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Briefs: Clark makes history

UCI senior first player to earn first-team All-MPSF men's volleyball honors four times.

April 20, 2012

UC Irvine senior opposite Carson Clark, who is the first player to earn first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors four times, tops a group of six locals recognized by conference coaches on Thursday.

Clark is joined on the first team by UCI junior outside hitter Kevin Tillie, UCI sophomore outside hitter Jeremy Dejno, UCLA senior setter Kyle Caldwell and UCLA senior middle blocker Weston Dunlap. Caldwell and Dunlap are both Newport Harbor High products.

UCI senior middle blocker Dan McDonnell is a second-team selection.

The 6-foot-5 Clark is UCI's all-time leader in kills (1,783) and aces (169), heading into Saturday's MPSF quarterfinal showdown against UCLA at the Bren Events Center at 7 p.m. He leads UCI in kills (3.73 per set) and points (4.53 per set) and his 47 aces lead the nation.

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Tillie, a 6-6 transfer from Thompson Rivers University in Canada, ranks third in the country in hitting percentage (.390). He is second on the team in kills (3.52) and points (4.09) per set.

The 6-4 Dejno ranks sixth nationally in hitting percentage (.351) and 11th in service aces per set (0.41). His 3.15 kills and 3.82 points per set rank third on the Anteaters (21-5), who finished 17-5 in the MPSF regular-season, tied for second with BYU and Stanford, behind champion USC.

The 6-9 Caldwell led the Bruins (22-7, 16-6) with 957 set assists in the regular season, helping produce a .326 team hitting percentage. He has 128 kills and a .441 hitting percentage whole recording 87 total blocks and 22 aces.

The 6-8 Dunlap, a second-team all-conference performer as a junior, had 243 regular-season kills and a .470 hitting percentage. He had 100 total blocks and 10 aces.

The 6-6 McDonnell ranks third in hitting percentage against MPSF opponents (.444).

It's the first time three UCI players have made the first team

— From staff reports

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Dent set to expand tennis academy

Former professional tennis player Taylor Dent will be opening a new branch of his Dent Tennis Academy on Saturday at Los Caballeros Racquet and Sports Club in Fountain Valley.

Dent, who won four ATP titles as a pro before retiring in 2010, will be hitting with juniors at the free event at Los Cab from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The grand opening event will feature games, prizes, free T-shirts and refreshments. Players signing up Saturday for after-school programs will qualify for special pricing.

Dent, a Newport Beach resident and former Corona del Mar High standout, is expanding his academy, which he opened last year at The Tennis Club Newport Beach.

For more information, visit http://www.denttennisacademy.com.

— From staff reports

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Middleton shines

UC Irvine senior Amber Middleton has been named Big West Conference Track Athlete of the Week for the third time this season.

Middleton won the 100-meter hurdles in a career-best 13.71 seconds at the Big West Challenge Sunday at Cal State Fullerton. That time is just .04 shy of tying UCI's school record.

She ran the second leg (55.3 split) of UCI's winning 4x400 relay (3:45.33) and ran the first leg of the second-place 4x100 relay (46.77).

UCI competes at the 54th annual Mt. SAC Relays Thursday through Saturday, as well as the Beach Invitational at Cerritos College Saturday

— From staff reports

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