ISU student places second at national fiddlers contest

Shelby Rae Murdock

POCATELLO — Idaho State University student Shelby Rae Murdock recently placed second in the Young Adult Division at the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho. The Young Adult Division is for fiddlers aged 18-36.

“This is the highest that I have ever placed at nationals before,” Murdock said. “It is hard balancing being a full-time student, teaching lessons full time, being married, and still finding time to practice fiddle and classical music for school on a daily basis. It felt great to see the motivation that I can still be successful and balance everything.”

The competition, held in June, included four rounds of three songs. Murdock played various tunes including “Festival Waltz,” “T&T Rag,” “I Don’t Love Nobody” and “Portneuf Waltz,” which she wrote.

Murdock is currently a senior studying music education and violin at ISU, and plays violin in the Idaho State-Civic Symphony. She has an album titled “Little Red” available on iTunes. Murdock also teaches fiddle lessons to students in Blackfoot, Pocatello and nationwide using Skype.

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ISU volleyball: Bengals earn AVCA Team Academic Award

ISU Sports Information

Since the 1992-93 season, The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has recognized teams across all levels of collegiate and high school volleyball that have excelled in the classroom. For the fourth time in program history, Idaho State was named one of the record-breaking 764 teams to earn the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2015-16 season.

“Academic excellence is one of the principles of the Bengal Way, and our goal is to be a recipient of this award annually,” said Bengals coach Rick Reynolds. “It’s exciting to see our student-athletes receive recognition for their academic commitment and achievement.”

This season, the Bengals had a stellar showing in the classroom, posting a 3.67 cumulative GPA for the 2015-16 academic year with a record-tying nine earning Big Sky All-Academic and their first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-American in Tressa Lyman.

Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington were the only other Big Sky programs to be recognized for the AVCA Team Academic Award. To be eligible for the award, teams much carry at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative GPA on a 5.0 scale.

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ISU athletics: One donor confirmed to aid planned basketball arena

By Madison Guernsey

Jeff Tingey’s pipe dream is progressing, but it’s still a long way from coming to fruition.

Idaho State’s athletic director said he’s gotten one commitment from a donor to help fund a new basketball arena. The Journal broke the story in May 2015, detailing the planned 4,000-seat venue estimated to cost $20 million. Tingey declined to name the donor or their contribution amount, but said it is a corporation.

The new arena would end years of schedule conflicts and subpar basketball facilities for the ISU men’s and women’s basketball teams. The men rotate games and practices between Holt Arena and Reed Gym, and both teams have to fight PE classes, intramural sports and the ISU volleyball team for floor time at Reed.

Tingey said he wants to fund the project entirely through private donors.

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Idaho State men’s tennis schedule announced

ISU Sports Information

The 2016-17 Idaho State men’s tennis schedule has been released. The Bengals’ schedule features one home tournament in November and seven home matches during the spring season.

Idaho State returns six players from last season’s squad that finished 8-12 overall with a 4-7 mark in conference play, and the 2016-17 Bengals will be able to showcase their depth early with two big tournaments to kick off the fall. ISU plays in Ogden, Utah, Sept. 24-26 for the Weber State Tournament hosted by Weber State, the 2016 Big Sky Champions. The Bengals then head to Boise for the Boise State Tournament from Oct. 6-10, hosted by the Broncos who finished the 2015-16 season ranked No. 55 in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national team poll.

ISU will conclude fall play with the ITA Region 7 Tournament from Oct. 19-22 followed by its lone home tournament, the ISU Indoor Open Tournament, from Nov. 10-12.

The Bengals open spring play Jan. 21 at Utah, followed by two home matches against Southern Utah and Arizona Christian on Jan. 27 and 29, respectively.

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ISU women’s basketball: Bengals announce addition to coaching staff

ISU Sports Information

The Idaho State women’s basketball program welcomed Bryanna Mueller to its coaching staff.

Mueller will act as an assistant coach for the Bengals and will primarily be responsible for travel, equipment, academics and film exchange in addition to assisting with guard play

“Bry comes to us from Arizona State where she was a graduate assistant and played an important part in their Pac-12 championship team,” said ISU head coach Seton Sobolewski. “She is bright, ambitious and she’s hard-working. I think she’ll make a very positive impact on our program.”

Although this is Mueller’s first official coaching position, she has no shortage of experience. She began as a player at the Air Force Academy prep school, worked as a manager for the Drake women’s basketball program, transitioned to a student-athlete for the Bulldogs and spent the 2015-16 season as a graduate assistant for 2015-16 Pac-12 champion Arizona State.

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Student in jail for alleged aggravated assault on ISU female freshman

Ahmad Hamoud Aldawish

By Journal Staff

POCATELLO — An Idaho State University student has been arrested for a brutal aggravated assault in which he allegedly tried to force himself on a young woman and threatened to stab her with scissors.

Ahmad Hamoud Aldawish, 24, of Saudi Arabia, was arrested by police at about 6 a.m. Thursday on Sam Nixon Drive on the ISU campus. The victim is a female ISU student.

Authorities said Aldawish was essentially trying to force himself on the young woman and she resisted. He’s facing up to five years in prison if convicted.

The victim is an ISU freshman and a Century High School graduate.

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ISU football: Davis Koetter, son of Dirk, receives offer from ISU

By Madison Guernsey

Davis Koetter, son of Pocatello native, former Idaho State football player and Highland High head football coach Dirk Koetter, announced Thursday on Twitter that he received an offer to play football at ISU. Davis did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

Davis is a senior quarterback at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Florida. He’s classified as a dual-threat QB by ESPN and is listed at 6 feet, 160 pounds.

On June 22, Davis tweeted that he received his first offer from Portland State. Prospective football student-athletes can sign a National Letter of Intent on Feb. 1, 2017.

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ISU denies former tennis player’s allegations

Orin Duffin


By Debbie Bryce For the Journal


POCATELLO — Idaho State University’s former assistant tennis coach and the university denied allegations in a federal lawsuit filed by a former tennis player who says he was discriminated against because of his Mormon faith.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Orin Duffin, who played on the ISU tennis team during the 2014-15 season, and it names ISU President Arthur Vailas, Athletic Director Jeff Tingey, Coach Bobby Goeltz and Assistant Coach Nate Gross as defendants.

Duffin joined the team on a book scholarship.

Filed on May 20, the lawsuit states that the discrimination against Duffin culminated during a tennis trip to Las Vegas when Gross sent two prostitutes to Duffin’s room to test his religious conviction.

When he learned about the prank, Goeltz allegedly insinuated that Duffin was gay. Witnesses stated that the coach said, “Maybe he doesn’t shoot that way.”

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