2014 Tourney Champion WWU Voted to Win GNAC Crown
Western Washington's Katie Colard led the Vikings in scoring on their way to the GNAC tournament title last season.
Western Washington's Katie Colard led the Vikings in scoring on their way to the GNAC tournament title last season.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Great Northwest Coaches Poll 2013-14 Records Pts 
 1. Western Washington (9) 19-10, 13-5, 2nd 81
 2. Alaska Anchorage (1) 19-9, 12-6, t-3rd 70
 3. Simon Fraser 20-10, 12-6, t-3rd 63
 4. Seattle Pacific 18-9, 11-7, t-5th 56
 5. Montana State Billings 25-8, 15-3, 1st 53
 6. Saint Martin's 18-11, 11-7, t-5th 45
 7. Northwest Nazarene 15-11, 8-10, 7th 27
 8. Alaska Fairbanks 9-17, 3-15, t-8th 23
 9. Western Oregon 6-20, 3-15, t-8th 21
10. Central Washington 7-19, 2-16, 10th 15
(Note: First-place votes in parentheses. Points awarded on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Western Washington women’s basketball team has been selected to win the conference in the GNAC preseason coaches poll.

The Vikings received the maximum of nine first-place votes in the poll.

The 2013-14 GNAC tournament champions return 10 letter winners and four starters on a team that went 19-10 in the regular season and 13-5 in conference play.

Two all-conference players from last year headline the Vikings returnees, including first-team conference selection Katie Colard who averaged 14.7 points per game in 2013-14.

The Vikings moved up two spots from last year’s poll where they received three first-place votes, but placed behind Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific respectively.

Second in the poll is Alaska Anchorage, which received the only other first-place vote in the poll.

UAA coach Ryan McCarthy’s team tied for third last season and reached the NCAA tournament where they lost to eventual final four participant Cal Poly Pomona.

The Seawolves have four starters and nine letter winners returning from an offense that led the GNAC with 78.6 points scored each game and a defense the led the nation in assists per game.

The coaches had mixed feelings on teams 3-5 as they were separated by only 10 points.

Last year’s tournament runner-up Simon Fraser got the nod for the third spot with 63 points.

SFU, which tied Alaska Anchorage for third place in the GNAC last season, returns five letter winners, including the conference’s leading scorer in Erin Chambers.

Seven points behind the Clan was Seattle Pacific. Coach Julie Heisey returns one of the most experienced teams in the conference with 10 players and four starters suiting up on a squad that went 18-9 last season.

Montana State Billings, last year’s regular season and preseason poll champion, dropped all the way to fifth place in this year’s poll.

MSUB made it farther than any other GNAC team in the NCAA tournament last year, reaching the West Region championship game and completing a 25-8 regular season.

Saint Martin’s, which tied for fifth with Seattle Pacific in the 2013-14 season, was voted to finish in sixth place. The Saint’s return one of the conference’s top defensive groups, allowing 62.9 points per game last season.

The seventh place team voted in the poll was also the last GNAC team to finish the 2013-14 season above the .500 mark. Northwest Nazarene ranked fourth in the nation in free-throw percentage last year and return two starters on a team that went 15-11.

Alaska and Western Oregon were only separated by two points in the coaches poll. These teams tied for eighth in the GNAC last season, but enter this year another year wiser and more experienced and will try and make some noise in the conference.

Central Washington was voted 10th in the poll. The Wildcats are in a period of transition as new coach Jeff Harada takes over a team that won only two conference games last season.

Western Washington will be the first GNAC team to take the hardwood when it hosts Fraser Valley in an exhibition on October 26. 




Preseason Rank: 1
Head Coach:  Carmen Dolfo, Western Washington ’86 (494-183, 23 years)
Assistants:  Stacy Turrell
Grad Assistant:  Corinn Waltrip
Student Assistant: Britt Harris
Volunteer Assistant: John Garrison
2013-14 Record:  19-10
Conference: 13-5, 2nd
Returning Letter Winners: 10
Returning Starters (4):                    PPG  RPG   APG  BLK
*Katie Colard – G, 5-9, Sr.                 14.7    3.2    2.3    11
Taylor Peacocke – G, 5-9, So.           11.0    3.6    1.5    4
+Jenni White – G, 5-5, Sr.                 10.4    2.0    4.6    11
Sydney Donaldson – F, 6-0, Sr.         9.3     6.5    1.9    44
Other Returnees:
Tia Briggs – F, 6-1, So.                     9.7      3.6    0.9    13
Marcel Pounds – G, 5-8, Sr.              4.1      2.5    1.1    1
Kiana Gandy – F, 5-10, So.               3.9      2.3    0.7    3
Rachel Albert – F, 5-10, So.              1.8      2.0    0.6    6
Aleisha Hathaway – G, 5-9, So.        1.5      1.0    0.5    0
Kayla Bernsen – C, 6-3, Jr.                  ACL Tear in 2013
Jasmine McCleave – F, 5-10, r-Fr.         R e d  S h i r t
*2013-14 1st-team GNAC
+2013-14 GNAC HM
Transfers/Freshman: Maia Barnett (G, 5-7, Fr., Los Angeles, CA – The Archer School); Alyssa Evans (F, 5-11, Fr., Mt. Vernon, WA – Mt. Vernon HS)

2013-14 SEASON

Western Washington continued its tradition of excellence last season, posting a 13-5 conference record on its way to the GNAC tournament title and the first round of the NCAA West Regional.

