Fast Break


USC grabs Mead star

Mead middle blocker Alexis Olgard has made an early oral commitment to play volleyball at Southern California.

USC has been to the NCAA Final Four in four of the past six years.

“I felt more comfortable there and like the atmosphere and coaches,” Olgard said. “I’m interested in playing beach volleyball and there’s more opportunity there.”

The 6-foot-5 junior has been recruited heavily, said her mother, Sandra. Among suitors were Nebraska, Washington, UCLA, California, Stanford, Pepperdine and schools that offered to allow her to play both volleyball and basketball, including Washington State.

Alexis called it all “overwhelming.”

She was named an alternate to the U.S. National Junior team this year and has been asked to try out again next year.


Zags-UConn tickets on sale

A special Spokane- only presale for the 2008 Comcast Battle in Seattle featuring Gonzaga and Connecticut will begin 10 a.m. Saturday at Spokane-area Ticketmaster locations.

Fans may also purchase tickets online beginning Saturday at Fans who are already signed up for the Battle in Seattle mailing list will receive a special presale code prior to the sale to allow online purchase.

Ticketmaster locations include three Fred Meyer locations in Spokane and one in Coeur d’Alene.

The Battle in Seattle is set for 1 p.m. on Dec. 20 at KeyArena. The general, statewide public sale begins Sept. 13.


Culpepper retires

Quarterback Dante Culpepper, who starred for the Minnesota Vikings before a major knee injury in 2005 curtailed his career, announced his retirement in an e-mail Thursday, saying he’s simply grown tired of fighting for one more opportunity.

The 31-year-old was the Vikings’ first-round draft choice in 1999, became their full-time starter a year later, and teamed with Randy Moss to pile up yards and touchdowns.

But he hurt his right knee in October 2005, never played for the Vikings again, and never seemed to return to his past level, either.

Mike Vlahovich Associated Press


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