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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 25, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, October 25, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5 NB varsity cheerleader Andrea Rochin. SPORTS COMING WEDNESDAY Into the playoffs SY volleyball team finishes regular season. THE DAILY T-l-C- K-E-T T U E SV wraps up regular season Rangers volleyballs host SA Roosevelt in final home game before playoffs. Time: 7:15p.m. w E D Boys hit hardwoods Area basketball teams begin first day of practices. Time: afternoon T am h H u Cougarettes begin playoffs Canyon faces Medina Valley in Class 4A bidistrict volleyball playoff. Time: 6 p.m. NB, Canyon set playoff order; SY may face Chargers By Will Wright Sports Editor Without any pomp and circumstance Monday, die co-District 27-4A champion volleyball coaches flipped a coin to determine the bracket order for the upcoming state playoffs. New Braunfels coach Phyllis Fowler won the flip, giving her team the first-round bye. Canyon will enter the postseason as the No. 2 seeded team and will play District 28-4A third-place Castroville Medina Valley at 6:30 pm Thursday at the Alamo Convocation Center in San Antonio. New Braunfels (24-9) and Canyon (27-10) split games during the 27-4A season that ended with both teams 11-1 after each had beaten the other. Fowler and Cougarettes coach I leather Sanders opted not to play to break the tie, as 27-4A rules already guarantee that both teams are co-champions. New Braunfels will play either Austin Ira vis (7-19) or Elgin (23-16) in the second round Nov. I. “Neither Heather nor I thought there would be any difference when it came to the bracket," Fowler said. “We just wanted to make sure we got some direction of where we needed to go.” New Braunfels missed the playoffs last season. “I know that our girls are fired up and are excited to be back in die playoffs,” [Cowier said. “'Hie sat out as sophomores, and theres a lot of enthusiasm this year." Fowler said the Unicorns hope to play in a wann-up game, and she is trying to line up an opponent to play later this week. The Canyon-Medina Valley winner will get Cedar Park Vista Ridge (30-1) in the area round. “We have to get past Medina Valley first,” Sanders said of the Panthers (20-15). “We haven’t played them or seen them. All I know is that they have one dominant player, Katie Brewer. A few years ago her sister helped put us out of tile playoffs." (Canyon lost to Alamo I Ieights, another 28-4A team, in last year’s first round. “Medina Valley plays in a strong district, which had Alamo I Ieights first and Boerne second,” she added. “So we’re expecting it will be a good match. I ike it always is in the playoffs, we know that we’ll have to play well to win.” 'Ihe third Comal County playoff team, the Smithson Valley Rangers, will enter its first postseason since 2003 with a district playoff. Rangers coach Liana Combed on Monday said her 28-8 team will play SA Churchill (28-7) should both teams win their regular-season finales today. The Rangers, who play SA Roosevelt today at 7:15 p.m., and Chargers are tied for second in 26-5A with 10-3 records. Each beat the other during the regular season, so the coaches have agreed to a third-game tiebreaker at 6 pm. Friday at Alamo Convocation Center. The game will serve as a warm-up for both teams. The winner will play the 27-5A third-place team, with the loser getting 27-5A’s second-place team Nov. I. District champion Reagan (31-4) has drawn the first-round bye. Astros relaxed as Game 3 awaits JOHN G. MABANGLO/EPA Houston's Lance Berkman follows through with a two-run double against the Chicago during the fifth inning of the Astros' 7-6 loss to the White Sox in Game 2 of the World Series Sunday. The teams meet tonight in Houston. Sidelines From staff, wire reports LOCAL NB-ORIPPING SPRINGS FOOTBALL TIC KEIS - Tickets to Friday’s New Braunfels-Dripping Springs football game will be sold at the high school offices from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 8 am-I p.m. Friday. General admission tickets are $6; $2 for students. Seats at the gate will be $6 for general admission and $3 for students. MARBLE FALLS-CANYON FOOTBALL TICKETS Tickets to Friday’s Marble Falls-Canyon football game at Cougar Stadium will be sold at the front office at the high school from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday. General admission adult tickets are $6; $2 for students. Tickets at the gate will be $6 and $3. MADISONSV FOOTBALL TICKETS - Tickets to Friday’s San Antonio Madison-Smithson Valley football game at Ranger Stadium will be sold between 8 p.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday: from 8 am.