College roundup: Merced women expect a new polo challenge

Even dynasties have their low years.

Merced College women's water polo coach Bill Halpin said he has a great team, but the Blue Devils may be hard-pressed to win 21 games, as they have in each of the program's 11 seasons.

"They know the tradition we have," Halpin said. "Every team is different. When we play, teams are always going for us. I say to play well and give me your best effort. As long as you play hard that's the best you can do."

Merced heads into today's West Valley Tournament in Saratoga with a 5-1 record. Bonnie Wylie and Tiffany Swiggart split time at hole set. Sophomore goalie Kat Brigham has been sharing time with freshman Melanie Cannon. Sophomores Shelby West of Pitman and Kara Andrews of Clovis East have also done well, Halpin said.

"We'll have a good year," Halpin said. "We won conference five years in a row. It comes and goes."

MJC WRESTLING -- Gary Fischer thinks the Pirates' wrestling program is on the upswing. As evidence, he said the team has never had a major in-house challenge to decide starters.

"I've got 34 athletes signed up," Fischer said. "We've never had that kind of volume in the wrestling room. We have a first group and a second group taking turns on the mats."

The Pirates will hold their own dual meet Saturday at 3 p.m. in the MJC gym. They open the season at Santa Rosa on Wednesday.

The Pirates are seeking donations and sponsors for a team media guide. E-mail for information.

NEW WARRIOR WEB SITE -- The Cal State Stanislaus athletic department Web site has a new look. Internet Consulting Services of Syracuse, N.Y., helped design a new, user-friendly and professional Internet site, according to Hung Tsai, Assistant Athletics Director for Communications and Sports Information.

Through its partnership with the campus bookstore, university apparel and athletics merchandise also will be available on Future plans for the advanced Web site include live stats and streaming audio and video of contests.

MJC WOMEN'S SOCCER -- The Pirates moved up from fifth to third in the nation in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, the highest Modesto has ever been ranked.

Big 8 Conference opponent American River is eighth. Both teams started the season 4-0. The Beavers come to Modesto on Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. Online: