Sports briefs: Concordia's Wilkins earns GNAC Player of the Week honors
Concordia University volleyball player Callie Wilkins earned the 'sGreat Northwest Athletic Conference defensive player of the week honors after the Cavaliers closed out the regular season with consecutive wins over Western Oregon and Montana State-Billings.
Wilkins, the sophomore libero from Clackamas High School, had 16 digs in a 25-17, 25-17, 25-18 road win over Western Oregon, and then matched her career high with 34 digs in a 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19 home win over MSU-Billings.
"Callie was reading the offense really well against Billings and was able to make hard plays look easy," Cavaliers coach Melanie Hambelton said. "She played in control the entire match and did some really good things for us."
It was the third time this season Wilkins hit here career mark for digs, which she first set on Sept. 12 against Cal State-Dominguez Hills, and then matched on Sept. 28 against Western Washington.
Wilkins finished the regular season No. 2 in the GNAC with 583 total digs and with an average of 5.55 digs per set. She was one of three players in the league to surpass 500 digs on the season, and she and Central Washington's Kyla Morgan (5.87 digs per set) were the only players to average more than five digs per set.
Wilkins' dig total stands as the third-highest, single-season mark by a Concordia player. She was one dig away from Erin Blythe's 584 digs in 2005, and she finished 43 short of the school record of 626 set by Rachel Cotter in 2007.
Wilkins' 5.55 digs per set stand as the sixth-best mark in school history, another record Cotter set in 2007 at 6.20 digs per set.
Through two seasons, Wilkins ranks No. 7 in CU history with 1,054 career digs. She needs another 456 digs to break the Cavalier career record of 1,509 held by Shantel Gritsch (2012-15). Wilkins is also No. 6 in career digs per set with 5.58.
"I think Callie is one of the best liberos we have had at Concordia and I'm confident she is going to continue having an excellent career here," Hambelton said. "She is not only great at digging balls, but she is a tough server and very good on serve receive.
"She is a complete player and it is awesome we have her for two more years."
This is the first GNAC player of the week honor for Wilkins and the third of the season for CU volleyball as the Cavaliers finished the season 11-16 overall and 9-11 in conference play.
COLLEGE WRESTLING: Clackamas Community College's Marckis Branford won by fall at 141 pounds and Dax Bennett scored another pin at 174 pounds, helping lift the Cougars to a 22-20 victory over rival North Idaho in a Nov. 22 double dual in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Jason Shaner added a technical fall for the Cougars (3-0) at 133, Romeo Manue scored a pivotal 7-3 decision at 184, and Tommy Mommer closed sealed the team win with a 4-1 decision at 285.
In the opening match against Northwest College, the combined pins from Eddie Daniel Jr. at 125, Branford at 141, Manue at 184 with forfeits at 157, 165, and 285 for a 35-15 win over the Trappers of Powell, Wyoming.
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