'Eaters garner respect

The UC Irvine men's volleyball team finished tied for first in the 2011 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation preseason coaches' poll.

The Anteaters and USC each finished with 100 points and three first-place votes in the 12-school conference.

Six teams earned at least one first-place vote, including reigning NCAA champion Stanford (two) and BYU (two). Pepperdine and UCLA received one first-place vote.

Stanford finished third (96 points), followed by Pepperdine (90), BYU (85), Hawaii (83) and UCLA (68).

UCI, which claimed NCAA titles in 2007 and 2009 under Coach John Speraw, finished eighth in the MPSF last season. The 'Eaters were 15,15, 10-12 in conference. They return All-Americans Carson Clark, Jordan DuFault and Kevin Wynne.

UCI opens the season Jan. 7-8 in a tournament at UC Santa Barbara. Its first home match is the MPSF opener against UC San Diego on Jan. 12.

— From staff reports

Locals recognized

Orange Coast College defensive end Bryce Brantley and Santa Ana College quarterback Andrew McDonald, a Newport Harbor High product, have earned first-team All-East Conference honors in football.

OCC placed six players on the second team in the six-school conference.

Brantley, a sophomore, had 9.5 sacks, third in the 37-school Southern California Football Assn. Of his 36 tackles, 12.5 were made behind the line of scrimmage. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder had 6.5 sacks as a freshman in 2009. His nine solo sacks in 2010 ranked No. 2 in the SCFA.

McDonald, who led the Dons to a 52-43 win over Grossmont in the Beach Bowl on Nov. 20, is a 6-3, 200-pound freshman transfer from the University of Arizona.

McDonald, the Newport-Mesa Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2008, helped Santa Ana lead the SCFA in passing efficiency. He completed 167 of 242 passes for 2,196 yards and 28 touchdowns. He threw 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 289 yards and six touchdowns on 60 attempts. He threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in the bowl win.

McDonald ranked second in the SCFA in passing efficiency, was seventh in passing yards per game and 11th in total offense. The Dons, second in the SCFA in scoring at 38.5 per game, were 10-1, 4-1 in conference.

Freshman tailback Robert Penny and sophomore tight end Jeff Waldron, a Costa Mesa High product, represented OCC (2-8, 1-4) on the second-team offense.

Sophomore strong safety Bryan Pali, sophomore tackle Isaiah Reupena and sophomore outside linebacker Travis McNaughton represented OCC on the second-team defense.

OCC sophomore Keali'i Doll was named to the second team as a returner.

Penny carried 127 times for 607 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had three receptions.

Waldron had 20 receptions for 252 yards and three touchdowns. His 12.6 yards per catch led the Pirates.

Pali led OCC with 65 tackles, including a team-best 36 solo stops. He had one interception and four tackles for loss.

McNaughton, whom Coach Mike Taylor called the team's best defensive player, had 45 tackles in eight games. He made six tackles for loss and had one interception and one fumble recovery.

Reupena made 48 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

OCC finished No. 3 in rushing defense, No. 9 in total defense and No. 1 in fewest first downs allowed in the SCFA.

Doll, who also led the Pirates with 32 receptions for 349 yards and three touchdowns, averaged 10.5 yards on 20 punt returns and 15.2 yards on nine kickoff returns. He returned one punt for a touchdown. His 80.5 all-purpose yards per game also led the team.

— Barry Faulkner

UCI guard honored

UC Irvine senior point guard Jade Smith-Williams was named Big West Conference Player of the Week in women's basketball.

Smith-Williams averaged 20.3 points and 4.0 assists in three nonconference wins last week to help the Anteaters (5-3) extend their winning streak to five.

She scored 20 and made all eight free-throw attempts in a 65-53 win over Wyoming on Nov. 29. She did not have a turnover in 40 minutes.

In an 82-65 win over Pepperdine Wednesday, she had a season-high 21 points to go with five rebounds and six assists.

Against Portland State on Saturday, she had 20 points, four rebounds and three assists.

For the week, she made 31 of 33 foul shots.

— From staff reports

Peters singled out

Newport Harbor High product Kasey Peters, a senior quarterback at Rocky Mountain College in Montana, has been named Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the Frontier Conference for the second straight football season.

Peters, who completed 177 of 274 passes for 2,330 yards and 22 TDs with seven interceptions, was joined on the first team by former Orange Coast College standout Nathan Barnett, a senior receiver at Rocky Mountain, an NAIA school.

Peters rushed 73 times for 390 yards and three TDs in eight games.

Barnett had 50 receptions for 747 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 games for the Battlin' Bears, who finished 6-5, 6-4 in conference, good for second place.

Barnett also had 96 rushing yards and one touchdown on 10 attempts.

— From staff reports

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