The second-ranked UCLA men’s volleyball team (23-5 last year) will open the season Friday in the annual UC Santa Barbara tournament.
Coach Al Scates will begin his 29th season with 10 lettermen, including three starters, returning from last year’s champions of the DeGroot Division in the Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn. Scates has a career record of 753-111. UCLA has won 13 national championships.
Starters who return are two-time senior All-American middle blocker Mike Whitcomb and sophomores Mike Sealy, a setter, and Rich Bland, a technique specialist.
Middle blocker Mike Whitcomb, a 6-foot-10 freshman, is expected to replace three-time All-American Trevor Schirman. Another newcomer is sophomore Aleksandar Babic, a veteran member of the Yugoslav national team.
Nine lettermen, including four starters, return for Coach Marv Dunphy and his No. 5 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team, which will start its season by playing host to UC San Diego at 5:30 this evening at Firestone Fieldhouse. Last year the Waves finished 10-15 and finished fourth in the WIVA’s DeGroot Division.
Leading the returning starters will be sophomore middle blocker Tom Sorenson, who was named Volleyball Monthly’s outstanding freshman last year. Other returning starters include senior middle blocker Brian Merrick, sophomore David Martin and senior George Thompson, who shared duties at setter last year.
Dunphy begins his ninth season at Pepperdine with a career record of 143-61. Pepperdine has won two NCAA championships under Dunphy and another while he was on leave to coach the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, which won a gold medal.
The No. 6 UCLA women’s gymnastics team, which finished fourth at last year’s NCAA meet, will begin its season Sunday at No. 3 Georgia, which came in third at last year’s national meet.
Ten letter winners return for first-year Coach Valorie Kondos, including two All-Americans, sophomore Carol Ulrich and senior Renee Kelly. Other returning standouts include sophomores Rhonda Faehn, a 1988 Olympian, and Paula Rasmussen.
The Pepperdine women’s basketball team (7-7) will begin West Coast Conference play at home this weekend. The Waves will play host to the University of San Diego at 5 p.m. Friday and to Santa Clara (12-2) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Last week the Waves lost to Kentucky, 73-64, but bounced back to defeat Iona, 72-40, and Wyoming, 75-37.
Junior forward Shannon Frowiss leads Pepperdine with averages of 15.7 points and 7.7 rebounds, and freshman point guard Aimee McDaniel is averaging 14.6 points and a team-high 4.1 assists. Senior Sharon Wilson, who separated her right shoulder Nov. 30, has returned to action.
The UCLA women’s basketball team (5-6 overall, 0-1 in the Pacific 10 Conference) will play host to Arizona State (10-2, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday and to Arizona (5-10, 0-2) at 2 p.m. Sunday at the John Wooden Center.
The Bruins are coming off a 73-69 loss to USC. Last week Arizona State beat Washington State and lost to nationally ranked Washington. Arizona lost to both of the Washington schools.
UCLA junior Rehema Stephens is second in the nation and leads the Pac-10 with a scoring average of 28.4 points.
The West Los Angeles College men’s basketball team (9-8 as the week began) will play tonight at 7 at Ventura and entertain Moorpark at 2 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Culver City.
Last week the Oilers beat Santa Barbara City College, 68-67, and Cuesta, 60-59, in double overtime. Against Santa Barbara, Booker Waugh scored 24 points and Keith London added 16 points and 13 rebounds. In the Cuesta game, Waugh had 19 points and London had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Several Westside individuals and relay teams will compete in the high school section of the 32nd Sunkist Invitational track meet, which begins at 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Sports Arena.
Entries include Venice High miler Ben Mesfen and teammate Julio Sierra in the 800-meter run, University High miler Robin Snowbeck, boys’ mile relay teams from Venice and Santa Monica High and a team from Beverly Hills High in the 640-yard relay.
The UCLA women’s and men’s swim teams will play host to UC Santa Barbara teams on Saturday at the UCLA men’s gymnasium pool. Women’s competition will start at 11 a.m. and the men’s meet will begin at 1 p.m.
The Bruin women, tied with USC for sixth in the national rankings, are 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-10. The 10th-ranked Bruin men are 1-3 and 0-2. The Santa Barbara women are 2-2 and the Gaucho men are 2-1.