SCC Volleyball Bloodied, Not Ready to Bow Out

Given all that has gone wrong for the Southern California College women's volleyball team this season, you'd think Coach Eric Boyles would already be planning for next year.

Of the 15 players on SCC's opening-day roster, only five are entirely healthy and only one of those was a starter at the beginning of the season.

A representative sample:

--Middle blocker Genevie Wright is playing despite having a chronic case of mononucleosis.

--Outside hitter Celeste Young is playing despite a strained quadriceps.

--Outside hitter Simone Burgesmeir is out for the season with biceps tendinitis.

--Middle blocker Tiffany Worthy, who seriously sprained her ankle early in the season, finally got back to full strength in practice last week. But before she was able to play in a match, she aggravated a knee injury and will probably miss the rest of the season.

"We are the ice-bag team," Boyles said. "After matches you think you're watching a football team--all these people with ice bags on their shoulders; it looks like they're wearing shoulder pads."

But Boyles isn't packing it in. Somehow the Vanguards have survived the Golden State Athletic Conference, one of the toughest in the NAIA.

Seven of the eight conference teams been ranked in the top 25 at some point during the season. SCC spent one week at No. 25.

The Vanguards (17-9, 6-7 in the GSAC) finish the regular season by playing host to Cal Baptist (13-13, 6-7) on Saturday. The winner will finish fifth and avoid playing the first-place team in the first round of the conference playoffs Nov. 12.

Fresno Pacific (20-7, 10-3) and Azusa Pacific (20-8, 10-3) are tied for first.

Two weeks ago, the Vanguards came close to upsetting Fresno and Azusa on consecutive nights, each time winning the first two games before losing the final three.

"We are forcing teams to play well to beat us and that's all I can ask of them," Boyles said.

Angela Tonavanik, SCC's only healthy starter, had an outstanding match in a five-game victory over Biola Saturday. Tonavanik, a junior from Costa Mesa High, had 18 kills, second on the team to Janine Katter's 21.

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GSAC cross-country: The Southern California College men's team has a good chance to become the first team from the school to qualify for the NAIA national meet, Coach Bryan Wilkins said.

Azusa Pacific, ranked fifth in the nation, and No. 9 Westmont are expected to finish first and second at the conference meet Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego, but Wilkins says a strong third from the No. 15 Vanguards should earn them an at-large bid to the nationals, Nov. 19 in Kenosha, Wis.

SCC is paced by Jason Schaefer, a junior who qualified for the nationals as an individual last season, juniors Tim Hardin and Wes Hinson and freshman Jon Bischop.

In the women's race, No. 11 Westmont and No. 14 Azusa Pacific should battle for the title. Wilkins said SCC will probably finish third, fourth or fifth.

The Vanguard women were hurt when Nikee Pool, who qualified as an individual the last two seasons, was sidelined for the season because of a groin injury.

Caren Anderson, a freshman from Mission Viejo High, is SCC's best hope to extend a six-year streak of qualifying at least one woman. She ran a personal best 19 minutes 31 seconds for five kilometers to finish 30th at the Bronco Invitational last month.

Concordia's Donna Proia, a junior transfer from Irvine Valley, is another strong local runner. Proia, who helped Irvine Valley to the State community college title last year, wasn't able to train much in the summer, but is gaining ground. She ran a season best at the Bronco Invitational, finishing one place and one second behind Anderson.

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Bonus innings: It's college baseball's off-season, but Southern California College pitcher Ila Borders still had a busy weekend.

Friday and Saturday, Borders, the first women to win a collegiate baseball game, filmed two 30-second commercials for a Japanese sporting goods firm. Sunday, she pitched in a charity baseball game.

In two innings against minor league and major league players, Borders gave up two hits and an unearned run, struck out two and didn't walk a batter.

Because of NAIA eligibility rules, Borders wasn't paid for the commercials, which were filmed at Orange Coast College, but the SCC baseball program is receiving a $5,000 donation that will help defray the costs for trips to San Francisco and Seattle this spring.

Notes

Two Pacific Christian teams are playing in national championship tournaments this week. The women's volleyball team will start defense of its National Christian College Athletic Assn. Division II title today in Springfield, Mo. The Royals (20-9) are seeded second. The men's soccer team, third in Division II last season, is seeded third in the NCCAA Division II tournament in Lakeland, Fla., which starts today. The Royals are 12-2-2. . . . Chapman women's volleyball Coach Mary Cahill says she thinks the Panthers wrapped up an NCAA Division III playoff spot with a victory over La Verne Tuesday. The Panthers (23-7), ranked No. 4 in the western region, finish the regular season at No. 1 UC San Diego Friday, but Cahill said her team should still be picked even if it loses. Pairings will be announced Sunday. . . . The Chapman women's swimming team started its second season at the Occidental Relays Saturday and set three school records. Erin Nowak finished 50 yards in 31.27, 0.08 seconds better than the record Diane Werner set last year. Nowak, Werner, Eileen Shelly and Rachel Katz broke the 200-medley relay record by eight seconds, finishing in 2 minutes 22.11 seconds, and Werner, Katz, Jane Kramer and Robyn Garinger finished the 200 freestyle relay in 2:02.5, nearly eight seconds faster than the previous record. Chapman is at Loyola Marymount Friday and the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational Saturday. . . . Jamie Gardiner, a forward for the SCC women's soccer team, led the GSAC in scoring with 40 points. Gardiner, a sophomore from Sunny Hills High, had 17 goals and six assists. Joy Pelletier, a freshman from Brethren Christian, was fourth in the conference with 33 points (13 goals and seven assists). After a winless inaugural season in 1993, the Vanguards finished 6-11-2 this season.

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