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Results tagged “signings” from College Sports Blog

VC's Cardona commits to Oklahoma

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A big part of the resurgence of the Ventura College women's soccer team has been the goalscoring of striker Daisy Cardona.

The Buena High product committed verbally to the University of Oklahoma Monday

"This kid scores goals," Ventura coach Steve Hoffman said of Cardona. "Goalscorers are born. You can't create them."

An honorable mention All-American as a freshman, Cardona has 18 goals and 15 assists as a sophomore, scoring in all nine WSC games.

"That's incredible," Hoffman said.

Erskine grows up

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When Megan Erskine left San Diego State and returned home to play for Ventura College last fall, the former Buena High star wasn't quite sure about her soccer future.

But the 2011 NSCAA All-American made her decision Tuesday, when she committed to the University of Tennessee.

"Everyone is all shocked that I'm leaving California," said the former U.S. youth international, who was also recruited by Ohio State, Oklahoma, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, Oregon and Washington State.

This time last year, Erskine, who finished second in the state with 14 assists last season, wasn't sure she wanted to continue playing or transfer outside of the state.

"I'm just in a different place now, I want to do it all on my own," Erskine said. "I was 16 when I started my recruiting process. I'm a little more mature now.

"Now I want to be with a team that makes me feel home rather than being close to home. That's what Tennessee offers."

On her official visit to Knoxville, Erskine watched the Volunteers play twice and also took in the Tennessee-Florida football game from the sidelines at Neyland Stadium.

Fusion lose Lopez, possibly Barrera

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The Ventura County Fusion's aspirations on and off the field don't always march in lockstep.

The latest example came Thursday, when the Orlando City Soccer Club announced it had signed the Fusion's midfield maestro, Rodrigo Lopez, to a professional contract.

Lopez left immediately to join the Lions for its next match in the United Soccer League's Professional Division, which came Friday against the Los Angeles Blues at Cal State Fullerton.

"It's a good opportunity for him and we're delighted for him," Fusion general manager Ranbir Shergill said. "It makes it tougher going into the playoffs, losing a quality player like Roro... but things should be OK."

Lopez, the former Santa Barbara High, Chivas USA and Portland Timbers midfielder, earned postseason MVP honors by guiding the Fusion to the 2009 Premier Development League continental title.

He returned for his third tenure with the club this season, picking up a goal and three assists in 11 matches playing a deep-lying playmaking role for the Southwest Division-leading Fusion (10-2-2).

The Fusion expected to lose Lopez at some point this season. Team president Graham Smith memorably proclaimed the midfielder belonged in Major League Soccer ahead of the Fusion's U.S. Open Cup match with Chivas USA. But it doesn't soften the blow of losing the team's fulcrum.

"We're very happy to see him move on and we expect him to be successful wherever he goes," said Fusion coach Ole Mikkelsen. "Hopefully, this is the move that ultimately lands him in the MLS, which is where we think he belongs.

"We've been extremely fortunate to have him up until now. While we promote a squad approach and we expect to lose players throughout the season, obviously losing someone of Roro's caliber is more difficult to take."

The Fusion, who also lost Calabasas High graduate Daniel Steres to the Seattle Sounders last month, don't expect many more defections. Although Danny Barrera, the Fusion's all-time leading goalscorer and playmaker, is expected to join his Cal FC coach, Eric Wynalda, with the Atlanta Silverbacks.

"I won't think there will be too much more movements," Shergill said. "Danny might be the only one."

Wynalda, Westlake High product like Barrera, took over as interim coach of the NASL club last week and is expected to bring in several of the stars of Cal FC's run to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

Barrera did not immediately return a phone message. Wynalda said at least two of his Cal FC players would join him in Atlanta, but that figure could rise to "possibly" seven.

Moving on

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Moorpark may not play baseball next spring, but plenty of Raiders will. The sophomore trio of Toczynski, Taylor Kahanowitch and Kevin Brown have committed to Cal State Dominguez Hills.

