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Spokane teams dominate region volleyball

Teams from Spokane swept the four age-level championships at the Evergreen Region Volleyball Association Regional Tournaments the last two weekends in Spokane Valley.

College Preparatory Academy Black 18 won the U18 division, VIP Juniors 16 was first in 16U, Splash 14 won in 14U and Wildcats 12 Allen was first in 12U.

The tournaments drew 133 teams from Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana bidding for regional titles and berths in the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships June 25-July 2 in Minneapolis.

Age-level winners earned the bids, but of the champions, only the VIP Juniors 16 accepted. So officials distributed the berths to the next highest finishing teams that accepted. (Qualifying teams often don’t accept for a variety of reasons, the most frequent being travel costs and player availability.)

ERVA conducts regionals only in even-numbered age levels, but national berths also are available in odd-numbered divisions. So berths in those age levels also were awarded to the top qualifying eligible teams.

Age-level results and national berths:

U18 – 1, College Preparatory Academy 18 Black, Spokane. 2, Columbia Jrs. 18 Black, Pasco. 3 tie, North Idaho Thunder 18 Gold, Coeur d’Alene and Snake River 17, Lewiston. National berths – Columbia Jrs., U18; Snake River, U17.

U16 – 1, VIP Juniors 16, Spokane. 2, Columbia Jrs. 16 Black, Pasco. 3 tie, Club ZZU 16 National, Pullman and College Preparatory Academy 15 Green, Spokane. National berths – VIP, U16; Shockwave, Kennewick, U15.

U14 – 1, Splash 14, Spokane. 2, Montana Volleyball Academy, Missoula. 3 tie, Cutting Edge 14 Mizuno, Spokane and College Preparatory Academy 14 Black, Spokane. National berths – MVA, U14; Club Gold 13, Richland, U13.

U12 – 1, Wildcats 12 Allen, Spokane. 2, Club Gold 12, Richland. 3 tie, North Idaho Thunder 12 Gold, Coeur d’Alene and Performance 12, Spokane. National berth – Club Gold.

College scene

Maya Jansen, an Alabama sophomore from Freeman, earned All-America honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association when she and partner Erin Routliffe were seeded No. 4 into the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships May 21-26 in Athens, Georgia.

Jansen and Routliffe won the No. 1 doubles title at the Southeastern Conference Championships and Jansen was runner-up at No. 4 singles, but the nationally third-ranked and top-seeded Crimson Tide were defeated by Georgia for the SEC championship.

Jansen and Routliffe had a 14-4 record together, defeating nine nationally ranked opponents, including the No. 2 team twice.

Collin Slaybaugh, a senior outfielder at Washington State, has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America 2014 Capital One All-Academic District 8 baseball team for a third straight year.

Slaybaugh, who has a 4.00 grade-point average in kinesiology, went from the all-district honor last year to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a catcher.

Nick Hamer, a men’s soccer player from Mead, and women’s basketball player Haiden Palmer were honored as the Gonzaga male and female senior athletes of the year at the school’s third annual Evening of Excellence that honored Bulldogs athletes.

Men’s basketball player Drew Barham and women’s rower Naseeb Bhangal were named the male and female scholar athletes of the year; baseball pitcher Karl Myers was presented the Leadership Award; and baseball and women’s soccer teams shared the P.R.I.D.E. championship in a friendly competition between GU’s 16 varsity athletic teams.

Hamer was the West Coast Conference men’s soccer Player of the Year and was named to the NCAA Division I All-Far West Region third team after collecting a second straight All-WCC first-team honor. Palmer was an Associated Press All-America honorable mention and a three-time All-WCC and two-time WCC All-Tournament selection.

Barham had a 4.0 GPA twice in his four semesters at GU while pursuing a masters degree in organizational leadership. Bhangal had a 3.95 GPA with a double major in psychology and political science. Myers exhibited leadership on and off the field and will graduate this month with a degree in physical education and a 3.46 GPA.

Kristen Hansen, Western Washington’s sophomore golfer from Mead, has been selected to play as an individual at the NCAA Division II West Super Regional Monday-Wednesday at Mansfield, Texas.

Hansen, one of four individuals from non-qualifying schools invited to the 54-hole event, was the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and led the conference with a 77.5 scoring average.

Ethan Vaughn of Mead, senior captain of the Montana men’s tennis team, capped an honor-filled career by helping lead the Grizzlies to the first Big Sky Conference men’s tennis championship in school history and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Vaughn collected his third straight All-Big Sky Conference honor after going unbeaten in No. 1 doubles this spring and 8-1 in Big Sky matches at No. 5 singles, and also was a Big Sky All-Academic selection for a third straight year.

Kate Nelson, a junior from Moscow, Idaho, was the coxswain on the Western Washington varsity four that won the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship last weekend at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.

