There was a 67% chance that the Valley area would be represented in the Southern California junior college team tennis regionals when coaches from the region convened to select the tournament's final entries Thursday night.
Three schools--Pierce, Moorpark and Orange Coast--were left to vie for one at-large berth in the tournament, which begins next week.
The winner: Orange Coast.
Moorpark finished third in the Western State Conference, so even though the Raiders split their season series with second-place Pierce, they were quickly dropped from consideration.
Pierce has a 6-3 victory over OCC, but only after the Pirates, who finished second in the South Coast Conference, were forced to forfeit two singles and all three doubles matches because they used an ineligible player.
Paul Xanthos, Pierce's coach, said that Orange Coast prevailed in a vote because his peers felt the Pirates were playing better tennis than Pierce in the past month.
"I made my argument on the basis of record, but, apparently, the coaches didn't accept that," Xanthos said.
All three teams probably would have made the field had there not been a three-way tie for the Pacific Coast Conference championship. Mira Costa, Grossmont and San Diego Mesa all tied for first and advanced to the regionals. Pierce defeated Mira Costa, 7-2, in a nonconference match this season.
The regional field consists of Santa Barbara of the WSC, Saddleback and Orange Coast of the Orange Empire Conference, Long Beach City College of the South Coast Conference, College of the Desert of the Foothill Conference, and Mira Costa, Grossmont and San Diego Mesa.
Breaking even: Aaron Rudelson is 1-1 for the Hampshire College (Amherst, Mass.) baseball team that the freshman right-hander helped found during the fall.
Rudelson, a drama student and former All-Southern Section pitcher at Highland Hall, pitched a two-hitter and struck out 15 to earn his win last Saturday.
"The temperature was 50 degrees when the game began and it got progressively colder as the clouds rolled in," Rudelson said.
During the fall, Rudelson and two other teammates persuaded the school's administration to fund the program, which has two games remaining on its inaugural four-game schedule.
Rudelson, who was 13-1 with a 1.40 earned-run average and also batted .539 last season at Highland Hall, hopes to have a longer schedule next season.
"Everybody's pretty committed and puts out 100%," Rudelson said. "The thing about our team is we have a lot of spirit."
Calling all coaches: Paul Dunham, athletic director at Moorpark College, said that the school is conducting a monthlong search for candidates to replace baseball Coach Ron Stillwell, who will resign at the end of the season.
"We'll advertise the job," Dunham said. "I've already received about four or five calls of recommendation for different people."
Candidates for the part-time position, which is listed as a 10-hour-a-week assignment, need a bachelor's degree.
Football fever: It's only April, but the weekend is full of football for Cal State Northridge.
On Saturday at 7 p.m., the Matadors will conclude spring practice with a intrasquad scrimmage at North Campus Stadium.
The following day, Northridge will host a reunion for former players and coaches at the AirTel Hotel in Reseda.
Among the former Matador coaches expected in be in attendance are Tom Keele, now an assistant at Cal; Sam Winningham, the chairman of CSUN's physical education department; and Gary Torgeson, coach of Northridge's top- ranked softball team.
The event, which begins with no-host cocktails at 5 p.m., is a $100-per person fund-raiser for the Northridge football program.
Staff writers Mike Hiserman and Gary Klein contributed to this notebook.