Stephens Unanimous Pick, Leads Volleyball All-Conference
Eve Stephens was the unanimous selection for Player of the Year and is just the fourth four-time First Team All-GNAC selection in conference history.
Eve Stephens was the unanimous selection for Player of the Year and is just the fourth four-time First Team All-GNAC selection in conference history.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – There have been few players in the history of GNAC volleyball that has been as dominant as Alaska Anchorage senior opposite Eve Stephens.

Conference coaches recognized that fact, unanimously voting to select Stephens as the conference Player of the Year to lead the 2022 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball All-Conference Team.

Just the fourth four-time first-team honoree in conference history, Stephens enters the NCAA West Regional leading the conference with 4.79 kills and 5.83 points per set. She ranks second in the conference with 0.53 aces per set and is fourth with a .359 hitting percentage. Among Division II players, Stephens ranks second in points per set, third in kills per set, 30th in aces per set and 31st with 10.68 attacks per set.

A seven-time GNAC Player of the Week in 2022 (six offensive awards, one defensive award), Stephens was also named the AVCA Division II Player of the Week twice. In the course of the season, Stephens set the GNAC all-time record with 1,906 kills and 2,268 points and counting.

Alaska Anchorage’s Chris Green was named the conference Coach of the Year for the sixth time and for the first time since 2019. Green led the Seawolves to their first GNAC championship since 2016 and enters the NCAA West Regional with a 27-2 overall record and 17-1 GNAC mark. Alaska Anchorage earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region and is ranked No. 4 in the latest AVCA Division II Coaches Poll.

Green’s team leads the conference with 2.39 aces per set, a .274 hitting percentage and a .143 opponent hitting percentage. The Seawolves rank in the Division II top 10 in win/loss percentage, aces per set and hitting percentage and also rank among the top 50 in blocks per set and opponent hitting percentage.

The Defensive Player of the Year award also heads north with Alaska senior libero Jessa Long earning the honor. The transfer from Florida A&M University led the conference and is 57th in Division II with 4.72 digs per set. She also ranks 32nd in the division with 543 total digs.

Simon Fraser setter Eva Person was named the Freshman of the Year. Person ranked fifth in the GNAC with 5.98 assists per set in 26 matches, including 13 starts. She finished with 20 or more assists in 16 matches and 30 or more in 10 matches.

Northwest Nazarene senior outside hitter Olivia Wright was the selection for Newcomer of the Year. The transfer from nearby Boise State finished second in the conference with 4.04 points per set and third with 3.42 kills per set. Wright had double-digit kills in all but five of her 25 matches, led by a 32-kill performance against Texas A&M-International on Aug. 26.

The three GNAC teams that qualified for this week’s NCAA West Regional take nine of the 14 first-team selections. Joining Stephens for Alaska Anchorage is senior setter Ellen Floyd, a three-time first-team selection. Western Washington landed three players in junior outside hitter Calley Heilborn, also a three-time first-team selection, senior setter Malia Aleaga and senior middle blocker Chloe Roetcisoender. Central Washington also placed three on the first team in junior setter/outside hitter Tia Andaya, sophomore middle blocker Emma Daoud-Hebert and junior outside hitter Ashley Kaufman.

Wright was joined on the first team by senior outside hitter Natalie Sullivan for Northwest Nazarene. Rounding out the first team is Long, Seattle Pacific junior middle blocker Hannah Hair, Simon Fraser sophomore opposite Brooke Dexter and Western Oregon sophomore opposite Bailee Hartsook.

Floyd enters the regional ranked third in the conference with 10.06 assists per set and ranks fifth with 0.45 aces per set. Floyd is the conference’s all-time leader in aces with 212 and counting.

Heilborn enters the West Regional ranked fifth in the GNAC with 3.18 kills per set and 10th with 3.36 digs per set. Aleaga, ranks second in the conference and 36th in Division II with 10.27 assists per set. Roetcisoender leads the conference and is 19th in Division II with her .383 hitting percentage and sits third among Division II players with 1.32 blocks per set while also averaging 2.59 kills per set.

