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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Locally: Washington State volleyball’s Katy Ryan chosen for U21 U.S. National Team

Washington State volleyball’s Katy Ryan leaps during a game against California on Oct. 24, 2021, in Pullman.  (Courtesy WSU Athletics)
From staff and wire services

From staff and wire services

Katy Ryan, a 6-foot-5 Washington State sophomore opposite from Lakeland of Rathdrum, is one of 22 players chosen for the U.S. Women’s U21 National Volleyball Training Team that will train Thursday through June 4 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Twelve will be chosen to compete at the 2022 Women’s U21 Pan American Cup June 5-13 in Mexico.

A member of the 2021 USA Volleyball U20 National Training Team, Ryan is coming off a Pac-12 All-Freshman season in which she helped lead the Cougars to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

She had 249 kills (2.18 per set) on .326 hitting and had seven double-digit kill performances, including season bests of 19 and 15 in two matches against rival Washington and 12 in the final match against Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Earlier this year, Ryan was selected to the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team that will train June 19-25 at the National Team Training Center in Anaheim, California.


Whitworth’s nine-season head coach Katie Bodecker announced the addition of sophomore transfer Ella Jimenez, a 6-1 middle blocker from Dominican (California) University, where she started 24 matches last season. She’s a former high school teammate of the Pirates’ Kaity Barr.


Idaho women’s coach Jon Newlee added two transfers and an international player from Australia to the Vandals’ class of 2022.

The transfers are Jenna Kilty, a 5-10 guard from Oakland, California, coming from Portland State, and Brooke Malone, a 6-1 forward from Perth, Australia, who is transferring from Idaho State, where she redshirted last season as a freshman.

Kilty played 47 games in two seasons with the Vikings, shooting 34% from the field and 33% on 3-pointers. Malone was her U18 club team’s MVP in 2018 and ’19 in Australia.

Asha Phillips, a 5-11 guard from North Nowra, Australia, played in the semiprofessional NBL1 East league in 2022, averaging 30 minutes, 10.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 2.4 apg while shooting 40.8% from the field.

Christa Sanford, longtime Idaho women’s assistant, who has spent 14 seasons on the Vandals’ bench, the last six as associate head coach, announced she is retiring from the program.

“After much thought and prayer, I have decided to step down from coaching to spend more time with my family,” Sanford is quoted in the school release announcing her decision. “It was not an easy decision, but our kids are getting older, and I don’t want to miss any moments as I know I only have so much time with them while they are young.”

“Having recruited Christa and coached her for five years, then having her work by my side for 15 more, makes today extremely bittersweet,” Newlee said of the assistant who helped him guide Idaho to 244 wins and seven postseason bids during her tenure.

• Idaho men’s coach Zac Claus announced the addition of transfers Terren Frank, a 6-8 forward from Vanderbilt, and Trey Smith, a 6-3 guard from San Jose State, for the 2022-23 season.

Frank is a third-year sophomore who spent one season at Texas Christian before moving to Vanderbilt.

He’s appeared in 43 total games, compiling 88 points, 61 rebounds and 11 assists.

Smith is a fifth-year senior who’s played in 86 games, starting 22 in 2021-22. He averaged 8.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.6 apg and 31.4 minutes combined his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he scored in double figures nine times, including a career-high 24 points against Portland when he tied the school record with eight 3-pointers.

Hall of fame

Drew Bledsoe, a former Washington State University football standout at quarterback from Walla Walla, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, is one of 10 individuals inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame on May 4 for the years 2019 and 2020.

Bledsoe was a member of the Class of 2019, whose scheduled ceremony, as well as that of 2020, was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.

He had a record-setting career for the Cougars in three seasons before opting for the NFL. He was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 1993 and the first overall pick of New England that year.

He played the first nine of his 14 NFL seasons for the Patriots, followed by three with the Buffalo Bills, where he made a fourth Pro Bowl, and the final two with the Dallas Cowboys before retiring in 2007.

• The University of Idaho Athletics Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for the 2022 class that will be inducted during ceremonies homecoming weekend. The homecoming football game is Oct. 1 against Northern Colorado. Nominations are done online at

Letters of intent

Whitworth volleyball: Amblessed Okemgbo, OH, Medical Lake.

Carroll College football: Devon Duko, QB, Lakeland (Rathdrum).

NIC coaches

North Idaho College recently hired new head women’s basketball and wrestling coaches, athletic director Shawn Noel announced.

George Swanson, the assistant men’s coach at the school the past eight years, was named to replace interim head women’s coach Korina Baker. Sam Dowd, a former NIC men’s player after a standout high school career at Gonzaga Prep, was elevated from interim assistant women’s coach during the 2021-22 season to permanent assistant.

Swanson joined the NIC men’s staff in 2014 after two seasons at Reardan High School. Prior to that, he spent extensive time in the community college ranks in Washington.

He was head coach at Grays Harbor College, guiding the Chokers to a No. 1 ranking in the conference, and an assistant at Pierce College.

Tyler McLean, a Mead High School graduate who was an NJCAA All-American at 157 pounds in 2015 as a sophomore at NIC, was named the Cardinals’ interim head wrestling coach. He served last season as an assistant to his father, Phil, who has been head coach at Mead since 1993.

Tyler replaces Chase Clasen, who was named interim coach after the former head coach, Mike Sebaaly, was named interim president of the school in October. Clasen left in April to become head coach at Division II Concordia University in Nebraska.


Eastern Washington University director of athletics Lynn Hickey announced position changes for two of the school’s athletics administrators.

Catherine Walker, who has served as associate athletic director for compliance since January , is now the senior associate athletic director and senior woman’s administrator.

Todd McGann, named interim deputy athletic director in October , has had the interim tag removed. McGann was the university’s associate athletic director and director of philanthropy for two years before moving into his current role.