Bowman Doubles Down, Leads Hoop Preseason Team
Samantha Bowman was named the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year coming off a season where she led Division II in double-doubles, total rebounds, and defensive rebounds.
Samantha Bowman was named the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year coming off a season where she led Division II in double-doubles, total rebounds, and defensive rebounds.

Friday, October 28, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. –  After recording the most double-doubles and rebounds of anyone in Division II last year, Central Washington senior center Samantha Bowman leads 15 players selected to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team.

Bowman was named the Preseason Player of the Year after a season where she led Division II in double-doubles, total rebounds and defensive rebounds. She earned First Team All-GNAC Honors and was named the GNAC Championships Most Valuable Player along with being named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team and First Team D2CCAA All-Region.

Bowman was one of the most reliable players in the conference last season, ranking fifth in the GNAC with an average of 33.1 minutes per game. She was most potent on the boards, leading Division II with 15.9 rebounds per game. She also led the conference with averages of 4.7 offensive rebounds, 11.3 defensive rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest. Along with her defensive strengths, Bowman proved a dangerous scoring threat, ranking second in the GNAC with a .502 field goal percentage while averaging 16.2 points per game.

Western Washington landed the most players of any program on the preseason team with four. Junior forward Brooke Walling, senior guard Mollie Olson, senior guard Avery Dykstra and sophomore guard Riley Dykstra were all selected following their GNAC Championships victory and run to the NCAA Division II Championship final.

Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington, Montana State Billings, and Seattle Pacific all had two players named to the preseason squad. Senior guards Jahanna Hajdukovich and Vishe’ Rabb represent the Seawolves while Bowman and sophomore guard Valerie Huerta were named for the Wildcats. The Yellowjackets landed senior forward Taryn Shelley and senior forward Cariann Kunkel. Seattle Pacific landed senior guard/forward Ashley Alter and senior forward Natalie Hoff.

Completing the team is Northwest Nazarene senior guard Jordan Pinson, Saint Martin’s sophomore forward Rian Clear and Simon Fraser junior guard/forward Jessica Wisotzki.

Walling was one of the top scoring threats for Western Washington last season, averaging 10.8 points per game and shooting 47.7% from the field. She led the team in rebounds, averaging 7.8 per contest while also leading the team in steals and blocked shots on the way to All-GNAC honors. Olson was a top-five scorer for the Vikings last season, averaging 7.2 points per game while shooting 32.8% from three-point range and also earned All-GNAC honors.

Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-GNAC guard Avery Dykstra led the team in minutes played and averaged 6.4 points per game as another offensive threat while also dishing the ball for an average of 2.6 assists per game. Last year’s GNAC Freshman of the Year and Honorable Mention All-GNAC guard Riley Dykstra was another top-five scoring player for WWU, averaging 7.5 points per game and shooting 32.5% from beyond the three-point arc.

Hajdukovich is the top returning scorer for Alaska Anchorage after averaging 7.7 points per game and leading the Seawolves with a .378 average from three-point range. Raab is the lone conference newcomer to be named to the preseason team after transferring from Augustana (S.D.) where she averaged 12.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 41.2% from the field.

Shelley, a First Team All-GNAC selection last year, led the Yellowjackets and ranked seventh in the conference with 15.4 points per game. She also ranked second for MSUB and fourth in the conference shooting 50% from the field along with leading the team with an average of 8.4 rebounds per contest. Kunkel, a Second Team All-GNAC selection, was another key offensive piece for Montana State Billings. She ranked second on the team with an average of 12 points per game and led the program with 31 steals.

Hoff, an Honorable Mention All-GNAC selection, led the Falcons with averages of 11 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocked shots per game. She ranked second on the team logging 753 minutes. Alter was SPU’s second-ranked scoring player from 2021-22 with an average of 9.9 points per game. She also earned Honorable Mention All-GNAC accolades.

Pinson led NNU and ranked fourth in the GNAC with an average of 3.4 assists per game last season. She was also a top-five scoring threat for the Nighthawks, averaging 8.3 points per game and shooting 31% from beyond the three-point arc and 77.3% from the free throw line to earn Honorable Mention All-GNAC honors.

Clear was named to the preseason team after ranking second for the Saints and 10th in the conference in scoring with an average of 12.6 points per game in her freshman campaign. She led Saint Martin’s while shooting 35.2% from three-point range and ranked 20th in the GNAC with a .414 field goal percentage. Clear was also named Honorable Mention All-GNAC.

Wisotzki, a Second Team All-GNAC choice, rounds out the preseason all-conference squad after leading the Red Leafs and ranking third in the GNAC with an average of 17.3 points per game. She was also one of the deadliest players from outside, leading SFU and ranking fourth in the conference with a .366 three-point percentage.

Preseason Player of the Year:
Samantha Bowman, Central Washington

Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
* Samantha Bowman Central Washington C 6-3 Sr. Zillah, Wash. (Zillah)
* Taryn Shelley Montana State Billings F 6-3 Sr. Shoreline, Wash.
(Washington State Univ.)
* Brooke Walling Western Washington F 6-3 Jr. Vancouver, Wash.
(Fresno Pacific Univ.)
* Jessica Wisotzki Simon Fraser G/F 6-2 Jr. Langley, B.C. (Walnut Grove)
* Mollie Olson Western Washington G 5-10 Sr. Napavine, Wash. (Napavine)
* Ashley Alter Seattle Pacific G/F 5-11 Sr. Stanwood, Wash. (Stanwood)
+ Vishe’ Rabb Alaska Anchorage G 5-9 Sr. Springfield, Minn.
(Augustana (S.D.) Univ.)
* Cariann Kunkel Montana State Billings F 5-10 Sr. Hamilton, Mont.
(Wenatchee Valley CC)
Rian Clear Saint Martin’s F 5-10 So. Pullman, Wash. (Walla Walla)
Avery Dykstra Western Washington G 5-10 Sr. Everson, Wash. (Lynden Christian)
Jordan Pinson Northwest Nazarene G 5-5 Sr. El Paso, Texas (Andress)
Jahnna Hajdukovich Alaska Anchorage G 5-8 Sr. Anchorage, Alaska (Dimond)
Valerie Huerta Central Washington G 5-4 So. Whittier, Calif. (Saint Paul)
Riley Dykstra Western Washington G 5-10 So. Everson, Wash. (Lynden Christian)
Natalie Hoff Seattle Pacific F 6-2 Sr. Beaverton, Ore. (Southridge)

* - Unanimous Selection
+ - Conference Newcomer