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Locally: Washington State middle blocker Magda Jehlářová named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year

UPDATED: Sat., Dec. 7, 2019

Washington State middle blocker Magda Jehlářová was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. (WSU Athletics / Courtesy)
Washington State middle blocker Magda Jehlářová was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. (WSU Athletics / Courtesy)

In the volleyball-rich Pac-12 Conference, Washington State has some riches. Magda Jehlářová is one of the best.

The dominant force for the Cougars from Prerov, Czech Republic, picked up three of the seven awards WSU collected when she was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, first-team all-conference and a member of the all-freshman team.

Senior libero Alexis Dirige and freshman setter Hannah Pukis were selected to the All-Pac-12 honorable mention list, and Pukis and outside hitter Pia Timmer were named to the All-Freshman team.

Jehlářová, the only freshman on the first team, led the conference in total blocks (172) and blocks per set (1.45), was second in block assists (143) and solo blocks (29) and finished on the school’s top-eight list in those three categories plus hitting percentage (third at .363).

Dirige finished her final regular season as the WSU career leader in digs (2,142), which is eighth all time in the Pac-12. Pukis was sixth in the Pac-12 regular season with 1,073 assists and had 14 digs-assists double-doubles. Timmer led WSU in total kills (343) and total attacks (1,035) and had a career-high-tying 17 kills in four matches.

College scene

Two players from Washington State, two from Gonzaga and two former area high school stars were named to 2019 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I women’s all-region teams.

WSU senior forward Morgan Weaver was a repeater on the All-Pacific Region first team after landing on the third team as a sophomore. Her junior defender teammate, Brianna Alger, was on the third team. Weaver had a career-best 14 goals, 11 in the regular season, and five assists. Alger had 10 assists as the two figured in 61% of the Cougars’ goals.

Gonzaga placed senior midfielder Madeline Gotta on the All-West Region first team with Bulldogs senior forward India Jencks on the third team. Gotta had seven goals and four assists and was fifth in WCC games with five goals. Jencks tied the GU record with seven assists this season, which ranked fifth in the WCC

Santa Clara teammates Kelsey Turnbow, a junior forward who played one year at Central Valley before moving to Arizona, was on the All-West first team and senior midfielder Kelsie Hedge from Post Falls was on the second. Turnbow is ninth in the country with 40 points and 18th with 15 goals, and she and Hedge were in a tie nationally for 22nd with 10 assists each.

Josee Bassett had a memorable final couple of weeks to her senior soccer season at Eastern Oregon. The Mountaineers’ captain from Coeur d’Alene HS played a key role as EOU reached the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Tournament for the first time and collected a couple of significant academic honors.

Bassett made the final penalty kick as the Mountaineers won a second straight PK shootout, beating previously unbeaten No. 4 Central Methodist last Monday, sending them into the quarterfinals. Their season ended the next day in a 1-0 quarterfinal loss in Orange Beach, Alabama, to No. 12 Marian, Indiana.

Bassett was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America 2019 NAIA Women’s Soccer Academic All-America first team with a 3.90 GPA in nursing after earning first-team Academic All-District 4 honors. Joining her on the all-district team was another Eastern senior, Nan Kiebert from Sandpoint.

EOU, which finished 16-3-4, also had another senior from the area, Jenna Jensen from North Central, whose overtime goal won the Cascade Collegiate Conference championship and sent the Mountaineers to the national tournament, and freshmen Erika Skindlov (CdA HS) and Lindsay Balkenbush (Freeman).

Travis Swallow, a Seattle Pacific junior defender from Lake City, was named to a CoSIDA Academic All-America Division II men’s soccer team for a second straight year. Swallow was a second-team choice after being named to the third team in 2018. He has a 3.98 GPA in business administration.

Jenn Wirth, the Gonzaga junior forward who was named most valuable player of the 2019 Gulf Coast Showcase after leading the Bulldogs to the title, was named the West Coast Conference and College Sports Madness Conference women’s basketball player of the week.

As GU went 3-0, Wirth average 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds, shot 62.1% from the floor and 100% on free throws (5 for 5) and added four assists, two blocks and one steal.

Ellis Magnuson, Eastern Washington’s true freshman point guard, was selected by College Sports Madness as its Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for his performance in the Eagles’ win over midmajor power Belmont on Nov. 26 in Cheney.

The Idaho high school player of the year in 2018-19 at Borah of Boise had 13 points and nine assists and shot 5 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line against Belmont three days after he had 12 points, eight assists and three steals in a win at High Point, North Carolina.

Malachi Flynn, a San Diego State junior guard transfer from Washington State, was the Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after he led the Aztecs to the 2019 Las Vegas Invitational title by averaging 20.0 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in three win. He was also the tournament MVP.

Sarah Penner, a Gonzaga junior outside hitter, was named honorable mention on the 2019 All-West Coast Conference volleyball team after leading the Zags in kills, attacks and points for a third straight season. She had 288 kills, 858 total attempts and 360.0 points.

