SPOKANE, Wash. – Two Whitworth University standouts have been honored this week by the Northwest Conference. Kayla Leland is the NWC women's cross country Student-Athlete of the Week for the third time this fall. Emiko Kahler is the women's volleyball Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week.
Leland (Sr., Spokane, Wash.) led the pack at the Charles Bowles Invitational, finishing first out of 166 runners to lead the Whitworth women to a fifth-place finish. She covered the five-kilometer course in 17:37.1, finishing six seconds ahead of Kaila Gibson from NCAA Division I Portland State. Leland had previously been recognized by the NWC on September 18th and September 5th this season. She has now been honored by the conference as the women's cross country student-athlete of the week six times over the last two seasons. The Pirate women's cross country team is currently ranked 2nd in the west region and 20th in the USTFCCCA Division III poll.
Kahler (So., Happy Valley, Ore.) led the Pirates in kills in a pair of road victories over the weekend. She averaged 4.33 kills per set and hit .355. She also provided 4.50 digs per set, including a career-high 22 in the win at George Fox. While this is the first time Kahler has earned the NWC's weekly honor in 2017, she claimed the award three times in 2016 on the way to receiving the NWC Freshman of the Year post-season honor. Whitworth has won five straight volleyball matches to move into a tie for first place in the NWC standings with PLU and Pacific (Ore.).