1 The Pomona-Pitzer men's soccer team won the regular-season SCIAC title. That's the good news. Now the bad news - they have to earn the playoff berth all over again at this week's SCIAC tournament.
Sagehens coach Bill Swartz voted against the measure when it was brought up but was overruled by his peers.
"What you do over a 14-game schedule should matter most," he said. "But we're just going to do what we have to do and hopefully it comes out in our favor."
The Sagehens (13-3-2, 11-1-2) will host neighborhood rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (9-7-2, 8-5-1), the No. 4 seed, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The other semifinal will pit No. 2 Whittier (9-6-4, 8-3-3) against defending champion Redlands (9-4-4, 8-2-4).
CMS beat the Sagehens 1-0 the first time the teams played, but Pomona-Pitzer has had an 11-game unbeaten streak since then, including a 2-0 win over the Stags the second time the teams squared off.
Despite the team's solid record, Swartz conceded that his Sagehens likely have to win to make the playoffs. There is not much of a chance at getting an at-large berth.
"History is not on our side there," he said. "The West just doesn't get a lot of love from the selection committee. I do think we're deserving."
The Sagehens' last SCIAC title came in 2004 when it was co-champion with Redlands.
The Sagehens boast a balanced offense with their leading scorer being freshman forward Daniel Nasry, who has three goals and seven assists. Freshman forward James Young has four goals and one assist and senior forward Wynn Sullivan has two goals and three assists.
Freshman Rollie Thayer has seen most of the time in goal, with a 0.93 goals against average and three shutouts.
2 On the women's side, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (13-2-2, 10-0-2) finished with the top seed. The Athenas will host No. 4 Cal Lutheran (13-5-2, 6-5-1) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The first game at the same site will pit No. 2 Redlands 11-6, 9-3) against No. 3 Occidental (9-6, 7-5).
The highest seeded team left will host the championship game on Saturday.
All three previous years the SCIAC has used a tournament to determine the automatic qualifier, the regular-season champion did not win. Two years ago Cal Lutheran won the event as the No. 4 seed.
"We're going to try and break that streak," CMS coach Keri Sanchez said. "You get in, you have a chance. It's a matter of who handles the tournament atmosphere a little bit better."
CMS won the tournament last year and in 2006, the inaugural year it was held. The Athenas won two playoff games before being eliminated by Carleton College in a sectional played at Wheaton (Ill.)
Key players for the Athenas include junior forward Laura Hagen, sophomore midfielder Rachel Bunting, sophomore midfielder Julia Nishioka and senior keeper Camila Friedman-Gerlicz.
3 The Chaffey women's basketball team, coached by Gary Plunkett, tips off its season this weekend at the Hilton Garden Classic at Pasadena City College. The Panthers' first game will be at 2:30 p.m. on Friday against San Diego City.
Chaffey was 22-10 a season ago, making the playoffs despite finishing fifth in the tough Foothill Conference.
The Panthers will be a work in progress with just one reserve back from last year's team.
"We're pretty much a brand new team," Plunkett said.
Among those Plunkett has high hopes for are Rosalyn Barnes, a point guard out of Ontario, and forward Tierney Arnold, who played for him three years ago but has been out since then. Other newcomers are Kyla Smith, out of Los Osos, and Stephanie Scott, from San Gorgonio.
The Chaffey men (27-7) open play against Palomar in the Knights Invitational on Nov. 13 at San Diego City College.
4 The University of La Verne volleyball team (19-12, 9-4) wraps up the regular season with a 7:30 match tonight against the University of Redlands (20-4, 12-1).
The Leopards' string of nine straight SCIAC titles was stopped by the Bulldogs who claimed their first in school history this season.
La Verne will likely finish third in the SCIAC no matter what happens tonight because Cal Lutheran, which is currently second, plays its finale tonight against Caltech.
This will be the first time the SCIAC has used a postseason tournament to determine its postseason representative. The Bulldogs will likely get a spot in the regional no matter what happens because of their record and No. 3 ranking in the region.
La Verne likely has to win to get in the regional.
5 San Bernardino Valley cruised to its 14th consecutive men's cross country championship last week at Lake Cahuilla in La Quinta.
The Wolverines had six of the top seven runners with Raymond Dominguez (21:07), Martin Sanchez (21:16) and Ankur Joshi (21:19) going 1-2-3. Art Parra (21:23), Travis Nemchik (21:29) and Sam Sanchez (21:38) went 4-5-6.
SBVC (17 points) outdistanced runner-up Antelope Valley (58). The Wolverines have made winning the title an afterthought but coach Wes Ashford considers the meet every bit as important as the two coming up.
"I still put the same pressure on them," he said. "You want to be running well this time of the season. We look at every meet as just as important as the next."
Victor Valley won the women's title.
The Wolverines, looking for their fourth consecutive state title, run in the Southern California Championships at Mt. SAC on Friday.