UC Irvine junior guard Mike Wilder (with ball) is the Anteaters' leading scorer this season. (DON LEACH, unknown / January 10, 2012)

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If the first week is any indication, 2012 figures to be a banner year for UC Irvine athletics.

The Anteaters' men's and women's basketball teams each swept their two-game conference sets against Pacific and UC Davis.

The No. 2-ranked UCI men's volleyball team won four matches, the final three over then-No. 1-ranked BYU, No. 6 Long Beach State and No. 3-ranked UCLA, respectively, on its way to claiming the title of the UC Santa Barbara Invitational.

The impressive opening for Coach John Speraw's Anteaters earned them the No. 1 national ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. poll released Monday. UCI will get to test its top ranking against No. 2-ranked BYU in back-to-back Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches Friday and Saturday at the Bren Events Center. First serve for both is 7 p.m.

Sophomore outside hitter Jeremy Dejno earned tournament MVP honors in Santa Barbara, while senior opposite Carson Clark was another all-tournament honoree.

The Anteaters' strong start has come without the services of highly touted transfer Kevin Tillie, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury. Tillie, who played for the French junior national team and was an All-Canadian selection at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada last season, could make his UCI debut against BYU.

As harbinger's go, UCI last won the UCSB tournament in 2007, when it captured the first of the program's two NCAA titles.

This year's four-team NCAA men's volleyball championship is May 3 and 5 at USC's Galen Center.

With road wins over Pacific (Thursday) and UC Davis (Saturday), the UCI men's basketball team posted its first road weekend sweep since 2006, when it won at UCSB and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Coach Russell Turner's squad (6-10, 3-1 in conference), has earned all of its conference wins on the road after entering conference play winless in eight games away from the Bren Center.

Junior Mike Wilder was the catalyst last week, totaling 38 points in two games, netting a combined eight of 14 from three-point range. Wilder also had 10 rebounds to go with 18 points at Davis to post his fourth career double-double.

Wilder leads UCI in scoring (11.8 per game), followed by junior guard Daman Starring (11.6) and sophomore guard Chris McNealy. The aforementioned trio are all shooting better than 40% from three-point range. Starring is at 42.6% with 36 three balls. McNealy, who made five of six from threedom on Saturday, is shooting 41.3% from beyond the arc with 22 three-pointers. Wilder has 34 threes and is shooting 41.2% from distance.

UCI is shooting 37.4% from three-point range and only 40.5% overall.

Juniors Derick Flowers and Adam Folker are additional starters who have been contributing at a high level.

The 'Eaters play host to Cal Poly on Thursday at 7 p.m., before venturing to Santa Barbara to battle the Gauchos on Saturday at 7 p.m.

UCI plays six of its next seven games at home, including five of its next six conference games..

Coach Molly Goodenbour's UCI women's basketball team topped Pacific and UC Davis last week to turn around what had been a five-game losing streak.

Junior guard Anete Klintsone had a breakthrough pair of performances to capture Big West Conference Player of the Week recognition.

Klintsone, a transfer from a community college in Missouri who is a native of Latvia, had a career-high 21 points in Thursday's 77-75 overtime win over Pacific. She then produced a team-best 16 points in Saturday's 60-54 triumph over UC Davis.

Klintsone upped her season scoring average to 8.9, which trails only senior guard Kassandra McCalister (10.6) and junior forward Jazmyne White (9.8).