Volume II, Issue 1: September 2009
Athletics

Athletics

That championship feeling

Volleyball team hoists trophy
UCI Athletics
Men's volleyball won the national title for the second time in school history.

Winning isn't the only thing, but it sure felt good as the Anteaters excelled throughout 2008-09, with 10 teams finishing in the nation's top 50. And, with apologies to T.S. Eliot, April was hardly the cruelest month for UCI fans, who could cheer for not one but two No. 1-ranked teams: men's volleyball and baseball.

Overall, the Anteaters finished 65th in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup for all Division I schools and were second in the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy race, marking the third consecutive year that UCI placed in the top five among the 94 non-football schools.

UCI also won a school-record five conference titles (men's soccer, men's tennis, women's water polo, baseball and men's volleyball) and had six Conference Athletes of the Year and four Conference Coaches of the Year.

Two are better than one

Twins Brandon and Matt Johnson
UCI Athletics
Brandon Johnson (right) is a left-handed field player for men's water polo while his twin brother, Matt, is the goalie.

No, Anteater fans, you're not seeing double: UCI intercollegiate athletic teams feature no less than five sets of twins.

Two sets compete on the men's water polo team — Brandon and Matt Johnson, and Kyle and Thomas Kruip. Brandon Johnson led the team with 68 goals last season when he earned third-team All-America honors, while goalie Matt Johnson made 187 saves in 23 starts.

Jordan and Lexi Kopf compete in women's soccer, Ka'Jahna and Keyonna Johnson in women's basketball, and Hayley and Miranda Young in women's tennis. We just have to ask: Do the tennis twins play doubles?

'Eater alums graduate to national teams

Alumnus Ty Loomis on pro volleyball circuit
Ty Loomis
Alumnus Ty Loomis played on the professional volleyball tour this summer.

UCI alums competed for U.S. national teams around the globe this summer.

In men's water polo, Ryan Bailey, Tim Hutten, Genai Kerr and Jeff Powers played for the U.S. team that finished fourth at the Fédération Internationale de Natation World Championships in Rome. 

Former 'Eater All-American volleyball standouts David Smith and Jayson Jablonsky played for Team USA in the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball World League and World Championship qualifying tournament at the Bren Events Center in August. Smith was named the tournament's best blocker and the U.S. defeated Guatemala, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Ty Loomis, another volleyball alum, teamed with Casey Patterson to win the AVP Crocs Slam Coney Island Open on the professional beach volleyball tour.

Follow UCI athletics on 'Blue & Gold Report'

Mark Roberts and player Eric Deragisch in studio
UCI Athletics
"Blue & Gold Report" host Mark Roberts interviewed UCI baseball player Eric Deragisch '09 last season.

"The Blue & Gold Report," an inside look at UCI intercollegiate athletics, airs at 5 p.m. Tuesdays on KUCI (88.9 FM).

The hourlong show, hosted by Mark Roberts, can be heard throughout the academic year and features interviews each week with student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

The first show of 2009-10 will air Sept. 29.