For three winter sports teams at Cal Poly, it was hardly a restful break.
And while the women’s and men’s basketball and wrestling teams all competed over winter break, the swimming and diving team jumped back into action Saturday.
That wasn’t all that happened over the last three weeks. Here’s a recap of what went down:
Injuries, losses pile up for women’s basketball team
Playing without its starting backcourt because of respective injuries, the Cal Poly women’s basketball team has gotten off to a rocky start in Big West Conference play.
The Mustangs (5-10, 1-3 Big West) are 1-6 on the road and had lost seven straight overall prior to a 61-50 home win over Long Beach State last Saturday.
Cal Poly is playing without four-year starting point guard Sparkle Anderson, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury Nov. 28, and junior shooting guard Toni Newman, who started nine games before suffering a leg stress fracture.
The one constant for Cal Poly has been senior forward Jessica Eggleston, a preseason all-conference pick who leads the Mustangs in both scoring (13.1) and rebounding (7.5) averages while recording a team-high 30 steals.
Freshman power forward Bria Fields has been a standout off the bench, putting up 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. Sophomore forward Megan Harrison adds 8.4 points and 3.9 boards an outing.
Cal Poly visits UC Davis in a nonconference game at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Aggies will officially join the Big West next season.
Poly wrestling starts 3-1 in Pac-10
The Cal Poly wrestling team has opened the season 3-3 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-10.
The Mustangs’ first two dual losses of the season came against a pair of perennial Big 12 Conference powers, losing to seventh-ranked Oklahoma 31-7 on Dec. 9 and 25-12 to four-time defending national champion Oklahoma State on Dec. 18.
Cal Poly followed by earning Pac-10 wins at home against Cal State Fullerton (17-16), at Boise State (20-15) and at Portland State (32-15) before falling 21-19 at Oregon last Friday.
The loss to Oregon dropped the Mustangs out of the Wrestling International Newsmagazine poll, where they began the season 17th before falling to 23rd.
Cal Poly is still ranked 21st, however, in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA poll, which was last updated Jan. 3.
Individual standouts for the Mustangs include fourth-ranked 125-pound junior Chad Mendes (5-2), fifth-ranked 133-pound senior Darrell Vasquez (17-3), 15th-ranked 141-pound senior Dave Roberts (7-4), 11th-ranked 197-pound senior Matt Monteiro (13-5) and unranked senior heavyweight Cody Parker (9-3).
The Mustangs are at the Central Michigan Tournament on Jan. 21 before resuming Pac-10 competition against visiting Cal State Bakersfield on Jan. 26.
Di Dio, Sorensen leading swimming and diving team
Freshman Corwin Di Dio and junior Stacey Sorensen led the Cal Poly swimming and diving team at the two-day, 13-school Ayres Invitational in Irvine last weekend.
Di Dio was second in the 1,000-meter freestyle in 9 minutes, 55.6 seconds and fifth in the 500 freestyle in 4:47.97. Sorensen was sixth among 86 swimmers in the 100 freestyle in 54.53 seconds.
Cal Poly visits Cal State Northridge at 1 p.m. Friday.
More honors pour in for Poly football players
Following the All-Great West Football Conference selections, four Mustangs were named to various postseason all-star lists:
Ramses Barden: The sophomore wide receiver was named to the College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty All-Star Team.
Kenny Chicoine: The senior free safety was named to The Associated Press All-America and The Sports Network’s All-America third teams as well as the College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty All-Star Team.
Justen Peek: The senior outside linebacker was named to the ninth annual I-AA Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team.
Chris White: The senior nose tackle was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America Team, The Associated Press All-America Third Team and to the College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty All-Star Team.
Kyle Shotwell: The senior middle linebacker was named to The Associated Press All-America Second Team, The Sports Network’s All-America First Team and the College Sporting News Fabulous Fifty All-Star Team.
Poly football signs QB Dally
The Cal Poly football program announced Dec. 20 that it signed former Allan Hancock College quarterback Jonathan Dally to a national letter of intent.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Dally, a former standout at Righetti High in Santa Maria, threw for 2,229 yards and 24 touchdowns in his two seasons at Allan Hancock.
Dally completed 71 of 122 passes (58.2 percent) for 1,050 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 310 yards and seven scores as a sophomore. He was a two-time All-Western State Conference selection.
Dally’s skills running the ball could come in handy as Cal Poly’s variation of an option offense requires a mobile quarterback. The incumbent starter is Matt Brennan, who completed 45 percent of his passes for 1,208 yards and 10 touchdowns with seven interceptions and ran for 344 yards and two scores as a sophomore in 2006.
There is a historic link between the football programs at Cal Poly and Allan Hancock. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach John Madden played at Cal Poly before coaching at Allan Hancock from 1960-63.
Poly pitching coach resigns
Former Cal Poly baseball pitching coach Jerry Weinstein resigned from the position to become manager of the Modesto Nuts, a Class-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, the school announced last Thursday.
Weinstein, who had spent five years at Cal Poly, was in charge of the team’s pitchers and catchers. He was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Director of Player Development from 2000-01.
The Mustangs, who began practice last Thursday, open the season at the University of San Diego on Jan. 26. A search to find a replacement for Weinstein is underway.
Ten Mustangs earn all-academic recognition in Big West
Ten Cal Poly athletes competing for fall sports teams were named to the Big West Conference All-Academic Team on Dec. 13.
Athletes honored were: Chelsea Hayes and Kristin Jackson (volleyball); K.J. Lenehan and Matt Robinson (men’s soccer); Kendahl Stein and Melissa Woo (women’s soccer); Kelsey Delagardelle and Kathryn Vaughan (women’s cross country); Leif Anderson and Brian Baker (men’s cross country).
Pair of women’s soccer players honored
Cal Poly women’s soccer players Heidi McQuitty and Carrie Andrews received respective honors in December.
McQuitty, a senior midfielder, was named to Soccer Buzz magazine and NSCAA’s All-West Region third teams. She started all 20 games as a team captain and leader of a defense that posted nine shutouts while recording six points (two goals, two assists) individually.
Andrews, a freshman midfielder, was named to Soccer Buzz magazine’s West Region all-freshman team. She started all 20 games and recorded three assists before being named the Big West’s Co-Freshman of the Year.
Cal Poly was 10-7-3 overall, fourth in the Big West standings and second in the conference tournament.