The Vikings finished the season with a 19-10 overall record and beat Simon Fraser in the GNAC championship 78-74 before losing to the Clan in the NCAA tournament in California.

In the middle of conference play the Vikings found their groove and won 11 of 13 games, beating GNAC opponents by an average of 13.6 points per game.

The Vikings were the second highest scoring team in the conference at 75.5 points per game. Shooting was their specialty as the team also had the highest field goal percentage and three-point percentage in the conference.

Defensively, Western Washington led the GNAC in blocked shots with 5.4 a game while also tying for the conference lead in rebounds with 26.5 per contest.


Western Washington returns two players that were on all-GNAC teams last season.

Katie Colard has led the Vikings in scoring the past two seasons. Colard doubled her scoring from her sophomore year at 7.6 points to her junior year at 15.2 points per game. She was also the conference leader in three-pointers made with 53, 2.9 per matchup.

Jenni White was second in the conference in assists with 85 for the season, an outstanding 4.7 per game. The guard was also six in steals where she averaged two per game.

The Vikings return two more starters to their 2014-15 squad. Sydney Donaldson and Taylor Peacocke combined for 21.9 points per game in 2013-14.

Donaldson was the Vikings force in the middle as she was the second leading rebounder on the team, next to graduated senior Sarah Hill, averaging 7.2 boards per contest and blocked 30 shots. Peacocke is still a young and improving guard who was finished in the top 20 in the conference in scoring, field goal percentage and free throw percentage in 2013-14.

Also returning is Kayla Bernsen who missed the 2013-14 season with a torn ACL. The 6-3 junior played in all 33 games in her sophomore season, averaging 5.2 points per game and was second on that team with 37 blocks.


Coach Carmen Dolfo has one of the most experienced groups returning in the conference as she has 10 letter winners and four starters on a team looking to regain the status of GNAC regular season champions. Five players averaging at least nine points a game are back as well.

The team is led by five upperclassmen, including four seniors, but the talented youth behind them will only gain valuable playing time and experience as the season progresses.

Nine coaches chose Western Washington to win the GNAC this year, and barring any injuries, the Vikings should prove to be one of the better teams, if not the best team, in the conference this season. 



Preseason Rank: 2
Head Coach:  Ryan McCarthy, Northwest Nazarene ‘06 (36-19, 2 years)
Assistants:  Alex Carlson, Shaina Afoa
2013-14 Record:  19-9
Conference: 12-6, T-3rd
Returning Letter Winners:   9
Returning Starters (4):                  PPG  RPG  APG    BLK
Alli Madison – G, 5-8, Sr.                 12.4    4.0    2.5      1
Jessica Madison – G, 5-8, Jr.          10.9    2.8    1.9      5
*Kiki Robertson – G, 5-7, So.          10.3    4.1    5.0      0
KeKe Wright – F, 6-0, Sr.                7.4      5.8    0.4      18
Other Returnees:
Jenna Buchanan – G, 5-8, Jr.            9.4    3.6    1.7      2
(RS) Emily Craft– C, 6-2, Sr.             7.2    4.5    0.1      29
(RS) Christina Davis– G, 5-6, Sr.      4.4    2.0    2.9      1
Alysha Devine – F, 6-0, So.               3.9    3.2    0.7      5
(RS) Alyssa Hutchins– G, 5-7, Jr.     3.0    0.7    0.4       0
*2013-14 2nd-team GNAC
Transfers/Freshman:  Sierra Afoa (F, 5-9, Fr., Anchorage, AK – Dimond HS); Leah Bonner (F, 6-0, Fr., Nampa, ID – Skyview HS); Adriana Dent (G, 5-9, Jr., Canyon Country CA – College of Southern Idaho); Megan Mullings (F, 6-1, Jr., Glendale, AZ – South Mountain CC); Jerica Nelson (G, 5-4, Fr., Kodiak, AK – Kodiak HS); Tara Thompson (G, 5-7, Fr., Anchorage, AK – Dimond HS); Hannah Wandersee (RS - F/C, 6-1, Fr., Kodiak, AK – Kodiak HS).

2013-14 SEASON

In coach Ryan McCarthy’s second full season at the helm, the Seawolves flourished by winning 19 games and finished tied for third in the conference.

The Seawolves finished the regular season winning seven of their last nine games before being knocked out in the first round of the GNAC tournament by Saint Martin’s.

Alaska Anchorage did make the NCAA tournament, but fell to eventual final four participant Cal Poly Pomona 60-56 in the first round.

UAA ranked 11th in the nation in scoring offense last year, averaging 78.6 points while also leading the conference in assists with 17.1 per game. The Seawolves also were the best offensive rebounding in the GNAC in 2013-14 with 15.4 boards each contest.

On the defensive side of the ball the Seawolves were turnover machines, taking away a conference leading 13.2 balls a game also leading the nation in that category.


Alaska Anchorage is returning an experienced team which includes four starters and second-team GNAC guard Kiki Robertson.

