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  • Home-grown coach: Former star McGreevy to lead Wildcat volleyball program

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    Getting the opportunity to come home to Hayden as a school counselor wasa dream come true for Corrinne (Stringer) McGreevy.

    FoEewVqWQAMkwEXCorrinne (Stringer) McGreevy, who helped lead Hayden to its first Class 4A state volleyball championship in 2007, has been named the Wildcats' head coach. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    And now the 2008 Hayden graduate will get the chance to guide the Wildcat volleyball program she starred in, which is icing on the cake.

    "I love being a school counselor,'' McGreevy said. "I love this job so much, I can't say that enough, but now that I get to coach on top of that, too, and be a part of the game I love is just so exciting for me.''

    McGreevy led Hayden to its first Class 4A state championship as a senior in 2007 after a pair of third-place state finishes and went on to play college volleyball at Kansas, Pittsburg State and Washburn.

    McGreevy was coached her final three seasons in high school by Jesica Farmer-Walter and Carrie Schmidt and said the two coaches strongly encouraged to take on the coaching role.

    "One hundred percent,'' McGreevy said. "They've been so positive and uplifting with it and they really encouraged me to take it. They just kept telling me all these positive things, how I could really make an impact on these girls, and they talked about how I know what it takes to win a state title and because I went here they said, 'It would be a great fit for you.' ''

  • Diverse the byword for Washburn University football recruiting class

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    The word diverse immediately comes to mind when looking at Washburn University's 32-member football recruiting class, announced Wednesday.

    TyWeberTH2Washburn Rural star linebacker Ty Weber, a consensus all-stater and two-time TopSports.news Shawnee County defensive player of the year, signed with Washburn University on Wednesday. [File photo/TSN]

    AmrSabarriniWU2Washburn Rural standout receiver Amr Sabbarini (23) has signed a letter of intent with Washburn University. [File photo/TSN] 

    MackeyJamesnew3Highland Park senior Mackey James, named the Meadowlark Conference defensive player of the year as a senior, has signed a letter of intent with Washburn University. [File photo/TSN]

    TroyHeimanWUSilver Lake standout receiver Troy Heiman (11) signed a letter of intent with Washburn University on Wednesday. [File photo/TSN]

    The class includes 12 Kansans, including Shawnee County senior stars Amy Sabbarini and Ty Weber of Washburn Rural, Highland Park's Mackey James and Silver Lake's Troy Heiman.

    But the class also includes players from four other states, including a whopping seven players from both Georgia and Missouri, four from Texas and two from Arizona.

    "One of our coaches, Malen Luke, has had connections for years in Georgia and we've had a few years of it already and then it really seemed to work well this year,'' said Washburn coach Craig Schurig, whose team is coming off a 7-4 season. "Those kids are very well coached, just like they are around here, and they feel comfortable coming here so it seems like it's a really good setup for us.''

    There's also diversity among position groups, with 11 players projected as wide receivers, seven as linemen, five defensive backs, three running backs, three quarterbacks, two linebackers and one player listed as an athlete.

    "We went after a lot of skill this year as far as power group and skill group,'' Schurig said. "We've had a lot of signings in the skill group over the last two years as kids have graduated -- a lot of D-backs and receivers, and obviously quarterback. We have our quarterback (Kellen Simoncic) back, but we lose our backup quarterback (Jared Taylor) so we wanted to sign some good quarterbacks and we did.

    "It's probably as diverse from areas as we've had. It's a little bigger signing class than typical because we had such a big senior class. We had a lot of six-year seniors last year so we had 22 seniors and we had a couple of more guys that aren't coming back for their sixth fall so we have about 25 kids that are no longer going to play next year. So we needed to re-load in some respects and this class should do that.''

    Washburn recruiting capsules:

  • Washburn men looking for sixth straight win, season sweep over Griffons

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    The red-hot Washburn University men's basketball team will be looking for its sixth straight win and a regular-season sweep over Missouri Western when the Ichabods begin a three-game road trip at 7:30 p.m. Wednesay at Western.

    AndrewOrrdunk2Sophomore Andrew Orr is averaging a team-high 13.1 points per game for Washburn, which plays at Missouri Western Wednesday. [File photo/TSN]

    The Ichabods are 10-9 overall and 7-6 in the MIAA after winning their fifth-straight game in a 66-56 decision over Northeastern State last Saturday at Lee Arena.

    The Griffons (8-12, 4-10) lost their sixth game in a row last Saturday at Nebraska-Kearney, 85-75. WU won the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 17 in Topeka, 76-51.

    Washburn has won the last five in the series with the Griffons after losing the previous four in a row.

