Orloff, Pettis All-Stars

Former UC Irvine baseball standouts Ben Orloff and Eric Pettis have earned spots in Tuesday night's New York-Penn League All-Star game at Staten Island, N.Y.

Both will compete for the National League affiliates team against the American League squad at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

Orloff is in his second season with the Tri-City ValleyCats and leads the team in batting with a .311 average and 12 stolen bases. The versatile infielder has played at second base, shortstop and third base this season. Orloff, a 2009 All-American at UCI, won the Brooks Wallace Award as the nation's best shortstop that season and also was voted to Lowe's Senior CLASS All-America first team. He was named the 2009 Big West Conference Player of the Year.

Pettis, who is playing this season for the Williamsport Crosscutters, is 7-0 with four saves and a 1.41 earned-run average. Pettis has pitched in 12 games with five starts and has struck out 46 in 442/3 innings. He was a three-time, All-Big West Conference first-team pitcher for the 'Eaters and a two-time All-American.

— From staff reports

Ross, Kessy advance

Newport Harbor High product April Ross will partner with her U.S. women's volleyball teammate Jen Kessy and face fellow Americans Angie Akers and Tyra Turner today in the third round of the main draw of the Otera Open in Kristiansand, Norway, part of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

Ross and Kessy, who are seeded fifth, defeated Kjersti Hansen and Mari Berget of Norway in the first round, 21-11, 21-12, in 33 minutes on Wednesday. In the second round, they beat 21st-ranked Ying Huang and Yuan Yue of China, 21-19, 21-18, in 41 minutes.

Ross and Kessy, the reigning FIVB world champions after capturing the 2009 title in Stavanger, Norway, have won all seven previous World Tour matches with Akers and Turner.

Today's meeting will be the first this year between the two teams on the international tour. Akers and Turner defeated their compatriots earlier this season at the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Nivea Tour event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for their only win against Ross and Kessy.

The 13th-seeded Akers and Turner advanced to the third round by upsetting fourth-seeded Vivian Cunha and Taiana Lima of Brazil, 21-19, 21-23, 15-11, in 54 minutes in the second round on Wednesday. Akers and Turner won their first-round match over France's 20th-seeded Eva Hamzaoui and Mathilde Giordano, 21-19, 21-5 in 31 minutes.

The men's main draw will begin today. The top-ranked U.S. men's team of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers will open its quest for its eighth FIVB gold medal of the season against Ukraine's 32nd-seeded Sergiy Popov and Valeriy Samoday in the first round.

The fourth-seeded U.S. team of Matt Fuerbringer, an Estancia High graduate, and Nick Lucena, which won the silver medal at the Tour A1 Grand Slam 10 in Klagenfurt, Austria, but had to withdraw from the Mazurey Orlen Grand Slam in Poland last week due to injury, is back in the main draw. Fuerbringer and Lucena are scheduled to play 29th-ranked Matteo Martino and Paolo Nicolai of Italy today.

— From staff reports

Xepoleas loses

Incoming Corona del Mar High senior Lynda Xepoleas battled, but in the end she fell in the round of 32 on Wednesday at the United States Tennis Assn. Girls' 18 Nationals in San Diego.

Xepoleas, the Purdue commit seeded No. 17, fell to No. 7-seeded Whitney Kay of Alpharetta, Ga., 7-5, 6-1.

Kay is ranked No. 1 in the country in the most recent USTA girls' 18s rankings. Xepoleas is No. 5.

Xepoleas said Wednesday night that she had played Kay before, so she knew what to expect. But in the end, her opponent was very consistent.

"She had a lot of spin, a good forehand down the line," Xepoleas said. "Mentally pretty tough, too. I played decent. I fought back in the first set."

Xepoleas will continue in the consolation bracket, where she faces Victoria Duval in a fourth-round consolation match this morning.

"I didn't really have a round I wanted to get to [at nationals]," Xepoleas said. "I really just wanted to play good and kind of go from there, work on some things."

— Matt Szabo

Thompson selected

UC Irvine senior men's soccer standout Spencer Thompson has been named to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List for the 2010 season.

Thompson is one of 39 players named to the watch list and is the only player from the Big West Conference to be represented. Thompson was named All-Far West Region first team in 2009 after recording 18 points with seven goals and four assists.

The MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The recipients are selected by NCAA Division I coaches who are members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

Voting for the MAC Hermann Trophy is conducted in late November, when a field of 15 semifinalists is reduced to three finalists. Those three will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis Jan. 7, 2011, when a news conference will be held to announce the winner.

— From staff reports

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