Robertson ranked fifth in the conference in assists as a freshman last year and was second in steals at 2.5 per game.

Also returning is senior guard Alli Madison and forward KeKe Wright. Madison was the Seawolves leading scorer last season at 12.4 points per game and Wright was second on the team in rebounds.

Junior Jessica Madison is the last returning starter and the Seawolves top long-range threat. Madison ranked in the top 20 in the conference in scoring and assists and ranked in the top six in 3-pointers made with nearly two each contest.

Alaska Anchorage returns two players off the bench as three others with experience will redshirt this season, including seniors Emily Craft and Christina Davis.


UAA welcomes a strong freshman class and a few transfers that look to contribute right away to a team looking to break the 20-win mark in coach McCarthy’s third season at the helm.

The Seawolves hope to benefit from another tough nonconference slate, playing against three Division I schools. Two of these games will be at home however during the Great Alaskan Shootout. UAA will also host the Seawolf Hoops Classic right before the start of conference play.

Helping the Seawolves this year is the construction of their new home, the Alaska Airlines Center, where the team should rank near the top in the league again in attendance.

UAA will tip-off its season November 5 with an exhibition against Division I Utah.



Preseason Rank: 3
Head Coach:  Bruce Langford, Simon Fraser ‘79 (325-80, 13 years)
Assistant:  Emily Wright
Grad Assistant: Kristina Collins
2013-14 Record:  20-10 
Conference: 12-6, t-3rd
Returning Letter Winners: 5
Returning Starters (2):                   PPG  RPG  APG    BLK
*Erin Chambers – G/F, 6-1, Sr.         23.1    4.2    2.3    14
+Katie Lowen – G, 5-6, Sr.               11.3    3.3    2.2    12
Other Returnees:
Meg Wilson – F, 6-1, Jr.                    7.2      7.6    1.4    29
Ellen Kett – G, 5-7, So.                     2.3      1.8    2.8    4
Ariana Sider – G, 5-7, r-So.               0.9      1.0    0.4    0
Fiona Beales – G, 5-9, r-Fr.                   R e d  S h i r t
Elisa Homer – G, 5-10, r-Fr.                  R e d  S h i r t
Jaeda StanhopeF, 6-0, r-Fr.                  R e d  S h i r t
*2013-14 1st-team GNAC
+2013-14 GNAC HM
Transfers/Freshman: Samantha Beauchamp (F, 6-3, Fr., Surrey, BC – Holy Cross); Rachel Fradgley (F, 6-2, Fr., London, ON – St. Thomas Aquinas); Perrine Fuchs (G, 5-10, Fr., Wissembourg, France – Lycee Stanislas de Wissembourg);  Vanessa Gee (G, 5-7, Fr., Coquitlam, BC – Riverside); Alisha Roberts (G, 5-7, Jr., Burnaby, BC – Pepperdine).

2013-14 SEASON

For the second consecutive year the Clan made the GNAC championship game. Once again the team played against boarder-rival Western Washington and fell short by the score of 78-74.

Simon Fraser claimed its revenge the week after in the first round of the NCAA tournament however, as the Clan beat WWU 77-70 to advance to the West Region semi-final. The team lost to the regular season GNAC champions Montana State Billings in the semi-final 76-68.

The Clan finished the season 20-10 with a 12-6 conference record to finish third in the GNAC.

Simon Fraser was a catch and shoot team in 2013-14, making .414 percent of its shots, 110 behind the arch, while ranking second in the conference in assists with 15.2 per game.

Although SFU’s rebounding struggled last year, the team did block 4.8 shots per game, making it tough on opponents to score especially inside the paint.


The 2013-14 season was one to remember for senior guard Erin Chambers. She led the conference in scoring at 22. 9 points per game, which ranked sixth in Division II women’s basketball, on her way to a unanimous selection on the first-team GNAC squad.

Chambers set five conference single-season records including the most points scored with 692. She also ranked in the top 20 in the GNAC in field goal percentage assists, free throw percentage and three-pointers made.

The Clans other returning starter is senior guard Katie Lowen. The 2013-14 honorable mention GNAC selection averaged 10.1 points per game while leading the Clan from the three-point line with 2.1 made each contest.

Another key force that came off the bench last season was Meg Wilson. Wilson put up just under eight points a game while being the Clan’s leading rebounder and second shot blocker. Wilson also led the conference with a .659 field goal percentage.

A couple of SFU teammates have earned national playing experience recently as well. Wilson was named to Canada’s Senior B Women's National Team while incoming freshman Rachel Fradgley earned a spot on Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team this summer.


Simon Fraser is coming off their second 20-win season in a row and return first-team GNAC player Erin Chambers to a young team.

Coach Langford lost four seniors from last year’s team, but has brought in four freshmen, along with returning three redshirt freshmen, for one of the youngest teams in the conference.

There might be growing pains this season for the Clan, but the leadership the team brings back with Chambers, Lowen and Wilson will keep them among the elite in the conference.

SFU begins play November 14 when it hosts Notre Dame de Namur.



