USC Aiken's men's and women's teams will play in the NCAA Division II Tennis Regionals today for the chance to play in the May 13-17 national championships.
It's the first time a USC Aiken women's team has made the regionals, but it's the third year in a row for the men.
The Pacers (16-6), ranked No. 22 in Division II, will play 13th-ranked Columbus State (9-4) at 9:30 a.m. The Lady Pacers (18-6), ranked No. 25, meets No. 7 Barry University at 1 p.m.
TRACK & FIELD:
More than 1,500 participants, including many from Augusta, will compete in the Hershey's National Track and Field Meet today and Saturday at Lumpkin Road Stadium.
The Augusta Recreation Department, in conjunction with the Georgi Recreation and Parks Department, is playing host to the meet.
It's a qualifier for the Hershey (Pa.) National Meet set next August.
Middle Georgia College's Lloyd Turner of Hephzibah and Jamie Cline of Albany, Ga., have been named to the Region XVII All-State Team.
Turner, an outfielder, led the Warriors with 42 runs, was second with a .394 batting average and fourth with 54 hits. He added 10 doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI.
He broke his ankle and will miss the state tournament in Albany where the Warriors have a first-round bye.
Cline, a catcher from Deerfield Academy, led the Warriors with 12 home runs, 51 RBI and a .685 slugging percentage.
Mateen Cleaves, the point guard who led Michigan State to the NCAA tournament Final Four for the first time in 20 years last season, will stay in school next season rather than declare himself eligible for the NBA draft as an underclassman.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound All-American from Flint made his announcement during a news conference Thursday at the Breslin Center, where he has led the Spartans to consecutive Big Ten championships.
Cleaves had said after Michigan State's 68-62 loss to Duke in the national semifinals in March that he would stay in school.
Former Chicago Bears tailback Walter Payton, who is suffering from a rare liver disease and needs a transplant, taped a public service announcement Thursday promoting organ donation.
The ad will run during CBS's "Touched By an Angel" on May 16, said Pam Gorode, a spokeswoman for CBS. She said the theme of that night's show will be organ donation.
"Walter didn't want to do something that came off sounding self-serving," said Ginny Quirk, vice president of Walter Payton Inc. "This gave him the opportunity to talk about the need for organ donation in a more general way."
Carlos Moya, seeking to recapture the No. 1 ranking, advanced to the quarterfinals of the German Open by beating Adrian Voinea 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) Thursday in Hamburg.
With top-seeded Richard Krajicek eliminated in the second round, Moya remains the only contender with a chance to dislodge Yevgeny Kafelnikov from the No. 1 spot.
The second-seeded Spaniard, who held the top ranking for two weeks in March, needs to win the tournament to dislodge Kafelnikov, who pulled out of the $2.45-million tournament with a viral infection.
The Williams sisters breezed into the Italian Open quarterfinals with impressive victories Thursday in Rome.
Venus Williams, the third seed, needed just 57 minutes to eliminate Anna Kournikova 6-2, 6-2, while No. 6 Serena Williams breezed by No. 13 Irina Spirlea of Romania 6-2, 6-3.
Serena's victory set up a clash with No. 1 Martina Hingis. The defending champion advanced by routing unseeded American Corina Morariu 6-1, 6-4 at night.
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