Sinead Fleming, Lobos strive for title

The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.

Sinead Fleming (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2009) senior, New Mexico University women's soccer: While it was just her first year as a full-time starter, Fleming received a nice send off in her senior season. She earned a second-team nod when the Mountain West Conference unveiled its all-conference squads Tuesday, being just one of two Lobos to be included on the list.

Fleming cemented herself as the best defender on a New Mexico team that set a school record for consecutive shutouts with five this year and is giving up an average of 0.89 goals per game.

There's little time to celebrate, though, as the Lobos (11-6-2, 4-2-1) face conference-champion San Diego State (18-1-1, 7-0) Sunday on the road.

New Mexico finished second in the Mountain West and advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament with a 1-0 win over Nevada Friday. The Lobos came close to knocking off the Aztecs in their regular-season finale Oct. 26, but fell by a goal, 1-0.

Jenna Orlandini (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2009) junior, defensive specialist/libero, University of Washington women's volleyball: The Huskies undefeated run ended at 16 matches, which turned into a 1-4 skid over the next five matches.

Washington dropped its first match of the year in Pac-12 Conference play Oct. 13 at No. 2 Oregon (26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 25-17) in which Orlandini had 15 digs. There was no relief for the Huskies, who hosted Stanford six days later and fell to the Cardinal in five games, 10-25, 28-26, 10-25, 26-24, 15-7, with Orlandini logging 21 digs.

The Huskies bounced back with a sweep of the University of California (25-23, 25-15, 25-15) at home, but dropped their next two matches in a quick tour of Los Angeles — USC (23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 15-10) and UCLA (25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 28-26). Orlandini had a season-high 28 digs against the Trojans and 23 against the Bruins.

Whether they're flying high or hitting road bumps, Orlandini has continued to anchor the Huskies' defense, averaging 4.03 digs a set with a team-high 298 for the year. She also has 60 assists and five aces.

Washington got back to winning Friday with a sweep over Colorado (25-19, 25-15, 25-15) and will hope to keep it going against Utah Sunday and through its final seven conference matches.

The Huskies (18-4, 9-4) currently have the third-best conference record, along with USC and UCLA, with rematches with Stanford and Oregon set for Nov. 8 and 16, respectively. The NCAA Tournament is set to begin Nov. 29.

Emily Tubert (Burroughs High, 2010) sophomore, University of Arkansas women's golf: What else is there to expect from Tubert? The former Indian was solid once again in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational, which wrapped up Tuesday.

Tubert finished tied for 11th with a 217 three-round score, which helped the Razorbacks (864) take third as team. They were just one stroke behind Florida and Alabama, which both shot 863s to tie for the victory.

The two-time All-American opened the tournament with a one-under par 71 to tie for sixth place going into the second round. She closed out the event with a 74 and 72.

It was an improvement on Tubert's showing in the Lady Tar Heel Invitational Oct. 14. The junior tied for 32nd with a 225 after shooting a two-under 70 on the final day to help Arkansas finish tied for fifth with a score of 888.

The Razorbacks have a long layoff, as they won't pick back up until Feb. 12 when they take part in the Puerto Rico Golf Classic.

Gor Kirakosyan (Burbank High, 2009) junior, midfielder, UC Irvine men's soccer: A promising start didn't lead where the Anteaters wanted this season, but the same can't be said for Kirakosyan.

The junior transfer started 12 of 19 games and was a statistical leader for UC Irvine, as his four assists were tied for a team high. His four goals were tied for second best and his 12 points stood as second best on the team coming into Irvine's season and Big West Conference finale at Cal State Northridge Saturday night.

The Anteaters won their first three games, but then took a 0-5-1 skid into the Big West where their troubles carried over. They dropped their first four conference games before snapping the streak with a 2-1 win over Cal State Fullerton Oct. 13. It was a brief relief, though, as UC Irvine (4-14-1, 1-8 in conference) went on another five-game losing streak, which it looked to snap Saturday.

Kirakosyan's teammate and 2012 Crescenta Valley High graduate Pavle Atanackovic contributed to UC Irvine's win over the Titans when he tied the game at a goal apiece in the 50th minute, just a minute after Fullerton got on the board. The former Falcon assisted on the game winner, as he fed Enrique Cardenas' goal in the goal box in the 86th minute.

Atanackovic also has four goals this year, along with two assists for 10 points.

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