Washburn notebook: D.J. Olmstead named co-MIAA defensive player of the week

Volleyball, soccer hits the road this week; tennis opens with Wheatstate Fall Classic

D.J. Olmstead has been honored by the MIAA after just one game as an Ichabod, with the senior safety named co-defensive player of the week on Monday.

 

Olmstead, a transfer from Idaho, had two interceptions in Washburn’s season-opening 31-7 win at Northeastern State this past Thursday in Tahlequah, Okla.

“You always have high expectations every game, but first game at a new school, you never know what to expect,” said Olmstead, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Scottsdale, Ariz. “It was awesome to get out there and make some plays for my team, for sure.”

Olmstead shared the defensive honor with Nebraska-Kearney defensive lineman Ty Spies, who had 2.5 sacks in UNK’s 14-3 win over Missouri Western.

Fort Hays State’s Jacob Mezera and Brandon Brown claimed the conference’s offense and special teams honors. Mezera threw for 245 yards and two TDS and Brown made field goals of 39 and 36 yards and went 6 for 6 on extra-point attempts in FHSU’s 41-7 win over Missouri Southern.

Washburn will face No. 1 Northwest Missouri State in its home opener at 6 p.m. on Thursday in Yager Stadium. The two-time defending national champion Bearcats enter on a 31-game winning streak after shutting out Emporia State 34-0 last week.

VOLLEYBALL NO.18 IN AVCA POLL — Washburn was tabbed No. 18 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, slipping two spots after going 3-1 last week in the WU Invitational.

Washburn dropped its opener to Arkansas Tech before beating East Central, Western State Colorado and Missouri-St. Louis.

“This is going to help us down the road,” WU coach Chris Herron said of being tested early in the season.

Junior middle hitter Makalya Maxwell led WU with 32 kills last weekend.

The Ichabods will play in the Missouri S&T Tournament this weekend in Rolla, Mo., opening the tournament against Willam Jewell and Upper Iowa on Friday.

SOCCER GEARS UP FOR FIRST ROAD GAME — After opening the season with a pair of 2-0 wins last week at home, the Washburn soccer team will play Northwestern Oklahoma State (0-2) at 6 p.m. Thursday before hosting Newman (0-1) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

It’s the first time since the 2006 season WU soccer has started 2-0.

“I think the girls have been energized by a new system and I think they believe they can win every game now,” WU first-year coach Davy Phillips said. “I told them it’s only going to get harder from here on out, every game. It’s incredibly hard to win in college soccer. You have to work hard, you’ve got to execute and you’ve got to have some things go your way. Luck loves hard work.

“They’ve done the necessary work to put themselves in position to win games, and then they’ve executed in those critical moments. I think now it’s about making games more comfortable for us instead of grinding it out and getting the second goal late in the game.”

Ellie Karloff scored two goals on Saturday against Southwest Minnesota State and Emily Stauffer and Paige Swanson each had a goal against Upper Iowa on Thursday. Kaitlin Minnich earned the shutout in both games.

WU TENNIS BEGINS THIS WEEKEND — The Washburn men’s and women’s tennis teams will start the fall season this weekend with the Wheatstate Fall Classic in Topeka and Lawrence. Both teams are coming off NCAA Tournament appearances in the spring.

The men’s team returns its All-American doubles team of Alejandro Valarezo and Blake Hunter. Valarezo and Hunter were first-team All-MIAA in doubles last season and the men’s team also returns Chase Brill, Paul Haase and Tommy Hunter. Newcomers are Raul-Alin Dicu from Romania and Bradley Eidenmueller from Germany.

Division II Oracle Cup national champion and MIAA player of the year Madeline Hill stepped away from tennis after the spring season, but the rest of the women’s team returns — Ally Burr, Jacqueline Engelbrecht, MaKenna Gonzales, Madison Lysaught, Logan Morrissey and

Alexis Czapinski, a transfer from the University of Kansas who did not compete last season.

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