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Saturday, May 10, 2003

Rocky signs California JC player Luke Kunkel, an all-conference player from Mount San Jacinto Junior College in California, has signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Rocky Mountain College this coming season.

The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Kunkel, who is from Carlsbad, N.M., averaged 11.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in receiving all-Foothill Conference recognition. He shot 58 percent from the field and was the team's co-MVP.

"This is a real key signing for us," said Rocky coach Bill Dreikosen. "He's a guy we've been in contact with all year. We really felt strongly he would be a good fit for our program. He will help fill the void left by Spencer (Allred) and Beau (McFadyean)."

Kunkel was a 2-year starter at Mount San Jacinto, located in San Jacinto, Calif. The Eagles compiled a 50-20 record during that stretch, finishing first in the conference during Kunkel's freshman year.

"He runs the floor well, jumps well and isn't afraid to play hard," Dreikosen said. "In that sense, he's our type of player."

MSU-B signs softball player MSU-Billings head softball coach Jeff Aumend has announced that Aysha Blatter from Richland, Wash., has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Yellowjackets next season. Blatter will graduate from Kamiakin High School in Kennewick this June.

Blatter is currently fifth in the Big Nine Conference with a .510 batting average, and Kamiakin is in second place in the league with a 15-3 record. As a junior, Blatter broke the school record for stolen bases and was named to the Big Nine Conference second team as a catcher. She earned honorable mention honors as a sophomore third baseman.

Blatter will be joining a Yellowjacket program that is coming off the best season in its short three-year history. The Jackets finished 15-20 overall this year and had six players earn All-Pacific West Conference honors.

"We like multi-positional players who can hit," said Aumend. "Aysha fits that mold perfectly. She's a good student who will make an immediate impact on our team."

MSU-B signs cross country runners Montana State-Billings head cross-country coach Dave Coppock has announced that two high school runners have signed national letters of intent to run for the Yellowjackets next year.

Joe Kragt from Worden, Montana and Tiffany Piplica from Riverton, Wyo., will join the team for the fall 2003 season.

Kragt, a four-year letter winner in track, will graduate from Huntley Project High School at the end of May. He qualified for the State B track meet in the 3,200-meters and 1,600-meters each of his first three years of high school. His best 3,200 meter time was 10:38 and his best 1600 meter time was 4:45.

Piplica is a four-year letter winner in both track and cross-country and will graduate from Riverton High School this month with a 3.90 grade point average. She will be joining a Yellowjacket team that has led the nation for team grade point average in each of the past two years.

Piplica was a two-time captain of the cross-country team and was a four-time scholar athlete award winner at RHS.

DCC softball wins 2 in regional AUSTIN, Minn. — Dawson Community College notched two wins Friday in the NJCAA Division III Region XIII softball tournament.

Dawson defeated Great Lakes Community College of Brainerd, Minn., 2-0 in the first round and downed Riverland Community College of Austin, Minn., 6-3 in a winner's bracket game.

Dawson (27-17), ranked No. 5 in NJCAA Division III, advances to a semifinal game at 3 p.m. today. The tournament champion advances to the Division III World Series May 15-17 at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill.

Sami McDonald of Laurel went the distance on the mound in both games Friday, tossing a two-hitter against Great Lakes and a seven-hitter against Riverland.

In the win over Great Lakes, Michelle Block had two hits and Kaila Folwer two RBIs for Dawson.

In the win over Riverland, Jess Haugen went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Brooke Lowman hit a two-run home run for Dawson. Michelle Block also had two RBIs for DCC.

Box scores in Scoreboard, Page 9C.

Sheridan signs Idaho hoops player SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Liz Brice, of Burley, Idaho has signed letter of intent to play for the Sheridan College women's basketball team this upcoming season.

Brice is a 5-8 guard, who averaged 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3 steals a game as a senior. She earned all-area honors and was selected to play in regional and district all-star games.

Sheridan head coach Frank McCarthy expects to sign a few more players in the upcoming weeks.

Sutter to play at York College YORK, Neb. — Matt Sutter of Red Lodge has signed a letter of intent to play men's basketball at York College next season. Sutter, a 6-foot-1 guard, averaged 10 points, eight assists and seven rebounds per game as a senior at Red Lodge.

ISU, Sac State have MVPs Men's tennis MVP honors go to Idaho State's Malcolm Swan and Margarita Karnaukhova of Sacramento State is the women's MVP, Big Sky Conference officials said Thursday.

Swan, a senior from Cairons, Australia, is a two-time first team selection with a 29-7 singles record and an undefeated season in the conference. He has a 19-5 record in team dual competition.

Karnaukhova, a freshman from Krasnovar, Russia, is 11-4 in singles overall and 3-1 in the Big Sky.

Montana State freshmen Federico Ueltschi of Mandoza, Argentina, and Marek Gebicki of Lodz, Poland, made the men's all-conference first team. Montana sophomore Jan Steenekamp of Burgersdorp, South Africa, was also a first team pick.

Other first team selections were Ioannis Stavridis and Hestian Stoica, both of Idaho State, Northern Arizona's Fredrik Jeppsson and Sacramento State's Julien Chatelan.

Second team selections include Northern Arizona's Thibault Schram, Portland State's Beau Smith, Sacramento State's Anders Albertsen and Weber State's Don Williams.

The Big Sky women's all-conference first team includes Montana sophomore Annabelle Janairo of Las Vegas.

Also named to the team were Eka Jvania and Hayli Scott, both of Idaho State, Northern Arizona's Marjolein Klompmaker, Portland State's Katie Owens, Sacramento State's Roberta Fessenko and Weber State's Alexandra Ilie.

The second team included Kirsten Balk and Christina Klokinis, both of Northern Arizona, Portland State's Denise Cockrell and Sacramento State's Ann Roslund.