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Locally: Courtney Vandersloot earns WNBA, WCC honors after record week

UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 30, 2020

Courtney Vandersloot has been stellar for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.  (Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)
Courtney Vandersloot has been stellar for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)
By From staff and news services

Former Gonzaga All-American Courtney Vandersloot, the starting point guard for the Chicago Sky, had a record-breaking week that earned the two-time WNBA All-Star a couple of honors.

On Aug. 18, in an 84-82 win over the Las Vegas Aces, Vandersloot became the first player in WNBA history to have a 15-plus point, 15-plus assist and 5-rebound game, the 15 assists tying her career high. Her 15th assist led to the game-winning basket with 2.9 seconds remaining. She tied her Sky record with 10 assists in the first half.

Following the three-game week in which she reached 1,800 assists for her career and averaged 19.0 points, 11.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds, Vandersloot was named the WNBA Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks and was named the West Coast Conference WCC Alumni Player of the Week, the second former Bulldog to receive the honor.

Three weeks earlier, men’s basketball All-American Kelly Olynyk of the NBA’s Miami Heat earned the WCC alumni honor.

College scene

After their school spring season was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, five members of the Gonzaga women’s golf team took to the links during the summer and found success in amateur events, and incoming freshman Mary Scott Wolfe joined in the fun.

Sophomore Federoca Torre finished second in a women’s grand prix in her native Italy, sophomore Quynn Duong tied for fourth and was low amateur in the California State Women’s Open, freshman Cassie Kim was fourth and low amateur in the Northwest Women’s Open and senior Jessica Mangrobang was third and freshman Alyssa Nguyen 12th in the Washington State Women’s Amateur.

Meanwhile, Wolfe, from Beaverton, Ore., and her partner needed 24 holes to win the women’s division of the fifth Oregon Golf Association Four-Ball Championship in Woodburn, taking six extra holes to defeat a team that included the reigning Oregon women’s amateur champion.

• Whitworth junior Maddy Thomas, a catcher/infielder on the Pirates softball team, will serve as secretary on the Northwest Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee executive board for the 2020-21 school year.

Thomas was a second-team All-NWC selection as a freshman before the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed her sophomore season. A major responsibility of the SAAC is to act as a representative of student-athletes in communication with coaches and administrators.

Max McCullough, a starting guard on the Eastern Oregon men’s basketball team who will be a senior, has been named by the school to the 2020-21 Cascade Collegiate Conference SAAC.

McCullough came back after missing the previous season with an injury to be named first-team All-Cascade Collegiate Conference and NAIA All-America honorable mention in 2019-20 and was also a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American with a 3.78 GPA.

Golf

Derek Bayley got a late start on The Dakotas Tour this summer and was an intermittent participant but still the former Lakeland High School and Washington State standout from Rathdrum had a top-10 finish on the money list and was 13th in points.

Playing in half the tour’s 16 tournaments, Bayley earned $18,496.50 to finish 10th and compiled 643.50 points. He was $483.50 out of ninth on the money list behind a man who played in 14 tournaments.

Former Spokane golfer Eric Ansett, playing out of Nashville, Tennessee, where he graduated from Lipscomb University, played in three Dakotas tournaments and was 32nd on the money list ($5,511) and 34th in points (235.07).

Swimming

Christine Mabile, a coach with experience at all levels of collegiate swimming and head coach at Boise State since 2018 before the school eliminated the program this summer, will join the Whitworth staff as an assistant for the 2020-21 season, Pirates head coach Steve Schadt announced.

Prior to her two seasons at Boise State, Mabile was an assistant at the University of Missouri for two seasons. Before that, she resurrected the program at College of Idaho, turning it into a top NAIA program in four seasons (2012-16).

Mabile is a former competitive swimmer who graduated from Boise State in 2010 and is a five-time Ironman Triathlon finisher.

Kate Moore, an assistant at her alma mater, East Carolina University, the last 10 seasons, has been hired as Washington State’s assistant swimming coach, Cougars head coach Matt Leach announced.

A native of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Moore had a much-decorated four-year career for the Pirates. The four-time all-conference performer was a championship finalist and U.S. Open qualifier. She was voted the team’s most improved swimmer as a freshman and won the ECU Coaches Award. In 2006-07 she was the team’s most outstanding swimmer.

Moore followed that by joining the ECU men’s and women’s swimming and diving coaching staff, serving the first five seasons as an assistant coach before becoming the head assistant for two seasons followed by serving as associate head coach the past three seasons.

During her time on the staff, the Pirates won four conference championships, sent nine athletes to the NCAA Championships and helped ECU win 41 individual and 21 relay conference titles.

Volleyball

Sophia Spoja, a 6-foot outside hitter and the daughter of Eastern Washington’s first-year assistant coach, Angela Sjoja, has transferred from Carroll College after one season and will join the Eagles for the 2020-21 season, EWU head coach Leslie Flores-Cloud announced.

She will be a sophomore.

Last season at Carroll, Spoja averaged 1.93 kills, 1.05 digs and .60 blocks and hit at a .173 clip in 27 matches and made the Frontier Conference All-Freshman team. At Puyallup, Wash., High School, where she set career records in kills and kills per game, she earned second-team 4A All-State honors as a senior.

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