All three are Marmonte League products. Toczynski, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound slugger from Simi Valley High, hit one of the team's three home runs. Kahanowitch, an outfielder from Westlake High, had nine doubles and several clutch hits, including the game-tying single in the final-day win over Hancock. Brown, a 6-foot-3 pitcher from Newbury Park, was 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA and was heroic on the final day, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced to pick up the win.

Ventura only had a handful of sophomores this spring, but they are also moving on. Scott Zeman, the shortstop from Buena High who picked up four saves as a closer, will transfer to the University of San Diego. Lefty Dennis Doherty will pitch for Nebraska-Kearny. Also, Ryan Jones, an All-Southern California outfielder for the Pirates in 2011, is transferring from Concordia to Chico State.

Oxnard's outgoing transfers include shortstop Kevin Minjares (Oregon), outfielder Westley Wright (Chico State) and outfielder Jordan Yallen (Cal State Dominguez Hills). Closer Cody Kurz, a seventh round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics, has already signed a professional contract.

LaFountain signs with Texas-El Paso

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Ventura College forward Destinee LaFountain has signed a letter of intent to play for Texas-El Paso.

The Royal High product was the first player in 19 years to average a double-double for the Pirates, averaging 12.9 points and 11.2 rebounds in her 64-game career. She finished as Ventura's second all-time leading rebounder.

"She's a power forward who plays very hard," UTEP coach Keitha Adams said. "She really hits the boards hard, and she comes to us from a winning tradition."

After leading the Pirates to a 32-2 season as a sophomore, the 6-foot-1 post player was named Western State Conference North Division Player of the Year, California state co-Player of the Year and was the only Californian on the WBCA All-American team.


Johnson signs with Albany

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Oxnard College sophomore Gary Johnson has signed the University of Albany.

The 6-foot-6 wing All-WSC North selection averaged 17.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Hall signs with Bakersfield

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Sophomore forward Corey Hall, who had back-to-back 20-rebound performances in the postseason for the Ventura College men's basketball team, has signed with NCAA Division I Cal State Bakersfield.

The 6-foot-6 Chicago native averaged 12.2 points and 13.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

"The addition of Corey will allow the Roadrunners to continue their ascent at the Division I level," said Ventura coach Joey Ramirez in a release, "especially with his contributions on both ends of the floor and his tireless work on the glass."

Ramjlak commits to Rice

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Ventura College shooting guard Austin Ramljak has committed to Rice University.

As a sophomore, the Oak Park High product averaged 18.7 points per
game and led the state with 102 3-pointers, shooting 40.8 percent from
3-point land.

The first team All-WSC North selection splashed five 3s in the
Pirates' postseason upset at Los Angeles Southwest.

Rice (19-16) finished seventh in Conference USA this season.

Flack commits to North Texas

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Moorpark College women's volleyball star Karissa Flack, the Star's Female Athlete of the Fall Season, has verbally committed to the University of North Texas.

A 6-foot middle blocker from Newbury Park, Flack earned first-team All-American honors by guiding the Raiders to the WSC North title, including a two-month-long undefeated streak. The WSC North MVP finished second in the state in both kills (364) and hitting percentage (.463).

"I'm very excited," said Flack, days after returning from a visit to the Denton, Tex. Division I school. "I'm going there focused on volleyball and school. I know it's like a job."

Flack completes an eclectic recruiting that included interest from Alabama and Illinois-Chicago, as well as recruiting visits to Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay, by committing to one of the first schools that showed interest in her this season.

Cristobal signs Division 1 scholarship

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Moorpark College football safety Steven Cristobal signed a national letter of intent last week with Gardner-Webb, a Division I-FCS school in Boiling Springs, N.C.

A two-year starter at safety, the Rio Mesa High product was a second-team All-SCFA Western Division selection this fall, after piling up 56 tackles and leading the No. 2-ranked defense in Southern California with three interceptions.

VC, MC football signs outgoing transfers

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Signing day arrived with at least 18 community college products moving on to the four-year level.

