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Saturday, March 17, 2012


The Union


Anthony Barstow, sports writer, (530) 477-4232,

Section B

SPORTS SATURDAY Syracuse vs. Kansas St. | 9 a.m., TV: CBS SPORTS BRIEFS Local ■ Senior softball

season approaching The 2012 Gold Country Senior Softball Association season will begin on April 9, and signups and new player workouts will run from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday in March at Western Gateway Park in Penn Valley. Players must be 50 years old or older to play, and fees are $140 for the weeknight league, $120 for the Saturday league or $240 for both. Weeknight games start at 5:30 p.m. and take place Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, while Saturday games begin at 9 a.m. The season runs through September.

Sacramento surprises Boston | B2

Stanford women set for tourney | B3


Preseason starter Rossi has ‘ups and downs’ on initial run SUBMITTED TO THE UNION

This week saw the first preseason test for the new Formula Renault 3.5 car at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France. American driver Alexander Rossi began what he hopes is his championship charge on Tuesday when he took to the track with his new team, Arden Caterham Motorsport, for the maiden outing in World Series

by Renault. Rossi, who was recently announced as official test driver for the Caterham F1 team, completed the two-day test feeling comfortable with his No. 25 car’s reliability and handling. However, technical and new car teething issues on the second day hindered the powerful performance for which he was striving. “Our initial shakedown test

this week in Paul Ricard with the new car and team, Arden Caterham, was productive in many ways but also had it’s up and downs,” said Rossi. “On day one, we were near the top of the time sheets most of the day, as I had a lot of confidence with the team and getting the most out of the car.” The first day provided dry conditions for the rookie team, See ROSSI B2

Submitted photo

Alexander Rossi sits in his car before a preseason World Series test earlier in the week at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France.

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National ■ Greg Biffle wins pole at

Bristol Motor Speedway BRISTOL, Tenn. — Greg Biffle knows he won’t be perfect all season. He’ll take what he can get right now.


Nevada Union’s diving team took on Granite Bay earlier this week, and Miners junior Adam Seifert took first place in the varsity boys competition. Zack Manes placed third, and Lloyd Tom finished in fourth in the varsity competition. On the girls side, freshman Mikaela Lujan, competing in her first high school meet, came away with third place in the girls varsity meet. Also placing for the NU girls were Brandi Chambers in fourth and Jessica Alberts in fifth. Jenny Jones and Kristin Burgess finished in first and second, respectively, in the junior varsity girls competition.

The Sprint Cup points leader continued his strong start to the season Friday by winning the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I know this isn’t going to last all season, but I’m enjoying the hell out of it right now,” Biffle said. He turned a lap of 125.215 mph in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford to take the top qualifying spot for Sunday’s race. Biffle has opened the season with three third-place finishes, and has not qualified lower than ninth. “I gotta pinch myself. I think I’m dreaming,” he said. “I’m having a great time, the time of my life.”

Coaches may submit game reports by email at or by phone at (530) 477-4232. Deadline for submissions is 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Photo for The Union by John Hart

■ Phillies release

Bear River’s Jed Lyon, left, and Tim Wong go up for a block during a volleyball match against Nevada Union Wednesday in Ali Gym.

pitcher Dontrelle Willis BRADENTON, Fla. — The Philadelphia Phillies have released left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

‘The drive to win’

The team announced the move Friday on Twitter.

Nevada Union boys volleyball team has eyes on the prize

The 30-year-old Willis signed a deal with the Phillies this offseason and was competing for a bullpen spot this spring.

WALTER FORD Sports Writer

ff to a 4-0 start in nonleague play and yet to drop a set, the Nevada Union boys volleyball team is brimming with confidence and gunning for a Sac-Joaquin Section title in 2012. “I want to win sections, and I think we have the talent to do it,” team captain Bobby Curtis said. “We all have the drive to win sections this year.” It’s a lofty goal for a team that


A two-time All Star with the Florida Marlins, Willis has pitched for four teams in nine seasons, all of them as a starter. The Phillies signed him to a nonguaranteed contract in December, and according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he will receive $139,000 in severance pay. — Associated Press

finished fourth in the Sierra Foothill League and out of postseason play last season, but a goal that head coach Marco Salcedo considers obtainable. In his eighth year with the NU program, Salcedo said that the march toward the Miners’ first section title begins with defense. “I want to be one of the best defensive teams out there,” he said. “That’s what wins championships. Other teams have guys like us that can hit. I want to beat them with our defense.”

