Fresno Pacific will open the men's basketball season as the NAIA's No. 3-ranked team in the country.
The Sunbirds earned that distinction Tuesday when the preseason poll was released -- picking up four first-place votes, more than any other team.
"It's pretty remarkable. We're breaking historic ground," third-year coach Jim Saia said. "As we build this program, to be recognized so soon is a tribute to the kids."
Robert Morris (Ill.) is No. 1 with 301 points, followed by Mountain State University (W.Va.) with 297 points and Fresno Pacific with 287.
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The Sunbirds are coming off a 26-8 season in which they won the Golden State Athletic Conference championship and finished No. 9 in the nation. They're favored to win the conference title this season.
Three other GSAC teams are in the Top 25: No. 8 Concordia, No. 17 Biola and No. 24 Azusa Pacific.
Fresno Pacific's first game is against Holy Names at 7 p.m. Friday at the Special Events Center before facing Fresno State in an exhibition at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Save Mart Center.
Sunbirds sweep Hope in 3 sets
Lisa Shilling, a junior from Clovis High, had 10 kills, and Mariah Mandelbaum, her former rival from Clovis West, recorded 16 digs as top-ranked Fresno Pacific remained unbeaten with a 3-0 GSAC win over Hope International in Fullerton.
Martina Gregusova had nine kills and Ke Ke Wang added seven while hitting .455 as the Sunbirds (26-0, 15-0) rolled 25-14, 29-27, 25-12.
Azusa edges Sunbirds in soccer
Molly Lavin's deep shot from the right side found the upper-left corner of the net in the 57th minute as Azusa Pacific defeated host Fresno Pacific in a GSAC women's soccer match.
Azusa (13-3, 9-1) had an 18-5 shots advantage against the Sunbirds (9-5-1, 4-4-1).
WCC promotes ex-Memorial star
Memorial High graduate Carolyn Jenkins has been promoted by the West Coast Conference from assistant commissioner for business and operations to associate commissioner and chief financial officer.
The Bee's 1986 Girls Basketball Player of the Year joined the WCC in 2008 after previously serving as director of player personnel for the WNBA.
A four-year basketball player at Cal, Jenkins assisted at Stanford and Michigan State before taking over as head coach at Sacramento State.
Rams women get big soccer win
Maghan Wright, a sophomore from Buchanan High, and Jesslyn Fagundes, a freshman from Lemoore, scored off first-half corner kicks as the Fresno City women's soccer team defeated Solano 2-0 in a nonconference showdown of nationally ranked teams.
Pilar Becerra, a sophomore goalkeeper from Roosevelt, blocked six shots for the No. 11 Rams. Solano (12-2-2), at No. 9, is the fourth nationally ranked opponent the Rams (10-1-6) have beaten. They visit Southern California power Ventura (11-2) on Friday.
Rory Agu delivered a goal and an assist, and Fabian Rangel secured the cage with five saves as Fresno City's men defeated Cosumnes River 2-0.
Abraham Campos had a goal and an assist as College of the Sequoias defeated San Joaquin Delta 3-0 in a men's match.
Fresno City wrestlers roll again
Fresno City's wrestling team, ranked No. 1 in the state, received pins from Galen Williams (125 pounds), Pete Escandon (141), Chris Urquizo (157) and Austin Garza (heavyweight) to remain unbeaten with a 40-5 nonconference dual victory over Cuesta.
Williams, Garza, Daniel Osmer (14-2 win, 133) and Fernando Lucatero (15-4 win, 165) are each top-ranked in the state for the 8-0 Rams, who will close their home dual schedule against West Hills-Lemoore next Wednesday.