Ventura College receiver Tim Vizzi, a Moorpark High product, will transfer to San Diego State. Defensive tackle Kalvin Cruz and linebacker Trashaun Nixon, a Hueneme High product, signed with New Mexico State.

On top of the three Division I signees, VC had 10 more players sign with Division II schools, two commit to Division III schools and another sign with a NAIA school.

Ventura has sent 35 players to four-year schools in coach Steve Mooshagian's two seasons.

"With another six to go (this spring)," said Mooshagian.

Moorpark College defensive end Quen Kantaris, a Moorpark High product, signed with Northern Arizona. Quarterback Nick Owens, a Westlake High alum, signed with Azusa Pacific.

Ventura College
NCAA Division I-FBS
WR Tim Vizzi (San Diego State)
DT Kalvin Cruz (New Mexico State)
LB Trashaun Nixon (New Mexico State)
NCAA Division II
OL Kenston Redfearn (North Alabama)
DE Daniel Miller (Dixie State (Nev.))
CB Kentrell Everett (Dixie State (Nev.))
DT Benny Theysen (Henderson State (Ark.))
P Joe Reynoso (Virginia Union)
CB Jamie Holloway (Tuskegee)
S Mike Campbell (Fort Lewis (Colo.))
WR Kordarius Rice (West Liberty State (W.V.))
RB Kenjay Trueblood (West Liberty State (W.V.))
WR Frankie Dunn (University of New Haven)
NAIA
TE Damien Taylor (Ottawa (Kan.))
NCAA Division III
S Ryan Landseadel (Cal Lutheran)
CB Dalon Brown (Cal Lutheran)
Moorpark College
NCAA Division I-FCS
DE Quen Kantaris (Northern Arizona)
NAIA
QB Nick Owens (Azusa Pacific)

Griffin commits to Monterey Bay

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Ventura College sophomore point guard Rebecca Griffin has verbally committed to play for Cal State Monterey Bay.

"I've been to Monterey with my family and I really like it," said Griffin. "Not only is the basketball program good, but the school is right for me because I want to be a teacher."

As a sophomore, Griffin is averaging 10.3 points and 3.8 assists per game for the No. 1-ranked Pirates (23-1, 6-0). She is shooting 35.8 percent from 3-point land and 77.8 percent from the foul line.

Her four free throws in the 71 seconds Wednesday night lifted the Pirates over rival Moorpark in a showdown of unbeaten co-leaders atop the WSC North.

"We have to move on," said Griffin. "It wasn't our best game, but we closed it out for a win."

Monterey Bay is 12-3 and was ranked No. 22 in last week's USA Today/ESPN national poll.

The Otters are coached by Ventura High and Ventura College alum Renee Jimenez, the current team features four local products, including VC products Erika Ward and Kris King, Buena High graduate Holly Holcomb and Thousand Oaks High product Jenna Bandy.

Bumper crop

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The Ventura College men's swimming team next spring will feature its biggest group of returning All-Americans after eight freshmen earned the elite status this season.

"That's the most we've ever had," said Ventura coach Larry Baratte. "That's the exciting part for next year."

In total, 14 Ventura College swimmers, 12 men, two women -- plus six relay teams -- were unveiled as All-Americans earlier this month when the final performance list was compiled.

The All-American swimming teams feature the Top 16 performances nationally in each event.

The men's team included freshman Eric Donahoo in the 50 freestyle (21.08 seconds), 100 freestyle (45.76), and 200 freestyle (1:39.13); freshman Steven Tennant in the 100 freestyle (45..31), 200 freestyle (1:39.48), 100 backstroke (50.22) and 200 backstroke (1:54.47); sophomore Erik Rennspiess in the 200 freestyle (1:41.26) and 200 individual medley (1:55.27); sophomore Collin Baratte in the 500 freestyle (4:38.33), 100 backstroke (52.30) and 200 backstroke (1:52.00); sophomore Jordan Singleton in the 100 backstroke (51.15) and 200 backstroke (1:50.57); freshman Thomas Maires in the mile freestyle (16:30.88); freshman Brendan DeLear in the mile freestyle (16:51.92); sophomore Aaron Fukutomi in the mile freestyle (16:54.74); freshman Griffin Pool in the mile freestyle (16:57.15); freshman Coleman Goode in the 400 individual medley (4:08.58); freshman Tyler Kaslik in the 200 butterfly (1:54.44) and freshman Spencer Lewis in the 100 backstroke (52.71).

