Briefs: Vanguard vies in NAIA event

Lions open 11th straight trip to national tournament on Wednesday.

March 12, 2012

The Vanguard University women's basketball team begins play in the NAIA Tournament on Wednesday at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.

The Lions (23-6), ranked No. 13 in the final NAIA poll, are making their 11th straight appearance in the national tournament, the school's 14th trip overall.

Vanguard will face Georgetown of Kentucky (21-9) in the first round on Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. The Tigers were ranked No. 19 in the final national poll.


Coach Russ Davis' Lions, who won the NAIA crown in 2008, are led by All-Golden State Athletic Conference performers Esther Timmermans and Paige Halberg.

Timmermans, a 6-foot-1 junior post, is averaging 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, both tops on the team. Halberg, a 5-10 fifth-year senior guard who was a freshman starter on the 2008 title team, is averaging 11.9 points per contest.

Vanguard, which lost last season in the first round to end a string of eight straight first-round victories, is hoping to advance to Friday's second round, when it would likely face Freed-Hardeman of Tennessee. Freed-Hardeman (28-5) is the No. 3 overall seed and was ranked No. 3 in the final national poll.

Oklahoma City (30-1) is the No. 1 seed, Union of Tennessee (31-2) is the No. 2 seed and GSAC champion Westmont (29-3) is the No. 4 seed.

The quarterfinals are Saturday. The semifinals are Monday and the final is Tuesday.

— From staff reports

Clark recognized

UC Irvine senior Carson Clark has been named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week in men's volleyball after leading the Anteaters to a pair of wins last week, including a victory over then-No. 1-ranked UCLA.

Clark recorded a match-high 21 kills and hit .447 as the then-No. 2-ranked Anteaters handed top-ranked UCLA its first home loss. The opposite also fired four aces and had two block assists and five digs against the Bruins.

Clark started the week with eight kills and four aces in a sweep at then-No. 12-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday.

For the week, Clark averaged 3.6 kills, one ace and 4.8 points per set.

UCI (16-3, 12-3 in the MPSF) is ranked the No. 1 in the national poll released Monday. It will travel to No. 13 Cal State Northridge Wednesday and No. 9 Long Beach State on Saturday.

— From staff reports

McNealy honored

UC Irvine sophomore Chris McNealy was named to the 2012 All-Big West Conference Tournament team in men's basketball.

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