    Seaman Andrew Orr leads the Ichabods in scoring at 13.1 points per game while averaging 13.6 ppg in MIAA contests. Orr has reached double figures in 13 of 19 games this season. He is third on the team in rebounds at 5.9 per game. 

  • Washburn women go on the road to face Missouri Western in MIAA tilt

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    Washburn University's women's basketball kicks off a three-game road swing with a 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night MIAA game at Missouri Western on Wednesday.

    Washburn won back-to-back games at home last week with victories over Rogers State and Northeastern State to improve to 9-10 overall and 5-8 in the MIAA.

    AubreeDeweyactionJunior point guard Aubree Dewey leads Washburn in scoring, assists and minutes played entering Wednesday's MIAA game at Missouri Western. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Missouri Western (18-5, 12-3 MIAA) saw its 11-game win streak come to an end on Saturday with a 91-55 loss at Nebraska-Kearney.

    The Griffons won the first matchup against WU earlier this season, taking a 57-44 decision on Dec. 17 at Lee Arena.

    At the beginning of this week the Griffons are tied for third in the MIAA standings and the Ichabods are sitting in eighth.

    Washburn is second in the league and ranks 20th in Division II for fewest points allowed per game, holding opponents to 56.2 points a game.

    WU has limited opponents to 49 or fewer points in four games, including the Ichabods' 61-49 win over the RiverHawks last Saturday.

    Junior point guard Aubree Dewey leads Washburn with 10.3 points, 3.7 assists and 32.5 minutes per game while also averaging 4.1 rebounds.

  • Washburn basketball drops MIAA twinbill at Missouri Western

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    The Washburn Ichabods' five-game men's basketball winning streak came to a halt in an 81-80 overtime loss at Missouri Western on Wednesday night. 

    In overtime, the Griffons scored first but a pair of free throws by Washburn sophomore Andrew Orr tied the score at 71 with 4:32 to play.

    AndrewOrrUCM2Washburn sophomore Andrew Orr scored a career-high 26 points in Wednesday's 81-80 overtime loss at Missouri Western. [File photo/TSN]

    Missouri Western went up by four after two lay ups, but a 3-pointer from Levi Braun cut the Griffon lead to 75-74. Western pushed the advantage back to three, but Orr was fouled and went back to the line with 2:34, cutting the lead back to one at 77-76.

    Washburn took the lead at 80-79 with 11 seconds to go on Orr's career-high 25th and 26th points of the night, but Western scored on a jumper with two seconds remaining to go up, 81-80. After a timeout, Washburn needed to go the length of the court with 2.5 seconds to go and the shot from inside the lane came up short.
    The Ichabods trailed at the break, 34-30, after going the final two-plus minutes without a point after leading by as many as 10 in the opening 20 minutes.

  • Defense, balanced scoring push Ichabod women past RiverHawks, 61-49

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    Washburn University's women's basketball team had nine different players score and turned in a strong defensive showing in the Ichabods' 61-49 MIAA win over Northeastern State on Saturday afternoon at Lee Arena.

    The Ichabods held an 8-6 advantage midway through the first quarter when a free throw from freshman Yibari Nwidadah started a 7-0 run to extend the lead.

    MacyDoebeleRex1Former Hanover star Macy Doebele recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to help lead Washburn to a 61-49 home MIAA win over Northeastern State Saturday at Lee Arena. [File photo/TSN]

    Washburn finished the opening period in front, 15-9, and made nine of 10 attemps at the free throw line. 

    Washburn, 9-10 overall and 5-8 in the MIAA, scored five unanswered points in the second quarter and the Ichabod defense held Northeastern State scoreless until the 3:36 mark.

  • Washburn men push winning streak to five games with double-digit victory

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    The Washburn University men won their fifth game in a row Saturday, posting a wire-to-wire 66-56 win over Northeastern State at Lee Arena.

    The Ichabods, who improved to 10-9 overall and 7-6 in the MIAA, jumped out to a 7-1 lead to start the game while holding the RiverHawks (10-9, 7-8) to zero of eight shooting from the outset.

    TylerNelsonFHSU3Junior Tyler Nelson scored 16 points in Washburn's 66-56 MIAA home win over Northeastern State on Saturday. [File photo]

    The RiverHawks never led in the game but tied it at 9-9 with 11:28 to play in the opening half before the Ichabods used a 7-0 run to jump out to a 16-9 lead at the under-10 timeout.

    Washburn would have another 7-0 spurt later in the frame and would lead by as many as 13 before taking a 33-22 lead into halftime.

  • WU's Ballard content to stay in background as son launches prep career for Rural

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    Washburn University men's basketball coach Brett Ballard has spent most of his life in a gym.