-IO am Thursday and from 8-11 am. Friday at the field-house and from noon until the end of C lunch in tile cafeteria both days. Reserved adult tickets are $7; $6 for general admission and $3 for students. All seats at the gate will be $7, cash only. NATIONAL MARTZ OOT FOR SEASON — St. Louis Rams’ sixth-year coach Mike Martz will miss the rest of the season with a bacterial infection of a heart valve that has already sidelined him for two games. Martz, 54, who has one year remaining on his contract, expects to be back next season. Joe Vin will continue as head coach for the rest of the year for the Rams (3-4), who are at home Sunday against the Jaguars. JETS FALL TO FALCONS — VinnyTestaverde fumbled three times in the first 17 1/2 minutes, leading to two touchdowns, and the Atlanta Falcons dealt New York another road loss, beating the Jets 27-14 Monday night. Warrick Dunn rushed for 155 yards for the Falcons (5-2). The first 17 points were handed over by Testaverde, whose three fumbles tied a career worst. He also threw an interception as New York dropped to 0-4 on the road this season, averaging a mere 10.3 points in those losses. 110USTDN (AP) —Their sup-posedly good-luck beards reduced to goatees, their mood lightened by a typically fun-loving flight home, die Houston Astros didn’t have to put on a brave face Monday. They’re always this relaxed. Even losing the first two games of the World Series is no sweat to this group, not alter all they’ve overcome to get here. Besides, they’re coming home and they’ve got Roy Oswalt tak-ing the mound tonight for Game 3 against the Chicago White Sox. “Obviously being 0-2 is not where you want to be,” former Canyon star Lance Berkman said. “But at the same time, we play well here and we know that if we win a couple games we’re right back in it.” Adversity is nodiing new to this club. Ihey won only 15 of their first 45 games this season, yet clawed back and claimed a playoff berth on die last day of the season. Then they were widiin a strike of making the Series for the first time in franchise history when Albert Pujols hit what could’ve been an NLCS-turning homer, only to easily bounce back the next game. The flight to St. Louis for Game 6 of that series was far from somber. And there was even more laughing and joking on the trip home from Chicago early Monday, plus some teasing about the change in facial hair Lind the reason for it. “Everybody was getting tired of the beards,” said Jeff Bagwell, who along with catcher Brad Ausmus are behind the hairy scheme “I think that, more than anything else, was the case.” At no time in the air or in the clubhouse Monday did manager Phil Gamer either get tough with Ills team or go soft and suggest a group hug. Motivadonal talk isn’t needed, nor are reminders of ail the adversity the club already has faced. “You just know it,” said Bag-well, who becomes a pinch-hit-ter again with the series shifting to die NL park. “ Hie group just believes in each other. Its a special group.” Already the first team in 91 years to make it this far after being 15 games under .500, die Astros are now aiming to become the eighth team to win the World Series after losing the first two games on the road. Since the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers did it, the last IO teams facing similar deficits all failed. I louston nearly turned the trick in last year’s NLCS. The Astros dropped the first two games in St. Ixiuis, then won three straight at home. They came close to winning each of the next two games, too. “You don’t really become a gocxi team or a great team by pounding people,” cleanup hitter Morgan Ensberg said. “You become a great team by getting beat and then figuring out how to not make those mistakes again, 'lhat’s what’s happened to us.” General manager Tim Purpu-ra said it’s no coincidence the clubhouse is tilled widi resilient players. “In baseball, we talk about a player having five tools. But die way we kxik at it is that there’s a sixth tool and its makeup and character,” Purpura said. The Astros also have created a team built to their ballpark. They’re 53-28 at home this season, 4-1 this postseason. The only playoff loss came in their last game, courtesy of Pujols’ shot. ()swalt tcxik die ball in St. Louis and refused to let the (xudinals seize any momentum, pitching the Astros into the Series. Now he’s trying to do it again after Scott Podsednik’s homer that ended Game 2. Herald-Zeitung To have your sports event publicized, contact Will Wright at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] HOUSTON ASTROS VS. CHICAGO WHITE SOX TV: FOX; Radio: KGNB-AM 1420 Saturday, Oct. 22 Chicago 5, Houston 3 Sunday Chicago 7, Houston 6 (Chisox lead series 2-0) Today Chicago (Garland 18-10) at Houston (Oswalt 20-12), 7:38 p.m. Wednesday Chicago (Garcia 14-8) at Houston (Backe 10-8), 7:33 p.m. Thursday Chicago at Houston, 7:25 p.m. Saturday Houston at Chicago, if