Preseason Rank: 4
Head Coach:  Julie Heisey, Northwest Nazarene '89 (195-64, 9 years; Overall, 357-183, 18 years)
Assistants: Steve Steele, Randi Richardson, Sasha Anderson
2013-14 Record:  18-9
Conference: 11-7, t-5th
Returning Letter Winners: 10
Returning Starters (4):                       PPG  RPG  APG  BLK
*Suzanna Ohlsen – G, 5-7, Sr.             14.3    3.4    3.7    4
Betsy Kingma – G, 5-11, Sr.                 9.6     2.8    2.0    17
Maddey Pflaumer – F, 5-11, Jr.            5.0     5.7    1.0    22
Hannah Rodrigues – F/G, 5-10, So      5.0     4.2    1.9    10
Other Returnees:
Aubree Callen – G, 5-9, r-Sr.               14.7     3.7    3.3    0
Brianne Lasconia – G, 5-9, Jr.              6.6      3.0    2.1    6
Stacey Lukasiewicz – G, 5-9, So.         2.5      1.3    0.9    4
Molly Grager – C, 6-2, Jr.                     1.6      2.6    0.4    19
Rachel Shim – G, 5-7, So.                    1.5      0.6    0.5    0
Caitlin Heinly – G, 5-7, So.                   1.0      0.4    0.1    0
Julia Haining – C, 6-2, r-Fr.                       R e d  S h i r t        
*2013-14 2nd-team GNAC
Transfers/Freshman:  Courtney Hollander (G, 6-0, Fr., Lynden, WA - Lynden Christian); Lindsay Lee (G, 5-8, Fr., Spokane, WA – Lewis & Clark HS); Jordan McPhee (G, 5-10, Fr., Des Moines, WA – Mt. Rainier HS); Erica Pagano (F, 6-0, Fr., Clackamas, OR – Clackamas HS).

2013-14 SEASON

Seattle Pacific all but swept their preseason games last year on its way to a 9-2 start. A three-game losing streak at the start of conference play only motivated the Falcons to win their next five, including handing eventual regular-season champion Montana State Billings one of its three conference losses.

After the win streak, SPU finished the season 5-4 and lost to Simon Fraser 79-87 in the first round of the GNAC tournament.

Overall the Falcons went 18-9 and finished tied for fifth in the conference at 11-7.

The 2013-14 Falcons were built around defense and rebounding. While only scoring 68.6 points per game, SPU held its opponents to 66.1 points while posting a +2.2 rebounding margin.

The team was second in the conference in field goal percentage while holding the third best field goal percentage defensively.


Seattle Pacific graduated three seniors last year, including first-team GNAC forward and leading scorer Katie Benson. However, SPU does retain 10 letter winners from a year ago, a group that includes four starters.

Second-team GNAC selection Suzanna Ohlsen is back to contribute her 14.3 points and 3.7 assists per game. Ohlsen, the Falcons second leading and ninth GNAC scorer, was the top free throw shooter in the conference making .933 percent of her shots.

Senior Betsy Kingma averaged 10.5 points last year while being the long-ball threat for the Falcons. Kingma ranked third in the conference in three-pointers made with 44 while also having the best assist to turnover ratio in the GNAC.

Maddey Pflaumer and Hannah Rodrigues each contributed five points a game while being two of the team’s top rebounders and shot blockers.

Probable starter Aubree Callen is also returning from a serious knee injury that required a medical redshirt in 2013-14. Before she went down, Callen started three games for the Falcons averaging 14.7 points per game while grabbing 3.7 rebounds and dishing out 3.3 assists.

Playing supporting roles last season was Brianne Lasconia and Molly Grager who brought down a combined 138 rebounds.


Since taking over as head coach nine years ago, Julie Heisey hasn’t won less than 17 games each season.

Heisey recruited some height this season, having three freshmen on the roster that are at least 6-0. The team will also gain valuable experience having five freshmen and four sophomores on the team.

With four plus starters returning and many key contributors back, this team could make a run for the top of the GNAC and Heisey should be in line for another 17 win season.

The Falcons will host Puget Sound in an exhibition on November 7.



Preseason Rank: 5
Head Coach:  Kevin Woodin, Carroll ’87 (175-111, 11 years; 2013-14 GNAC Coach of the Year)
Assistants:  Jenny Heringer, Mandy Morales
Grad Assistant: Chelsea Banis
2013-14 Record:  25-8
Conference: 15-3, 1st
Returning Letter Winners: 6
Returning Starters (3):                   PPG    RPG    APG    BLK
+Kayleen Goggins – F, 6-1, Sr.        11.2      4.8      1.4      6
*Janiel Olson – F, 5-10, Sr.               7.8       11.5    1.4      6
Annie DePuydt – G, 5-8, Sr.              8.1       3.8      1.6      1
Other Returnees:
Quinn Peoples – F, 5-11, Sr.             8.9        2.8      0.7      3
Alisha Breen – F, 5-10, So.               6.7        4.3      1.2      8
Monica Grimsrud – F, 6-1, r-Jr.               R e d  S h i r t
Kasie Christensen – F, 6-0, r-Fr.             R e d  S h i r t
Courtney Henry – G, 5-4, r-Fr.                R e d  S h i r t
Marissa Van Atta – G, 5-11, r-Fr.            R e d  S h i r t
Britta Young – G, 5-6, r-Fr.                     R e d  S h i r t
*2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year & 1st-team GNAC
+2013-14 HM GNAC
Transfers/Freshman:  Rylee Kane (G, 5-6, Fr., Red Lodge, MT – Red Lodge HS); Lexi Prevost (G, 5-7, Fr., Sidney, MT – Sidney HS); Brianna Reser (G, 5-10, Fr., Simi Valley, CA – Royal HS); Vanessa Stavish (F, 6-0, Fr., Frenchtown, MT – Frenchtown HS).

