Postseason appearances and conference glory will likely be on the line this week for the Merced College baseball, softball and swim teams.
The action kicked off Tuesday with the Bay Valley Conference dive championships. MC swept both men's and women's events a year ago, giving them a nice lead heading into the Bay Valley Conference championships. The Blue Devils' Katie Copenhagen won the 1- and 3-meter events in 2008 and will look to repeat the feat.
The swim teams will then attempt to defend their BVC championships beginning Thursday. Both teams went 6-1 in their dual meets this season with their lone loss coming against defending state champion Santa Rosa.
Both teams cruised to the conference title a year ago and could win by an even wider margin this year with more talent and depth.
Enjoying a little break after a trip down south, the MC baseball team could get a stranglehold on the Central Valley Conference this week without playing a single conference game.
The Blue Devils hold a two-game lead over Fresno City, with the Rams set to square off with Taft for a three-game series. Fresno City will have to travel to Taft twice in the series.
If Taft can win one of the three games, MC can all but lock up its first CVC crown in 23 years. If Taft can win two or more, I'm going to go ahead and call the conference title now.
Last week's 10-4 meltdown to Fresno City in the rain was a definite blow to the MC softball team's playoff aspirations. Some things will still have to go MC's way in the last two weeks of the season, but if the She-Devils wish to hold out any hope, they'll need to sweep their double header with Porterville on Thursday.
Porterville built a 7-0 lead against MC the last time the two teams got together, before the She-Devils mounted a furious eight-run rally in the seventh inning. MC coach Suzanne Burrola hopes no such dramatics will be needed this time around.