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Locally: EWU volleyball’s Renata Lopez Morales to play for Mexico’s senior national team

Aug. 29, 2022 Updated Mon., Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:56 p.m.

Eastern Washington outside hitter Renata Lopez Morales has graduated to the Mexico senior national team.  (Courtesy EWU Athletics)
Eastern Washington outside hitter Renata Lopez Morales has graduated to the Mexico senior national team. (Courtesy EWU Athletics)
From staff and news services

Patience and hard work have paid dividends for Eastern Washington University senior Renata Lopez Morales.

The outside hitter, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, has been a part of her country’s national volleyball team system since 2016, playing on U18, U20 and U23 teams before graduating to the senior national team this year. She recently spent a two-week session in preparation for the 2023 Pan American Games that will take place in Chile.

In December 2021, Lopez Morales was with the U23 Mexican national team in the Junior Pan American Games as the country qualified for the ’23 Games.

“It’s a great experience and opportunity to expand your knowledge of the game,” Lopez Morales is quoted in the EWU release announcing her promotion. “The pace is really fast and quick, but it helps me grow as a player.”

As a junior at Eastern in 2021, she averaged 1.38 kills and 0.96 digs per set for the Eagles, with three solo blocks and 15 block assists. In 199 career sets, she has 281 kills, 85 blocks and 206 digs with 956 total attacks. Lopez Morale is a three-time Big Sky Conference All-Academic selection.

Baseball

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Machtolf announced the addition of six transfers and two incoming freshmen who will join the Bulldogs this fall, bringing the list of newcomers to 16.

The latest additions include transfers RHP Jeff Nelson from Happy Valley, Oregon, who was the NWAC Pitcher of the Year at Mt. Hood Community College, and 3B/1B Brian Kalmer from Chandler, Arizona, the NJCAA Division I Player of the Year at Wabash Valley (Illinois) College.

Other transfers: Tommy Eisenstat, 3B/1B, Menlo Park, Ariz., College of San Mateo (Calif.); Hank Dunn, OF, Eureka, Montana, Yakima Valley College; Ty Buckner, RHP, St. Louis, Missouri, Missouri State University; and Donovan Ratfield, C, Sparks, Nevada, College of Marin (Calif.).

The freshmen: Kyle Memarian, SS, Vancouver, Washington, Skyview HS; and Everett Swaim, RHP, Richmond, British Columbia.

Basketball

Cierra Dvorak of Coeur d’Alene, who played high school basketball at Mead and Lake City, has joined the Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s team as a graduate assistant, the Javelinas announced. She also played at North Idaho College and finished her career at College of Idaho in 2021. Most recently she was an assistant girls’ coach at Coeur d’Alene HS.

College scene

Big Sky Conference men’s and women’s cross country coaches figured everyone will be chasing Northern Arizona in their preseason polls.

They tabbed the Idaho women to tie for second with Weber State and the Vandals men to finish fourth behind defending NCAA champion NAU. The Eastern Washington men were tabbed sixth and the Eagles’ women ninth.

Rowing

Emma Barrett, who completed her fifth year as a member of the Washington State women’s crew in 2021-22, has been named director of operations for the Cougars’ rowing program. Head coach Jane LaRiviere also announced the hiring of three assistant coaches.

Joining the WSU staff are Chris Bailey-Greene, an assistant for the Gonzaga women’s program the last two seasons after he spent two years as the top assistant with the Oregon State men’s crew; Kelly Glennon, a volunteer assistant at her alma mater, Massachusetts, last season; and Sam Helmick-Schwarzmiller, who served two years as a graduate assistant at Central Oklahoma.

Miscellany

Spokane Sports announced that The Podium Powered by STCU has been nominated by the readers of SportsTravel and is a finalist for the 2022 SportsTravelAward for Best New or Renovated Sports Venue, an award that recognizes a facility that opened in the past year or an existing venue that has completed a significant renovation.

Voting at surveymonkey.com/r/sportstravelawards2022voting is open through Sept. 9.

Spokane’s new indoor multipurpose venue, located next to the Arena just north of downtown, is designed to hold a multitude of indoor sports events, including track and field, basketball, volleyball, karate and team handball, as well as concerts, graduations, meetings and more.

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