GNAC Teams Host 3 Tournaments In Opening Weekend
Northwest Nazarene players celebrate during exhibition win Saturday.
Northwest Nazarene players celebrate during exhibition win Saturday.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Eight GNAC teams will compete in six tournaments this weekend as the 2013 volleyball season begins in earnest.  Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks and Western Oregon will all host events. 

UAA will entertain American International, Claflin, Augustana, Texas A&M Kingsville and Notre Dame de Namur in the six-team UAA Spring Hills Suite Classic at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.  The Seawolves take on American International in the tournament’s opening contest

Meanwhile, Alaska Fairbanks will be joined by 12th ranked Fresno Pacific, Colorado Christian and Humboldt State in the Alaska Nanook Classic beginning Friday at the Patty Center.

17th ranked Western Washington will join host Western Oregon, Cal State East Bay, Metro State, Minnesota State Mankato and Holy Name in the Western Oregon Invitational in  Monmouth.

In other tournaments, 24th ranked Central Washington and Seattle Pacific travel to San Bernardino for the CSUSB Coyote Classic.  The tournament will feature three nationally-ranked teams - the Coyotes (14th), UC San Diego (22nd) and the Wildcats (24th). 

Saint Martin’s. meanwhile, will make its debut at the Cal State Monterey Bay Classic against Academy of Art, Dominican and Cal Baptist and Montana State Billings will debut against Cal State Stanislaus, Azusa Pacific and Cal State Dominguez in the Point Loma Nazarene Seaside Invitational

Northwest Nazarene opens its season at St. George, Utah, with a pair of road matches against Dixie State.  Simon Fraser hosts its Alumni before beginning its official season Sept. 13-14 in the BC Challenge in Burnaby.

SEAWOLVES, NANOOKS GET EARLY START IN HAWAII:  Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks opened their seasons in Hawaii this past weekend.   The Seawolves won one of three matches as Julia Mackey led UAA with 30 kills.  Katelynn Zanders had 29 kills.  Erin Braun had nine blocks and Quinn Barker had 48 digs. The Nanooks were swept in four matches.  Sam Harthun had 48 kills, 38.7 percent of UAF’s team total.  Morgan McGrath had 10 blocks. Northwest Nazarene beat College of Idaho 3-2 in an exhibition match  as Taylor Van Valey led the Crusaders with 14 kills.  Andrea Terpstra had a team-high seven blocks.

COACHING DEBUTS:  Mallory Larranaga of Alaska Fairbanks, who is one of four new coaches in the GNAC,  made her coaching debut in the Nanooks’ four-match road trip to Hawaii, while Doug English made his debut in Northwest Nazarene’s exhibition win against College of Idaho.  Kara Peterson of Saint Martin’s will make her debut this weekend as the Saints open their season at the Cal State Monterey Bay Classic.  Gina Schmidt of Simon Fraser won’t make her debut until Sept. 13 in the BC Challenge at Burnaby.