2013-14 SEASON

The 2013-14 Montana State Billings team set a new standard for performance at the school.

Not only did MSUB win the regular season championship and advance to the NCAA regional championship game, but the team, and GNAC Player of the Year Bobbi Knudsen, broke numerous GNAC records and earned top honors on the way.

Knusdsen broke career records for points, assists and field goal made along with many other GNAC records. Montana State Billings led the conference in scoring defense and scoring margin, rebounding and three-pointers made and went 15-0 at home on its road to the GNAC regular season title.

The Yellowjackets claimed four of the five major GNAC awards, including Player of the Year Knudsen, Defensive Player of the Year Janiel Olson and GNAC Coach of the Year Kevin Woodin.

Even though the team caught the injury bug late in the season and fell in the first round of the conference tournament, the Yellowjackets received the No. 2 seed in the West region before falling to final four participant Cal Poly Pomona 75-68 in the regional championship game.


Three senior starters return from the 2013-14 team. Kayleen Goggins was the Yellowjackets second leading scorer last year after starting all 33 games, notching 9.3 points per game, and earned honorable mention in the GNAC.

GNAC Defensive Player of the Year Janiel Olson was the Yellowjackets, and the conference’s, leading rebounder grabbing 11.5 each game. Olson is returning from a torn ACL she suffered towards the end of last season.

Annie DePuydt is also coming back from injury after starting 16 games a season ago. While active, DePuydt added 8.1 points per game with 1.9 assists.

Quinn Peoples is the senior long-range threat for the Yellowjackets, netting a team-high 73 last season, which ranked second in the conference.

Another Yellowjacket that will get significant playing time this year is Alisha Breen who was the 17th leading rebounder in the GNAC last season with 1.8 each game.


Last year MSUB was the team to beat in the conference, but after losing 2013-14 GNAC Player of the Year Bobbi Knudsen, the coaches seem to think there will be a steep drop-off from its production last season.

This team looks a bit different from a season ago. There are four seniors on the team along with one junior and sophomore, but the majority of the team is made up of freshmen and redshirt freshmen – eight in total.

The seniors should provide championship experience and leadership for the eight, but there might be a learning curve with unexperienced players that will possibly play key rolls this season.

Montana State Billings will battle in-state rival Carroll College in an exhibition on October 28.



Preseason Rank: 6
Head Coach:  Tim Healy, Washington State '78 (233-246, 18 years)
Assistants:  Kaitlin McBride, Julia Olson
2013-14 Record:  18-11
Conference: 11-7, t-5th
Returning Letter Winners:  10
Returning Starters (4):                     PPG  RPG   APG    BLK
Angela Gelhar – G, 5-6, Sr.                11.0    1.8    1.4      0
Brooke Paulson – F, 5-10, Sr.             7.7      3.8    1.9      2
Jordyn Richardson – G, 5-9, Sr.          6.1      1.5    1.0      1
MacKenzie Taylor – F, 5-10, Jr.          3.2      4.1    1.4      7
Other Returnees:
Krista Stabler – G, 5-6, Jr.                  7.4      2.0    1.2      1
Megan Wiedeman – F, 6-0, Jr.           6.4      7.4    0.6      37
Liz Mills – F, 5-11, Sr.                        5.6      3.8    0.6      9
Sami Jo Robinson – G, 5-9, So.         0.6      0.8    0.4      0
Brooke Rickard – G, 5-4, So.             0.0      0.0    0.0      0
Lauren Tigue – F, 6-0, Jr.                       R e d  S h i r t
Transfers/Freshman: Sofia Guerra (G, 5-6, Jr., Pleasant Hill, CA – SPSCC); Elin Johansson (F, 6-1, Fr., Gothenburg, Sweden – Sanda Gymnastic); Hannah Reynolds (G, 5-6, Fr., Klamath Falls, OR – Mazama HS).

2013-14 SEASON

At one point on the season, Saint Martin’s won eight out of nine games and also finished the season with three straight wins, entering the GNAC tournament as the sixth seed.

The Saints upset Alaska Anchorage in the first round before losing to tournament champion Western Washington in the semi-finals.

SMU finished the season 18-11 and tied for fifth in the conference with an 11-7 mark.

The Saints were on of the tougher defenses in the conference last season though, allowing opponents only 62.9 points per game while holding them to .384 shooting percentage.

While scoring and rebounding were not some of the team’s strong points, Saint Martin’s ranked fourth in the GNAC in blocked shots and third in steals.


The Saints have a ton of experience returning to the lineup with 10 letter winners and four starters.

SMU’s second leading scorer last season, and the GNAC’s 14th, was Angela Gelhar who averaged 11 points per game. The 5-6 senior guard started 26 of 29 possible games, leading the team in free throw attempts and free throws made in 2013-14.

