Volleyball Performances Lead GNAC Weekly Honors
Northwest Nazarene's Madi Farrell earned her second straight Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week award after finishing with a .495 hitting percentage in four matches.
Northwest Nazarene's Madi Farrell earned her second straight Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week award after finishing with a .495 hitting percentage in four matches.

Monday, September 11, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two of the top performances in another great GNAC showing in the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase tops the list of selections for GNAC Players of the Week.

Northwest Nazarene middle blocker Madi Farrell earned the Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week award for the second conecutive week after leading the Crusaders to a 4-0 sweep in the tournament’s Nampa Pod. She led all GNAC players with a .495 hitting percentage and 4.14 kills per set while also averaging 1.29 blocks per set. Farrell’s week was led by a 16-kill performance against Dominican (Calif.) on Thursday where she finished with an .889 hitting percentage.

Western Washington middle blocker Joslyn Bopray was named the Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week after coming alive for 22 blocks (1.47 blocks per set average) as the Vikings’ went 3-1 in the Showcase’s Anchorage Pod. Her ledger included a 10-block performance in a five-set win over No. 11 Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday and seven blocks in a four-set win over No. 15 Concordia-Irvine on Saturday.

Humboldt State running back Ja’Quan Gardner earned Football Offensive Player of the Week honors after he finished with 200 all-purpose yards in the Lumberjacks’ 30-19 road upset of then-No. 8 Azusa Pacific. He rushed 31 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns and caught two passes for 18 yards as the Lumberjacks’s snapped APU’s nine-game win streak against GNAC teams and eight-game home win streak.

Western Oregon linebacker Bo Highburger was named the Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with 10 tackles in the Wolves’ 30-23 loss to Central Washington. He also had a fumble recovery that went 79 yards for a touchdown. Central Washington kicker Gavin Todd earned the Special Teams Player of the Week honor after he went 3 for 3 on both field goals and point-after attempts in the victory.

On the pitch, midfielder Mori Tsuchiya gave Seattle Pacific its second straight Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week winner after he scored two goals and had an assist on the Falcons’ two-match Colorado road trip. He scored both goals in the Falcon’s 2-1 victory at Metro State on Thursday.

Simon Fraser defender Magnus Kristensen was named the Defensive Player of the Week as he led a solid Clan defense to a 2-0-0 week at the Rimrock Classic in Billings. Simon Fraser allowed a combined seven shots on goal in a pair of 2-1 victories over Cal State San Bernardino and No. 10 Cal Poly Pomona.

Western Oregon freshman Alyssa Tomasini earned Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors after she scored her first two collegiate goals to lift the Wolves to a 2-0 shutout of Chaminade in Hawaii on Saturday. The forward also had an assist on the lone goal in the Wolves’ 3-1 loss at Hawaii Pacific to begin the road trip on Thursday.

Western Washington goalkeeper Ashley Homer was named the Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week after she earned her first shutout of the season in a 1-0 win at Metro State on Saturday. Her effort helped improve the No. 1 ranked Vikings to 3-0-0 on the season.

Both of the Cross Country Athletes of the Week came from Friday’s Ash Creek Invitational. Alaska Anchorage’s Felix Kemboi earned the men’s award after he won his second race in a row, covering the 6,200-meter course in 18:42.8. Simon Fraser’s Julia Howley received the women’s award for her individual victory, covering the 4,600-meter course in 16:24.6. Howley led the Clan to a perfect team score of 15 points to win the meet.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 2
FOOTBALL
Offensive:
Ja’Quan Gardner (Humboldt State, RB, 5-7, 205, Sr., Ceres, Calif. – Central Valley): Gardner finished with 200 all-purpose yards to lead Humboldt State in its 30-19 road upset of No. 8 Azusa Pacific on Saturday. He rushed 31 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns, caught two passes for 18 yards and also had one kick return for 14 yards. With the win, the Lumberjacks ended APU’s nine-game GNAC win streak and eight-game home win streak. Also Nominated: Reilly Hennessey (Central Washington), Justin Buren (Simon Fraser), Paul Revis (Western Oregon).

Defensive: Bo Highburger (Western Oregon, LB, 6-1, 220, Jr., Veneta, Ore. – Elmira): Highburger led the Western Oregon defense with 10 tackles and a sack and contributed a 79-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown that sparked a Wolves’ fourth quarter comeback in a 30-23 loss against Central Washington.

Special Teams: Gavin Todd (Central Washington, K, 6-2, 190, Jr., Simi Valley, Calif. – Moorpark JC): Todd went 3 for 3 on field goals, including a long of 31 yards in the first quarter, and also went 3 for 3 on point-after attempts in Central Washington’s 30-23 win over Western Oregon. His two fourth quarter field goals proved critical in building a 30-10 lead for the Wildcats late in the contest. Also Nominated: Gavin Cobb (Simon Fraser).

