The Menlo College women's basketball team was seeded fourth within its group of eight at the NAIA Division II national championships, which get underway next Thursday in Sioux City, Iowa.
Menlo won its third straight Cal Pac Conference tournament title to advance to its third straight national appearance and sixth overall. The Lady Oaks are 1-5 overall.
Quarterfinal action tips off at 1 p.m. on March 15 with the semifinals slated for March 17 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The championship final will start at 6:30 p.m. on March 18. Both semifinal games and the championship final will be broadcast in high definition on ESPN3.com.
The 19th-ranked Foresters earned an at-large after losing to Indiana Wesleyan, 71-60, in a semifinal game of the Crossroads Conference tournament. Top-ranked Saint Francis of Indiana (33-0) won the title.
Senior Pazia Speed leads Huntington with a 16.9 scoring average, followed by Amelia Recker at 14.5. Recker is the team leader in rebounds, averaging 7.0 per game. Junior Courtney Baker averages 3.8 assists per game while Speed averages 3.7.
Menlo College junior Eric Lopez looks to take the next step this year at the NAIA national wrestling championship, which opens Friday at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan.
Lopez, who wrestles at 165, emerged as the national runner-up in last year's national meet. He may get a chance to wrestle defending champion Ethan Hinebauch of Montana State at Northern. Grand View's Chad Lowman, also in the division, won at 157 pounds last year.
Menlo's Scott Brasil, at 285 pounds, is among the top contenders looking to knock off two-time defending champion Eric Thompson of Grand View.
Three freshmen are also headed to the national tournament: Troy Lakin (125 pounds), Steele Escobdeo (141), and Jason Ladd (149), along with senior David Rios (157).
Forward Michael Ikenna Arinze, who currently plays club soccer with the San Diego Surf, has signed on to attend Menlo College and continue his soccer career there.
Arinze was a three-year varsity letter winner at San Diego's St. Augustine High, where he scored eight goals and recorded 10 assists this season. St. Augustine went undefeated during the regular season and won the CIF San Diego Section Western League Championship.
"Ike is a hard working young man, and will be a handful for teams to defend next season," Oaks coach Eric Bucchere said. "I'm looking forward to watching him develop and improve over the next four years."
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