FRISCO, Texas – Northwestern State’s Hannah Brister and Megan Lohmiller are the Southland Conference Volleyball Players of the Week, the league announced Monday.The Lady Demons (16-8, 8-2 SLC) closed out a 1-1 record at home last week, winning four out of the seven sets and retaining their second-place position in conference standings. Brister charged the NSU offense with 44 kills, including a career-best 24 against Abilene Christian Thursday night. Lohmiller tacked on 39 digs for the week in order to help Northwestern State limit opponents to a .247 hitting percentage.The honors mark the fourth of the season for Brister and the third for Lohmiller. The sweep marks the second of the season for the Lady Demon duo.Offensive Player of the Week: Hannah Brister, Northwestern State – Jr. – Outside Hitter – Paincourtville, La.Brister landed an impressive 44 kills, averaging 6.3 per set and a .350 hitting percentage in two matches for the Lady Demons. She tied a career-high 24 kills in the Lady Demons sweep of Abilene Christian, marking the third time she has reached the mark this season. She also hit an astounding .600 against the Wildcats and notched back-to-back sets with 10 or more kills.The junior then followed up with an equally impressive outing against Stephen F. Austin. Her 20 kills helped the Lady Demons end SFA’s 37-set win streak and marked the first time any Southland player has registered more than 15 kills in a match against the Ladyjacks this season.Honorable Mention: Abbie Harry, Central Arkansas; Morgan Dewyer, Houston Baptist; Danae Daron, Stephen F. Austin; Rachel Young, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.Defensive Player of the Week: Megan Lohmiller, Northwestern State – Sr. – Libero – Heath, TexasLohmiller once again led the Northwestern State defense throughout the week, this time setting a career-best 28 digs against the Ladyjacks on Saturday. In the win against Abilene Christian, the senior bolstered the Lady Demon defense in order to hold the Wildcats to a .154 team hitting percentage. Lohmiller logged 39 digs on the week for a 5.6 digs-per-set average.Honorable Mention: Hannah Lewis, Houston Baptist; Maddie Miller, Stephen F. Austin; Carissa Barnes, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
Two local fire departments are expected to see dramatic boosts in their firefighter ranks in the next few years, thanks to a federal grant that awarded them each around $1 million, officials said.Clark County Fire & Rescue, which covers Ridgefield, Battle Ground and La Center, received a $979,519 award to recruit and retain volunteers and hire a volunteer coordinator. Meanwhile, East County Fire & Rescue, which serves unincorporated Clark County near Camas and Washougal, received $724,659 to hire five full-time firefighters and $299,500 to beef up their volunteer ranks.The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the grants earlier this month to departments that traditionally struggle with high turnover rates or low staffing. Fire departments do not have to provide matching dollars for the grant. The departments will be reimbursed for all authorized expenses. If they do not spend portions of the grant, they will lose out on the leftover money.Fire officials with the two districts lauded the grant for its ability to make problem areas, such as volunteer retention, into areas of strength. In making departments larger, the grant will allow departments to respond quicker and more efficiently to emergencies, officials said.