MEN’S SOCCER
Offensive: Mori Tsuchiya
(Seattle Pacific, M, 5-11, Sr., Seattle, Wash. – Chief Sealth): Tsuchiya scored two goals and had an assist as the Falcons improved to 3-1-0 on the season with two road wins in Colorado. He had both goals in a 2-1 win on Thursday at Metro State, which included the game-winner in the 88th minute. Tsuchiya had an assist on Gabriel Weber’s goal in the 17th minute to open scoring in the Falcons’ 3-2 win on Saturday at Colorado Christian. Also Nominated: Brandon Madsen (Saint Martin’s), Adam Jones (Simon Fraser), Anthony Dean (Western Washington).

Defensive: Magnus Kristensen (Simon Fraser, D, 6-3, Sr., Stavanger, Norway – St. Svithun Videregående Skole): Kristensen anchored a SFU defensive line that allowed just two goals and seven shots on goal as the Clan won both of its matches at the Rimrock Classic in Billings. The Clan allowed four shots on goal in a 2-1 win over Cal State San Bernardino on Friday and just three on goal in a 2-1 win over No. 10 Cal Poly Pomona on Sunday. Also Nominated: Griffin Small (Saint Martin’s), Colton Ronk (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S SOCCER
Offensive: Alyssa Tomasini
(Western Oregon, F, 5-8, Fr., Camas, Wash. – Camas): The freshman netted two goals and an assist to lead the Wolves to a 1-1-0 week in Hawaii. She assisted on WOU’s lone goal in the 3-1 loss at Hawaii Pacific on Thursday and then netted her first two collegiate goals in a 2-0 win over Chaminade on Saturday. It was Western Oregon’s first win of the season. Also Nominated: Whitney Lowe (Central Washington), Quinn Williams (Concordia), Alycia Wright (Montana State Billings), Kylee Sarchett (Saint Martin’s), Emma Pringle (Simon Fraser), Sophie Butterfield (Western Washington).

Defensive: Ashley Homer (Western Washington, GK, 5-9, Sr., Puyallup, Wash. – Coll. of Saint Rose): The senior posted her first shutout of the season and made three saves as the No. 1 ranked Vikings improved to 3-0-0 on the season with a 1-0 victory at Metro State. The shutout lowered Homer’s goals against average to 0.67 on the season. Also Nominated: Ali Koehler (Saint Martin’s), Dana Jacobs (Western Oregon).

VOLLEYBALL
Offensive: Madi Farrell
(Northwest Nazarene, MB, 6-2, Sr., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – Lake City): The senior led Northwest Nazarene to a 4-0 week at the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase and was named to the All-Tournament Team. She led all GNAC players with 4.14 kills per set and a .495 hitting percentage while also averaging 1.29 blocks per set. She finished with 16 kills, an .889 hitting percentage and nine blocks in Thursday’s win over Dominican (Calif.) and had 18 kills and eight blocks in Saturday’s five-set win over Sonoma State. Also Nominated: Gabby Lerma (Alaska), Shelby Mauritson (Central Washington), Britt Beyer (Concordia), Maddi Vigil (Montana State Billings), Nicolette Nesbitt (Saint Martin’s), Gabby Oddo (Seattle Pacific), Alisha Bettinson (Western Oregon), Abby Phelps (Western Washington).

Defensive: Joslyn Bopray (Western Washington, MB, 6-1, So., Spokane, Wash. – Lewis & Clark): Bopray led a solid Western Washington defensive effort with 22 blocks and an average of 1.47 blocks per set as the Vikings went 3-1 in D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase’s Anchorage Pod. She finished with 10 blocks (1 solo, 9 assists) in Thursday’s five-set win over No. 11 Cal State San Bernardino and had seven blocks in Saturday’s four-set win over No. 15 Concordia-Irvine. Also Nominated: Kyla Morgan (Central Washington), Michele Brown (Concordia), Izela Alvarez (Montana State Billings), Courtney Misner (Saint Martin’s).

CROSS COUNTRY
Men: Felix Kemboi
(Alaska Anchorage, Fr., Eldoret, Kenya): Kemboi won the Ash Creek Invitational on Friday at Western Oregon, covering the 6,200-meter course in a time of 18:42.8 (4:51 per mile pace). It was Kemboi’s second win in as many races to open his collegiate career. The individual performance led the Seawolves to a second place finish. Also Nominated: Ron Leaf (Central Washington), Jose Macias (Concordia), Jorey Egeland (Montana State Billings), Rowan Doherty (Simon Fraser), Thomas Normandeau (Western Oregon), Andrew Wise (Western Washington).

Women: Julia Howley (Simon Fraser, Sr., St. John’s, N.L. – Holy Heart of Mary): Howley earned her first collegiate cross country victory at the Ash Creek Invitational, covering the 4,600-meter course in 16:24.6 (5:44 per mile pace). She led a perfect day for the Clan, who won the meet with a total of 15 points. Also Nominated: Zennah Jepchumba (Alaska Anchorage), Alexa Shindruk (Central Washington), Sara Harrington (Concordia), Nikki Aiken (Montana State Billings) Cassie McKinnie (Western Oregon), Lilianna Stelling (Western Washington).