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Posts Tagged ‘NCAA D-III’

Former Wolf Joey Lippo is traveling from Coupeville to Maine to pursue his baseball dreams. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Baseball is taking Joey Lippo on another road trip.

The Coupeville High School grad is joining the diamond program at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, an NCAA D-III school.

The Owls, who are coached by Roger Stinson, are part of the 12-team North Atlantic Conference, which covers Maine, Vermont, and New York.

The last time UMPI played a baseball game was April 29, 2019, as the school’s entire 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAC Athletic Directors have said they will meet in February to decide how the 2021 season will progress.

“I’m not sure what the season looks like but we are hopeful to play a full season,” Lippo said.

For now, he’ll continue his studies in agricultural science and business, while acclimating to a new school.

Lippo most recently attended Green River College in Auburn, where he was on the baseball team with fellow Whidbey grads C.J. Smith, James Besaw, and Hunter Smith.

At UMPI, the former Wolf rejoins Bailey Corley, a teammate on the Seattle Bombers select squad.

“My friend from summer ball got me in touch with the coach, and the school had what I wanted to study,” Lippo said.

He expects to play mostly in the outfield, but adds, “I’m a utility player, so wherever I’m needed.”

During his time in Coupeville, Lippo played tennis, basketball, and baseball.

He was a First-Team All-Conference selection on the diamond, and teamed with William Nelson to compete as the #1 doubles duo for the Wolf tennis team.

Joey’s twin sister, Skyy, is attending The University of Missouri-Kansas City on a dance scholarship.

UMPI is a public university which was founded in 1903 as the Aroostook State Normal School.

After three other name changes over the years, the school has been known as the University of Maine at Presque Isle since 1971.

Alumni at the school include three members of the Maine House of Representatives, as well as grappler James “Chico” Hernandez.

A world champion in the sport of Sambo wrestling, which is based on Soviet martial arts, he was featured on the front of boxes of Wheaties Energy Crunch in 2001.

Hernandez, who coached the wrestling team at his alma mater, has earned 15 world titles, 53 international titles, and 36 USA national titles across eight combat sports.

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Makana Stone, here with mom Eileen, continues to rake in college basketball honors. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville’s Makana Stone ends her college career as one of the best basketball players in the country.

The former Wolf, now a senior at Whitman College, was one of 25 players honored Tuesday when the D3hoops.com All-American teams were announced.

Already tabbed as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year and a First-Team All-West Region pick, Stone was one of five players to receive Honorable Mention status.

Erica DeCandido of Tufts University (Massachusetts) was selected as the NCAA D-III national player of the year.

Berea College (Kentucky) freshman Aaliyah Hampton was tabbed as Rookie of the Year, while Brian Morehouse, who led Hope College (Michigan) to an undefeated season, was named Coach of the Year.

The only West Coast player honored, Stone averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds a night as Whitman went 26-3 this season.

She collected 409 points, 225 rebounds, 37 assists, 26 steals, and 26 blocks, while shooting 166-316 (52.5%) from the floor and 74-96 (77.1%) from the free-throw line.

The Blues won their first two games in the NCAA tourney, and were hours away from playing in the Sweet 16 when the season was prematurely ended by the coronavirus.

During her four years as a Blue, Stone played in 110 games, including making a program-record 92 starts.

She finished as the #5 scorer (1,337 points) and #2 rebounder (837 caroms) in Whitman women’s basketball history.

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone led Whitman College women’s basketball in 12 statistical categories during her junior season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, that’s unfortunate.

The pinheads running the NCAA D-III women’s basketball national championships left Whitman College out of the 64-team bracket, bringing a quicker-than-expected end to Makana Stone’s junior campaign.

The former Coupeville ace misses March Madness for the first time in three seasons.

As a freshman, Stone and the Blues won three games in the tourney, advancing all the way to the Elite Eight before being knocked out. Last year, Whitman fell in the first round to East Texas Baptist.

This time around, despite boasting a 20-7 record and having been ranked in the top 25 several times, the Blues were denied a ticket to the dance.

George Fox University (24-3), the regular-season and postseason tourney champs, were the only school from the Northwest Conference to make the field.

Even then, the Bruins were surprisingly denied a home game to open the tourney, and will travel to St. Louis to face Greenville University (23-4).

