Consensus Player Of The Year Bowman Leads All-GNAC Team
Samantha Bowman was the unanimous selection by coaches as the GNAC Player of the Year after leading the conference and Divsison II in several categories.
Samantha Bowman was the unanimous selection by coaches as the GNAC Player of the Year after leading the conference and Divsison II in several categories.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – Central Washington’s Samantha Bowman proved to be a game changer night after night for the Wildcats and was recognized unanimously by coaches as the Player of the Year to lead the 2023 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball All-Conference Team.

The senior center from Zillah, Washington has been one of the top-performing players not only in the GNAC but in Division II this season. Bowman leads the division in rebounds for the second consecutive season with 400. She also leads Division II with 11.3 defensive rebounds and 14.8 total rebounds per game. Her 21.6 points per contest lead the conference and ranks seventh in the division.

By the numbers, Bowman has been unstoppable. She has recorded 23 double-doubles in 27 games she has played this season to rank second in Division II. She earned 15 of those double-doubles in conference competition, including a triple-double at Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 12. This is the second time Bowman has been recognized as a First Team All-GNAC selection.

Coach of the Year Honors go to Montana State Billings’ Kevin Woodin, who led the Yellowjackets to a second-place finish in the regular season with a 14-4 GNAC record (23-6 overall). The run of success this season was highlighted by an 11-game win streak that lasted from Jan. 5 to Feb. 16 where MSUB handed nationally ranked Western Washington its only two losses of the conference schedule.

Bowman is joined on the All-GNAC First Team by teammate and unanimous selection Valerie “Sunshine” Huerta, who ranks third in the conference with 18.5 points per game and leads the GNAC with a .877 free-throw percentage. The sophomore point guard’s .477 three-point percentage leads the conference and ranks third in Division II. Huerta has also been one of the top playmakers in the GNAC, averaging 3.4 assists per game to rank sixth in the conference.

Freshman of the Year honors also head to Ellensburg for Central Washington guard Asher Cai, who leads all freshmen and ranks eighth in the GNAC with 14.1 points per game having started all 27 of CWU’s games this season. Cai is also second in the conference with 2.5 three-pointers made per game and 14th with 5.5 rebounds per contest. She was also recognized as an Honorable Mention All-GNAC player.

Western Washington senior guard Avery Dykstra was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row after leading one of the best defenses in the conference. Dykstra has started all 25 games for the Vikings’ defense that leads the GNAC with a .352 opponent field goal percentage and ranks second in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 58.2 points per game.

Dykstra, who also earned First Team All-GNAC honors, has been one of the best blockers in the GNAC, ranking ninth in the conference with 0.8 blocks per game. She has also been an effective passer for WWU, averaging 1.5 assists per game.

Joining Dykstra with on the first team is teammate and unanimous selection Brooke Walling. The senior forward has been a threat both offensively and defensively for WWU, averaging 13.4 points per game to rank ninth in the conference and 9.2 rebounds per contest to rank second. Walling also ranks in the top five in the conference in field goal percentage, assists, blocked shots, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds.

Alaska Anchorage junior forward Vishe’ Rabb was selected as the Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-GNAC after a debut season in the GNAC where she leads the Seawolves and ranks fifth in the conference with 16.8 points per game. Rabb has been one of the most consistent players from the free-throw line, ranking second in GNAC with an. 873 free-throw percentage. She also ranks in the conference’s top 10 in rebounding, steals and defensive rebounds.

Simon Fraser junior forward Jessica Wisotzki also earned unanimous selection as a First Team All-GNAC honoree after finishing the regular season ranked second in the conference and ninth in Division II with 21.4 points per game. Wisotzki has done much of her damage from long range, ranking fourth in the conference with a .400 three-point percentage. She has also been productive from the free-throw line where she ranks second in the GNAC and 26th in Divison II with 123 free throws made.

Montana State Billings leads all programs with six total all-conference selections followed by Central Washington with four.  

Player of the Year: Samantha Bowman, Central Washington
Coach of the Year: Kevin Woodin, Montana State Billings
Defensive Player of the Year: Avery Dykstra, Western Washington
Freshman of the Year: Asher Cai, Central Washington
Newcomer of the Year: Vishe' Rabb, Alaska Anchorage

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+^ Samantha Bowman Central Washington C 6-3 Sr. Zillah, Wash. (Zillah)
*@ Brooke Walling Western Washington F 6-3 Sr. Vancouver, Wash. (Fresno State Univ.)
*# Jessica Wisotzki Simon Fraser F 6-2 Jr. Langley, B.C. (Walnut Grove)
* Valerie Huerta Central Washington G 5-4 So. Whittier, Calif. (Saint Paul)
*# Avery Dykstra Western Washington G 5-10 Sr. Everson, Wash. (Lynden Christian)
Vishe’ Rabb Alaska Anchorage F 5-9 Jr. Springfield, Minn. (Augustana (S.D.) Univ.)
SECOND TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
@ Kortney Nelson Montana State Billings G 5-8 So. Scobey, Mont. (Scobey)
@ Ashley Alter Seattle Pacific G 5-11 Sr. Stanwood, Wash. (Stanwood)
Katrina Gimmaka Western Washington F 5-11 Sr. Everson, Wash. (Nooksack Valley)
Anjel Galbraith Saint Martin’s G 5-5 Jr. Vallejo, Calif. (Purdue Univ. Northwest)
# Cariann Kunkel Montana State Billings F 5-10 Sr. Hamilton, Mont. (Wenatchee Valley CC)
Cali McClave Western Oregon G 5-9 Jr. Corvallis, Ore. (Cescent Valley)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Emma McKenney Alaska G 5-6 Jr. Springfield, Ore. (Lane CC)
Jahnna Hajdukovich Alaska Anchorage F 5-8 Sr. Anchorage, Alaska (Dimond)
Asher Cai Central Washington G 5-9 Fr. Colfax, Wash. (Colfax)
Tori Maeda Central Washington G 5-6 Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii (Iolani School)
Dyauni Boyce Montana State Billings F 5-11 So. Winifred, Mont. (Winifred)
Aspen Giese Montana State Billings G 5-8 So. Fort Benton, Mont. (Fort Benton)
Shayla Montague Montana State Billings G 5-11 Jr. Billings, Mont. (Billings West)
+^! Taryn Shelley Montana State Billings F 6-3 Sr. Shoreline, Wash. (Washington State Univ.)
Clare Eubanks Northwest Nazarene F 6-1 Jr. Pasco, Wash. (Chiawana)
@ Jordan Pinson Northwest Nazarene G 5-5 Sr. El Paso, Texas (Andress)
@ Natalie Hoff Seattle Pacific F 6-2 Sr. Beaverton, Ore. (Southridge)
Gemma Cutler Simon Fraser P 6-2 So. North Vancouver, B.C. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Princy Paaluhi-Caulk Western Oregon G 5-3 Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii (Concordia (Ore.) Univ.)
* - Unanimous Selection     
+ - First Team Selection in 2021-22     
# - Second Team in 2021-22     
@ - Honorable Mention in 2021-22    
 ^ - Honorable Mention In 2019-20    
 ! – Honorable Mention in 2018-19