higher, and I should have been a little more offensive minded.”

Grande, the only four-year varsity starter in Glendale history, led the team to a 28-0 record and the Southern Section 4-A Division title in 1985 and was named 4-A Player of the Year.

Add Pac-10: Former Cleveland High standout Anthony Kidd was another Valley-area player completing his collegiate career at the Pacific 10 Conference tournament.

Kidd, a guard at Washington State, also spent his career playing for a losing team. The Cougars were 10-19 this season, finishing eighth in the conference.

“I had a good season, but it’s kind of rough when your team’s not doing as well as it should,” said Kidd, who averaged 3.3 points. “Everybody’s struggled, but the best thing is that we played our best ball at the right time.”

Kidd said that he will return to Washington State next year to complete his degree in psychology.

“I’ve had a good and happy four years,” Kidd said. “I’ve grown as a person and a player. I wouldn’t look back and change anything.”

Steven Herbert and staff writers Gary Klein, Mike Hiserman and Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.


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