Whitman, which went 13-3 in league play and finished second in the nine-team conference, came within a win of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

The Blues scorched Puget Sound in the semifinals of the league postseason tourney, but suffered through a turnover-riddled night in the championship game against George Fox.

Stone had the best season of her time in Walla Walla, earning First-Team All-Conference honors for a second-straight season and earning Player of the Week three times.

She led the Blues in 12 different statistical categories, including scoring average, hitting for 14.9 points a game.

The former Wolf star finished with 388 points, 227 rebounds, 40 assists, 31 steals, and 21 blocked shots in 26 games.

Stone hit on 162-318 from the floor (50.9%) and 63-79 (79.7%) from the free throw line.

With a season left, Coupeville’s progeny sits on the cusp of hitting a host of statistical milestones during her senior season.

She has 928 points, 440 rebounds, 123 assists, 65 steals, and 39 blocks for her career, putting her dangerously close to cracking both the 1,000-point and 500-rebound club.

Stone has hit 394-781 field goal attempts (50.4%) and 139-199 free throw tries (69.8%), and Whitman has rolled to a 68-17 record since she first pulled on a Blues uniform.

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone is off to Brazil as part of an all-star basketball team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Basketball has carried Makana Stone from Cow Town to Brazil.

The Coupeville High School grad, who has spent the past two seasons ripping up the floor at Whitman College, has been tabbed to join the USA D-III Women’s Basketball Team.

As a member of the 10-player squad, Stone is jetting off to Brazil and will be overseas July 16-25, playing four games while there.

The trip, set up by USA Sports Tours and Events, has American women and men’s teams playing games against Jundiai, Santa Andre, Queimados and Fluminese.

The Santa Andre women’s squad is a pro team.

When they’re not playing and practicing, the USA hoops teams will have a chance to experience everything Brazil has to offer.

The players will visit schools and sports clubs, and will have a chance to see the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain, two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

Stone, who is entering her junior year at Whitman, is the lone player on the tour to hail from Washington state.

The women’s team includes athletes from nine states and a variety of colleges, and will be led by coaches from Luther College in Iowa.

Stone is coming off a sophomore season in which she torched the nets for 12.3 points a game, snatched 7.2 boards a night and was named a First-Team All-Conference pick by the Northwest Conference.

Whitman has advanced to the NCAA tourney in both of her seasons, piling up a 48-10 record in her time in Walla Walla.

While growing up in Coupeville, playing soccer and basketball and running track, Stone put together one of the best individual prep sports careers the town has seen.

A two-time CHS Female Athlete of the Year (who should have been at least a three-timer and I will never stop arguing she was robbed as a freshman), she finished as the #3 scorer in Wolf girls basketball history.

Stone also has the most state meet medals of any Wolf female track competitor, and kicked off her high school career by winning her first 28 races – the best streak in the history of CHS.

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   Coupeville grad Ben Etzell (3) pitched in 50 games as a college hurler. (Libby Auger photo)

Ben Etzell’s college baseball career ended a few days earlier than expected.

The Coupeville grad and his Saint John’s University teammates were unexpectedly snubbed Sunday night by the committee picking the 58-team field for the NCAA D-III tournament.

While the Johnnies fell in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference postseason tourney to Bethel, which kept them from nabbing an automatic bid, they were expected to get an at-large spot.

Saint John’s piled up a school-record number of wins this season, going 33-8.

Five of those losses were by just a single run, and the Johnnies overcame terrible Minnesota weather which compressed their schedule, forcing them to play multiple doubleheaders in the final two weeks.

SJU rallied, winning the regular season MIAC title by two games over Bethel, its 14th overall and first outright title since 1994.

The Johnnies then split four games at the postseason tourney, with Etzell’s final performance being three innings of no-hit ball against Bethel May 12.

It was his 50th appearance as a college hurler.

Etzell finished his senior season with a 2-2 record, notching a save as he compiled a 1.56 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 appearances.

He tied fellow pitcher Jake Dickmeyer for the team lead in games, and had the lowest ERA of any Johnnie with more than five appearances.

For his career, Etzell, who started college as a starting pitcher before morphing into a relief ace, went 10-4 with eight saves.

He threw 110.1 innings in 50 appearances, held foes to a .266 batting average, and finished with 90 K’s.

During Etzell’s four-year run, SJU went 116-51 (.695) overall, 55-23 (.705) in league play.

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