Salcedo may have the size and experience to be the best defensive team in the league this season. The Miners lost only one senior from last year and return nine varsity players from the 2011 squad. Their experience and size at the net has NU believing it will grab its first league title since 2009 and first ever section title. “We all grew as players,” Curtis said. “We grew physically and mentally, and we all learned how to play our game.” See VOLLEYBALL B2



Lehigh stuns Duke on day of upsets BY STEVE REED AP Sports Writer

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Lehigh Mountain Hawks said they weren’t afraid of mighty Duke.

INSIDE Photo for The Union by John Hart

Bobby Curtis Nevada Union volleyball In two games this week, Bobby Curtis led the Miners in kills, with 12 in a match against Jesuit on Tuesday and 10 against Bear River on Wednesday. Curtis added two aces against Jesuit, and Nevada Union won both games.

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NU’s Seifert wins diving competition

— The Union staff


49ers enter Manning sweepstakes|B4

■ Check out all the action from Friday’s wild NCAA Tournament games, Page B2. AP photo

Maybe no one believed them at the time, but the Patriot League champions proved they were serious. C.J. McCollum scored 30 points and Lehigh upset Duke 75-70 to become the second No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 during a wild Friday in the NCAA tournament. “It means a lot as a team, a family and as the Patriot League in general,”

From left, Lehigh’s Gabe Knutson, B.J. Bailey, Jordan Hamilton, Holden Greiner, John Adams and Justin Maneri celebrate after winning an NCAA tournament second-round game against Duke Friday in Greensboro, N.C. No. 15 seeded Lehigh beat No. 2 seeded Duke, 75-70. McCollum said. “We wanted to come out here and protect this team and this family, get the win and we did that tonight.” Lehigh forward John Adams said it was a matter of believing in each other.

The Mountain Hawks are the sixth 15 seed overall to pull off the trick. Norfolk State edged Missouri 86-84 in the West Regional earlier in the day, and No. 13 seed Ohio knocked off Michigan to add to the madness.


Gold Country holds 2012 Foothills Classic SUBMITTED TO THE UNION

The Gold Country Gymnastics boys team recently hosted the 2012 Foothills Classic, which included levels 5 through 10. Jeffery Wagnecht tied for third place on pommel with a score of 13.7 and placed fourth on rings with a 13.9 in the Level 5 competition. He finished with an all-around score of 81.7. Chance Bacon placed fifth on parallel bars with a 13.4 and had a 14.1 on vault to finish with an all around of 73.6. Competing at Level 6, Rhett Miller tied for first on high bar with 15 and took second on pommel and parallel bars with 14.7 and 13.7, respectively. Miller tied for second for floor with 14.7 and scored 14.1 on rings and 14.7 on vault. He finished in second place all around with a score of 86.9. Joshua Hartman took first on rings with a 14.2, third for pommel with a 13.3 and third on parallel bars with a 12.3. Hartman finished with an all around of 79. Nathan Arthur took fourth place with a 14.0 on rings and tied for fourth on high bar with 14.3 to finish with an all around of 78.4. Jacob Pardini earned a fourth-place tie for parallel bars with an 11.8, scored a 13.6 on vault and finished with a 72.8 all around. At Level 8, Nathan Hunt finished in first on vault with a 12.6, first on parallel bars with a 12.7 and second on floor with a 12.9 to finish the day with a 71.8 all around. Joshua Cooley took first on floor with a 13.4, second on vault with a 12.2 and scored a 60.5 all around. Jeremy Hunt competed at Level 9, scoring 13.0 on parallel bars, 12.9 on floor and 12.8 on vault to take first place all around with 73.2. Closing things out for the squad, in the Level 10 competition, Steven Whittlesey scored 13.8 on floor, 12.9 on high bar, 12.9 on parallel bars for first place with an allSee GYMNASTICS B2