Seniors Brook Paulson and Jordyn Richardson combined for 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last year. Paulson was second on the team with 54 assists on the season while Richardson led the GNAC in three-point field goal percentage, making half of her shots she put up.

The fourth starter returning is MacKenzie Taylor. The forward was one of the Saints most important rebounders, collecting 118 total boards, while also averaging 1.4 assists each matchup.

The trio of Krista Stabler, Megan Wiedeman and Liz Mills combined for 19.4 points off the bench in 2013-14. Stabler held the GNAC’s third best free-throw percentage while Wiedeman led the team in rebounds (200) and blocked shots (37). Mills did a little bit of everything as a junior, adding 5.6 points while averaging 3.8 boards and totaling nine blocked shots.


Coach Tim Healy brings back one of the most experienced teams in the conference. Most of the Saints are upper classmen as nine are juniors and seniors.

That experience will come in handy the first part of the season as the Saints have a one month stretch this winter where they play the top four teams in the conference along with Division I Eastern Washington.

Saint Martin’s experience, defense and ability to get to the free throw line - the team broke the GNAC record at 591 free throws made last season - will keep the Saints competitive in the GNAC.

SMU will take on the Evergreen State College November 4.



Preseason Rank: 7 
Head Coach:  Ryan Bragdon, University of Washington ‘01 (15-11, 1 year)
Assistants:   Elpidia Allen
2013-14 Record:  15-11
Conference: 8-10, 7th
Returning Letter Winners:  6
Returning Starters (2):                   PPG  RPG  APG  BLK
Taylor Simmons – G, 5-8, Jr.            12.7    3.3    3.2      2
Kayla Schumann – G, 5-9, Sr.           6.8     1.8    1.5      2
Other Returnees:
Ellen Ferrenburg – F, 6-1, Jr.            3.7      2.0    0.2      6
Cierra White – G, 5-7, Jr.                  3.4      2.9    1.0      2
Katie Swanson – F, 6-3, Jr.              3.1      1.9    0.2      1
Taylor Babbitt – G, 5-7, r-So.            0.9      0.5    0.1      0
Transfers/Freshman: Katrina Cryderman (C, 6-0, Jr., Kirkland, WA – New Mexico Highlands); Colette Gall (G, 5-11, Fr., Pasco, WA – Hanford HS); Ellie Logan (G, 5-9, Fr., Condon, OR – Wheeler HS); Abby Smith (G, 5-8, Fr., Kendrick, ID – Kendrick HS); Lexi Tubbs (G, 5-11, Fr., Turlock, CA – Modesto Christian HS).

2013-14 SEASON

Northwest Nazarene had one of the better starts of the 2013-14 season as it won eight games in a row and earned a ranking as high as 17th in the nation. First-year coach Ryan Bragdon had the Crusaders at 10-2 at one point with a 3-1 conference record before the season started to unravel.

NNU went 5-9 the rest of conference play and had two separate four-game losing streaks to finish seventh in the conference, just outside the GNAC tournament field.

The team went 15-11 overall. This was the ninth straight season the Crusaders have had a .500 or better recorded.

NNU was the fourth ranked free throw shooting team in the country in 2013-14, making 79 percent of its free shots while taking the second most attempts in the conference with 450. In its game against Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 2, the Crusaders made 38 free-throws to set a new single-game conference record.

The Crusaders ranked second in steals and turnover margin, taking away 10.2 balls per game while posting a +3.17 turnover margin.  NNU also held its opponents to the second least defensive rebound percentage.  


NNU only has two returning starters and four more players with some playing experience coming back.

Junior guard Taylor Simmons ranked in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, assists and minutes played last season while leading the GNAC with 56 steals, 3.1 per game. Simmons also tied a single-game record for consecutive free throws and free throw attempts last season.

Kayla Schumann will return as the Crusaders top perimeter shooter. Schumann ranked ninth in the conference in three-point percentage while draining 20 three’s.

Juniors Ellen Ferrenburg, Cierra White and Katie Swanson played in almost every game last year, combining for 10.2 points while collecting 6.8 rebounds per game.

Transfer Katrina Cryderman will hope to contribute right away after starting 20 games as a freshman at New Mexico Highlands. Freshman Ellie Logan, the East Oregonian All-Area Player of the Year, also will push for playing time.


Coach Bragdon will look to have the same start to the season the Crusaders had in his first year while trying to figure out the rest of the conference.

The team will test themselves with two games against Division I opponents Boise State and Idaho State early in the season.

The Crusaders will also have a tough stretch of six straight games away from home, but play seven of their first eleven conference game at the Johnson Sports Center.

The Crusaders will warm-up with an exhibition against Treasure Valley Community College on November 4 before traveling to nearby Boise to face the Broncos.


