The Daily Californian Online

Sports in Brief

By Jack Wang
Daily Cal Senior Staff Writer
Monday, January 31, 2011
Category: Sports

Rackov Named National Player of the Year

It's one thing to lead your team in scoring. It's another to lead it in that, plus two other categories.

That's what junior Ivan Rackov did for the Cal men's water polo team this past fall, an astounding performance that earned him National Player of the Year honors from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches on Saturday.

Rackov led the MPSF conference in scoring with 79 goals, and the Bears with 82 assists and 70 steals. The driver headlined a group that took the program back to the NCAA Championship, where the Bears lost to USC in overtime, 12-10.

The announcement signaled the 15th Player of the Year award for Cal, which leads the nation with 13 national championships. Current coach Kirk Everist won NCAA Player of the Year in 1988.

The Peter J. Cutino Award, the most prestigious in the sport after being established for men in 2000, will be awarded in June. Also nominated for the Cutino are USC's Joel Dennerley, who was named MPSF Player of the Year, and Pacific's Goran Tomasevic.

Cal's only Cutino winner was John Mann in 2007.

Senior two-meter set Zach White was named first-team All-American, while Brian Dudley and Cory Nasoff made the third team. Charlie Steffens and Luka Saponjic received honorable mentions.

Bears Top Pair of Pac-10 Rivals at Spieker Complex

After competing away from Berkeley the entire spring, the No. 4 Cal women's swimming team finally hosted a pair of meets at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

They didn't waste the opportunity, blowing out both No. 3 USC and No. 21 UCLA.

On Friday, the Bears opened the weekend with a resounding upset of the Trojans, 182-118.

Junior Liv Jensen led the way with wins in four events. The Palo Alto, Calif., native took the 50-yard free, which she won in the NCAA Championships last year, as part of Cal's top-four sweep.

She also took the 100 free and was a part of the winning 400 medley and 200 free relays.

A day later, the Bears downed the Bruins, 168.5-131.5. This time, it was sophomore Caitlin Leverenz who keyed the effort with a victorious quartet of her own.

Leverenz swam the breaststroke leg of the 400 medley relay. For individual events, she took the 200 butterfly, 200 breaststroke, and 400 individual medley.

Cal will host Stanford on Sunday in its final dual meet of the season.

Cal Wins First Gym Meet Of the Season at Home

It finally happened. The Cal women's gymnastics team scored its first win of the season.

After coming up short in three competitions this spring, the Bears defeated Alaska-Anchorage with a clean sweep.Cal bested the Seawolves, 191.850-188.425.15, in part due to Madilyn O'Brien's top all-around finish.

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