Andrew Palileo, who has Washington State in the NCAA Division I volleyball championships for the first time in seven years in just his second season at the Cougars’ helm, has been named the Pac-10 Conference coach of the year.
The Cougars, who hadn’t won more than three conference matches a year for four straight seasons before Palileo arrived, were 6-12 and finished eighth. Only one of WSU’s losses in an 18-12 season came to a team not ranked in the top 18.
Palileo is just the second WSU volleyball coach to receive the honor. Cindy Fredrick won it in 1995.
WSU plays No. 20 Northern Iowa (30-2) in a first-round NCAA match Friday in Lincoln, Neb.
Four Cougars were also recognized by the conference. Seniors Renee Bordelon (Coeur d’Alene) and Cassie Robbins were All-Pac-10 honorable mention. Oceana Bush (Lewis and Clark) made the all-freshman team and Rachel Todorovich was honorable mention on the all-freshman team.
•Lewis-Clark State (24-7), the 20th seed in the 24-team tournament, plays fifth-seeded Azusa Pacific (24-8) in its first pool-play match today in the NAIA national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
Bonners Ferry used 10-for-12 shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to hold off the visiting Post Falls junior varsity for a 60-51 non-league victory.
Mat Evans had four 3-pointers and 17 points and Alex Kellogg 11 to lead the Badgers. Luke Thoreson had 18 points and Seth Anderson 13 and 10 rebounds for Post Falls.
Ellison Schultz, brought up from the junior varsity, played two quarters and gave the Kootenai fans something to cheer about as she scored seven points in a 43-16 non-league loss to St. Maries in Harrison.
Dusti Huddleson had 13 points and Tia Asbury 11 to lead St. Maries.
Three Spokane Chiefs players – Brett Bartman, Garrett Leedahl and Matt Marantz – will speak at an assembly at Pasadena Elementary School this morning on the importance of setting goals as part of the Avista Heroes program.