ALASKA Nanooks

Preseason Rank: 8
Head Coach: Cody Bench, Alaska ’05 (21-84, 4 years)
Assistant: Greg Bruce
2013-14 Record:  9-17
Conference: 3-15, T-8th
Returning Letter Winners:   8
Returning Starters (4):                   PPG   RPG   APG  BLK
*Jordan Wilson - F, 5-11, So.           15.2    7.1      1.0      3
Benissa Bulaya - G, 5-6, Sr.             8.5      2.8      4.0      1
Kelly Logue - G, 5-9, Sr.                   7.1      3.3      1.8      16
Autumn Childers - G, 5-9, So.           5.5      1.7      0.7      3
Other Returnees:
Victoria Milton – G, 5-5, So.              8.5      4.0      2.8      5
Kaillee Skjold – F, 5-5, So.               7.7      4.6      1.0      10
Brianna Kirk - G, 5-8, Jr.                   4.2      3.9      1.2      2
Cassie Williams – G, 5-9, So.           1.0      0.6      0.0      0
Jessalyn Reiter – G, 5-8, Fr.                    R e d  S h i r t
*2013-14 GNAC Freshman of the Year & GNAC HM
Transfers/Freshman: Carissa Cannon (G, 5-6, Fr., Kodiak, AK – Kodiak HS); Victoria Elleby (G, 5-10, Jr., Seattle, WA –
Highline CC); Heather Heild (F, 5-11, Fr., Chandler, AZ – Seton Catholic Prep); Daron Mainville (C, 6-1, Fr., Barnum, MN – Barnum HS); Arinesha Smith (G, 5-5, Jr., SeaTac, WA – Lower Columbia College); Stephanie Toumson (F, 6-1, Jr., Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe – College of Southern Idaho).

2013-14 SEASON

Alaska tied with Western Oregon for eighth in the GNAC last season with a 3-15 conference record.

The Nanooks started the season strong by winning seven their first eight games, three of them away from the Patty Center. The beginning of conference play was rough for the Nanooks as three of their first four games came against two ranked teams and an MSU Billings team that won the regular season championship.

UAF came on the losing end of seven games that were within five points last season, but that might be the learning curve with having five freshmen playing significant minutes.

The 9-17 overall Nanooks had a decent scoring attack that ranked fourth in the conference at 70.8 points per game. The 2013-14 team shot well from the perimeter, making 102 (.313 percent) of their shots from behind the arch.

Alaska also ranked in the top half in the conference in steals (161), assists (250) and rebounds (689).


The Nanooks return eight letter winners from a young team, including four starters.

The 2013-14 GNAC Freshman of the Year, Jordan Wilson, enters her sophomore season as the Nanooks leading scorer. She put up 27 points in her first collegiate game and looks to add onto her 15.2 points per game pace.

Wilson also ranked in the top 10 in rebounding, field goal percentage and free throw percentage in the conference.

Starters Benissa Bulaya and Kelly Logue are the only seniors on the roster. Bulaya ranked fourth in the conference in assists last year with 77 and ninth overall in steals with 32. Logue was the team’s shot-block leader with 11 while also bringing down 3.6 rebounds per game.

Autumn Childers started 17 of 26 games in her freshman campaign. She scored 5.5 points while tying for second on the team in three-pointers made with 19.

Victoria Milton, Kaillee Skjold and Brianna Kirk all started at least five games last year while playing in all 26 games. Milton led the team with 49 steals while Skjold was second on the team in rebounds and blocks. Kirk added 30 assists along with 102 rebounds in a reserve role.


The team’s top five scorers and rebounders are back to improve on last year’s performance.

The Nanooks will benefit from playing in four tournaments this preseason, three in Alaska, and start and end conference play at home.

Coach Cody Bench brought in former Portland State and Western Oregon head coach Greg Bruce in to assist with the team. Bench also recruited another strong incoming class that contains three transfers that should help right away.

Alaska will face its alumni team on November 8 at the Patty Center.



Preseason Rank: 9
Head Coach:  Holli Howard-Carpenter (6-20, 1 season)
Assistants:  Katie Girten
Grad Assistant: Nia Bravo
2013-14 Record:  6-20
Conference: 3-15, T-8th
Returning Letter Winners:   7
Returning Starters (3):                       PPG  RPG   APG  BLK
*Dana Goularte – F, 6-0, Sr.                17.8    8.2    2.0    53
Jordan Mottershaw – G, 5-10, So.       5.6      2.8    0.8    2
Elise Miller – G, 5-6, r-Jr.                     4.8      2.5    2.2    7
Other Returnees: 
Kelsey Henry – F, 6-1, Jr.                    7.5      3.7    0.2    4
Shyla Akins – G, 5-5, Jr.                      4.5      1.1    0.7    0
Katie Goddard – G, 5-10, Jr.                2.4      2.0    0.4    3
Angie Titus – F, 5-10, Jr.                      0.9      1.0    0.0    0
*2013-14 2nd-team GNAC
Transfers/Freshman: Sydney Azorr (G, 5-10, Fr.,Clackamas, OR – Clackamas HS); Michelle Bromagem (G, 5-6, Jr., Hillsboro, OR – Wenatchee CC); Emily Howey (C, 6-3, Jr., Hillsboro, OR – Snow College); Jasmine Miller (G/F, 5-11 Fr., Tualatin, OR – Tualatin HS); Sami Osborne (G/F, 6-1, Fr., Eugene, OR – Willamette HS); Mo Tapasa (G, 5-7, Fr., Independence, OR – Central HS).