Andaya finished the regular season averaging 2.59 kills, 5.44 assists, 1.73 digs and 0.73 blocks per set and ranked ninth in the conference in assists per set. Andaya has three triple-doubles on the season and is the conference’s all-time leader with 11 in her two-year career. Daoud-Hebert enters the regional as the Division II leader with 1.55 blocks per set and 155 total blocks while also averaging 2.59 kills per set. Kaufman finished the regular season ranked sixth in the GNAC with 3.04 kills and 3.55 points per set.

Sullivan finished second to Stephens in the GNAC statistics with 3.49 kills per set and was third with four points per set. Hair ended the season ranked seventh in the conference with 1.06 blocks per set while ranking seventh with a .345 hitting percentage for the Falcons.

Dexter paced the Simon Fraser offense, ranking seventh in the GNAC with 2.85 kills and 3.41 points per set. Hartsook is Western Oregon’s first first-team selection since 2013, ending the season averaging 2.48 kills per set.

Player of the Year:
Eve Stephens, Alaska Anchorage
Coach of the Year: Chris Green, Alaska Anchorage
Defensive Player of the Year: Jessa Long, Alaska
Freshman of the Year: Eva Person, Simon Fraser
Newcomer of the Year: Olivia Wright, Northwest Nazarene

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+#^ Eve Stephens Alaska Anchorage OPP 6-1 Sr. Palmer, Alaska (Colony)
*+# Calley Heilborn Western Washington OH 6-1 Jr. Auburn, Wash. (Auburn Riverside)
*+ Tia Andaya Central Washington S/OH 5-9 Jr. Ellensburg, Wash. (Ellensburg)
*+# Ellen Floyd Alaska Anchorage S 5-10 Sr. Pensacola, Fla. (Pensacola Catholic)
@$ Malia Aleaga Western Washington S 5-7 Jr. Burien, Wash. (Kennedy Catholic)
Emma Daoud-Hebert Central Washington MB 6-0 So. Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville)
* Olivia Wright Northwest Nazarene MB 6-1 Sr. Nampa, Idaho (Boise State Univ.)
$ Chloe Roetcisoender Western Washington MB 6-0 Sr. Duvall, Wash. (Cedar Park Christian)
*+ Natalie Sullivan Northwest Nazarene OH 6-0 Sr. Boise, Idaho (Bishop Kelly)
* Jessa Long Alaska L 5-4 Sr. Dixon, Ill. (Florida A&M Univ.)
*+ Hannah Hair Seattle Pacific MB 6-1 Jr. Walla Walla, Wash. (Walla Walla)
*+ Brooke Dexter Simon Fraser OPP 6-2 So. Anchorage, Alaska (West Anchorage)
+ Ashley Kaufman Central Washington OH 5-8 Jr. Hayden, Idaho (Lake City)
Bailee Hartsook Western Oregon OPP 5-9 So. Sweet Home, Ore. (Sweet Home)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Lisa Jaunet Alaska Anchorage OH 5-10 Sr. Saint-Denis, France
(State Coll. of Florida)
Talia Leauanae Alaska Anchorage L 5-8 Sr. Wailuku, Hawaii (Kamehameha Maui)
Hannah Stires Central Washington L 5-5 So. Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside)
Kylie Thorne Central Washington OH 5-11 So. Pasco, Wash. (Chiawana)
Caty Havekost Montana State Billings OH 6-2 Fr. Arvada, Colo. (Faith Christian)
Paiten Langston Montana State Billings MB 6-1 Jr. West Jordan, Utah (Yavapai CC)
Mckenzie Lee Northwest Nazarene S 6-1 Sr. Eagle, Idaho (Eagle)
Tia Allen Saint Martin’s OH 5-11 So. Clayton, Wash. (Mt. Spokane)
Allison Wilks Seattle Pacific MB 6-1 Jr. Bothell, Wash. (North Creek)
Jocelyn Sherman Simon Fraser OH 5-10 So. Victoria, B.C. (Belmont)
Delaney Smith Western Oregon MB 6-2 Sr. Salem, Ore. (Chemeketa CC)
+ - First Team Selection In 2021
@ - Honorable Mention In 2021    
# - First Team Selection In 2019
$ - Honorable Mention In 2019    
^ - First Team Selection In 2018
& - Honorable Mention In 2018