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Abes VB gets new coach

Juliana Nichols, a Stanley-Boyd graduate and former member of the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team, will be the next head coach of Eau Claire Memorial girls volleyball, the school announced Tuesday.

Nichols, a 2011 high school grad, was a three-sport athlete while with the Orioles. She was a three-year varsity team member at libero before going on to play for the Blugolds, where she made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances as a defensive specialist.

Nichols previously served as the head JV coach and as a varsity assistant with Wausau East. She has also served as head coach of Eau Claire Air. She is joining the Eau Claire Area School District as a teacher next year.

“Juliana has an excellent background in volleyball who is a great teacher of the game, player, and high school coach,” Memorial athletic director Kevin Thompson said in a statement. “Memorial looks to see continued success in the girls volleyball program under Coach Nichols.”

Nichols takes the reigns from Kris Chapman.

Vaulters named All-Americans

UW-Stout pole vaulters Heather Beecher and Noah Zastrow were both named to the 2019-20 Academic All-America Division III Track & Field/Cross Country Teams Tuesday.

Beecher, a third-team selection, has a 3.93 GPA and graduated with a major in applied science with a concentration in human physiology. She won the pole vault at the WIAC Indoor Championship with a conference meet record and school record of 12 feet, 10 inches. She plans to compete at the Division II level next year at Grand Valley State.

Zastrow, a Spencer native, earned a spot on the men’s second team. He carries a 3.97 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering and also earned the pole vault title at the WIAC Indoor Championship with a conference meet record height of 17 feet, 8.25 inches.

Both athletes previously earned All-America honors and All-Midwest Region recognition.

Steel launch AAA program

The Chippewa Steel announced the formation of the Jr. Steel AAA program Tuesday, a two-team organization that will run from late August through the middle of October.

The program will consist of an under-18 and under-16 team and will compete in the NAPHL Fall League against fellow North American Hockey League-sponsored AAA teams at three events. Tryouts will be held in late July at Chippewa Area Ice Arena and includes a $20 fee. To register, contact Steel director of hockey operations Cory Hunt at cory@chippewasteelhockey.com.

From staff reports