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Briefs: UCI thrower lauded

UC Irvine standout thrower Itos Aikhionbare has been named 2013-14 All-Academic recognition by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Assn.

Aikhionbare, a biological sciences major entering her senior year at UCI, finished 14th in the shot put and 16th in the discus throw at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in May.

She won both events at the Big West Conference Championships and was named the Big West Field Athlete of the Year.

Aikhionbare, the school-record holder in the shot put and discus, was recognized as UCI's Big West Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in March.

To qualify for the All-Academic honors, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 and have met at least one of the following athletic standards:

For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA Proof-of-Performance list provided by TFRRS.org.

For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).

— From staff reports

New UCI additions

The UC Irvine men's soccer program has been bolstered by the addition of three former members of the Cal State Bakersfield program.

Keith Costigan will begin his first season as a UCI assistant coach after spending the last five seasons in the same position with the Roadrunners, while former Roadrunners players Eduardo "Lalo" Calzada and Mario Ortiz have also moved South and will don Anteaters uniforms this fall.

Calzado, a midfielder who started 15 matches last season, led Cal State Bakersfield with six goals and 14 points as a sophomore in 2013.

Ortiz, who had five assists and started 14 of the 18 matches he played in as a freshman in 2013, was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com's preseason best list for 2014.

Costigan earned All-California Collegiate Athletic Assn. honors in 1999 and 2000 while playing at Cal State Bakersfield and he was all-region laurels in 2000, when he contributed 12 assists.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Costigan returned to Europe after college for a brief tenure with Luton Town in England before the A-League Portland Timbers came calling. During his two seasons in the Pacific Northwest, Costigan led the Timbers' in assists during the 2001 season and led the squad in minutes played the following year from his left back position. He trained with the Los Angeles Galaxy during the off-season, and concluded his professional career in 2004 with the Harrisburg (Pa.) City Islanders.

Costigan also works for Fox Soccer Channel, for which he began working in 2005 on the weekly call-in show "Fox Football Friday." HE later served as co-host of "Super Saturday Plus" alongside Nick Webster. He currently hosts "Super Sunday Plus," is a regular on the network's Barclays Premier League and Serie A telecasts and serves as a fill-in host on "Fox Football Fone-In."

He also contributes to the Foxsoccer.com website with his weekly rankings and is a regular contributor to the Kop magazine, a publication that sells in Europe and is aimed at fans of Liverpool F.C.

In addition to his work at Fox Sports, Costigan has coached club soccer for more than 10 years, including stints with the Bakersfield Gunners and the Pacific Coast Soccer Club in Santa Monica. He has also assisted the boys' team at Windward High in Los Angeles for the past four years, a program that has advanced to the CIF Southern Section playoffs every year of his tenure.

As a coach for the Chivas USA U18 Academy club, Costigan led them to the players most recently in 2013.

UCI has also added 2008 Big West Conference Defender of the Year David Sais as a volunteer assistant. Sais replaces former Anteater Carlos Aguilar, who is an assistant coach under former UCI head man George Kuntz at Cal State Fullerton.

UCI begins it season Monday with a home exhibition match against Cal at 7 p.m.

— From staff reports

'Eaters adds recruits

Five high school players and a transfer will join the UC Irvine women's volleyball team this fall, Anteaters Coach Paula Weishoff said recently.

The additions include 6-foot-2 middle blocker Aspen Potter and utility players Samentha Carpio and Andi Vordermann, setter Emily Blair, as well as back row performers Chloe Hakim and Amber Obenshain.

"Overall we have a very strong class that is athletic and competitive that will come in and challenge our team to be better in every aspect of the game," Weishoff, entering her sixth season, said. "[The recruits] are incredibly talented and ambitious, and will fit in great with our team culture. We are excited to welcome them to our UCI volleyball family.".

Potter, was a Prep Volleyball Top 100 honoree as a senior at Yorba Linda High, where she was a three-time All-Orange County performer and a first-team All-CIF Southern Section performer. She was a four-time All-Empire League pick and was her team's MVP all four seasons. She was twice named Offensive MVP and once the Defensive MVP at Yorba Linda. In 2014, she guided her school to a league title and the CIF Southern Section semifinals.

"[Potter] is a wonderful athlete who will make our middle blocking position a definite threat in the Big West [Conference]," Weishoff said. "She is a great blocker and great offensive threat, especially off one leg."

Vordermann is a 6-0 transfer from Cal State San Marcos, where she was second on the team with 254 kills and 67 blocks as a freshman. Playing both the middle and the right side, Vordermann had a personal-high 15 kills against Azusa Pacific and had a career-high five blocks against Hope International. Vordermann prepped at Dana Hills High. She will be eligible in 2015.

"Andi is athletic and quick and can play any position," Weishoff said. "She is looking forward to coming back to California and even though she will have to sit out a year, we look forward to her contribution in practice."

Blair, a 5-10 setter, led Orange Lutheran High to a the CIF Southern Section semifinals and a Trinity League championship. Blair was first-team all-league and second-team All-Orange County as a senior.

Blair played with TStreet Volleyball Club and was a member of the 18-Open bronze-medal winning team at the 2013 USA Junior Nationals.

"Emily will bring experience and competition to the setter position," Weishoff said. "She has played at a high level both in high school and club, which will help her make the transition to the collegiate game."

Carpio is a 5-7 middle blocker who can also play the right-side. At Riverside Notre Dame High, she was a co-captain her junior and senior years, and was voted Most Improved Player twice.

Hakim is the career leader at St. Francis High near Sacramento with 594 digs. She led the Delta River League in digs as a junior to help the team to a league title, a section championship and a spot in the state final. In her senior campaign, Hakim was an All-Delta River League libero also was chosen to compete in the Sacrament Optimist All-Star game.

"Chloe is a tenacious defender and leader on the court," Weishoff said. "She will definitely push our current defensive players and make our defense that much stronger."

Obenshain is a 5-5 defensive specialist from Bakersfield Independence High. She earned the Jockey Club's Outstanding Athlete Award in 2012 was a team co-captain as a junior and senior. Obenshain helped the team win a CIF Division 3 crown in 2011 and finished her career with 582 digs.

— From staff reports

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