    KadenBallard2 2Washburn Rural sophomore Kaden Ballard (front) has been a key contributor for the 9-4 Junior Blues this winter. [File photo/TSN]

    BrettBallardnewWashburn men's basketball coach Brett Ballard has done his best to stay in the background as his son, Kaden, embarks on his high school career at Washburn Rural. [File photo/TSN]

    But Ballard is adjusting to something new this winter, sitting in the stands as a fan.

    Ballard's sophomore son, Kaden, has played a key role off the bench for the 9-4 Washburn Rural boys, with Brett in the stands for every game when the Ichabods' schedule doesn't conflict.

    When Ballard is on hand to watch Kaden and Alex Hutchins' Junior Blues, he's careful to replace his coach's hat with his dad's hat, something he admits can be harder than you might think.  

    "I think it gives you perspective on what the parents of these kids I have been coaching have been going through all these years,'' Ballard said. "I think it just for sure gives you perspective on patience, and what your kid's going through, and you see that in a different way.

    "It's hard having no control, and when it's your own kid, those emotions, they bubble up.''

    Ballard says he tries his best to keep those emotions to himself .

    "I don't say too much,'' he said. "The only thing I'll say to him, and very, very rarely, is just something on the defensive end and making sure he's playing hard and competing, but the coaches do a great job. He doesn't need me, he needs to listen to his coaches and he has a great group out there that are doing a good job with him.

    "So I try to keep my mouth shut and just support his teammates and support the team.''

  • Ichabod men looking to extend winning streak to four games, reach .500

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    The Washburn University men's basketball team will be looking for its fourth straight win in Thursday's 7:30 p.m. home MIAA game against Rogers State at Lee Arena.

    The Ichabods are 8-9 overall and 5-6 in the conference after a 65-62 win over Nebraska-Kearney last Saturday. The Hillcats (11-8, 7-6) rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to top Missouri Southern 71-68 last Saturday. 

    TylerNelsonPSUJunior Tyler Nelson in coming off a 25-point performance in last Saturday's 65-62 home win over Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Rogers State won the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 10, rallying from a 17-point halftime deficit to take an 88-81 win in Claremore, Okla.

    Washburn coach Brett Ballard is hoping that loss can serve as motivation for the Ichabods Thursday night.

    "I mentioned that to the guys, that they should be motivated,'' Ballard said. "I don't know if that time of year we felt like we deserved to win those games or believed that we should win those games. I think now there's a greater sense of belief.

    "I think that was very much our team early in the year, where we allowed the emotions of the game to consume us when things started not going right for us individually. We kind of gave in and they got momentum and we couldn't turn the tide.''

    Ballard feels like the Ichabods are better prepared to handle those tough situations now.

    "We're playing well,'' he said. "We've held three straight opponents under 65 points. Our defense has been really solid. I feel like we are playing our best basketball of the year.

    "We have to keep showing up and maintaining that, but we are playing well.''

  • Orr comes up big as Ichabod men post fourth straight victory

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer



    The Washburn University men won their fourth game in a row Thursday night at Lee Arena, defeating Rogers State, 78-67, to avenge a loss to the Hillcats earlier in the season.
    Rogers State scored the first points of the game but a 7-2 run by the Ichabods took the lead back for good as the Ichabods took a 38-25 lead into the break after hitting 13 of 26 shots and 5 of 12 from 3-point range while holding Rogers State (11-9, 7-7 MIAA) to 8 of 31 shooting in the first 20 minutes. Washburn (9-9, 6-6 MIAA) led by as many as 16 in the opening half.

    AndrewOrrRogers1Sophomore Andrew Orr scored a game-high 20 points in Washburn's win over Rogers State Thursday night. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]
    Starting the second half, the teams traded baskets but the Hillcats cut the Washburn advantage to eight at 43-35 with 16:12 to go.

    Washburn stretched the lead back to 14 at 51-37 on back-to-back buckets by sophomore Andrew Orr, who scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second half.
    The Hillcats then used a 14-2 run over the next 4:07 to cut Washburn's lead to 53-51 with 9:39 to play, but on the Ichabods' next possession, Brady Christiansen connected on the first of his three second half 3-pointers pushing the lead back to five.

    The Hillcats cut the lead back to two but then Orr scored his 15th and 16th points of the night. The Hillcats scored again, but Orr connected on a hook shot to push the margin back to four at 61-57.
    For the third time the Hillcats cut the lead back to two at 61-59 with 6:23 to play, but Orr's final points of the night on a jumper pushed the lead back to four and Christiansen hit a 3-pointer with 4:07 to play as the lead moved to seven.