WWU’s Connell Talks Vikings, Semifinals On GNAC Insider
Travis Connell leads Western Washington to the NCAA Division II Semifinals for the fourth time in seven years.
Travis Connell leads Western Washington to the NCAA Division II Semifinals for the fourth time in seven years.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – As the holiday season continues, GNAC Insider returned Tuesday at 7 p.m. (PT) for the final show of 2019. Among the episode’s guests were two coaches with recent success and a transfer basketball player on the rise in Fairbanks.

Wrapping up his 17th season as head coach of the Western Washington women’s soccer program, Travis Connell joined the show. The Vikings cruised through conference play with a perfect 12-0-0 record and won the GNAC Championships to claim the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championship.

The Vikings won a trio of exciting 1-0 matches to claim the West Regional title then topped Dixie State, 3-0, in the quarterfinals to advance to the NCAA Division II Semifinals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Vikings tabbed the No. 3 seed in the semifinals and will face Flagler on Thursday. If the Vikings win, they will advance to play the winner of fourth-seeded Saint Rose and top-seeded Grand Valley State in the national championship match.

In his fourth season as head coach of the Simon Fraser men’s basketball program, Steve Hanson joined the show. Hanson has been pivotal in building a strong foundation for the Clan, leading the team to a 15-14 overall record in 2018-19, its first winning season as a member of the NCAA. Last year, the Clan also clinched a spot in the GNAC Championships for the first time in program history, winning seven of its last 10 games to claim the No. 6 seed in the tournament.

Simon Fraser was picked to finish third in the 2019-20 GNAC Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll. The Clan holds a 7-1 overall record and opened conference play last week with two wins at home over preseason favorite Western Washington and Montana State Billings.

The GNAC’s top scorer in women’s basketball so far in 2019-20, Alaska’s Jocelyn Gandara also joined the show. Gandara transferred to Alaska from Lassen Community College and has made an immediate impact as she leads the conference with 19.2 points per game and ranks fifth with a .459 three-point field goal percentage.

Gandara is the reigning GNAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. She averaged 30.5 points per game as the Nanooks opened conference play at home against Western Oregon and Concordia. Gandara scored 27 points to go with six rebounds and three assists against the Wolves then followed with 34 points, eight rebounds and two steals against the Cavaliers.

You can listen live to GNAC Insider at this link or hear every episode at your convenience wherever you get your podcasts.

GNAC Insider is available free at Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify and Stitcher.

Copyright ©2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved.