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Zalk, Gardner Top Player Of Week Awards With Record Efforts
Jesse Zalk (left) set GNAC records with 307 receiving yards and five reciving touchdowwns. Ja'Quan Gardner set a record as well with 375 all-purpose yards.
Jesse Zalk (left) set GNAC records with 307 receiving yards and five reciving touchdowwns. Ja'Quan Gardner set a record as well with 375 all-purpose yards.

Monday, November 7, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – A pair of 300-plus yard record performances for Central Washington wide receiver Jesse Zalk and Humboldt State running back Ja’Quan Gardner leads this week’s list of GNAC Player of the Week award winners.

The two star performers shared this week’s Football Offensive Player of the Week honor. Zalk set GNAC single-game records with 307 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns on 10 catches in the Wildcats’ 41-0 win at home over Simon Fraser. Zalk averaged 30.7 yards per catch and scored touchdowns on receptions of seven, 44, 50, 57 and 77 yards. Zalk smashed the previous receiving record of 250 yards, set by Western Oregon’s Paul Revis earlier this season. His five receiving touchdowns bettered the record of four held by four players, most recently Azusa Pacific’s Weston Carr just a week ago.

Gardner, meanwhile, finished with a GNAC single-game record with 375 all-purpose yards in the Lumberjacks’ 28-14 win over Western State. He finished with 313 rushing yards on 43 carries, including 100 yards in the first quarter alone, and also had two kick returns for 58 yards. Gardner’s all-purpose yards broke the single-game record of 340 yards set by Azusa Pacific’s Terrell Watson against Menlo in 2014.

Revis was tabbed for the Football Special Teams Player of the Week after he finished with 223 all-purpose yards in Saturday’s loss at Azusa Pacific. He had three kickoff returns for 70 yards, including a 32-yard return, and returned one punt for 24 yards. Central Washington’s Kevin Haynes was named the Football Defensive Player of the Week after he finished 12 tackles, six solo tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in the win over Simon Fraser.

Saint Martin’s midfielder Kyle Witzel and Western Washington defender Brady Ulen earned the conference’s final men’s soccer weekly awards of the season. Witzel was named the Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week after he scored a SMU record four goals in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Concordia. The performance also tied three players for the GNAC single-match record for goals in a conference match, most recently by Northwest Nazarene’s Fredy Razo against Montana State Billings in 2013.

Ulen was named the Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week after he anchored a Vikings’ defense that allowed just one goal in two matches, including a 1-0 shutout win over GNAC champion Simon Fraser on Thursday. Ulen also scored on a penalty kick in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Concordia.

The Vikings’ Kayleigh Harper was named the Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week after she finished with 31 kills and a .519 hitting percentage in two matches. Harper finished with 18 kills and a .485 hitting percentage at Northwest Nazarene and has 13 kills while hitting .572 at Central Washington. Northwest Nazarene’s Madi Farrell was named the Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week after she had 11 blocks and 25 kills while hitting .380 in two wins, including a five-set win over Western Washington.

The GNAC Player of the Week awards honor eight student-athletes from six GNAC schools. Central Washington and Western Washington led the way with two selections apiece.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 10
FOOTBALL
Offensive:
Jesse Zalk (Central Washington, WR, 5-8, 162, Sr., Battle Ground, Wash. – Prairie): Zalk had a record-breaking day in the Wildcats’ 41-0 win over Simon Fraser on Saturday. The senior caught 10 passes for a GNAC record 307 receiving yards and caught a GNAC record five touchdowns. Zalk scored on CWU’s first play from scrimmage, a play of 77 yards, and also scored on receptions on seven, 44, 50 and 57 yards. Zalk broke the receiving yards record of 250 yards set by Western Oregon’s Paul Revis earlier in the season and five receiving touchdowns broke the record of four by three players, most recently Weston Carr of Azusa Pacific earlier this year.

Ja’Quan Gardner (Humboldt State, RB, 5-7, 205, Jr., Ceres, Calif. – Central Valley): Gardner finished with a GNAC single-game record with 375 all-purpose yards in a 28-14 win over Western State. He had 313 rushing yards on 43 carries with two touchdowns and also had two kick returns for 58 yards. Gardner has 100 rushing yards in the first quarter alone. Also Nominated: Andrew Elffers (Azusa Pacific).

Defensive: Kevin Haynes (Central Washington, LB, 6-1, 228, Jr., Battle Ground, Wash. – Battle Ground): Haynes led Central Washington against Simon Fraser with 12 tackles, six solo, and also had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. He averaged a tackle every 5.5 plays in the game. Also Nominated: Bo Highburger (Western Oregon), Aaron Berry (Azusa Pacific).

Special Teams: Paul Revis (Western Oregon, WR, 5-9, 165, Jr., Scappoose, Ore. – Scappoose): Revis finished with 223 all-purpose yards in a loss on Saturday to Azusa Pacific. He had three kickoff returns for 70 yards, including a 32-yard return, and returned one punt for 24 yards. Also Nominated: Jacob Hall (Azusa Pacific).

MEN’S SOCCER
Offensive: Kyle Witzel
(Saint Martin’s, M, 5-11, Jr., Sedro-Woolley, Wash. – Sedro-Woolley): Witzel set a Saint Martin’s record for goals in a match and tied a GNAC record for goals in a conference match on Tuesday, netting four in the Saints’ 5-2 victory over Concordia. Also Nominated: Adam Jones (Simon Fraser), Fernando Alvarez (Northwest Nazarene), Julien Dragomir (Montana State Billings), Christian Rotter (Western Washington).

Defensive: Brady Ulen (Western Washington, D, 5-11, Sr., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – North Idaho JC): Ulen anchored a Western Washington defense that limited Simon Fraser and Concordia to one goal in its first regular season matches. He also scored a goal on a penalty kick in the Vikings’ 5-1 win at Concordia on Saturday. Also Nominated: Ryan Foo (Northwest Nazarene), Oliver Posarelli (Montana State Billings).

VOLLEYBALL
Offensive: Kayleigh Harper
(Western Washington, MB, 6-3, So., Oak Harbor, Wash. – Oak Harbor): Harper finished with 31 kills and hit .519 to lead the Vikings in two matches. She finished with 18 kills and hit .485 at Northwest Nazarene and finished with 13 kills while hitting .572 on Saturday at Central Washington. Also Nominated: Hailey Cook (Northwest Nazarene), Alisha Bettinson (Western Oregon), Stormy Siemion (Montana State Billings), Morgan Hooe (Alaska Anchorage), Jessica Wheeler (Concordia).

Defensive: Madi Farrell (Northwest Nazarene, MB, 6-2, Jr., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – Lake City): Farrell finished with 11 blocks and hit .380 with 25 kills to lead the Crusaders to two big wins. She finished with four blocks and 14 kills in a five-set upset of Western Washington on Thursday and had seven blocks against Simon Fraser on Saturday. Also Nominated: Abby Phelps (Western Washington), Faith Taylor (Montana State Billings), Kyla Militante-Amper (Alaska Anchorage), Brianna Hogan (Concordia).

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