Baseball, Men's Volleyball, Sports

‘Niner Notes: Dec. 17

Baseball: Dirtbag prospect found dead

Long Beach State Dirtbag recruit James Wernke was found dead in Fullerton on Tuesday after going missing during the weekend.

Search and rescue teams discovered his body in the Brea Channel Creek. Wernke was last seen in Fullerton on Saturday with a friend’s yellow Labrador retriever. He was believed to have wandered into the creek during a rainstorm with the current at full force.

“It’s never easy to deal with an enormous tragedy such as this,” head baseball coach Mike Weathers said in a press release. “We obviously thought very highly of James and will miss the opportunity to have him be part of the Long Beach State baseball program. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Wernke was a sophomore pitcher at Santa Ana College and had signed a letter of intent to play for the Dirtbags in 2011.

Women’s Volleyball: Washington collects All-America nod

Outside hitter Naomi Washington earned Honorable Mention All-America honors, as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Wednesday.

Washington also won the award last season, making her the 17th player in Long Beach State history to be a two-time All-American.

The New Orleans, La. native led the 49ers in kills with 464 on the season, averaging 4.14 kills per set. She was also second on the team in hitting with a .269 percentage and made 66 blocks on the year.

Washington had over 20 kills on eight occasions this past season, including a career high of 29 in a win over Tulane in New Orleans. She was twice named the Big West Player of the Week, and also earned first-team All-Big West and AVCA All-Region honors.

In the final regular season match, Washington also passed 1,000 kills over her career, becoming the 15th player in 49er history to reach that milestone.

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