necessary, 6:55 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 Houston at Chicago, if necessary, 6:55 p.m. “It would be nice to get the first win so we can kind of switch momentum,” Oswalt said. “We really need to win this.” While Podsednik’s homer left I ioustonians with a fitful night of sleep and prompted callers to talk-radio shows to question whether tile Astros can recover mentally from another devastating defeat, a history lesson might help settle fans’ nerves. Gamer could tell the tale of the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates team he played for. Best remembered for their “We Are Family" theme song, they went from trailing the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 to winning the championship. Locally, there’s the 1994 Rockets, who turned Houston from “Choke City” to “Clutch City” en route to winning their first NBA title. And if anyone remembers all tile way back to 2(X)4, there was a club from Boston that was down 3-0 in the AUX “I think you learn to understand although you may be down, you’re not out,” Ausmus said.Big win over Tech propels Texas past USC in latest BCS rankings NEW YORK (AP) — Texas passed Southern California by a whisker and moved into first place in the Bowl Championship Series standings Monday, a swap that shouldn’t worry the Trojans too much. USC and the Longhorns are still the odds-on favorites to play for the BCS championship on Jan. 4 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Thanks to the computer rankings, Texas slipped into first by the slimmest of margins — actually THE slimmest between Nos. I and 2 in the eight-year history of the BCS. Texas’ average of .9763, of a possible I .OOO, was just ahead of USC with .9756. “It’s a compliment because it's a place we haven’t been in a long time and it sets our standard even higher,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. USC is top-ranked in Hie Associated Press media poll, die USA Today coaches’ poll and the I lams Interactive poll. The coaches’ poll and the Harris poll make up two-thirds of a team’s BCS grade. A compilation of six computer rankings account for the other third, with die highest and lowest ranking for each team dropped. Texas was first in all but one of those rankings. “I still don’t know how the BCS rankings really work, except that computers are involved,” USC coach Pete Carroll said “And I don’t know how you get mad at a computer.” Texas is second in all three polls, and gained a few points on USC from voters after a 52-17 victory over previously unbeaten Texas Tech on Saturday. Computer polls, however, weigh heavily on strength of schedule and the win over the Red Ridders gave Texas a big boost. USCTs 51-24 victory over Washington (I -6) extended its winning streak to 29 games but did nothing to help the Trojans in the computer rankings. Struggling Arizona State (3-4) — which was ranked when USC won at Tempe on Od I—is also hurting the'ffojans in die strength-of-schedule category. USC was atop one computer ranking and second in three others. One computer had the Trojans fourth; another fifth. Virginia Tech is still in third in the standings. Georgia and Alabama were next, while UCLA moved up three places to sixth, putting the nation’s six unbeaten teams at the front of the BCS milkings. Miami, LSU, Penn State and florida State rounded out tile top IO. BCS analyst Jerry Palm said the gap between USG and Virginia Tech in the {Kills Is so big that the I lokies would have to he at least four spots ahead of the'ffojans in each of the six computer rankings to catch diem in die standings. “USC has nodiing to worry about, as long as these poll margins stay the same,” Palm said, “and one and two are as solid as we’ve ever seen in the BCS at this point in die season.” USC plays Washington State (3-4) on Saturday, then finishes the season against four teams with winning records —Stanford (4-2), No. 24 California (6-2), No. 22 Fresno State (5-1) and No. 8 UCLA (7-0). “USC is in die middle of a lull in die schedule,” Palm said. “Texas is about to hit a lull." The longhorns finish the regular season against Oklahoma State (3-4). Baylor (4-3), Kansas (3-4) andTexasA&M (5-2). Virginia Tech’s next two games are against No. 13 Boston College (6-1) and No. 6 Miami (5-1), so it wouldn’t be surprising if the I lokies close some of the gap in the computer rankings if Uiey win. But unless a large group of voters in the I lams and coaches’ poll move the I lokies past USC and/or Texas in the {Kills, coach Frank Beamers team is still lcxiking at being the cxid team out. Being No. I in die {Kills though not in the BCS is nothing new to USC. Tile Trojans finished die 2003 tegular season atop die AP and coaches’ {Kills but were third in the BCS standings behind Oklahoma and LSU and left out of the BCS tide game. Mack Brown ;