Some along California's coast take to the waves as temperatures rise. Others are getting their spring fun on tennis courts around the nation as the season hits its final stretch. Collegiate teams featuring local talent are in prime position as all three NCAA divisions begin postseason play in the coming weeks.
The Pacific 10 Conference championships that begin Thursday in Ojai will likely have a major impact on the NCAA Division I tournament. Five of the nation's top 25 teams according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Assn. poll, call the Pac-10 home, including top-ranked Stanford.
Micaela Hein (Mission Viejo/Irvine's San Joaquin High) and her No. 12 Arizona State Sun Devils will be among those teams looking to knock off the Cardinal. Hein, a senior and 2010 NCAA Championship individual qualifier, has amassed a 23-11 record in singles this season and a 9-5 mark in doubles with partner Kelsey McKenna.
Hein's final Pac-10 Championship will mark the first for USC freshman Hayley Miller (Laguna Beach/St. Margaret's), who has split her doubles matches this season. Senior teammate Lyndsay Kinstler (Laguna Beach) was ranked as high as No. 63 in the nation in doubles as a sophomore with teammate Sarah Fansier.
A Division III showdown is expected to take place in the women's independent college championships at Ojai. Chapman, ranked No. 14 in the latest ITA poll, heads the pack in part because of the contributions of freshman Danielle Kaiden (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar High), who is 9-5 in singles and 9-7 in doubles.
Chapman will look to fend off No. 21 UC Santa Cruz, whose roster includes sophomore Ariana Mokhari (Laguna Hills) and senior Taylor Mannix (Capistrano Beach/San Clemente High), who are the Banana Slugs' Nos. 1 and 2 singles players and the No. 1 doubles team.
The Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship wrapped up Saturday at Caltech with Claremont Mudd-Scripps trying to defend its No. 13 ranking. Sophomore Jaclyn Smrecek (Irvine/Sage Hill) won a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 decision Friday over Cal Lutheran's Lindsay Murphy. Senior captain Alexandra Hsu (Newport Beach/Sage Hill) teamed with Chloe Dobbert to earn a point in doubles. Claremont Mudd-Scripps will also compete at Ojai and conclude its regular season on May 6 CMS is among the Division III squads headed to Ojai, and will wrap up the regular season May 6 at home against Chapman.
Led by senior Rachael Miller (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar High), No. 24 Redlands is also in the mix this week at the SCIAC Championship. Miller has been named to the All-SCIAC first team for three consecutive years.
The Mountain West Conference Championship commences Wednesday in Fort Collins, Colo., where San Diego State is led by junior sisters Roxanne and Sierra Ellison (Coto de Caza/Tesoro High). They boast individual records of 20-11 and 9-6, respectively, and are 22-7 as a doubles pair.
Just north of SDSU's Montezuma Mesa campus, in La Jolla, both the men's and women's teams at UC San Diego rank among the top 20 teams in Division II.
The 10th-ranked men's team closed out its regular season Saturday at the Sonoma State Invitational. Senior Erik Elliott (San Juan Capistrano/Dana Hills High) suffered only his third defeat of the season on Friday. While his individual mark fell to 17-3, he picked up a 9-8 doubles win over Grand Canyon to aid the Tritons' 5-4 victory.
The No. 17 Triton women closed out their regular season Thursday with a 7-2 victory over Sonoma State. Sophomore Melissa Breisacher (Santa Margarita) did not compete. Her last outing was a straight sets 6-0, 6-0 victory against Cal State Los Angeles on April 16. The Division II NCAA regional playoffs begin May 1.
Arizona's baseball team, ranked No. 23, needed a boost heading into its weekend series at Oregon. The Wildcats dropped the series' first game on Thursday for their third straight defeat, but junior Kyle Simon (Los Alamitos) turned the team's fortunes Friday by pitching a three-hitter in a 2-1 victory. The 6-foot-5 right-hander leads the Wildcats with seven victories and sports the second-lowest earned run average at 2.95.
Sophomore outfielder Robert Refsnyder (Laguna Hills) is batting .340 for Arizona with four home runs and a team-high 34 RBIs. The Wildcats and Ducks conclude their series Sunday. Arizona then plays a single game against visiting Arizona State on April 26 before a three-game series at home against red-hot USC beginning April 29.
The Trojans rolled off their fifth consecutive victory Friday, 12-9, at Washington. Senior Ben Mount (Coto de Caza/Tesoro High) earned the save, throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings. Mount has a 2.89 ERA and 17 strikeouts for the Trojans.
Ranked No. 24 in the latest D3Baseball.com NCAA Division III poll, Trinity University picked up its 30th win of the season Thursday, beating Oglethorpe, 10-1. Senior Dominick Robusto (Laguna Beach) scored a run in the Tigers' victory. Robusto has 29 RBIs and a .275 batting average for the Tigers (30-11).
Blue Jay Way
Relief pitcher Casey Janssen (Orange/Fountain Valley High) continued his scoreless start to the 2011 season on Wednesday, throwing 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees. Janssen was ever-so-briefly sent to Toronto's triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, but he returned to action for the Blue Jays on April 15, three days after being recalled. He has not allowed an earned run through 6 1/3 innings in seven appearnaces.
Teeing It Up
Redlands senior golfer Karly George (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley High), who was highlighted in last week's Alumni Report, finished tied for 14th at last week's SCIAC event at Empire Lakes Golf Course in Rancho Cucamonga. Claremont Mudd-Scripps defeated Redlands, 341-352
Is there a local alum we should know about? Contact Kyle Kensing at firstname.lastname@example.org.