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Locally: Mead graduate Jonni Dorr named to NAIA All-American third team

Former Mead volleyball player Jonni Dorr, now at Carroll College, was named to the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball All-America third team. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Former Mead volleyball player Jonni Dorr, now at Carroll College, was named to the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball All-America third team. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Jonni Dorr, a Carroll College senior from Mead, leads a list of three players with area ties named to the 2016 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball All-America teams.

Dorr, the Frontier Conference setter and player of the year, who had what the Carroll press release called “one of the best seasons in school history,” is a third-team All-American.

Kennadie Clute, a senior outside hitter at Lewis-Clark State from Mt. Spokane, and Alaina Gentili, a junior middle blocker/opposite at Corban University in Salem, Oregon, from Central Valley and Spokane Falls Community College, received honorable mention.

“Her leadership, along with our two other seniors, was paramount to our success this season,” Carroll coach Moe Boyle said of Dorr. “She brought her game to another level this season and it changed the whole composure of the team.”

Dorr recorded 1,191 assists, ranking 22nd in NAIA Division I for assists per set at 10.3. She also had a team-high 47 aces and 33 blocks, an impressive number for a setter, as the Saints fashioned a 24-8 record in winning the Frontier regular-season and tournament titles and earned a bye into the NAIA Championship final site for the first time in school history. Carroll failed to advance out of pool play after going 1-2.

Clute ranked second in the Frontier and 35th in the NAIA in kills per game (3.64) while leading the Warriors with 317 kills and 260 digs. She had double-digit kills in all but three matches and ranked in the top 10 in the conference in three categories.

Gentili ranked 11th overall in the NAIA in hitting percentage (.359), finishing with 406 kills, an average of 3.27 per set. Gentili also had 110 blocks, fifth best for a season in program history.

Dorr, Clute, and Gentili were joined on the AVCA All-Northwest Region first team by Dorr’s senior teammate at Carroll, outside hitter Paige Montgomery, also a Mead graduate. Brenna Meehan, a College of Idaho junior outside hitter from Post Falls and North Idaho College, was honorable mention. Clute was a first-team repeater.

Brittany Gay, a North Idaho College sophomore setter from Lake City, was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association second-team All-American for two-year colleges.

NIC coach Kelsey Stanley has called Gay, who tied for second in the NWAC in assists per set at 10.9, “a great leader for our team.”

College scene

Jonathan Cortez, a Community Colleges of Spokane sophomore striker from Moses Lake, is the Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Baden Player of the Year.

The East Region MVP, Cortez led the NWAC in scoring both his freshman and sophomore seasons, collecting 39 goals and three assists for 81 points, as the Sasquatch won East Region titles both seasons and had back-to-back runner-up finishes in the championship playoffs.

Josh Straughan’s incredible football story added another chapter last weekend: MVP of the FCS Bowl Game in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Straughan, whose journey started amid the wheat fields of the Palouse in Colton and included stops at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Carbondale, Illinois, led the American Division to a 33-16 victory over the National Division in the all-star game for seniors from nonplayoff Football Championship Subdivision schools.

In the game designed to showcase some of the top talent at the FCS level – it attracted personnel from a record 14 NFL teams – Straughan completed 19 of 30 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Behind Straughan, the American scored two touchdowns and a field goal on its first three possessions and led 19-0 at halftime.

Straughan completed his collegiate career this season at Southern Illinois University as a graduate student, being named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer team after leading the conference in passing, averaging 303.6 yards a game.

He was on school-record pace through eight games – he didn’t play in the last three after the coach made a change in an effort to stop a five-game losing streak – and wound up competing 221 of 328 passes for 2,429 yards and 15 TDs with four interceptions. He ranked in the top 10 nationally in four categories.

The 2011 Washington Player of the Year from 8-man Colton played his first three years at Division II Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was all-conference in 2014 and a preseason All-American in 2015, but did not play while recovering from an injury. After graduating in December 2015 from Stillman with a degree in health sciences and a 3.98 grade-point average, he transferred to Southern Illinois for his senior season.

Brittany Tackett, a Lewis-Clark State junior forward from Coeur d’Alene High School, averaged 17.5 points and six rebounds as the seventh-ranked Warriors opened conference play with two home wins over ranked opponents to be named Frontier Conference Player of the Week in women’s basketball.

Owen Lempert, a Whitworth freshman from Auburn, Washington, was the Northwest Conference Men’s Swimming Student-Athlete of the Week for Nov. 28-Dec. 4 after winning two individual events – the 50 and 100 freestyle – in conference-best times and swimming legs on four winning relays. He also was sixth in the 100 breaststroke in a personal season-best time.

Golf

Les Blakley, the former longtime professional at Spokane Country Club, now the Kalispel Golf and Country Club, has been selected for induction into the Pacific Northwest Section PGA Hall of Fame.

Blakley, now community relations manager for the Kalispel Tribal Economic Authority that operates the country club, was the PGA head pro for 26 years after a five-year stint as an assistant to Gene Carbery. In appreciation for his service, Blakley was bestowed with the title of golf professional emeritus by the club.

In addition to serving his members, Blakley was president of the PNW Section in 2005-06, was president of the Inland Empire Chapter, and served two separate terms on the chapter’s board of directors.

He has been consistently honored by his fellow PGA professionals, recognized as Golf Professional of the Year twice (2006 and 2014) and was a four-time winner of the Merchandiser of the Year Award for Private Facilities. He was also recognized a record 11 times in a 22-year period by the Inland Empire Chapter as merchandiser of the year.

Blakley, who grew up in Gresham, Oregon, and played golf at the University of Portland before getting into the golf business in the early 1980s, and Roger Wallace, director of golf at Polson Bay in Montana, will be formally inducted as the 53rd and 54th members of the PNW Section Hall of Fame on April 28, 2017.

Three people with area ties were honored when the Pacific Northwest Section PGA of America named its special award winners for 2016 in 15 categories.

Chris Runyan of GolfTEC in Spokane received the Patriot Award that goes to a PGA professional who gives back to the nation’s veterans through golf. Announcement of his award read “year after year, Chris demonstrates his commitment to veterans and is an inspiration to his fellow golf professionals.” He is chairman of the board for Northwest Golfers for Warriors that supports wounded warriors and local veterans and their families. The organization has donated $178,000 to local veterans organizations.

Kathleen Brown of Esmeralda repeated as recipient of the Perry Williams Award. In addition to serving on the PNW PGA rules committee since 2013, she was the PGA rules official at the 2016 Rosauers Open Invitational.

Dave Christenson, a Shadle Park graduate who is general manager at Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington, was honored as Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities.

Chris Nowlen from Missoula Country Club in Montana received the section’s highest honor, 2016 Golf Professional of the Year.

They will be recognized at a PNW Section awards ceremony March 19 at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue.

Letter of intent

Northwest Nazarene men’s track & field – Zac Magee, Coeur d’Alene High School, sprinter, Idaho State 5A 400-meter champion, fourth in 200.

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