College notebook: Southeast Louisiana’s Vera off to fast start with conference honor

Southland tabs Union High grad for weekly award

By Kurt Zimmer, Columbian Sports Copy Editor and Writer



After helping Southeastern Louisiana to a pair of women’s soccer wins over in-state opponents, Lions freshman forward Kayla Vera was named the Southland Conference offensive player of the week for Sept. 2-8.

The Union High School graduate is the first Southeastern Louisiana player to earn league weekly honors this season.

“Kayla had an outstanding weekend,” Southeastern head coach Blake Hornbuckle told “She is very smooth with the ball, has strong physical attributes and an internal drive to play.”

The 5-foot-7 midfielder/forward finished the week with three goals and two assists in Southeastern’s victories. On Friday, she scored the first two goals of her collegiate career in a 3-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. In a 4-2 comeback victory Sunday over Louisiana-Lafayette, Vera assisted the first two goals of the match, then scored the final goal.

Vera has started every game for the Lions (5-3), scoring three goals and four assists. She has 14 shots and nine shots on goal, has recorded one game-winning goal, and her four assists are tied for the team lead.

USF’s Ludes named MVP of tournament

University of San Francisco senior Leanna Ludes was named the most valuable player of the Asics Powerade Challenge tournament Sept. 4-8 at USF’s War Memorial Gym. The 5-foot-10 setter, a Skyview High School graduate, had 32 assists and 10 digs in the tournament finale, a three-set sweep of Cal State Northridge.

The Dons won nine of 10 sets in their three match victories in the event over LIU Brooklyn, La Salle, and Northridge. Ludes had 113 assists, 28 digs, four kills and two aces.

Ludes has played in all 45 of the team’s sets, totaling 464 assists, 95 digs, 25 kills, 13 blocks (two solo) and five aces.

The West Coast Conference team is 9-4, including a split last weekend with the Bay Area’s two Pacific-12 Conference teams in the Pac-12/WCC Challenge.

The Dons lost in three sets to powerhouse Stanford on Friday, and swept California in three sets Saturday. USF also beat Cal on Sept. 1 in five sets at the Wahine Volleyball Invitational in Hawaii — the first win over Cal in program history.

USF begins WCC play tonight at San Diego, and visits the University of Portland on Oct. 6.

GNAC honors Sych of Western Washington

Western Washington University sophomore midfielder Brina Sych was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer defensive player of the week for Sept. 9-15.

The Union High School graduate helped the Vikings hold opponents to one goal in two games, and also had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win at Saint Martin’s.

EWU’s Black honored twice by Big Sky

Eastern Washington sophomore forward Cassie Black was named Big Sky Conference women’s soccer offensive player of the week each of the past two weeks, Sept. 3-9 and Sept. 10-16. The Battle Ground High School graduate was also named offensive Most valuable player of Portland State’s Viking Classic in Hillsboro, Ore. She scored twice in a 3-1 win Sept. 10 over Boise State as the Eagles defeated the Broncos for the first time in program history. She scored game-winners Friday against Idaho and Sunday against Hawaii.

Black leads the Eagles (3-4-1) with four goals — six teammates have one each — and has one assist, and she has tallied two game-winning goals. She led EWU last season with six goals as a freshman.

Frontier Conference honors Klettke

Lewis-Clark State College senior Kelsey Klettke was named the Frontier Conference women’s cross country runner of the week after winning the individual title at the Whitman Invitational on Sept. 1 at Walla Walla.

The Prairie High School graduate, running for the first time since earning All-America honors at NAIA nationals in 2010 and missing last season because of injury, ran the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) course in 23 minutes, 41.15 seconds.

Olinger garners CCAA soccer weekly honor

Cal State San Bernardino senior goalkeeper Tanner Olinger was been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s men’s soccer player of the week for Sept. 3-9.

The Skyview High School graduate recorded shutouts against Cal Poly Pomona (six saves) and San Francisco State (two saves) that week.

Olinger has a goals-against average of 0.18 and has recorded three shutouts for the Coyotes, who are 1-0-5 including three scoreless draws. Olinger’s record is 1-0-4. He has been in goal for 493 of 640 minutes so far this season for CSUSB. The conference honor is the first of Olinger’s career.

Over the summer

• Five college gymnasts from Clark County garnered Scholastic All-America status from the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics/Women: Brigham Young’s KayCee Gassaway and Sacramento State’s Kalliah McCartney, Dallas Smith and Kayla Wonderly, graduates of CAM High School in Battle Ground; and Skyview High graduate Alyssa Click of Southern Utah. Honors require a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or better.

• Mountain View High School graduate Taylor Dunn will play basketball at Simon Fraser University after two seasons with Clackamas Community College of Oregon. Located in Burnaby, British Columbia, SFU is a member of the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

A 6-foot-5 wing, Dunn averaged 21 points, four rebounds and two assists per game as a sophomore at Clackamas and was a Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges South Division all-star.

• Prairie High School graduate Jessi Duncan will play softball at Oregon Tech after two seasons at the College of Idaho.

Located in Klamath Falls, OIT is a member of the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference. Duncan was 35-12 with three saves in two seasons at College of Idaho, and was a second team All-Region selection.

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