Lexi Mikkelsen, a two-time All-Frontier Conference first-team outside hitter at Carroll College from Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), was named to the 2019 American Volleyball Coaches Association NAIA All-Northwest Region first team. The sophomore led the Saints with 326 points and 2.74 kills per set.

• Northwest Athletic Conference champions Johan Correa and Jolene Whiteley led a list of six Community Colleges of Spokane runners to earn 2019 NWAC Cross Country All-America honors.

CCS had five of the top six men’s runners as it scored 19 points with Correa, a freshman, joined on the All-America team by freshman Christian Kuplack (Immaculate Conception Academy, Post Falls; third), sophomore Keanu Daos (fourth), freshman Giovanni Raskell (West Valley; fifth) and sophomore Casey Bennett (sixth).

Whiteley, a sophomore from Cheney, was the only CCS women’s runner in the top seven.

• Fourteen athletes at CCS and two from North Idaho College, sophomores with GPAs of 3.25 or better, received Academic Excellence Awards from the NWAC for the fall sports of cross country, soccer and volleyball.

Men’s cross country: Nicholas Dewey (Lakeside, Nine Mile Falls), CCS; Christopher Urakawa, CCS. Women’s cross country: Whiteley (Cheney). Men’s soccer: Brennan Murphy (Lewis and Clark), CCS; Jonathan Perez, CCS; Gabriel Trujillo, CCS. Women’s soccer: Kalle Crouch (Central Valley), CCS; Grace Ellis (Lewis and Clark), CCS; Brianna Krygier (Mead), CCS; Megan Wilkinson, CCS.

Volleyball: Chloe Knudson (Lake City), NIC; Kynzey Mitzel, NIC; Brooklyn Rainer, CCS; McKenna Russell (Mead), CCS; Allison Russell (Mead), CCS Jordan Shoff (Mead), CCS; Demary Sugg, CCS.

• Junior women’s volleyball player Catelyn Linke and senior football player Jim Townsend have been selected the Eastern Washington Scholar-Athletes of the Month for November.

Linke, a nursing major with a 3.91 GPA, started all seven matches for the Eagles in November. The libero had 145 total digs, collecting more than 20 in four matches, and averaging 5.18 per set. She tied her career high of 31 in a five-set win at Sacramento State, where she also served six aces to tie for the fourth most in program history in a five-set match.

Townsend, who will graduate at the end of the current quarter with a degree in biology and a 3.37 GPA, helped the Eagles go 4-0 in the month. He had 22 tackles with six quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one quarterback sack. He highlighted the month by being named to the All-Big Sky Conference third team.

• Defensive backs Dean Sise, a sophomore at Eastern Washington, and Idaho senior Lloyd Hightower were selected to the 2019 Big Sky Conference Football Community Service Team.

In its inaugural year, the award recognizes one player from each school nominated by their head coaches, who dedicate “their time to helping others and have gone above and beyond in making an impact on their campus and community.”

Josh Brown, a senior offensive lineman at Frontier Conference champion College of Idaho from Colfax, was named to the American Football Coaches Association NAIA All-America second team.

Zach Hillman, one of 24 Whitworth seniors who compiled a 32-8 record during a tenure that included a Northwest Conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs, received the Torchbearer Leadership Award at the Pirates’ football banquet.

Other honors went to Leif Ericksen, senior QB, Mind & Heart Academic Award; Gunnar Swannack, senior LB, Team Player Award; Noah Alejardo, junior P/K, MDM (special teams) Award; Taylor Kolste, junior WR, Committed to Excellence Award; Kale Wong, senior LB, “All my Love” Season Theme Award; Logan Kitselman, freshman FB, and Derrick Platt, freshman LB, 12th Man (scout team) Award.

Hillman, Erickson, Wong and Taylor Hall were also recognized as 2019 team captains.

Hockey

Post Falls native Bear Hughes, who collected points in eight of the Spokane Chiefs’ 12 games last month, was named the Western Hockey League Rookie of the Month for November.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound forward, who is rated a “C” prospect for the 2020 NHL draft, scored five goals with seven assists and had a plus-12 rating as the Chiefs went 7-3-2-0 during the month. He ended November with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 24 games.

• Two Chiefs, goaltender Lukáš Pařík and defenseman Ty Smith, have been invited to their countries’ selection camps for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships.

Pařík, a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2019 NHL entry draft, is one of five goalies invited to the Czech Republic camp. Spokane’s first-round choice in the 2019 CHL import draft has played in 12 games in his rookie WHL season with a 2.55 goals-against-average and 8-2-2-0 record heading into this weekend. He has played on Czech U-17 and U-18 national teams.

Chiefs captain Smith is one of 31 players invited by Hockey Canada to its selection camp Monday-Thursday in Oakville, Ontario. The New Jersey Devils’ prospect is one of three invited who were on last year’s national team. He appeared in all five games for Team Canada that was eliminated by eventual gold medal winner Finland.

