To have a single player recognized as Cascade Conference or NAIA Region I Player of the Week is a noteworthy accomplishment. To have three players— Meredith Lane, Joe Gjertsen and Carly Stewart—from three different sports— volleyball and men's and women's soccer, respectively—each earn conference and region honors is a remarkable feat.
But two NAIA National Players of the Week? It may be unprecedented.
Evergreen’s Lane named earned the honor in volleyball and Gjertsen in men’s soccer.
The volleyball team hosted six-ranked Oregon Institute of Technology on Oct. 3, when they equaled last year’s school record of seven wins in a season. Hometown player and middle blocker Meredith Lane, a junior from Olympia High School, had 17 kills on 29 attempts as the Geoducks defeated the Hustlin' Owls 3-1. The following night, Lane followed with a school record 29 kills on 58 attempts as Evergreen handed Southern Oregon their first conference loss in five games, 3-2. The defeat knocked Southern Oregon down four notches from the No.15 spot in the NAIA national poll.
Tacoma native Joe Gjertsen, also a junior, put Evergreen back into soccer playoff contention on Oct. 3 with a two-goal performance against Concordia, the top-ranked men’s team in NAIA region I. The 3-1 victory pushed the Geoducks into a tie for fourth place with Western Baptist. The top four teams in the conference advance to the postseason tournament.
The next day, Gjertsen added to his conference-leading season total by scoring four goals and an assist in an 8-0 victory over Cascade College. It was Gjertsen's fourth hat trick of the season.
Gjertsen scored Evergreen's first and fifth goals in a 9-2 win over visiting Walla Walla College on Oct. 5. His two assists in the game moved him up to third place on the Cascade Conference’s assist list.
On Oct. 1, freshman goalkeeper Carly Stewart, from Federal Way, recorded 16 saves and shutout visiting Concordia University. The Cavaliers are four-time defending Cascade Conference women's soccer champions, and were ranked third in the nation. The game, which took 110:00 minutes, ended in a 0-0 double overtime tie and was Stewart's second shutout of the season.
Contact: Kate Lykins Brown, (360) 867-5213