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COLLEGE WATCH: Mariota, Grasu to stay at UO; Brenner makes all-Pac-12 volleyball team

Houck out as UP volleyball coach


by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and center Hroniss Grasu, who collided on this 2013 season play against Tennessee , both plan to return to the UO team next year.FOOTBALL

• The 2014 season might not be a snap for Oregon Ducks, but the team will return the tandem of center Hroniss Grasu and quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Both players, projected as potential high NFL draft picks and named all-Pac-12 Conference this week, announced Tuesday that they will be back with UO next season and hold off on their budding pro careers.

Mariota, who will be a junior, said in a statement that "I look forward to earning my degree next year."

Grasu will be back for his fourth year as the Ducks' starting center.

by: COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF OREGON - Oregon Ducks star Liz Brenner, hitting against Washington, has made the all-Pac-12 volleyball team for the second year in a row.VOLLEYBALL

• Liz Brenner, Oregon Ducks junior volleyball player, has been named to the all-Pac-12 squad for 2103.

Brenner, a 6-1 outside hitter from Jesuit High, led the conference in kills per set (4.62) and points per set (5.28), as the No. 25 Ducks finished fourth and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Also from Oregon, senior setter Lauren Plum and senior middle blocker Ariana Williams were honorable mention picks by the Pac-12 coaches, and libero Amanda Benson made the all-freshman team.

The Ducks open NCAA play at 2:30 p.m. PT Friday, facing Miami at Lincoln, Neb. A victory would put Oregon in the second round match at 5 p.m. PT Saturday against the winner of the No. 8 Nebraska-Fairfield tourney opener.

• The University of Portland is looking for a new volleyball coach.

Athletic director Scott Leykam announced Tuesday that Joe Houck will not return next season. Leykam said Houck will move to an administrative position with the school.

Houck and the Pilots were 0-27 in 2013. In six seasons as coach at UP, his teams were 41-126.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

• No. 1-ranked Concordia University's opponent in Wednesday's 2 p.m. PT NAIA quarterfinals will be Embry-Riddle of Florida.

The fifth-seeded Eagles defeated No. 12 seed William Carey (Miss.) 1-0 in overtime in a second-round game Tuesday at Orange Beach, Ala., site of the 16-team national tournament.

Embry-Riddle defeated Concordia 2-1 in a Sept. 15 tournament game at Daytona Beach, Fla.

Concordia, seeded fourth but ranked No. 1 in the NAIA poll, posted a second-round win Monday, 2-0, over No. 10 seed St. Thomas (Fla.).

The Cavaliers improved to 19-1-1.