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Briefs: Oeding, locals lauded

Chris Oeding, a former star at Corona del Mar High, was named Coach of the Year on the men’s water polo All-Southern California selections released recently.

Oeding, a two-time Olympian who was CIF Southern Section Player of the Year and a three-time All-American for the Sea Kings, guided Long Beach City College to the state championship with an 11-9 title-game triumph over two-time-defending state champion Golden West.

Oeding, in his 14th season at the Vikings’ helm, has now won three state titles.

Orange Coast College freshman Tony Morelli was named to the first team, while OCC freshman Scott Brush and Blake Grove, a Newport Harbor High product who was a freshman at Long Beach City in 2013, earned second-team recognition.


Morelli and Brush were first-team All-Orange Empire Conference honorees.

Grove, a defender, helped LBCC win its final 20 games to finish 27-2. He was named to the all-tournament team at the state championships.

— From staff reports


Two locals shine

UC Irvine senior Mitch Wise and Newport Harbor High product Chris Whitelegge, a sophomore goalie at UC Santa Barbara, have received honorable mention in All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation voting in men’s water polo.

Wise led the Anteaters with 80 goals this season and finished his career with 242. He was a third-team All-American as a sophomore and a junior.

UCI was 13-15, 1-7 in conference and finished eighth in the eight-team MPSF Tournament.

Whitelegge collected averaged 13.9 saves a game on his way to amassing 296 for the Gauchos, who finished 17-11, 3-5, and were seventh in the conference tournament.

— From staff reports

Locals All-OEC


Orange Coast College sophomore Gavin Wright, a repeat first-team honoree, leads six Pirates recognized in the men’s water polo coaches’ All-Orange Empire Conference honors.

Wright was joined on the first team by freshmen Colby Watson, a Corona del Mar High product, as well as Tony Morelli and Scott Brush.

Josiah Vander Kooy, a sophomore, and freshman Dillon Avila, represent OCC on the second team.

Ari Marks, a Golden West College sophomore out of Corona del Mar High, was a first-team performer for the conference champion Rustlers, who finished second in the state.

Golden West Coach Scott Taylor, who played and coached at Costa Mesa High, was named Coach of the Year.

Golden West sophomore Sean Grub was the Most Valuable Player.

OCC finished 20-6 and lost to Grossmont in the Southern California Regional Championships.

— From staff reports


Four Pirates lauded

Costa Mesa High product Kellie Thorsness, a freshman at Orange Coast College, leads four Pirates named All-Orange Empire Conference by women’s water polo coaches.

Thorsness is joined on the first team by OCC freshman Lauren Babb.

Vivianne Mai and Katie Hansen represent OCC on the second team.

The quartet helped the Pirates finish 12-12 and reach the Southern California Regional Championships.

Most Valuable Player Alezandria Loveless, a sophomore, and Coach of the Year Kyle Kopp both represented Golden West College, which won the state championship.

— From staff reports

Three Pirates picked

Orange Coast College freshmen Sierra Brown and Carina Perez top three Pirates named All-Orange Empire Conference by coaches.

Brown, 5-foot-8 outside hitter out of Newport Harbor High, led OCC with 273 kills and hit .208. Her 218 digs ranked second on the team and her 12 aces were third among Pirates. She had 13 total blocks.

Perez, a 5-3 libero, had 349 digs to lead the team, which finished 12-8, 7-7 in conference, good for fifth among eight teams. Coach Chuck Cutenese’s squad advanced to the Southern California Regional playoffs.

Kellie Kleszcz, a 6-0 freshman middle blocker, represented OCC on the second team. She led the team with a .381 hitting percentage, 40 total blocks and 27 aces. She was second on the squad with 135 kills.

Irvine Valley’s Tom Pestolesi, a former coach at Estancia High and Newport Harbor, was named Coach of the Year, while the Lasers’ Annie Mitchem, a freshman outside hitter, was named MVP.

— From staff reports

UCI signs two

The UC Irvine women’s basketball team has added a pair of recruits in Teirra Hicks and Paulina Santana.

Hicks, a 5-foot-10 guard from Centennial High in Las Vegas, Nev. was a member of the Las Vegas Sun Super Seven and also collected all-division accolades. She averaged 12 points and seven rebounds as a junior in 2012-13, helping Centennial reach the state semifinals.

She also played on Centennial’s state championship team as a freshman and helped the school reach the state semifinals as a sophomore.

"[Hicks] comes from a nationally recognized high school program and brings a tremendous work ethic and a winner’s mentality,” UCI Coach Doug Oliver said.

Santana, a senior this season at Bishop Amat High, was an All-CIF Southern Section Division 1A honoree as a 5-9 guard last season. She was also first-team All-San Gabriel Valley and All-Del Rey League as a junior, and, as a sophomore, she helped the Lancers claim the CIF Southern Section 3A title.

"[Santana] is a true scorer with range well behind the three-point line,” Oliver said. “Her competitiveness and ability to score will be an asset to our program.”

— From staff reports

UCI golf adds 4

David Kim, who won the 2012 Scholastic Junior Golf Championship, leads a group of four golfers to sign with the UC Irvine men’s program, Coach Paul Smolinski has announced.

Also committed to playing at UCI are Chris Parkinson, Johnny Hyun and Jonathan Young.

Kim, from Eastside Christian High in Fullerton, was also runner-up at the 2012 AJGA Under Armour/Gary Woodland Championship and he finished fourth in the 2013 AJGA Randy Wise Junior Open.

Parkinson, who attends San Ramon Valley High in Danville, is a three-time All-East Bay Athletic League selection. He has three Northern California Golf Assn. tournament wins and he advanced to the 2013 U.S. Open final stage qualifier.

Hyun, from Beckman High in Irvine, was a qualifier for the 2013 U.S. Junior Championship, a 2013 CIF Southern Section finalist and first-team All-Pacific Coast League honoree.

Young, from Los Alamitos High, won the 57th annual Len Kennett Junior Championship and helped Los Alamitos to the 2011 CIF Southern Section Central Divisional title.

— From staff reports