Locals remain alive

KRISTIANSAND, Norway — Newport Harbor High product April Ross and former Estancia High standout Matt Fuerbringer both advanced with their respective partners Thursday at the Otera Open beach volleyball tournament.

Ross, the No. 5 women's seed along with Jen Kessy, defeated No. 13-seeded Angie Akers and Tyra Turner, 21-19, 21-19, in a third-round match. Ross, a Costa Mesa resident, and Kessy will face Brazilians Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in today's fourth round of the Federation Internationale de Volleyball World Tour event.

Fuerbringer and partner Nick Lucerna, the No. 4 seed in the men's draw, won a pair of matches Thursday to earn a berth in today's third round.

Fuerbringer and Lucerna defeated No. 29-seeded Matteo Martino and Paolo Nicolai of Italy, 25-23, 18-21, 15-11, in the first round, then topped No. 20-seeded Philip Gabathuler and Jan Schnider of Switzerland, 21-19, 21-12, in the second round.

— From staff reports

Anteaters picked third

UC Irvine received two first-place votes and has been picked to finish third in the Big West Conference women's soccer preseason coaches poll announced Thursday.

Coach Scott Juniper's Anteaters finished with 60 points, behind UC Santa Barbara (75) and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (61). UCSB received four first-place votes and Cal Poly received two.

Pacific, which finished fourth in the poll with 58 points, had the only other first-place vote.

UCI was 12-7-2 last season, 4-2-1 in conference. The 'Eaters qualified for the four-team conference postseason tournament and return three All- Big West performers.

UCI, which opens its season Aug. 20 at home against Idaho, welcomes back first-team all-conference defender Judy Christopher, who will be a junior, as well as second-team all-conference performers Tanya Taylor and Dana Sanderlin.

Taylor, a senior, and Sanderlin, a sophomore, both produced six goals and four assists last season to share the team scoring lead with 16 points.

Additional standouts for UCI include sophomores Devon Delarosa (four goals and five assists in 2009) and Mar Rodriguez (five goals and two assists).

Rodriguez was a starting midfielder for the Mexico under-20 national team that won its group and reached the quartrfinals of the U20 Women's World Cup, contested in Germany in July.

Christopher, as well as junior defender Courtney Gibson, helped the U20 Eagles club team from Camarillo win the U.S. National Soccer Championships in July.

UCI is also bolstered by the return of senior goalie Danielle de Seriere, who posted eight of the team's nine shutouts last season and finished with an 0.99 goals-against average.

UCSB is the two-time-defending conference champion and returns eight starters and 21 letter winners from last season.

— From staff reports

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