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Fantastic Finishes, Dynamic Debuts Lead Weekly Honors
Northwest Nazarene's Jenna Caywood was named GNAC Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week after netting 15 blocks in two wins.
Northwest Nazarene's Jenna Caywood was named GNAC Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week after netting 15 blocks in two wins.

Monday, November 16, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – An outstanding finish to the regular season and two solid starts to the winter seasons topped this week’s performers elected as GNAC Players of the Week.

Humboldt State running back Ja’Quan Gardner was honored as the Football Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time this season. Gardner closed the regular season with 261 yards on 38 carries with two touchdowns as he led the Lumberjacks to a 29-13 non-conference win over Western Oregon. Gardner enters the NCAA Division II Playoffs leading the nation in all-purpose yards and rushing yards and, with 1,990 yards, is in striking distance of the GNAC single season record for rushing yards set by 2014 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year Terrell Watson.

Teammate Cameron Southward was named the Special Teams Player of the Week as he battled 20-mile-per-hour winds to make field goals of 30 yards, 37 yards and 47 yards against Western Oregon. He was also 2 for 2 on point-after opportunities. John Tyler of South Dakota Mines was the Defensive Player of the Week after he recovered two fumbles and had an interception in the Hardrockers’ 35-14 win over William Jewell.

Central Washington’s Sabrina Wheelhouse and Northwest Nazarene’s Jenna Caywood earned the conference’s volleyball honors. Wheelhouse was named Offensive Player of the Week after she hit .650 with 15 kills and 22 blocks in the Wildcats’ wins over Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s. Caywood netted Defensive Player of the Week for her 15 blocks and 13 kills in wins over the Saints and Falcons.

Alaska’s Travante Williams is the first Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the 2015-16 season. Williams was named the most valuable player of the GCI GNAC/PacWest Crossover as he debuted for the Nanooks with 23.5 points per game in wins over Hawaii Pacific and Chaminade. He shot 56 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from three-point range.

Montana State Billings’ Alisha Breen is the Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. Named to the All-Tournament Team at the GNAC/PacWest Yellowjacket Challenge, Breen scored 52 points in the Yellowjackets’ contests against Cal Baptist and Academy of Art. She just missed a double-double with 37 points and nine rebounds against Academy of Art. The 37-point performance ties her for seventh on the GNAC all-time single game list.

A total of seven players from six member schools were honored in this week’s GNAC Player of the Week selections. Humboldt State led the list with two selections.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 11
FOOTBALL
Offensive: Ja’Quan Gardner
(Humboldt State, RB, 5-9, 190, So., Ceres, Calif. – Central Valley): Gardner completed an outstanding regular season by carrying 38 times for 261 yards, including 183 in the first half, and two touchdowns as the Lumberjacks beat Western Oregon 29-13. Gardner enters the Division II playoffs leading the nation in all-purpose yards (209.1 yards per game) and rushing yards (199.6 yards per game). Also Nominated: Ben Broeker (South Dakota Mines), DeJon Coleman (Dixie State), Blake Robertson (Azusa Pacific).

Defensive: John Tyler (South Dakota Mines, SS, 5-9, 190, Sr., Tampa, Fla. - Wharton) Tyler finished with four tackles, recovered a pair of fumbles (one of which led to a South Dakota Mines touchdown) and had an interception and return for 19 yards as the Hardrockers finished their GNAC run with a 35-14 non-conference win over William Jewell. Also Nominated: Tyree Davis (Azusa Pacific), Donte Haddock (Humboldt State), Robert Metz (Dixie State), George Swartzlender (Western Oregon).

Special Teams: Cameron Southward (Humboldt State, K, 6-1, 185, Jr., Auburn, Calif. – America River JC): Southward went 3 for 3 on field goals in windy conditions, connecting on opportunities of 30 yards, 37 yards and 47 yards in the Lumberjacks’ 29-13 win at Western Oregon. He also went 2 for 2 on point-after attempts. Also Nominated: Jason Diffee (Central Washington), Robbie Gerarden (South Dakota Mines), Tarik Myles (Azusa Pacific).

VOLLEYBALL
Offensive: Sabrina Wheelhouse
(Central Washington, MB, 6-3, So., Eugene, Ore. - Sheldon): Wheelhouse finished with a .650 hitting percentage in two matches, finishing with 15 kills and 22 blocks in the Wildcats’ victories over Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific. Also Nominated: Amanda Short (Western Oregon), Ashlynn Ward (Montana State Billings), Katelynn Zanders (Alaska Anchorage).

Defensive: Jenna Caywood (Northwest Nazarene, MB, 6-2, Sr., Meridian, Idaho - Cole Valley Christian): Caywood led the Crusaders with 15 blocks and 13 kills in the Crusaders’ victories over Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific. She had eight blocks over the Falcons and seven over the Saints. Also Nominated: Christie Colasurdo (Western Oregon), Kimmy Kirk (Montana State Billings), Kyla Militante-Amper (Alaska Anchorage).

MEN’S BASKETBALL
Travante Williams
(Alaska, F, 6-4, 200, Sr., Anchorage, Alaska – Adams State Coll.): Williams was named the most valuable player of the GCI GNAC/PacWest Crossover after he averaged 23.5 points per game in the Nanooks’ wins over Hawaii Pacific and Chaminade. He shot 56 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from three-point range, topped by 25 points against Chaminade. Also Nominated: Brendan Carroll (Seattle Pacific), Tyler Gutierrez (Concordia), Fred Jorg (Saint Martin’s), Devin Matthews (Central Washington), Marc Matthews (Montana State Billings), Jeffrey Parker (Western Washington), Suki Wiggs (Alaska Anchorage), Mike Wright (Northwest Nazarene).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Alisha Breen
(Montana State Billings, F, 5-10, Jr., Choteau, Mont. - Choteau): Breen scored 52 points in the Yellowjackets’ games against Cal Baptist and Academy of Art in the GNAC/PacWest Yellowjacket Challenge. She just missed a double-double with 37 points and nine rebounds against the Urban Knights, tying her for the seventh-best single game scoring performance in GNAC history. She shot 42.7 percent from the field and average 8.5 rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Also Nominated: Sierra Dean (Concordia), Jaylee Mays (Alaska), Jordan McPhee (Seattle Pacific), Taylor Peacocke (Western Washington), Krista Stabler (Saint Martin’s), Lexi Tubbs (Northwest Nazarene).

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