The 2020 tournament begins Dec. 26 in the Czech Republic, with Canada opening against the United States and the Czechs playing Russia.

Letters of intent

Idaho women’s track/cross country: Mia Hill, distances, North Central, four top-11 State 3A cross country finishes for two-time reigning state champions, three top-eight State 3A 3,200 finishes; Victoria Rae, weights, Bonners Ferry, two-time Idaho 3A State shot put champion; Franziska Stöhr, hurdler/sprinter, Landau, Germany.

Idaho volleyball: Delaney Nicoll, OH, Ridgefield, Washington.

Gonzaga men’s tennis: Pablo Gomez, Mexico City; Sasha Trkulja, Toronto.

Officials

Bruce Richardz is in a select group – a multisport official selected to work state tournaments in all his sports.

The Colville Valley official is working his second Washington state football playoffs this fall following six in softball and two in basketball. He was assigned to be the head linesman in the 1B final Saturday in Tacoma between Odessa and Naselle.

Of the eight members of the Inland Empire Football Officials Association picked for Washington semifinals or finals, Chuck Latimer (two in softball) and Jason Loffredi (one in basketball) have doubled up. This is Latimer’s third in football; he was to be the back judge in the 4A final Saturday. It was Loffredi’s second. He worked a 3A semifinal.

Following is a list of the 45 officials from Washington and Idaho named to work semifinals or finals in football and soccer, and state tournaments in volleyball and slowpitch softball.

Football: Washington: Inland Empire: (Finals) Steve Bartlett, referee, 1A; Latimer, back judge, 4A. (Semifinals) 1B: John Warren, umpire; Ray Cunningham, line judge. 1A: Mark Schafer, linesman. 2A: Rick O’Connor, referee. 3A: Dan Meyer, umpire; Loffredi, line judge. Colville Valley: (Finals) Richardz, head linesman, 1B. Southeast Washington: (Finals) Nick Prante, head linesman, 2A. (Semifinals) John Cole, line judge, 1A; Frank Slusser, back judge, 1B. Idaho: District 1: (Championship) Bill Clark, referee; Jacob Iverson, umpire; Casey Irgens, head line judge; Richard Poulson, line judge; Neal Pedersen, back judge. (Semifinals, 1A Division 1) Paul Manzardo, referee; Iverson, umpire; Irgens, head line judge; Mike Martin, line judge; Pedersen, back judge. (Semifinals, 5A) Bob Burton, referee; Mike Gump, umpire; Josh Behrns, head line judge; Jesse Lenz, line judge; Chad Duce, back judge.

Slowpitch softball: Washington: Spokane: Jeff Camp, Sean Harrington, Gerald Howard, all 2A/3A, 4A.

Soccer: Washington: Inland Empire: Matt Walton, Lali Kossuth, both 1A, 2A. Idaho District 1: Cole Johnson, Tom Gasper, Brian Stobie, Mark Enegren.

Volleyball: Washington: Spokane: Devin Darrough, Ben Goodwin, both 3A/4A; Dale Goodwin, 1A; Veronica Douglas, Shawn Ottosen, 1B/2B; Debbie Spray, alternate. Colville Valley: Eric Finley, Cusick, 1B/2B. Southeast Washington: Richard Waller, Lewiston, 1B, 2B, 1A. Idaho: District 1: Charley Cahill, Kelley Kostelecky, Rayna Longstreet, Mike Terry, all 5A, 4A, 3A.

Softball

Jeff Camp, a 14-year umpire who works the highest and lowest levels and serves on the association board as secretary, received the Spokane Softball Umpires Association’s highest honor, the Campbell-Stewart Award, at the group’s 2019 banquet.

Named for two former longtime SSUA umpires in chief, the award recognizes an umpire for “longevity, dedication, excellence and service to softball umpiring in the Spokane area.”

Camp has umpired at the college level, at USA Softball’s top Gold Level and Washington 4A and 3A state championships all while continuing to call seventh- and eighth-grade school games.

Camp also received the association’s Umpire of the Year-Youth award. Daniel Karber was named Umpire of the Year-Adult, Mitch Burman was Rookie of the Year and Marty Boles received the Presidential Pride award from president Steve Quaid.

John Isles, tournament director for the 4th of July Shootout Umpires Memorial girls fastpitch tournament, received the Home Run Award.

• Quaid, as president, and Camp, secretary, were re-elected to two-year terms on the SSUA board of directors. Randy Harnasch was elected vice president and Bobby Kuck and William Jessel were selected to director positions at the association’s recent elections.

Continuing in their positions are director Gary Kuck and past president Ron Snyder.

Miscellany

Brian Norton, who has been the assistant athletic director for sports medicine at Eastern Washington since 2003, has been hired as the assistant director of athletics for athletic medicine at Washington State, Cougars director of athletics Patrick Chun announced.

Norton oversaw a staff of five athletic trainers and nine medical support staff members at Eastern and served as the head football trainer for the Eagles.

He received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from the University of Kansas in 1993 and a master’s in physical education from Ohio University in 1996.

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