Corona del Mar High junior girls' water polo goalie Alex Musselman has verbally committed to UCLA, she confirmed Wednesday night.
Musselman was the Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year this past winter for the Sea Kings. The two-year varsity starter earned a reputation as one of the best goalies in CIF, making 331 saves for the Sea Kings (21-8) and sparking the counterattack with her precise passes.
She was also named the Pacific Coast League's Most Outstanding Goalie for league champion CdM, helping her team advance to the CIF Southern Section Division I semifinals. She was a first-team All-Division I selection.
Musselman said she loved UCLA during her visit to the campus, one of several unofficial visits she said she made to schools across the country.
"I wanted a school that had a strong combination of academics, water polo and campus life," she said.
UCLA is the alma mater of both CdM girls' head coach Sam Bailey and assistant Brittany Fullen. Fullen won four NCAA championships with the Bruins as a two-year starter in goal, part of a run that saw UCLA claim five consecutive national titles from 2005 through 2009.
UCLA is the No. 4 seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament that begins Friday. Musselman is the third local girls' water polo player to commit to the Bruins this year, joining Newport Harbor seniors Sarah Wilkey (goalie) and Mary Rose Wight (defender).
— Matt Szabo
Valerio singled out
UC Irvine's Ronnie Valerio was named Big West Conference Freshman of the Year in women's golf.
Anteaters junior Lalita Patipaksiri and sophomore Michelle Park join Valerio as second-team all-conference honorees.
Valerio was named Big West Golfer of the Month in November and ended the season with a 76.38 scoring average.
Paptipaksiri had a 76.72 average and finished fourth in the Big West Championships.
Park had four top-10 finishes and finished with a 76.14 average.
— From staff reports
Kearney earns honor
Chris Kearney helped the UC Irvine men's tennis team win the Big West Conference regular-season title with a 5-0 record to earn Big West Athlete of the Week honors.
With the winner clinching the Big West title and No. 1 seed in this week's league tournament, UC Irvine captured a 5-2 victory at Cal Poly on Saturday. Kearney, at No. 1 singles, defeated No. 104-ranked Andre Dome 6-2, 6-3 to help his team's cause.