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Women's Soccer Scoring Standouts Lead Weekly Awards
Haylee Gunter (left) scored three goals and a pair of game-winners last week. Madison Grande scored both goals in NNU's 2-1 upset of Western Washington.
Haylee Gunter (left) scored three goals and a pair of game-winners last week. Madison Grande scored both goals in NNU's 2-1 upset of Western Washington.

Monday, November 1, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – A pair of standout women’s soccer offensive performances for Montana State Billings senior forward Haylee Gunter and Northwest Nazarene sophomore midfielder Madison Grande lead this week’s GNAC Player of the Week selections.

Gunter and Grande shared the Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week award. Gunter helped keep the Yellowjackets in the playoff conversation with three goals and a pair of game-winners. Gunter scored Thursday’s game-winner unassisted in the 20th minute to help beat Western Oregon 2-1. She then scored both goals, including the game-winner in the 66th minute, for a 2-1 win over Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

Grande scored both goals, including the game-winner in the 81st minute, in a 2-1 win over No. 18 Western Washington. It was the Nighthawks’ first win over the Vikings since 2003.

Nighthawks junior goalkeeper Alexis Montoya earned the Defensive Player of the Week award for her role in the Western Washington win and Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Simon Fraser. Montoya made seven saves against the Vikings and three against Simon Fraser. It was Montoya’s eighth shutout of the season as she set the NNU record with her 19th career shutout.

Simon Fraser swept the men’s soccer weekly honors thanks to a pair of shutouts that kept SFU tied with Western Washington for first place in the conference standings. Sophomore defender Niko Papakyriakopoulos was named the Offensive Player of the Week after he scored the game-winner off a free kick in the 89th minute in Friday’s 1-0 shutout of Northwest Nazarene.

Senior goalkeeper Aidan Bain snatched the Defensive Player of the Week award for his sixth and seven shutouts of the season. Bain made three saves in the two matches, including Saturday’s 2-0 win over Saint Martin’s, and now owns a scoreless streak of 360 minutes.

Western Washington swept the volleyball awards after winning both road matches in Alaska to take sole possession of first place in the GNAC standings. Junior outside hitter Gabby Gunterman was named the Offensive Player of the Week as she averaged 4.75 kills, four digs and 0.75 blocks per set. She had double-doubles in both matches, finishing with 22 kills and 22 digs in Thursday’s five-set win over Alaska and 16 kills and 10 digs in Saturday’s three-set sweep of Alaska Anchorage.

Sophomore outside hitter Calley Heilborn earned Defensive Player of the Week honors after she averaged 5.25 digs and 4.38 kills per set. She led the Vikings with 22 digs, 26 kills, two aces and three blocks at Alaska before registering 20 digs, nine kills and a block at Alaska Anchorage.

Western Oregon landed two of the three football weekly honors following the Wolves’ 42-3 win over Simon Fraser. Junior running back Omari Land was named the Offensive Player of the Week after he carried 20 times for 133 yards a touchdown, averaging 6.7 yards per rush. Junior defensive back Machiah Lee was named the Defensive Player of the Week for his six tackles, including five solo tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss for 11 yards.

Central Washington junior kicker Patrick Hegarty was named the Special Teams Player of the Week after he tied the GNAC single-game record with 10 point-after attempts made in the Wildcats’ 92-0 rout of Lincoln (Calif.).

A pair of freshmen closed out the fall golf season with strong performances at the Dennis Rose Intercollegiate in Hawaii. Simon Fraser’s Bailey Bjornson was named the Men’s Golf Player of the Week after tying for third with a score of 3-under-par 207. He carded a score of 1-under-par 69 each day.

Northwest Nazarene’s Christine Cho was named the Women’s Golf Player of the Week after finishing eighth with a three-round score of 7-over-par 233. She finished at 1-over-par 73 on the opening day and closed with a 1-under-par 71 on the final day.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 10
FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE
Omari Land
(Western Oregon, RB, 5-11, Jr., Oakland, Calif. – San Leandro): Land carried 20 times for 133 yards and a touchdown in Western Oregon’s 42-3 victory over Simon Fraser. He averaged 6.7 per rushing attempt to lead a 286-yard rushing afternoon for the Wolves. Also Nominated: Davine Tullis (Central Washington).

 FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE
Machiah Lee
(Western Oregon, DB, 5-11, Jr., Spanaway, Wash. – Bethel): Lee led the Western Oregon defense with six tackles, including five solo tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss for 11 yards in Western Oregon’s 42-3 win over Simon Fraser. Also Nominated: Griffin Barrett (Simon Fraser).

FOOTBALL SPECIAL TEAMS
Patrick Hegarty
(Central Washington, P/K, 6-4, Jr., Ferndale, Wash. – Simon Fraser Univ.): Hegarty tied the GNAC single-game record with 10 extra-points made in Central Washington’s 92-0 rout of Lincoln (Calif.). He tied a record held by three other players, most recently Western Oregon’s Adrian Saltana against Simon Fraser on October 7, 2017. Hegarty is now 40 for 40 on point-after attempts this season. Also Nominated: Robert Meadors (Simon Fraser), Joey Sinclair (Western Oregon).

