The Cal Poly softball team was selected to finish in the upper half of the Big West Conference standings this spring when the preseason coaches poll was released Wednesday.
The Mustangs received one first-place vote and were chosen to finish fourth among the eight teams in the Big West. Defending conference champion Cal State Fullerton garnered four of the possible eight first-place votes and received 57 points as the preseason favorite.
Long Beach State (55 points) was picked second with three first-place votes. CSUN was third with 49 points, Cal Poly was fourth 40 points and Hawaii was chosen fifth with 30 points. UC Santa Barbara (27), UC Riverside (17) and UC Davis (13) rounded out the preseason poll.
Also Wednesday, senior right-handed pitcher Sierra Hyland became the first Cal Poly player in seven years to earn a spot on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award watch list. Hyland was one of 50 players nationally selected for the pool.
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Hyland enters her senior season ranked No. 10 in Big West history with 690 strikeouts, and is 157 away from becoming the conference’s all-time leader in that category.
The Mustangs are scheduled to open the 2017 season at the Kajikawa Classic Feb. 10-12 at Arizona State.
Cal Poly women’s soccer signs five
The Cal Poly women’s soccer team announced Thursday the signing of five prep standouts to National Letters of Intent.
The Mustangs’ incoming class is highlighted by a pair of local standouts in San Luis Obispo High midfielder Grace Park and Morro Bay High midfielder and forward Emma Hotaling.
Cal Poly also welcomed Davis Senior High midfielder Sidra Bugsch, San Marcos High defender Danielle Anderson, and Heather Huene, a forward from Galena High in Reno, Nevada.
Pang honored by Big West
Cal Poly senior Corey Pang was selected Wednesday at the Big West Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week after posting a combined 4-1 record in singles and doubles play.
Pang played a key role in leading the Mustangs to a 6-1 win over Boise State and a 4-3 victory against Pepperdine. Pang played No. 1 singles against the Broncos and defeated Kyle Butters, 6-1, 6-1.
He dropped to the No. 2 spot against Pepperdine, and held off Stefan Menichella, 6-1, 6-3. The Redwood City native also won a pair of doubles matches with teammate Ben Donovan, and the duo is currently ranked No. 21.
Cal Poly is scheduled to play Oregon in a nonconference match Friday in Eugene, Oregon.
Central Coast Classic coming up
The Cuesta College track and field team will host the 2017 Central Coast Classic at 10 a.m. Friday, and the meet is open to eligible athletes 17 years of age or older.
All unattached, high school, college and post-collegiate athletes are encouraged to attend and will need to register on directathletics.com prior to arrival. Results will be available on the Direct Athletics website as soon as possible.
The first scheduled field event begins at 11 a.m. with men’s javelin. The women’s 4x100-meter relay will open the running events at 2:30 p.m., and the final event is the men’s 4x400 relay at 5 p.m.
The entry fee is $125 per team and $15 for unlimited individual entries. Race day entries are set at $20.