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Briefs: Vanguard vies in NAIA event

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

March 12, 2012

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 17.5 points in two tournament games, hitting six of 13 three-point attempts and adding seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

McNealy scored a career-high 24 points in UCI's 65-59, quarterfinal victory over second-seeded Cal State Fullerton Thursday.

He had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in Friday's 68-57 semifinal loss to eventual tourney champion Long Beach State.

McNealy averaged 10.2 points and 4.6 rebounds this season, hitting 45 three-pointers and adding 98 assists and 27 steals.

He is UCI's first All-Big West Tournament selection since Darren Fells in 2008.

— From staff reports

Two 'Eaters lauded


Senior baseball infielder D.J. Crumlich and senior women's soccer player Lexi Kopf were honored last week as UC Irvine 2011-12 Big West Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

Crumlich is a business economics major and a shortstop, who earned second-team All-Big West honors in 2011. Crumlich, a four-year starer, also earned NCAA Regional All-Tournament honors in 2011 after helping the Anteaters best three conference champions at the Los Angeles Regional at UCLA.

A member of the dean's honor list, he has a dream of becoming a professional baseball player and later opening up his own business. In the community, Crumlich coaches an 11-year old baseball team and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

Kopf, a forward, finished her four-year career ninth on the school's career list in goals (20) and 11th in points (44). She netted 11 goals in 2011. She earned first-team all-conference recognition last fall.

Kopf impressed in the classroom as well as she earned dean's honor list and Big West Fall All-Academic Team kudos. In the community, she volunteers at the Children's Hospital of Orange County and is an undergraduate research student within the UCI Medical Center. She is pursuing medical school to become a surgeon.

The Big West annually honors a male and female Scholar-Athlete of the Year from each of the member institutions.

— From staff reports

'Eaters' Smith shines

UC Irvine junior Kristina Smith was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week in women's tennis for the second time in the last three weeks last week.

Smith opened Big West play by winning two doubles matches with partner Franziska Goettsching. The duo earned triumphs over UC Santa Barbara on March 3 and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on March 4.

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