MEN’S SOCCER OFFENSIVE
Niko Papakyriakopoulos
(Simon Fraser, D, 5-11, So., New Westminster, B.C. – Western Michigan Univ.): Papakyriakopoulos played In all 180 minutes for Simon Fraser and provided for the game-winning goal in the 89th minute on a free kick in Friday’s 1-0 shutout of Northwest Nazarene. It was his second goal of the season. Also Nominated: Mathias Kjolner (Montana State Billings), Jason Fairhurst (Saint Martin’s), Drew Farnsworth (Western Washington).

MEN’S SOCCER DEFENSIVE
Aidan Bain
(Simon Fraser, GK, 6-3, Sr., Port Coquitlam, B.C. – Terry Fox): Bain finished with three saves as he notched his sixth and seventh shutouts of the season, scoring a 1-0 win over Northwest Nazarene on Friday and a 2-0 win over Saint Martin’s on Saturday. Bain now has a scoreless streak of 360 minutes. Also Nominated: Luca Battistotti (Montana State Billings), Jose Marquez (Saint Martin’s), Brandon Locke (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S SOCCER OFFENSIVE
Haylee Gunter
(Montana State Billings, M, 5-8, Sr., Buckley, Wash. – White River): Gunter scored three goals, including both game-winners in a pair of key victories that kept Montana State Billings in the playoff conversation. Gunter scored Thursday’s game-winner unassisted in the 20th minute for a 2-1 win over Western Oregon. She then tallied both of MSUB’s goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Saint Martin’s, including the game-winner in the 66th minute.

Madison Grande (Northwest Nazarene, M, 5-5, So., Gig Harbor, Wash. – Concordia Univ. (Ore.)): Grande scored both goals, including the game-winner in the 81st minute, to lead the Nighthawks to a 2-1 win over No. 18 Western Washington. It was NNU’s first win over Western Washington since 2003. Also Nominated: Sophia Keenan (Central Washington), Payton Aselton (Saint Martin’s), Alyssa Talkington (Western Oregon), Jenna Killman (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S SOCCER DEFENSIVE
Alexis Montoya
(Northwest Nazarene, GK, 5-6, Jr., West Jordan Utah – Northern State Univ.): Montoya allowed one goal in 200 minutes of action. She made seven saves in NNU’s 2-1 win over No. 18 Western Washington. She then set the Nighthawks’ record with her 19th career shutout as she made three saves in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Simon Fraser. It was Montoya’s eighth shutout of the season. Also Nominated: Taylor Gertsch (Montana State Billings), Jordyn Jolley (Saint Martin’s), Kelsey Fisher (Simon Fraser), Olivia Holdenried (Western Oregon).

VOLLEYBALL OFFENSIVE
Gabby Gunterman
(Western Washington, OH, 5-10, Jr., Lake Stevens, Wash. – Lake Stevens): Gunterman averaged 4.75 kills, four digs and 0.75 blocks per set at Western Washington won both matches in Alaska. Gunterman finished with a double-double of 22 kills and 22 digs with three blocks in the Vikings’ five-set win at Alaska on Thursday. She led the Vikings with 16 kills, 10 digs and three blocks in Saturday’s three-set sweep at Alaska Anchorage. Also Nominated: Lahra Weber (Alaska), Bayli Monck (Montana State Billings), Tia Allen (Saint Martin’s), Brooke Dexter (Simon Fraser), Isabel Hurliman (Western Oregon).

VOLLEYBALL DEFENSIVE
Calley Heilborn
(Western Washington, OH, 6-1, So., Auburn, Wash. – Auburn Riverside): Heilborn provided 5.25 digs and 4.38 kills per set in Western Washington road wins in Alaska. She led the Vikings with a double-double of 22 digs, 26 kills, two aces and three blocks in Thursday’s five-set win at Alaska. She then came up with 20 digs, nine kills and a block in Saturday’s three-set sweep at Alaska Anchorage. Also Nominated: Sophie Schilling (Alaska), Christine Funk (Montana State Billings), Jennifer Soha (Saint Martin’s), Bianca Te (Simon Fraser), Sophie Matlock (Western Oregon).

MEN’S GOLF
Bailey Bjornson
(Simon Fraser, Fr., Surrey, B.C. – Pacific Academy): Bjornson led all GNAC golfers at the Dennis Rose Intercollegiate, tying for third place with a score of 3-under-par 207. He carded 1-under-par 69 in each of his three rounds to lead SFU to a fourth-place team finish. Also Nominated: Tyler Fitchett (Saint Martin’s).

WOMEN’S GOLF
Christine Cho
(Northwest Nazarene, Fr., Eagle, Idaho – Idaho Virtual Academy): Cho was the top GNAC golfer at the Dennis Rose Intercollegiate, placing eighth with a three-round score of 7-over-par 223. She finished at 1-over-par 73 in the opening round and carded a 1-under-par 71 on the final round. Cho led Northwest Nazarene to a 10th-place team finish. Also Nominated: Hoku Nagamine (Saint Martin’s), Estee Leung (Simon Fraser).

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