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Golden West Prepares to Meet Its Rival

There’s another meeting in the hottest community college rivalry in Orange County--between the Golden West and Orange Coast men’s volleyball teams--Saturday at Orange Coast.

The teams play Wednesday and Friday in other Orange Empire Conference matches before Saturday’s showdown.

Golden West (11-1 in conference) already has beaten Orange Coast (11-1 in conference) once this year but things are hardly going smoothly for the Rustlers, who have won three consecutive state titles, including beating OCC in the title match the last two years.

Coach Mike D’Alesandro was suspended for two matches last week by athletic director Tom Hermstad for reasons neither would discuss. The Rustlers lost one of those matches, in five games to Los Angeles Pierce on Wednesday. But Hermstad said he met Monday with D’Alesandro and the coach will return to the bench for Wednesday’s match at Palomar.

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Hermstad said he also will have a meeting with the players and D’Alesandro today “so everyone is one the same page.”

Orange Coast Coach Chuck Cutenese has a more immediate problem in his Wednesday match at third-place Grossmont (8-4), which is much improved from the start of the season.

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Doug Smith, a former center for the Rams, will be an offensive line coach at Saddleback College, Coach Dick Stuetz said Monday.

Smith played for the Rams from 1978-91. Most recently, he was an assistant at USC, but lost his job when Coach John Robinson was fired at the end of last season.

“We’re really excited to have him here,” Stuetz said, “He can really relate well to the kids.”

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Details are sketchy: The state community college office in Sacramento has said there will be a second consecutive state championship football game and Blue Diamond would again be the sponsor but said no other details were available.

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“We know that we’re going to have a game but we don’t know anything else,” state commissioner Joanne Fortunato said.

Last year’s game, which was won by Mt. San Antonio, was played at Cal State Fullerton.


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