Briefs: La Cavera honored

UC Irvine junior Zack La Cavera was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week in men's volleyball after leading the Anteaters to a pair of home wins over top-five opponents last week.

The 6-foot-4 opposite recorded 17 kills, three digs, three blocks, and one ace in a five-game win over then-No. 5 USC. He pounded five kills in both the second and third set to put UCI in position to win the match.

La Cavera had another 17-kill night against then-No. 3 Pepperdine, nine coming in the opening set. He hit .448 against the Waves, adding two aces, two digs and two blocks. UCI swept the Waves, 27-25, 25-23, 25-19.

For the week, La Cavera averaged 4.25 kills and 4.94 points per set.

For the season, he leads the team and is ranked 14th nationally in points (4.36 per set) and aces (0.42) and is 19th in kills (3.58).

Seventh-ranked UCI will travel to No. 6 Long Beach State on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. conference match at the Pyramid before heading to No. 15 Cal State Northridge Friday.

— From staff reports

Ballestero is player of the week

Vanguard University senior women's basketball player Nicole Ballestero earned Golden State Athlete Conference Player of the Week honors recently for her play against Westmont and Arizona Christian.

Ballestero had 29 points on the road against defending national champion Westmont on Jan. 21, in a 77-71 win. Four days later, she dropped 19 points and five assists as Vanguard defeated Arizona Christian, 80-49, to earn its 15th straight win.

Ballestero is averaging a team- and Golden State Athlete Conference-best 21.5 points per game for No. 1-ranked Vanguard (21-0, 10-0 in conference). She ranks No. 5 in the NAIA in scoring.

The 5-foot-8 All-American is second on the team with 3.8 assists per contest as well.

— From staff reports

Belmont earns honor

Vanguard University senior Taylor Belmont was named Academic All-District 4 in women's basketball.

The Lions point guard was one of five players chosen in District 4 to move into the nationwide pool for the Academic All-American voting process.

Belmont, a senior studying biological sciences, has a 3.79 grade-point average. A captain, she has helped Vanguard (21-0) earn the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA. She is averaging 15.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and an NAIA-best 8.2 assists per game.

Academically, she is a two-time Golden State Athletic Conference scholar-athlete, and received the VU Champions of Character award in 2012.

— From staff reports

Wise singled out

UC Irvine senior Mitch Wise received honorable mention in All-American voting by the Assn. of College Water Polo Coaches.

This is the third straight year that Wise has been recognized. He led UCI with 80 goals in 2013 and ranked third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with an average of 2.86 goals per game.

Wise scored 242 goals in his UCI career.

— From staff reports

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