The women's team included Lisa Simmons in 1-meter (204.75 points) and 3-meter (199.55) diving. And Kayleigh Jeffrey in the 200 freestyle (1:56.77), 500 freestyle (5:15.15) and 800 freestyle relay, along with teammates Amber Bennett, Lori Anderson and Samantha Ebberson.

The men's All-American relays were the 200 freestyle (Spencer McGrath, Singleton, Donahoo and Tennant), the 400 freestyle (Tennant, Singleton, Rennspiess and Donahoo), the 800 freestyle (Donahoo, Rennspiess , Baratte, Tennant), the 200 medley (Baratte, Good, Singleton and Donahoo), and the 400 medley (Tennant, Good, Baratte,
Rennspiess).

Combine the individual and relay honors and Tennant was an eight-event All-American. Donahoo was a seven-event All-American. With five as a freshman and six as a sophomore, Baratte, who will swim next year at UC Santa Barbara, graduates as an 11-event All-American.

Rennspiess has committed to Massachusetts. Singleton will transfer to Cal Baptist. Jeffrey will decide between Cal State Northridge and Cal State Bakersfield.

Singleton, Donahoo, Kaslik, Maires, Pool, Anderson and Jeffrey were also honored on the National Community College Academic All-American team. The team's requirements include an All-American swimming performance with a 3.2 cumulative GPA.

Razorback tradition

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Jake Mahan, who committed this month to Arkansas, won't be the first Oxnard College baseball player to make the trip to Fayetteville.

At least four previous Condors played for the Razorbacks, including Tim Seward, Mark Berry, Howard Hilton and Andy Skeels, according to former Oxnard coach Jerry White.

Dugandzic signs with Arizona

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Ventura College punter Kyle Dugandzic has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Arizona.

The first-team All-SCFA Northern Division punter, the Agoura High product averaged 38.2 yards per punt with a long of 55, placing 21 of his 57 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line with just two touchbacks.

Dugandzic, who also handled some kicking and kickoff duties during his two-year career, was named SCFA Northern Division Special teams Player of the Week twice as a sophomore.

Dugandzic was on campus this week during the nationally-televised memorial for those killed in last weekend's shooting in Tucson.

"I tried getting in line (for the memorial) about 2:30 p.m. and it was about a mile long," said Dugandzic.

He will compete for all three kicking positions in Tucson.

"Right now, everything is open," said Dugandzic. "I could win the spot at punting, kickoff and field goals. It just depends on how everyone does in the spring and summer."

Ramsey signs with SE Missouri

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Ventura College sophomore defensive lineman Taylor Ramsey signed with Southeast Missouri State Sunday.

The Moorpark High product had eight tackles for losses and two-and-a-half sacks for the Pirates as a sophomore.

The Redhawks won the 2010 Ohio Valley championship and reached the second round of the NCAA Division I FCS tournament.

Chris Gant commits to Hawaii

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Chris Gant had never been to Hawaii.

Having taken a recruiting trip to Oahu last weekend, he decided he could get used to it.

"They were really welcoming," said Gant. "I felt like I could have a home away from home there."

Moorpark College's star receiver verbally committed to play for the University of Hawaii Friday, less than three weeks after completing his Raiders' career with nearly every single-game, single-season and career receiving record in school history.

"It's very exciting," said Gant. "They put up a lot of points. I like the offense. The quarterback (Bryant Moniz) seemed like a calm, collected guy."

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that Gant will compete for a role in the slot, as Hawaii is losing starters Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares after the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl.