2013-14 SEASON

The Wolves struggled in their first season under head coach Holli Howard-Carpenter, finishing with a 6-20 record.

WOU played very well at the Capital City Classic last year, winning both games against Willamette and California Maritime. Five of Western Oregon’s six wins also came at home.

Western Oregon tied for eighth place in the conference with Alaska, which the team beat twice in the regular season, finishing with a 3-15 conference record.

The Wolves struggled finding a rhythm on offense last year, ranking towards the bottom in the conference in scoring and shooting, but WOU did rank sixth in blocked shots and fourth in steals.


Two key incoming players will contribute to this year’s squad that has eight upperclassmen.

Senior Dana Goularte led Western Oregon’s offense last year. She ranked fourth in the conference in scoring at 18.4 points per game and earned second-team GNAC honors.

Goularte was also the Wolves top rebounder and shooter while taking away the fifth most steals and swatting away the second most blocks in the conference.

Sophomore Jordan Mottershaw is another returning starter looking to step up her game. Mottershaw started 14 times, adding 5.6 points and 20.8 boards per matchup.

Elise Miller was one of three players to start every game in a Western Oregon uniform in 2013-14. Miller was seventh in the conference in steals with 35 while ranking 13th in assists with 44.

Two newcomers will bring a spark to the Wolves as well.

Emily Howey is a transfer from Snow College where she averaged 3.7 rebounds per game and shot 46 percent from the field. Incoming freshman Sydney Azorr will also push to play extended minutes. She was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and a three-star ESPN.com recruit coming out of high school.


Western Oregon has only one senior on the team in Goularte, but the team is very experienced with seven juniors.

The Wolves will use that experience when facing two Division I foes in their exhibition games. Three of the first five conference games will be played in Monmouth while four of the six will be played at home to finish the season.

WOU will start its season at home in an exhibition match against Warner Pacific on October 28.



Preseason Rank: 10
Head Coach:  Jeff Harada, Colorado ’97 (first year)
Assistant: Melissa Rima
Grad Assistant: Keisha-Ling Kanekoa
2013-14 Record:  7-19
Conference: 2-16, 10th
Returning Letter Winners:  7
Returning Starters (2):               PPG    RPG     APG      BLK
Courtney Johnson – F, 6-0, Sr.    11.7      4.4      0.8        5
Jasmine Parker – F/C, 6-0, Jr.       9.7      7.6      0.5        54
Other Returnees:
Erika Locker – G, 5-10, Sr.             5.3      3.3      1.0        2
Hannah Shine – G, 6-0, r-Jr.          4.5      2.9      0.5        2
Melanie Valdez – G, 5-5, r-Jr.        2.2      1.2      1.6        1
Chantel Heath – G, 5-6, So.          1.8      1.3      1.0         1
India Matheson – C, 6-1, Jr.          1.3      1.3      0.2         2
Transfers/Freshman: Alexis Berrysmith (F/C, 6-2, Jr., Kent, WA – Bellevue CC); Nikki Bond (G, 5-7, Jr., Vancouver, WA – Clark College); Jasmin Edwards (G, 5-5, Fr., Lynwood, WA – Lynnwood HS); Rachel Lorentson (G/F, 6-1, Fr., Sammamish, WA – Eastlake HS); Beverly Verduin (G, 5-9, Fr., Seattle, WA – Ballard HS).

2013-14 SEASON

There weren’t a lot of bright spots last year for the Wildcats.

After starting 3-3, Central Washington lost seven of its next nine games and had a 10-game conference losing streak later in the season to finish 7-19 on the year and 10th in the GNAC with a 2-16 record.

The Wildcats first conference win however came against GNAC tournament runner-up Simon Fraser, a 63-54 victory in Burnaby. The Wildcats second to last game featured its fourth home win on the season with a 16 point blowout against Western Oregon.

While the Wildcats offense hindered the team all season, their defense kept them competitive. CWU ranked in the top five in the conference in rebounding, defensive three-point field goal percentage and blocked shots.

Central Washington lost three of its starters, and its career three-point shooter and leading scorer last season in Jessica VanDyke, to graduation.


CWU has seven letter winners returning along with a couple of starters.

Senior forward Courtney Johnson was the Wildcats second leading scorer after starting 21 of 26 games. Johnson ranked eighth in the conference in three-pointers made with 32 and was 12th in free-throw percentage.

The other starter returning is junior Jasmine Parker. Parker was a force in the paint, collecting a team-high 7.2 rebounds each game while blocking the fourth most shots in the conference.

Upper classmen Erika Locker and Hannah Shine were key contributors on the Wildcats last season, combining for 9.8 points and 6.2 boards per game. Locker started four games adding 16 steals and Shine was second on the team in three-point percentage.

Melanie Valdez, Chantel Heath and India Matheson also added quality minutes.

Bellevue Community College transfer Alexis Berrysmith will push for playing time after her first-team all-star performance at BCC her sophomore year.


The Wildcats are in a period of transition as Jeff Harada takes over a program that only won seven games last year.

Harada comes to Central after spending the last three years as an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy.

CWU also might be facing one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the conference this season as the team plays three Division I schools, including its opener November 1 against Seattle University before taking on the University of Idaho three days later.