Michael Stralser, a Western Washington junior from Cheney, finished fifth in the decathlon at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Multi-Events Championships last week in Ellensburg. Stralser scored a personal-best 5,999 points.

Stralser’s twin sister Emily, a WWU senior, reinjured her hip while finishing 10th in the heptathlon.

Robert McKee, a Westminster College junior from Lewis and Clark was named to the All-Frontier Conference men’s golf second team.

Lewis-Clark State’s Idah Whisenant, a senior from Lewiston, made the women’s second team.

Letters of intent

Hunter Wells, a right-handed pitcher who had a standout high school baseball career at West Valley, has signed with Gonzaga and will transfer from Lower Columbia College and join the Bulldogs as a sophomore for the 2014-15 school year.

Wells, the 2013 Most Valuable Player of the Great Northern League and an All-State infielder as a senior at WV, has a team-best 5-1 record with a 2.23 ERA in 44 1/3 innings in eight starts for Lower Columbia and struck out a team-high 39 batter.

Kyle Krieger of Cheney, a first-team All-Great Northern League offensive lineman as a senior, has signed to play football at Puget Sound. Krieger has a 3.8 grade-point average.

• Three Post Falls seniors signed to continue their athletic careers at four-year colleges.

Michael Mckeown, an All-Inland Empire League 5A wide receiver, will play football at NCAA Division III Whitworth; Curtis Triplett, a defensive back/wide receiver/kick returner who was All-IEL 5A as a junior, will play football at NAIA Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana; and Matt Hillman will play basketball at NAIA Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. 

Nicole Rigoni, a 5-foot-8 setter from Beaverton, Ore., has signed with Eastern Washington to play volleyball. She was named first-team All-State by the Oregonian newspaper and Metro League Player of the Year and had career totals of 1,124 assists, 579 kills, 537 digs, 124 aces and 79 blocks.

• Eastern Washington women’s tennis has signed two players. Janaya Smith from Kingston, Tasmania, is a four-time winner of the 18-U Pardey Shield State School Championship and a member of Australia’s 18-U Merit Team. Rachel Swindell from Christchurch, New Zealand, led her teams to three straight New Zealand Secondary School titles.


Cassidy Wilson from Riverside, a member of the Spokane Junior Rifle Team, had two top-10 finishes in her age group at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships last month at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Wilson, 13, who is home schooled, finished ninth in J3 (14 and younger) in 10-meter Air Rifle and fourth in J3 in 50-meter Smallbore Rifle. She scored 755.9 out of a possible 872 in Air Rifle and 1,011 out of 1,200 in Smallbore.

Randi Loudin, 17, a SJRT member from Post Falls, placed 47th overall out of 110 shooters in Air Rifle. She scored 802.8 out of 872.

• Five members of the Spokane Junior Rifle Team had top-five finishes at the Washington State Junior Indoor Rifle Championships for Smallbore (0.22) Rifle.

Competitors shot 40 shots each from prone, standing and kneeling positions from 50 feet with a maximum possible score of 1,200.

Aidan Maddox, 14, of Mt. Spokane, shot 1,088 to finish first in A Class and David Wright, 16, who is home schooled, shot 1,079 for third place in A Class.

Madison Clark, 17, Genesis Prep in Post Falls, shot 859 for third in D Class; Randi Loudin, 17, Post Falls, was fourth in Master with a 1,113; and Taylor Christian, 12, Horizon Middle School, 1,010, fourth in B Class.

Other SJRT results:

Masters – Maliya Hillman, 15, Lewis and Clark, 1,054, sixth.

Expert - Daniel Enger, 15, Walla Walla, 1,064, 11th.

A Class – Mike Cooper, 16, Mt. Spokane, 1,054, seventh; Mary Maystrovich, 15, Northwest Christian, 1,051, eighth; Mason Maystrovich, 13, NWC, 10,19, 11th; Cassidy Wilson, 13, home schooled,  997, 12th.

B Class – Katie McAdam, 13, home schooled/NWC, 975, sixth; Zach Taylor, 18, Ferris, 935, ninth; Chris Taylor, 16, Ferris, 873, 12th.

Teams – SJRT Gold (Loudin, Wright, Cooper, Hillman), 4,300 out of 4,800, fourth; SJRT Silver (Maddox, Mary Maystrovich, Christian, Wilson), 4,146, seventh; SJRT Bronze ( Mason Maystrovich, McAdam, Z.Taylor, Chris Taylor), 3,802, 10th.


Jeff Pickering, a Spokane native with an extensive coaching background at all levels, has been named the new Schweitzer Alpine Racing School Inland FIS head coach, handling U18 and U21 athletes in the elite-level program.

Pickering, who joins SARS following a second four-year stint with the U.S. Ski Team, in which he was the assistant coach with the women’s Europa Cup group, got into coaching following his own junior racing career on the Mount Spokane ski team.

His past coaching assignments also include program director of the Big Mountain Racing Team and head coach of the Western Region of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.