The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.
Lance Mitchell (Muir, 2007) Oregon State football, senior: The former Mustang, and son of Muir Coach Dave Mitchell, has been a force for the Beavers' secondary this season. The safety had recorded 67 tackles (34 solo and 33 assisted), which are the third most for Oregon State, coming into Saturday's game against Oregon. He also has two interceptions, has broken up five passes, defended seven more and recovered a fumble.
Mitchell, who's also a co-captain for the Beavers, was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after Oregon State defeated Washington State, 44-21, on Oct. 22. The senior made seven tackles, intercepted a pass and picked up a fumble in the game.
The numbers haven't come easy for Mitchell this season, though, as he's been playing with pulled abdominal and groin muscles all year, according to an article posted on OregonLive.com on Nov. 8.
Mitchell contemplated having surgery before his senior season, but didn't want to risk missing any games this year, knowing that Oregon State's secondary was already shorthanded.
"I want to play and do as well as I can while I'm out here," Mitchell told OregonLive.com. "Try to make as many plays as I can. Not try to do anything special. Just do my job."
Oregon State Coach Mike Riley knows Mitchell has sacrificed a lot for the team.
"People around the team know what Lance has gone through," Riley said. "What he's done is really admirable."
Mitchell has continued to make the sacrifice, despite the Beavers being well out of the hunt for a bowl game this year. They came into Saturday's annual Civil War game against Oregon with a 3-8, record (3-5 in conference).
"He could have had surgery [for the abdominal/groin issues] in the summer time, but I don't think he felt like he [could have the surgery] and make it through the first few games of the season," Riley said. "The most important thing we found out is he couldn't really injure himself further. It couldn't get worse. It is what it is, and it will be taken care of after the season."
With all Mitchell has gone through, he has still drawn interest from NFL scouts and has a good shot at playing on Sundays in the future. He is currently ranked 15th out of 115 strong safeties in the 2012 NFL draft class, according to NFLDraftScout.com.
"I definitely want to keep playing, because I think I can," Mitchell said.
Jenna Orlandini (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2009) University of Washington volleyball, sophomore: Down two games, the Huskies needed to dig their way out of a hole against cross-town rival Washington State Friday.
That's where Orlandini comes in. The sophomore had a match-high 27 digs in the match and helped Washington rebound for a 21-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 15-4 victory to close out the regular season.
Washington will now await the results from the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday afternoon, set for 3 p.m. Pacific on ESPNU. The Huskies finished the season on a four-match winning streak and tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with Stanford at 15-7 in conference (23-7 overall). Washington should be in line for its 10th-consecutive NCAA tourney bid on Dec. 1.
Orlandini continues to anchor Washington, currently ranked No. 11 in the country, on defense with a team-high 428 digs as the team's libero. The former Tolog has also racked up 77 assists and 23 aces.
Orlandini helped her team defeat Utah, 25-18, 27-25, 28-26, with 19 digs and two assists in the match on Nov. 18. She also had 14 digs and three assists in the win against Colorado, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20, on Nov. 19. The Huskies also dropped Washington State, 25-14, 25-21, 25-14, Tuesday, behind nine digs, four aces and two assists from Orlandini.
Rian Younker (St. Francis High, 2009) Cal Lutheran football, junior: The Kingsmen fell to Linfield College in dramatic fashion on Nov. 19, 30-27, in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs after a 38-yard field goal attempt by Cal Lutheran was blocked in the final 33 seconds.
Cal Lutheran (8-2) came back from a 17-point first-half deficit to give Linfield all it could handle. The Kingsmen's defense rallied, as defensive back Justin Haulcy-Bateman returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown, cutting the score to 30-27 in the fourth quarter.
The Kingsmen had two shots to tie the game — the first on a 49-yard goal that was missed with 6:22 to go in the fourth quarter and again on the 38-yarder that was blocked with 33 seconds left. It was Cal Lutheran's fourth straight loss to Linfield in three years.
Younker had another big game for the Kingsmen, as he had three tackles in the game, including a sack. He finished the season with 40 tackles (21 solo, 19 assisted) and a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four quarterback hurries.
"It doesn't matter if we lose by 100 or lose by one, it still stings," Cal Lutheran Coach Ben McEnroe told the school's website after the game. "There is not a good way to lose, so we will sit on this in the offseason and go back to recruiting on Monday. We have already started, and our goal is to play these guys in the playoffs again."
Camille Coffey (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2011) Fairfield University women's volleyball, freshman: The second-seeded Stags' season came to a halt Sunday in a four-game loss to No. 1 seed Niagara University in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship match.
The Purple Eagles overcame a one-game deficit to defeat Fairfield, 23-25, 25-17, 34-32, 25-18, for the conference title. Coffey played in all four sets and finished with seven kills, eight digs and two blocks, but it wasn't enough for the Stags to overcome Niagara (25-8).
Coffey played in 80 of 114 sets this season. She finished with 214 kills, 191 digs, 21 blocks, 20 assists and eight aces.
Fairfield (20-10) reached the finals with a dramatic victory over third-seeded Siena College, 18-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 15-10, on Saturday.
The win pushed the Stags' match-winning streak to eight and secured their 11th 20-win season in program history and first since 2008.