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Locally: Vandals soccer coach Laura Jackson honored as one of top young coaches

From local and wire reports

Idaho Vandals women’s soccer coach Laura Jackson has been touted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as one of the top young coaches in the country.

Jackson earned a spot in the “30 under 30” program, which recognizes top young coaches – both men and women – from across the nation. Collegiate, junior college and club coaches are all represented on the list.

“It’s an amazing honor,” said Jackson. “I look forward to using this opportunity to help teach and learn from others across the nation as I continue to develop as a coach and as a person.”

Jackson, who returns for her fourth season, led the Vandals to the best season in program history in 2015. Idaho won the Big Sky Conference regular-season title and its 10 victories was the largest turnaround in the country from the previous season. The Vandals set team records for goals, assists, points and shutouts. They had five All-Big Sky first-team selections.

Idaho opens play at South Dakota on Aug. 19 and returns to Moscow for its home opener two days later against Grand Canyon.

Men’s basketball

Former Gonzaga University guard Eric McClellan has signed with Hubo Limburg United, the professional team in Belgium announced.

McClellan averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2 assists last season. He was named the WCC defensive player of the year.

Women’s basketball

Three current Washington State players and one incoming freshman will be competing in the 2016 FIBA U20 European Championships this summer.

Junior Pinelopi Pavlopoulou will play for Greece; sophomore Maria Kostourkova will play for Portugal; sophomore Borislava Hristova will play for Bulgaria; and freshman Jovana Subasic will play for Serbia.

The tournament takes place July 9-17.

Volleyball

Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Diane Nelson filled out her staff with the hiring of Drew Pascua as an assistant coach in charge of blockers and middle hitters.

Pascua comes to GU after two years at North Idaho College. He helped lead the Cardinals to a 10th-place finish at the NJCAA national tournament in 2015.

“We’re excited that Drew is on board with us,” said Nelson. “He brings a lot of energy. He brings a lot of experience. His demeanor and passion for the game will improve the environment in the gym quite a bit.”

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