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SOCCER—NASL: Paced by Forward Hugo Sanchez, who scored twice in each game, San Diego swept California out of the playoffs. Also advancing to the semifinal round in the American Conference were Tampa Bay and Chicago. The Rowdies took two straight from Detroit, and the Sting did the same to the Strikers, shutting them out both times. Chicago Goalie Tony Chursky has now gone more than four games without allowing a goal. In the conference's only surprise, Philadelphia, which had the fewest points of any playoff team, upset regular-season champion Houston 2-1 to take a 1-0 lead in their series. New York and Vancouver moved into the National Conference semis by sweeping Toronto and Dallas, respectively. They were joined by Los Angeles, which did not clinch its spot until 97:17 of its second game against Washington. Johan Cruyff scored the deciding goal in the 4-3 overtime victory. David Nish's goal at 94:06 lifted Tulsa to a 2-1 overtime defeat of Minnesota and eliminated the Kicks from the playoffs.
ASL: The New York Eagles won two of three to take over first place in the Eastern Division from idle Columbus. Third-place Pennsylvania virtually assured itself of the division's final playoff berth with a 1-0 win over Indianapolis and a 3-1 defeat of the New York Apollo. In the West, Los Angeles closed to within three points of Sacramento in the race for second place in the division and the home-field advantage in the first playoff round. The Skyhawks beat Las Vegas twice, while Sacramento split a pair of games with California, which has already clinched the division title. Sacramento won the second game 3-0, with Anselmo Vicioso booting in all the Golds' goals.
SWIMMING—MARY T. MEAGHER, 14, of Louisville, Ky. twice broke her own world record in the women's 200-meter butterfly at the National AAU Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her time of 2:07.01 in the finals was 2.76 seconds better than the mark she set at last month's Pan-Am Games and 1.40 faster than the record she had set in a heat nine hours earlier. On the final day of the meet KIM LINEHAN of Sarasota, Fla. broke the world record in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 16:04.49, 2.14 seconds faster than the mark Australia's Tracey Wickham set earlier this year. The FLORIDA AQUATIC TEAM defeated the Mission Viejo ( Calif.) Nadadores 827-713 for the overall team title.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS beat Mike Cahill 6-0, 6-1 to win a $75,000 Grand Prix tournament in Stowe, Vt.
TRACK & FIELD—SEBASTIAN COE of England, who had broken the world 800-meter and mile records within 12 days in July, added the world record in the 1,500. His time of 3:32.1 at Zurich was .1 second faster than the record Filbert Bayi set in 1974.
VOLLEYBALL—IVA: The playoffs began with Santa Barbara defeating Seattle three games to two in the opening match of the Western Conference finals. The turning point came during the tight fourth game when Ed Skorek, Seattle's best hitter-blocker, went down with a sprained ankle. Fortunately for Tuscon, all of its front-line men made it through the first match of the Continental Division finals. The Sky escaped with an 11-9 tie-breaker victory over Denver despite having only one reserve, an inexperienced female defensive specialist.
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: By a Houston federal jury to Houston Rocket Forward RUDY TOMJANOVICH, $3.3 million in damages for injuries he suffered when Los Angeles Laker Forward Kermit Washington punched him in the face during a game in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, 1977. The amount, for which the then-owner of the Lakers, California Sports, Inc., is liable was $600,000 more than Tomjanovich had asked for. His injuries, which included a fractured nose, jaw and skull, a concussion and leakage of spinal fluid from the brain cavity, caused Tomjanovich to miss 58 games.