Rest Helps Strange’s Pain, Hurts Chapman’s Record

There are few remedies that Rena Strange hasn’t tried to relieve the pain from a herniated disk she sustained last October.

She has rested her back, swum and worked with a machine that isolates and strengthens certain muscles, and even had cortisone injections. But the pain has returned with the Chapman University women’s volleyball season.

Giving up her final season of collegiate volleyball is not a remedy Strange is considering, so she and Chapman Coach Mary Cahill have worked out a pain-reducing system. Cahill only uses Strange, who was a second-team all-conference middle blocker last season, in key matches.

“Her back is not going to get much better,” Cahill said. “She’s just got to play with pain and let me know how she’s doing.”


Strange was on the bench Tuesday night when the Panthers (9-5) lost in three games to Westmont, resting for the team’s fourth tournament of the season this weekend in San Angelo, Tex.

“I’m sitting there on the sideline thinking, ‘Gosh, I could be making a difference,’ ” Strange said. “It’s that whole competitive thing--wanting to be in there, especially during my senior year.”

Tournaments are especially hard on Strange because of consecutive matches. She usually plays in every other tournament match, which might account for some of the team’s inconsistency this season.

Last season, Strange, a 6-foot middle blocker, led Chapman in blocks and was second in kills to Debi Waller, a second-team, All-American selection. Strange injured her back while warming up for a CCAA match with Cal Poly Pomona and missed the final five matches of the regular season before returning for the Panthers’ first-round loss to eventual Division II champion West Texas State in the NCAA playoffs.


Chapman was the only team in the NCAA tournament to win a game against West Texas State, and with everyone returning this season except setter Brooke Shakel, the Panthers expected big success.

But Tara Christensen, a 6-4 starting middle blocker, left school before the season, and Strange’s injury continued to slow her.

Chapman opened its season in the Christ College Irvine tournament, eventually losing to Humboldt State in the title match, then went 2-2 in the UC Davis tournament. Last weekend, the Panthers won the Cal State Dominguez Hills tournament.

“We were looking forward to this year being a really strong season, but it hasn’t worked out that way yet,” Strange said. “Hopefully, by the time conference starts, it will come together.”


Before Chapman’s California Collegiate Athletic Assn. season starts next Wednesday at Cal State Los Angeles, the 11th-ranked Panthers will travel to Angelo State for a tournament that includes No. 1 West Texas State, No. 9 Florida Southern and No. 20 Missouri St. Louis.

Add rankings: Four teams advanced to the Division II playoffs from the CCAA, which has won won five of the 10 Division II volleyball championships contested, and the conference again is well represented in the rankings. Besides Chapman, UC Riverside (No. 4), Cal State Bakersfield (No. 6) and Cal Poly Pomona (No. 12) are in the top 20.

Southern California College is in need of an assistant men’s basketball coach. Randy Hawkins, an assistant at SCC for nine years, resigned Sunday because of increased family responsibilities brought on by his father’s death.

Hawkins, who played basketball for the Vanguards from 1977-79, also recently took on the responsibilities of an administrator at SCC. He is now the college’s director of financial services after being the director of financial aid.


Because basketball practice started Monday, the part-time coaching position is available immediately. For information call, Athletic Director Ron Prettyman at 556-3610.

College Division Notes

The SCC women’s volleyball team got some attention by defeating Point Loma Nazarene--then ranked No. 13--Saturday. The Vanguards, who received no notice in the first NAIA rankings, were listed among the others receiving votes in the poll released Monday. Point Loma dropped to 16th. . . . SCC junior Amber Coley had her best time of the season--19 minutes 36.84 seconds for five kilometers--and finished seventh Saturday at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego. The Vanguards finished fourth in the open team division. . . . Christ College Irvine’s Eagle 5000 road race, scheduled for Oct. 19, is open to the public. The 5K course, which starts and finishes on the Irvine campus and passes through Mason Regional Park, is mostly flat. The entry fee--T-shirt and post-race continental breakfast included--is $13 before Oct. 8 and $16 on race day. The first three overall finishers in the men’s and women’s divisions will earn $100, $75 and $50. For more information call 854-8002, ext. 423.