Although Gant said the decision was about chemistry.

"They're a really close team," said Gant. "For me to go outside of California, to go far from home, it would have to be like that."

With 81 receptions for 1,134 yards and 17 touchdowns, Gant led Southern California in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdowns per game.

He broke Isaiah Mustafa's 16-year-old single-season school records for receptions (66) and receiving yardage (1,086). His career numbers, 145 catches for 1,945 yards and 33 scores, eclipsed Dan Russell's 26-year-old school records midway though this
season.

His 17-catch, 238-yard performance in the 24-21 win at Chaffey Oct. 30 extended his own school record for receptions in a game and was 12 yards short of Curtis Marsh's 250-yard performance against Ventura in 1991.

Although he will attend Moorpark in the spring, he completed the final official team function with the season-ending banquet earlier this month.

"I'm going to miss it," said Gant of Moorpark. "It was a big transition to go from 0-10 to a good season like this. The last two games weren't my best games, but it was nice to win a bowl game."

Moorpark finished 7-4 with a 21-14 win at Chaffey in the Western State Bowl.

Monson on Ennis addition

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Ventura College men's basketball forward James Ennis signed a letter of intent to play for Long Beach State Wednesday.

After receiving the letter, 49ers coach Dan Monson expressed his excitement:

"Our staff feels he is the best player in the Southern California junior college system and has the ability to be the most versatile player in our program," said Monson in a release. "He can play either guard spot along with the small forward position.

"James is a tremendous athlete with great size and length along with a very high level skill package. He will also help address our need for perimeter shooting."

Ennis to sign with Long Beach State

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James Ennis, Ventura College's 6-foot-7 forward, verbally committed to Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson Monday after an on-campus visit.

The Ventura High product is expected to sign a letter of intent today to join the 49ers next season, VC coach Will Cowen said Tuesday.

"I think it's a good place for him," said Cowen.

Ennis is averaging 22.3 points and 8.3 rebounds through three games for the 2-1 Pirates after transferring from Oxnard College, where he averaged 19.0 points and 7.7 rebounds as a freshman. As a high jumper, he also won the Western State Conference and Southern California regional titles.

Condors still flying

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The success of the Oxnard College baseball team hasn't stopped with a championship season on the diamond.

At least 10 Condors have signed to play for four-year schools next year.

"That's a large group, the most we've ever had," said Oxnard head coach Jon Larson. "We had a good group."

At least three players from the Western State Conference title-winning team will be playing Division I baseball next year. Third baseman Bryan Willson (Camarillo High), the WSC North Player of the Year, has signed with Central Arkansas University. Center fielder Brad Greve (Newbury Park) has signed with Long Island University. Catcher Zack McDonell (Pacifica) has signed with Hawaii.

That number would climb to four if pitcher Justin Bricker (Camarillo) can successfully walk onto the team at Stanford. The engineering student with a 4.0 GPA has already beaten long odds by successfully transferring to the prestigious Palo Alto school.

"It's pretty exciting for us," said assistant coach Roger Frash.

Pitchers Chris Defratus (Rio Mesa), Santos Reyes (Channel Islands) and Joey Juarez (Hueneme) will give Division II Colorado State-Pueblo a trio of Oxnard-native arms.

All-State picks Jonathan Erb (Camarillo) and J.C. Aguayo (Hueneme) highlight the Condors moving on to NAIA schools. First baseman Erb will swing it for Azusa Pacific. Outfielders Aguayo and Juan Reveles (Oxnard) are headed to Northwestern Oklahoma. First baseman Scott McNally will play for Friends University (Kan.)

"That's what it's all about," said Larson. "That's the most important thing."

College Sports Blog
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Ventura County Star sports writer and columnist Joe Curley covers college sports and soccer for this Star. This is the place to click for local college football and basketball coverage, including USC, UCLA, Moorpark College, Ventura College and Cal Lutheran.

Curley will update from live events and also interject with periodic comment on both international soccer and the local Ventura County Fusion.