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Laura VegaVolleyball

Osan Air Base, South Korea

Last week: Played a key role as the Cougars won two of three matches to even their Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference record at 4-4.

Osan won on Sept. 27 20-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 16-14 at Seoul International, then split two home weekend matches, winning 25-16, 25-19, 18-25, 25-14 over International Christian-Pyongtaek before falling 25-22, 25-15, 25-14 to Seoul Foreign.

Vega, a sophomore, went a combined 38-for-44 with six aces from the service line and had 23 spike kills in 66 attempts, 31 set assists and eight digs in the matches. Vega is 91-for-111 serving this season with 15 aces, has 37 kills in 113 swings, 68 assists, four block points and 19 digs.

“Laura has grown very much as a student-athlete … and has enhanced her level of play considerably,” coach Brian Swenty said, adding that Vega stepped in to lead the offense when starting setter and captain Celine Baldevia went down with an ankle injury earlier this season. “With focused practice, Laura has the potential for a breakout year.”

Matt CoonCross country

Kubasaki, Okinawa

Last week: Won the second of his three consecutive individual 3.1-mile races in Okinawa Activities Council meets, giving him three triumphs in four meets this season.

Coon, a sophomore, ran the 3.1-mile course on Camp Foster’s Kishaba Housing Area in 17 minutes, 20 seconds. It's the fastest time among Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific runners in the region, beating the previous best time of 17:43, clocked on Sept. 16 by Graham Will of Nile C. Kinnick at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan. Coon also clobbered his previous top personal time of 18:08.

“He’s very motivated to work on his own, not just at practice but outside of practice, looking to improve his style and technique,” Kubasaki coach Paul Campbell said.

“His goal has been to be the team MVP. We’re pretty confident he’s going to get that.”

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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