SANTA BARBARA — Senior Cortney Collyer scored a team-high four goals to pace the UC Irvine women's water polo team to its third straight Big West Conference Tournament title with an 11-5 triumph Sunday at UC Santa Barbara.
The win, the seventh straight for the No. 10-ranked Anteaters (21-8) gives UCI an automatic NCAA Tournament berth, the first NCAA Tournament trip in the program's history. This is the first year the Big West Tournament winner was granted an at-large berth.
UCI, which has won 11 of its last 12 and is now 8-0 in the three-year history of the Big West Tournament, is the No. 5 seed in the eight-team NCAA Tournament that runs May 13 through 15 at the University of Michigan.
UCI will play No. 4-seeded USC (18-6) in the quarterfinals on May 13. USC, the reigning NCAA champion, which finished fifth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, defeated UCI, 14-4, in their only meeting this season on March 12.
Collyer, the Big West Tournament MVP, helped Coach Dan Klatt's squad seize a 6-2 halftime lead. UCI led, 10-4, after three periods as senior Lauren Davis matched her career high with 13 saves.
USC includes Newport Harbor High products Kaleigh Gilchrist, Nicolina McCall and Colleen McCall.
Gilchrist (15 goals) is a freshman center, Nicolina McCall (11 goals) is a sophomore center and Colleen McCall is a freshman driver.
The NCAA field's top three seeds are Stanford, Cal and UCLA, respectively.
UC Irvine 4, Pacific 0
INDIAN WELLS — Junior Chris Kearney won in singles and doubles in Sunday's final to pace the Anteaters to their second straight Big West Conference Tournament title at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Kearney defeated Artem Gramma, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 1 singles and teamed with senior Stephen Stege on an 8-6 triumph at No. 1 doubles.
UCI (19-7) earns a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, for which pairings will be announced Tuesday.
It's the 14th Big West crown for UCI, which received singles wins from Shan Sondhu and Steven Henderson, as well as a doubles victory from Ryan Cheung and Corona del Mar High product Fabian Matthews.
UC Irvine 7,
Cal State Bakersfield 0
BAKERSFIELD — Sophomore left-hander Matt Whitehouse allowed just three hits in eight innings to help the visiting Anteaters win the rubber game of the nonconference series Sunday.
Whitehouse struck out a career-best seven in his longest outing as an Anteater. He did not walk a batter and improved to 3-0.
Senior Drew Hillman went three for five with a double and one run batted in to pace six UCI players with at least two hits.
Junior center fielder Christian Ramirez was three for five, while senior right fielder Sean Madigan was two for five with two RBIs.
Jordan Leyland, Brian Hernandez and D.J. Crumlich had two hits apiece for UCI (28-12), which plays host to Pepperdine in a nonconference clash Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
UCI, in second place in the Big West Conference, plays host to third-place Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.
CHINO HILLS — Orange Coast College clinched the conference title by topping the four-team field Monday at Los Serranos Golf Course.
OCC shot 740 as a team, edging Irvine Valley (741) and Santiago Canyon (742) to win its second straight OEC crown.
Sophomore Matt Parkovich paced the Pirates (70-72—142) in the 36-hole event. Josh Hurst (147), Mike Squillance (149) and Lyon Lazare (150) also stood out for OCC.
UC Irvine 1
INDIAN WELLS — the No. 6-seeded Anteaters, who ended a run of six straight conference titles by the 49ers last year, saw their string of upsets end in the final of the Big West Tournament on Sunday at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
UCI, in its fourth straight conference final appearance, received its only point from Brooke Schweyer at No. 5 singles.
The Anteaters end their season at 12-13, while top-seeded Long Beach State (20-5) advances to the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Steve Scott Invitational
IRVINE — UC Irvine junior Charles Jock won the 400 meters with a career-best time of 46.30 seconds in the 17th annual meet completed Sunday at Anteater Stadium.
Jock's time was the fourth-fastest in UCI history.
UCI senior Colin Hacker won the 1,500 in 3 minutes, 50.46 seconds.
UCI's Nick Jennings finished second in the pole vault (16 feet, 111/2 inches).
Sam Hyams was third in the 1,500 in 3:53.55.
UCI's 4x400 relay team of Napoleon Greene, Chris Carson, Jester and Jock placed third with a time of 3:14.05.
In action Saturday at the same meet: Junior Andy Burich was second in the 3,000 steeplechase with a career-best clocking of 9:12.50 to pace UCI performers.
UCI's Brennan Halliday was third in the steeplechase (9:16.44).
UCI's Matt Lahti was third in the hammer throw (193-5), Rex Nelson was fourth in the 5,000 in 14:53.88 and Steven Melena was sixth in the 5,000 in 14:56.11.
WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Steve Scott Invitational
IRVINE — UC Irvine senior Alisha Misiaita won the shot put in a season-best mark of 51 feet, 33/4 inches and some Anteaters also bested school records in the 17th annual meet completed Sunday at Anteater Stadium.
UCI senior Madeline Leduc broke a 24-year-old school record by leaping 41-21/4 in the triple jump Sunday. She bested Karin Grelsson's mark of 40-91/2 set in 1987. Leduc finished fourth among 27 entrants.
Junior Maggie Newton-Neal finished third among 59 competitors in the 800 meters (2:10.13) and Ericka Newell was fourth in the 400 hurdles (1:00.62).
In Saturday action: Junior Melissa Mead, a Newport Harbor High product, was fourth in the 5,000 in a career-best 17:31.20. UCI freshman Colleen Lillig was sixth in the save event with a time of 17:45.79.